Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Mike Davis | Archive | Email  
Staff Writer

Q & A
Week 6

Last Week's Question: How Do Advanced Performance Leagues Handle Scoring for Onside Kicks?

Last week's column featured a question from Mel about how onside kicks should be scored in performance leagues whose commissioners have too much time on their hands.

All right, maybe that part about the commissioners is a bit of editorializing on my part, but the responses I received indicate that it is not at all common for performance leagues to award points for onside kicks.

Simon was the only commissioner who wrote in to say that his league currently awards points for onside kicks:

We consider onside kicks the special teams equivalent of an extra point. A successful onside kick is worth 1 point. A failed onside kick gets a minor penalty (-1) just like a missed PAT. Points are awarded to or deducted from the special teams unit, not the kicker.

Another commissioner, Chad, wrote in to explain why he is unlikely to incorporate onside kicks into his league's scoring formula even though he goes out of his way to track plenty of stats that are ignored in standard performance leagues:

I run a custom league. We match up defensive totals against offensive production, include punting stats as a defensive category, and use other 'non-standard' categories. So far, I haven't worked onside kicks in. They happen so infrequently in the NFL that I'm not certain they're worth the effort of including. [They usually occur as nothing more than] a desperation tactic (with the Saints' onside kick in the Super Bowl being a flagrant and spectacular exception). To me, even when they *do* work, all they really do is give the offense a chance at making a play to salvage the game. A pick six, punt/kickoff return, or fumble recovery for a TD is, to me, infinitely more game-changing, so if I were to include them, I would make them worth much less. If I awarded 6 points for a pick six, for example, I'd probably weigh a successful onside kick as 2 points at most.

Michael's league does not currently award points for onside kicks, but he was intrigued by the possibility. Unlike Simon (who treats an onside kick like a PAT), Michael sees the onside kick as being fairly analogous to a fumble recovery:

For the recovering player (or Defense/ST), I would imagine that it should be treated the same as a turnover. If recovering a fumble or INT is worth 2 points in the league, then recovering an onside kick should be the same. For the kicker, I think it would be fair to grant the same points that a Forced Fumble is given in the league (as the kicker is the one that sets up the recovery much like the player who forced a fumble).

I do love the idea of incorporating all important stats into the fantasy game, and this is one that I had not thought of but will now propose for our league going into next season.

In other words, Mel, it appears that there is no prevailing school of thought on how onside kicks should be scored. If your league (or Michael's) ends up adopting a scoring method for onside kicks, please let us know how it works out.

This Week's Question: Is It a Good Idea to Allow Players on a Bye to Post an Average of Their Weekly Scores?

This week's question comes from yours truly. One of the leagues that I belong to is hosted by RealTime Fantasy Sports (one of several league-hosting services to have been mentioned in this column over the years). Here is the notice that I saw at the top of the page when I logged into the RTSports website earlier today:

We now offer the ability to use a player's year-to-date (ytd) average fantasy points for players on a bye week. Most leagues award zero points to players on a bye, however this gives commissioners another option.

I am unfamiliar with this practice in fantasy football and would like to hear from anyone who has participated in a league that allows owners to earn points from players on a bye. From my own perspective, bye weeks are the single most important stimulus for trading and/or waiver wire activity. The three factors that drive me to consider a trade or waiver wire acquisition are 1) bye weeks, 2) injuries, and 3) the failure of a player to live up to my expectations--in that order. If I could start players on their bye weeks, my incentive to alter my roster in the course of the season would be drastically reduced. I am not sure whether this would be a good or bad thing, but it would definitely change my approach to team management.

If you have used a year-to-date average to award points to players on their bye weeks, I would like to know whether/how that has affected your league. If you have not used such a scoring mechanism but have a strong opinion about why such a practice is or is not a good idea for your league, I welcome your feedback.

Last Man Standing - Week 6 (Courtesy of Matthew Schiff)

Trap Game: Houston at Baltimore:

Everyone knows that the Ravens are good. But are they as good as the odds makers have made this game? Probably not. The Texans have an offense that is high powered with Arian Foster and Matt Schaub, and while Andre Johnson might be in street clothes, this game will really come down to the running game of each team. This may be a preview of the AFC Wild Card or Divisional Playoff game and a game that if you can avoid for your survival pick, do it. But from an NFL fan perspective, it should be one of the more interesting games all weekend.

#3: Cincinnati over Indianapolis (3-2, PIT, SD, GB, BUF, HOU):

The Bengals have been surprisingly good this year and Andy Dalton is gaining confidence each and every week. With the Colts offensive line banged up and the skill positions primarily playing backups, the Bengals top ranked defense should easily get by a Manningless team that is now on the Luck watch come April.

#2: Pittsburgh over Jacksonville (4-1, SD, AZ, DET, GB, NYG):

Pittsburgh’s number two ranked defense, while old, should have little trouble with a Jacksonville offense that is dead last in total yards gained in spite of Chris Johnson (CJ2K) and Matt Hasselback. The Jags offense as been nothing but atrocious and may come out with some new wrinkles, but considering the Bengals rolled over the Jags last week, the Steelers should have little trouble at home in spite of the injuries on the Steelers offense.

#1: Green Bay over St. Louis (4-1 SD, PIT, TN, PHL, CIN):

Let’s look at the stats. The Packers are in the top quartile in almost every offensive category and the Rams defense is in the bottom quartile in almost every category. The Packers are at home and are the reigning Super Bowl Champions with one of the best quarterbacks in the game today, Aaron Rodgers,. As long as this team shows up, you can pretty much pencil in an automatic win in front of the Lambeau faithful against a Rams team that is struggling mightily in spite of Sam Bradford’s heroic efforts on a weekly basis.

For responses to this month's fantasy question please email me.