Standard Scoring Strategy Guide

The Big Mans Strategies Standard Scoring

This strategy guide contains excerpts of our Value Based Drafting Strategy Guide. We would recommend you read that first before reading our other guides. This guide will provide the base for the other guides. Therefore in some of the other guides, we will reference the data here. If you are not playing in Standard Leagues, there is a lot of data in here that will form the basic strategy for most leagues, so please do read.

Lots of things have changed in Fantasy Football over the last 20 years. However the one thing that has remained a constant is Standard scoring. If you have only been playing Fantasy Football for a couple of years, this is probably all you know. A roster of 16, with 9 starters and 7 bench players. And the positions are 1QB, 2RB, 2WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex, 1K and 1DST.

Universally it’s 6 points for a touchdown for all players, no points for reception, and no quirky bonuses. Value based drafting will lead you build a core roster of WRs and RBs with a TE before you take your Quarterback between rounds 9-11.

Standard used to be exactly that, the standard. However with the fantasy world leaning more towards PPR leagues. But they are still common amongst traditionalists and newbies to Fantasy Football. So if you have just joined a Standard league, or are looking to join one, we have prepared this strategy guide to assist you.

    How to be Successful in Standard Scoring

To be successful in Standard scoring, you need to seek value in the draft. By taking some positions like QB, K, DST or TE too early, and you will pigeon hole yourself into chasing value later on. And that is a hard thing to try and do. If you want to make the playoffs and challenge in your league, you need to follow the three key points below:

1) You need to be starting out by taking plenty of RBs and WRs. 8 of your first 9 picks should be picking up these players, thus covering yourself for bye weeks and injuries.
2) Don’t take Quarterback Early.
3) Do not take Kickers or DSTs until the final 3 rounds. You only lose out.

1) You need to be starting out by taking plenty of RBs and WRs. 8 of your first 9 picks should be picking up these players, thus covering yourself for bye weeks and injuries.

In Standard scoring, your team is judged purely on production. No extra bonuses, no points for receptions. Just yards and touchdowns. At Quarterback, as we will discuss later, you will have value as long as you take a top 12QB and TE, outside of the top 3, don’t produce a huge amount of value for you over the rest of the field. So it is down to RBs and WRs. These are the players that will make you league winners. We guarantee you, you will lose a player or two to injury across the season. Therefore, losing a WR or RB shouldn’t be costing your team a chance of a title. It should just be next man up to take on the duties of delivering you points.

Therefore we strongly recommend in this format that you take 4WR and 4RBs in the first 9 rounds, or even 5RBs and 3WRs. Because you will need every one of these players if you want to make the playoffs. We will cover off a round by round brief guide later, but in the opening 3 rounds, you will not see more than 2 players come off the board that aren’t a Wide Receiver or a Running Back.

Based on ADP, there are currently 41 Running Backs being drafted between the 1.01 and the 8.12 (for the purpose of all the ADPs, we use Fantasy Football Calculator and work out 12 team leagues. Adjust accordinging for your leagues).

Based on 2018 scoring, the difference between the RB1 (Gurley) and the RB12 (James White) for weeks 1-16 (we exclude week 17 as most people don’t play Fantasy Football in week 17) is 8.53 Points Per Game. That is a huge gap to be giving up every single week. Therefore, if you are able to draft 2 top 12 RBs inside the first 3 rounds, you are going to have a significant advantage at the position. Which will be very difficult to overcome for opponents who might not even have one.

But this trend continues. The difference between the RB12 and the RB24 (Matt Brieda) for weeks 1-16 is much smaller, but still something to keep in mind, is 2.58 Points Per Game. When we talk about Quarterbacks shortly, we will talk about taking a player in the 3rd Round, and a player who you can get somewhere between rounds 14-16 being less than double this. RBs 12-24 on ADP this year is the 2.03 pick and the 4.08 pick, so less than 2.5 rounds. So when you want to gain the advantage, you need to take RBs much earlier, as they are worth so much more.

For the purpose of completing the numbers on RBs, the difference between RB24 and RB36 (Nyheim Hines) stays very consistent. It’s 2.53 Points Per Game. You are likely to get the 36th Running Back coming off the board before the end of the 7th Round, to set expectations. In last seasons scoring, once you get to RB34 (Dion Lewis) who scored 99.4 points in Standard last year, the difference is less than 1 Point Per Game all the way to RB44 (LeSean McCoy) and once you get to this stage, you might as well stop drafting Running Backs unless you are gambling on handcuffs for players not on your roster, as RB48 (Royce Freeman) onwards scored less than 5 Points Per Game. They are mostly players who got hurt and only played a handful of games, or just backs who came in to help out the bell cow back in their team for a few snaps.

