Fantasy Scoring: 1 Point Per 10 Yards Rushing Probably Isn’t Right

Imagine a world where the 2015 leaders in passing, rushing, and receiving produced the following fantasy points from yardage alone.

ap brees julio

That world would treat passing, rushing, and receiving equally offering 1 point per 10 yards. But we don’t live in that world. It wouldn’t make sense.

It wouldn’t make sense to hold rushing and receiving yards to the same standard as passing yards. In the NFL, passing yards accrue far more quickly. Fantasy scoring almost always reflects that. Players are commonly awarded 1 point per 20 or 25 yards passing, not 10.

Here’s another look at the 2015 leaders with passing yards receiving 1 point per 25 yards.

brees ap jones

It makes sense to adjust scoring for passing yards. We all know that. But if adjusting scoring for passing yards is a given, an important question (that we never ask) should probably be asked.

Do rushing or receiving yards deserve a similar consideration?

When looking at passing yards compared to rushing or receiving yards the difference is apparent. It’s LARGE. The difference between rushing and receiving yards is less apparent, but it offers a gap (that we don’t pay attention to) worth paying attention to.

In terms of fantasy scoring, 1 point per 10 yards is relatively standard for both rushing and receiving yards. The two categories are almost always treated synonymously. But recent history tells us rushing and receiving yards aren’t being gained at the same pace, and the gap is widening.

John Bosch, host of the Fantasy Insanity podcast, offered a suggestion at No. 40 of the “50 Fantasy Football Rules To Live By” that inspired my research for this article.

“My current favorite rule is 0.125 points per rushing yard. The 0.125 number currently reflects how difficult rushing yards are to come by in comparison to receiving yards. Giving a reward just for a carry means that RB’s can score even on a negative outcome play, which I try to avoid in my leagues.”

Awarding 0.125 points per rushing yard equates to 1 point per 8 yards. Admittedly, when first hearing this idea, I wrote it off as a weird thing to try for fun. Why complicate things when 1 point per 10 yards is simple, straightforward, and has worked for so long? After all, 1 point per 8 yards rushing doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. But the idea wouldn’t leave my mind. I had to look into it.

I compared the top performers in rushing and receiving yards for 2013-2015, at 1 point per 10 yards for both rushing and receiving, to see if there was a notable difference in scoring output.

1 point per 10

There was a notable difference.

Over the last 3 years rushing yards and receiving yards were not created equal. Rushing yards were much harder to come by. Over a 3-year span the top performers produced an average of just 79.7, 78, and 72.9 percent of the fantasy points from rushing yards as the top performers did from receiving yards.

Next, I compared rushing yards at 1 point per 8 yards to receiving yards at 1 point per 10 yards for 2013-2015. I wanted to see if John’s idea made sense. If leveling the playing field is the goal, the results below offer a strong argument for considering a change from “the norm”.

1 point per 8

From 2013-2015, 1 point per 8 yards rushing narrowed the gap considerably for rushing yards nearly evening the production of receiving yards.

Fantasy football consistently evolves, in an attempt to create value for certain positions, thus making roster construction more strategic and challenging. SuperFlex, Tight End Premium, PPR, the list goes on. For the rushing game, if the goal is bringing it up to speed with the passing game, 1 point per 8 yards is viable. But there are other options as well.

PPC (Points Per Carry) is a growing trend. It helps accrue more fantasy points for players toting the rock on the ground. But PPC, in my opinion, offers a glaring flaw that 1 point per 8 yards rushing doesn’t have. It rewards the stat lines you can’t look at without saying “Ugh.”

Let’s look at a couple rushing performances from 2015 and compare what PPC (at 0.25 PPC) vs. 1 point per 8 yards would look like.

ppc vs 1pp8

PPC comes up short by rewarding performances like the ones above.

1 point per 8 yards rushing is a straightforward approach, with little downside, that successfully accomplishes a goal. Suggesting it will probably invite some funny looks. It may be mocked or easily dismissed. But in a world where receiving yards are running away from rushing yards, it just might be a good option.

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