Fantasy Football Basics, Part 2 – Scoring

In “Fantasy Football Basics, Part 1 – Leagues and Teams,” you learned fantasy football participants are called team owners and that fantasy football teams are organized into leagues of which there are two types – Head-to-head and Points-only. You also learned fantasy football teams consist of a roster of NFL players and that the roster’s composition and size are determined by league rules. In this article, you will learn about scoring or how your fantasy football team accumulates points.

Whether your fantasy football team is part of a head-to-head league or a points-only league, your team’s success is determined by how many points the players on your roster score. Just as there are limitless variations for the composition and size of rosters, there are an unending number of variations for scoring points. Again, your league’s rules will determine scoring categories and scoring values, but a common setting for scoring includes:


Passing Yards – 1 point for every 25 yards
Passing Touchdowns – 4 points each
Interceptions Thrown – (-1) point each
Rushing Yards – 1 point for every 10 yards
Rushing Touchdowns – 6 points each
Receiving Yards – 1 point for every 10 yards
Receiving Touchdowns – 6 points each
2-point Conversions – 2 points each
Fumbles Lost – (-2) points each


Field Goals (0 – 39 Yards) – 3 points each
Field Goals (40 – 49 Yards) – 4 points each
Field Goals (50 + Yards) – 5 points each
Point After Touchdown (PAT) made – 1 point each


Sacks – 1 point each
Interceptions – 2 points each
Fumbles Recovered – 2 points each
Touchdowns – 6 points each
Safeties – 2 points each
Blocked Kicks – 2 points each
Kickoffs and Punts Returned for a Touchdown – 6 points each
Points Allowed by Defense (0 points) – 10 points
Points Allowed by Defense (1 – 6 points) – 7 points
Points Allowed by Defense (7 – 13 points) – 4 points
Points Allowed by Defense (14 – 20 points) – 1 point
Points Allowed by Defense (21 – 27 points) – 0 points
Points Allowed by Defense (28 – 34 points) – (-1) points
Points Allowed by Defense (35+ points) – (-4) points

Let’s take a look at an example of how this works. We’ll assume a starting line-up for your team that consists of:

Quarterback – Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Running Back – Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
Running Back – Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Wide Receiver – A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals
Wide Receiver – Andre Johnson, Indianapolis Colts
Wide Receiver – Brandon Marshall, New York Jets
Tight End – Jimmy Graham, Seattle Seahawks
Kicker – Cody Parkey, Philadelphia Eagles
Team Defense / Special Team – Miami Dolphins

Based on the scoring system listed above, we’ll award points for each player based on the actual NFL performance for Week 1 of the 2015 season.

Quarterback Tony Romo threw for 356 yards (356/25 = 14.24 points) and three touchdowns (3 x 4 = 12.00 points) against the New York Giants. He also rushed for minus-one yard (-1/10 = -0.10 points) for a total of 26.14 fantasy points (14.24+12.00-0.10).

Running back Jamaal Charles rushed for 57 yards (57/10 = 5.70 points) and caught five passes for 46 yards (46/10 = 4.60 points) and scored a touchdown (1 x 6 = 6.00 points) against the Houston Texans for a total of 16.30 fantasy points (5.70+4.60+6.00).

Running back Doug Martin rushed for 52 yards (52/10 = 5.20 points) and caught one pass for two yards (2/10 = 0.20 points) against the Tennessee Titans for a total of 5.40 fantasy points (5.20+0.20).

Wide receiver A.J. Green caught five passes for 63 yards (63/10 = 6.3o points) against the Oakland Raiders for a total of 6.30 fantasy points.

Wide receiver Andre Johnson caught four passes 24 yards (24/10 = 2.40 points) against the Buffalo Bills for a total of 2.40 fantasy points.

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall caught nine passes for 62 yards (62/10 = 6.20 points) and a touchdown (1 x 6 = 6.00 points) against the Cleveland Browns for a total of 12.20 fantasy points (6.20+6.00).

Tight end Jimmy Graham caught eight passes for 51 yards (51/10 = 5.10 points) and a touchdown (1 x 6 = 6.00 points) against the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams for a total of 11.10 fantasy points.

Kicker Cody Parkey kicked a 29-yard field goal (1 x 3 = 3.00 points) and three PAT’s (point after touchdown) (3 x 1 = 3.00 points) against the Atlanta Falcons for a total of 6.00 fantasy points.

The Miami Dolphins team defense sacked the Washington Redskins quarterback once (1 x 1 = 1.00 point), intercepted two passes (2 x 2 = 4 points), returned a punt for a touchdown (1 x 6 = 6 points) and allowed 10 points (4 points) for a total of 15.00 fantasy points (1+4+6+4).

This fantasy team scored 100.84 fantasy points in week 1 of the 2015 season (26.14 + 16.30 + 5.40 + 6.30 + 2.40 + 12.20 + 11.10 + 6.00 + 15.00). Assuming you are playing in a head-to-head league, are 100.84 fantasy points enough to earn a win for the week? It all depends on how well your opponent’s fantasy team performed.

Your Starting Line-up

PositionPlayerTeamFantasy Points
QBTony RomoDAL26.14
RBJamaal CharlesKC16.30
RBDoug MartinTB5.40
WRA.J. GreenCIN6.30
WRAndre JohnsonIND2.40
WRBrandon MarshallNYJ12.20
TEJimmy GrahamSEA11.10
KCody ParkeyPHI6.00

Your Opponent's Starting Line-up

PositionPlayerTeamFantasy Points
QBTom BradyNE27.62
RBAdrian PetersonMIN5.20
RBChris IvoryNYJ22.00
WRRandall CobbGB9.80
WRLarry FitzgeraldARZ8.70
WRAmari CooperOAK4.70
TEDelanie WalkerTEN10.30
KDan BaileyDAL9.00

Based on the tables above, it looks like you squeaked out a victory by just 1.52 fantasy points (100.84 – 99.32). Congratulations! Remember a win is a win – no matter the margin! So let the trash-talk begin!

NOTE: If your team was in a points-only league, there would be no win or loss at stake in week 1 as the winner of the league is determined by the total number of points accumulated at the end of the season.

There is one major variation to this standard scoring system of which you should be aware. This variation is called the PPR league. PPR stands for “Points per Reception”. Check out my next post in this series , “Fantasy Football Basics, Part 3 – The PPR Variation,” to learn more.

Related Articles at Fantasy Football Impact:

Return to the Fantasy Football 101 overview page

Fantasy Football Basics, Part 2 - Scoring

Disclaimer: Fantasy football is a game of speculation; therefore, Fantasy Football Impact disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, regarding player performance or results associated with its opinions or advice.