Repeating the exercise for Wide Receivers:
WR1 (Antonio Brown) – WR12 (Keenan Allen): 3.93 Points Per Game
WR12 (Keenan Allen)- WR24 (Julian Edelman): 2.41 Points Per Game
WR24 (Julian Edelman)- WR36 (Chris Godwin): 0.96 Points Per Game
WR36 (Chris Godwin)- WR48 (Anthony Miller): 1.02 Points Per Game

When analysing trends for Wide Receivers in Standard Scoring for the last 5 years, these scoring numbers do not change by category by more than 0.8 Points Per Game for WR1-WR12 and WR12-WR24 and the numbers for the final two categories is much much less (biggest variance 0.3 Points Per Game).

Therefore getting 2 RB1’s in Standard Scoring is much more valuable than two WR1’s. And securing as many RB2 and RB3’s as you can are extremely important as the cliff happens much faster. Once you are outside the WR24 or so, Wide Receivers become a much of a muchness and can be drafted much later.

2) Don’t take Quarterback Early

Many people have caught onto “The Late Round QB” approach that was proposed and structured by JJ Zachariason 7 or so years ago. Therefore, this has been adopted by analysts across the industry. Again, this isn’t original insight, but I will add some context as to why you should adopt this approach.

Let’s talk about Patrick Mahomes for a minute. What he did last season is something only 2 other men have ever done. Their names? Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Patrick Mahomes is going to regress. Kareem Hunt has gone. And Tyreek Hill’s production vs targets was at an unsustainable rate. There is also the off the field problems that have not been completely resolved, despite the recent statement saying he won’t be banned.

I have been working out a regression of about 50 points in my projections this year as a minimum, so for the purposes of this exercise, I’m going to handicap Mahomes 50 points. How did I get to 50 points. I took 7 Touchdowns off of Mahomes (which is less than what I have projected him personally) and 200 passing yards. That is still Mahomes achieve elite numbers and on pace for a top 15 fantasy season of all time. Now you don’t have to and this could lead you to want to draft Mahomes in the 3rd round of your league. And that is fine, but it will come at a cost.

Working out 2018 rankings between the QB1 and the QB12, Mahomes lead the league with 399.7 points after 16 games (I have excluded week 17 from the samples). If I regress him to the mean and bring him to a league leading 349.7pts, he is still the QB1. Kirk Cousins was the QB12 after week 16 with 277.9pts. This is scored at 4pts per touchdown for context. The scoring difference between these two players is 71.8 points or 4.49PPG. If these results replicate this season, Mahomes in the 3rd round gets you less than 4.5 points a game to Cousins who is borderline not getting drafted. If you miss out on a RB2 or WR1 in this round, the drop in value will supersede 4.5PPG, let me tell you. Plus you will then have to reach to get other positions, meaning you will lose value in every round until the QBs go. This could cost your team, on a good day and perfect draft, 10PPG, and if it all goes wrong, upwards of 30PPG. You will always be behind the rest of the draft until the QBs come off the board, meaning you will always be chasing value.

How does this data compare historically. Well in 2017, the gap between the QB1 and the QB12 was 5PPG, 5.8PPG in 2016, and the same margin in 2015. So in all cases the margins aren’t game changing. It’s worth pointing out that if you take the QB1 out in all cases, that number drops to an average of 4.3PPG and once you get to the QB6, it drops down under 2PPG on average over the last 4 years.

We then come to the ADP of the 4 QB champs in the last four years. Patrick Mahomes in 2018 had an ADP of 10.08 and was the 15th QB selected off the board. Russell Wilson was the 5th QB off the board in 2017 at an ADP of 6.03. Aaron Rodgers was the second QB off the board in 2016 at an ADP of 3.08. And Cam Newton was, amazingly, the 15th QB off the board in 2015 at an ADP of 10.08.

So as you can see, the fantasy community, with the exception of Rodgers, is incredibly poor at predicting Quarterback final rankings, and that QBs who finish as the QB1 rarely put in a good defence of trying to repeat. Cam Newton was the QB16 in 2016, Aaron Rodgers due to injury finished at the QB28, and Wilson as the QB8. All 3 finishing well below where they were taken on the board. And that is because the Quarterback position is a highly volatile position. The variables are massive, from coaching scheme, to the requirement of receivers to make plays, to the offensive line holding up and being as effective or better as the year before, something that is extremely rare in the NFL, as well as the ability to remain healthy. Something that you cannot guarantee with QBs.

So not only do our top rated QBs let us down time and time again, but they don’t push the needle in terms of improving our team, and giving our fantasy football team the greatest chance of success. You are far better off targeting a mid tier QB who only regresses the PPG by 2.5-3 and then targeting value in the rounds before you take your QB. You will come out ahead every time this way, unless you are the unluckiest fantasy football player ever and you end up with all the players you select getting injured.

