Paddy Power’s essential guide to scoring points in NFL Fantasy

Fantasy football's decided by points, lots of them. But how in the name of Andy Reid's Santa suit do you score them exactly? Here's the breakdown


No matter what your experience is with fantasy sports games, the aim of the game is pretty simple: score more points than your opponent.

Take a moment to sit down if that was too startling a revelation.

But, to score more points, it might help first to know how in the world you score said points. This is just a minor point that I (being an idiot) overlooked when I first started playing daily fantasy sports. Not ideal.

So, let’s make sure this doesn’t happen to you on Paddy Power Fantasy by going through the scoring rules for NFL daily fantasy. Once you know how scoring works, you can get a lot more in-depth with strategies on each game day.

Oct 8, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) reacts after setting the NFL record for passing yardage during the second quarter against the Washington Redskins at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

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Passing Scoring Rules

If you’ve played season-long NFL leagues before, you’ll know that passing rules are a strange animal. Your quarterback can rack up 400 yards passing, but if he doesn’t find the end zone, it’s not going to do a whole lot for you. It’s not any different on Paddy Power Fantasy.

Here, quarterbacks receive 0.04 points for each passing yard. Or, to put it simpler, they get one point for every 25 yards and four points for every 100 yards. A 300-yard day equates to exactly 12 points, which is going to be a disappointing output.

You need those touchdowns, baby!

As with most places, a passing touchdown will net you four points. One touchdown is as important to your scoring as 100 yards passing. Again – and this can’t be over-emphasized – touchdowns are kind of important for quarterbacks.

Then we get to the dark side. Interceptions. Still, even if your quarterback is a fan of partaking in the occasional pick, it’s not going to cost you terribly. They’ll only lose one point per interception for doing so. If a quarterback throws two touchdowns and two interceptions, you’re still netting six points there.

The ramifications of throwing a pick are larger than that as it’s one less possession on which he can get a touchdown, but they’re really not going to ruin your day unless your signal-caller is over-indulgent.

Another nice little boost for a quarterback is a two-point conversion. If they throw one of these, they’ll net a tidy two additional points. If there’s a team that tends to go for two more often than others, that’s certainly a factor to consider when filling out your rosters.

CLEVELAND, OHIO – AUGUST 08: Quarterback Dwayne Haskins #7 of the Washington Redskins passes during the second half of a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Redskins 30-10. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Rushing Scoring Rules

Thankfully, this is less of a one-way street. You can still have yourself a nice game on the ground without getting in the end zone – though that certainly doesn’t hurt.

Players on Paddy Power Fantasy receive 0.1 points per rushing yard, or one point for every 10 yards. You’re not going to take down a big tournament without rushing touchdowns, but you’re also not guaranteed failure if your guys can’t find the end zone either.

That said, touchdowns do still provide a sweet little boost. They are worth six points each time your player hits paydirt on the ground. If they can do so multiple times, you are well on your way to a nice little day.

These two factors should show the importance of rushing quarterbacks. If a quarterback can bust off a 10-yard rush, that’s the equivalent of a 25-yard pass. When you’re heaping rushing yards and touchdowns onto any passing points they accumulate, things can rack up fast. You shouldn’t be rostering guys only because they are good runners, but it is most certainly a factor you need to weigh.

As with passing, turnovers are bad for rushers as well. A fumble lost will lose you two points. That’s one less 20-yard rush for your back, a significant difference when you’re hoping to differentiate yourself from the pack. If there’s a back who has a propensity for putting the ball on the ground, you may want to think twice because of this, though it probably shouldn’t be enough to deter you from a juicy matchup.

Finally, consistent with passing, you receive two points for a successful two-point conversion attempt. That’s also equivalent to 20 yards rushing and another factor to consider when making your decisions.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA – AUGUST 08: Running back David Johnson #31 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes the football during the NFL preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers at State Farm Stadium on August 08, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Chargers 17-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Receiving Scoring Rules

Basically, all of the above applies to receiving stats. You get one point for every 10 yards, six points for every touchdown and two points for a two-point conversion. The only major difference is that you get 0.5 points per reception on Paddy Power Fantasy.

While this isn’t a huge boost, it does certainly provide an incentive to roster high-volume receivers. For example, a receiver with 5 receptions for 35 yards will net you more points than one who has 1 reception for 55 yards. If a wide receiver isn’t seeing a decent number of targets each game, he’s risky enough when it comes to yardage; when you add in the 0.5 points per reception, that becomes even more clear.

This is likely a larger factor when it comes to running-back selection than with wide receivers. Some running backs aren’t factors in their team’s passing games at all. However, some guys will rank among the top pass-catchers on the team. Don’t you think that should factor in your decision-making?

Take former Bear Matt Forte in 2014 for example. That year, he had a whopping 102 receptions. That equates to 51 points from receptions alone, or 3.2 points per game played. That’s the equivalent to 32 additional rushing yards per game even before you add in the receiving yards and touchdowns. Now, he is an extreme example, and other running backs are also receiving the same bump from their receptions. But you should most definitely be factoring this into your process when selecting running backs and wide receivers alike.

Nov 5, 2017; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Calais Campbell (93) and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) team up to sack Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) during the second half at EverBank Field. Jacksonville defeated Cincinnati 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Scoring Rules

Now we get to the more complicated part. Defensive scores aren’t quite as easy to work out as other positions, so it’s important to go through this piece-by-piece.

First up, here’s the full list of scoring rules. Buckle up!

Sack  – 1 point
Fumble Recovery  –  2 points
Return Touchdown  –  6 points
Extra-Point Return  –  2 points
Safety  –  2 points
Blocked Punt/Kick  – 2 points
Interceptions  –  2 points
0 Points Allowed  –  10 points
1-6 Points Allowed  –  7 points
7-13 Points Allowed  –  4 points
14-20 Points Allowed  –  1 point
28-34 Points Allowed  –  -1 point
35+ Points Allowed  –  -4 points

Got all that? Good, there’ll be a test at the end.

Not really, but it’s a lot to take in, so here’s some essential pointers.

First, don’t pick defences that are projected to allow 35 points. Simples.

Second, a good majority of games are going to result in you netting between positive one and negative one point for your defence anyway, so don’t sweat on it too much. Most of the time, you’re going to be looking to the other parts of your team for scoring.

Third, things like safeties, blocked punts, and return touchdowns are very difficult to predict. If you figure out how to do so, great – let me know too and I might win a few bets!

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – FEBRUARY 03: A replica statue of the Vince Lombardi trophy stands prior to Super Bowl LIII between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 03, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

In all likelihood, you haven’t nailed down an algorithm to predict when a team will get one of the big-point plays, so we’re going to make our living with sacks, fumble recoveries, and interceptions.

One factor to consider is finding defences who will likely be playing with the lead. Why? Because that forces the opponent to throw the ball, and you aren’t going to get many sacks or interceptions without the quarterback dropping back and taking risks.

The translation here is to find a team that’s favoured — preferably by a decent margin — and work from there.

Make the NFL a sweet, sweet Paddy Power Fantasy. Err, baby.

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