3) Do not take Kickers or DSTs until the final 3 rounds

The final value piece of advice when it comes to value based drafting is to not draft kickers and DSTs before the final three rounds of drafts. They do not move the needle in terms of wins and points per game. Also, similar to QBs, DSTs are extremely volatile and difficult to predict. Below are the last few seasons top 5 points in a season.

DSTs Top 5’s (Weeks 1-16)
2018- Bears 183 points, Rams 131 points, Texans 124 points, Ravens 120 points, Skins 115 points. The DST 12- Steelers 102 points. Difference between DST1 and DST12: 5.1 PPG

2017- Jags 190 points, Ravens 183 points, Rams 165 points, Eagles 160 points, Chargers 150 points. The DST 12- Pats 110 points. Difference between DST1 and DST12: 5.0 PPG

2016- Eagles 158 points, Chiefs 157 points, Patriots 155 points, Vikings 153 points, Broncos 148 points. The DST 12- Bills 121 points. Difference between DST1 and DST12: 2.25 PPG

2015- Cardinals 185 points, Broncos 181 points, Chiefs 174 points, Panthers 158 points, Seahawks 153 points. The DST 12- Eagles 132 points. Difference between DST1 and DST12: 3.3 PPG

2014- Eagles 177 points, Texans 159 points, Bills 159 points, Rams 143 points, Patriots 139 points. The DST 12- Vikings 122 points. Difference between DST1 and DST12: 3.4 PPG

Kicker PPG Average
2018- PPG average between K1-K12 2.7 PPG
2017- PPG average between K1-K12 2.7 PPG
2016- PPG average between K1-K12 2.6 PPG
2015- PPG average between K1-K12 3.2 PPG
2014- PPG average between K1-K12 2.4 PPG

Last year saw a huge outlier with the DST1 being over 50 points in front of DST2, something that has never happened in DST scoring over the past 10 years of data. Also if we looked at the scoring last year between DST2-DST12, the scoring difference in PPG is under 2. Since the Chicago Bears Defence was the 11th DST taken off the board in drafts, the fantasy community got this one wrong from a predictive nature. Infact, the best projection we have had in ADP over the past 5 years is when Arizona in 2015 was taken as the 8th DST off the board. In the other years, 2017, 2016, and 2014, the DST1 was going outside the top 15 DSTs drafted, and therefore they were generally not being drafted.

Know these data trends, plus the fact no DST1 has repeated in the top 5 DSTs except the Eagles in 2016 when they finished 4th in 2017, as well as the fact that DST scoring is declining due to rule changes such as the roughing the passer penalties being brought in, as well as more points being scored in the NFL due to the rule changes, means that there is absolutely no value in drafting a DST early. If you are going to draft one in the 3rd to last round, a kicker in the second to last round, and then take a late, last round flyer on a player, then that is a strategy I can see yielding value as you can jump up and get a top 5 or 6 DST and Kicker whilst the last person on your roster might not play 1 minute in your team this season. But any earlier than that, and you are throwing away value and missing out on high upside potential players like George Kittle and Phillip Lindsey last year.

How will the Draft Look

When it comes to the draft, we have broken down a basic visual for how you should approach your draft, when it comes to factoring the above. The draft should go like this:

Picks 1-4- Top 4 RBs We covered this in Superflex but in Standard, these guys are an absolute cheat code. Don’t overthink it and take one of Barkley, Zeke, CMC and Kamara.
Picks 5-8 Gordon, Nuke, Adams, DJ, Bell
Picks 9-12 Mixon, One of the above, Julio, Connor, Thomas
You could go RB/RB, WR/ WR or RB/WR- do not go TE, QB or anything else here.
The only pick outside of WR or RB is Kelce. ADP is 19 in this format

Again no need to get complicated, RB, WR, you could add Kittle and Ertz but the only other player here with an ADP in this range is Mahomes.WeI personally wouldn’t as QB is so deep.

This is where pools start to get thinner. Drake, Lindsay, Kupp, Guice. OJ Howard could go 4th rd as well as Luck and Watson.

Engram going in this round, Rodgers and maybe Baker Mayfield. Keep stocking up on RBs and WRs

Vance McDonald, Darrell Henderson, Hunter Henry going this round in most cases

Eric Ebron, Jared Cook and a run of QBs with Matt Ryan going.

Wentz, and the rest will probably be RB and WR

Phil Rivers, Njouku, Murray, Goff and some people will take DSTs here- don’t do it!!

start filling your roster. Starting/Backup QB, K, DST, maybe backup TE.

Target #1 WRs and RBs with solid upside! (Westbrook, Wilson, Quinn, AP with uncertainty over Guice, Harris, Singleton, Samuels, Dion Lewis)

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