the study of the kicking components within sports

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Are Fantasy Field Goals Worth Three Points?

“If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?” – Vince Lombardi

In the real world, a field goal is worth three points... usually. Our discussion refers to American football, however there are some other sports where kicking a "field goal" is not always a three point score. Then of course there is the matter of basketball, however for our purposes that doesn't count - because this is the Kickology blog, not the Throw-it-through-a-hoop-ology blog. Also, if you travel back in time to the Nineteenth Century, field goals were worth five points. For several years in the early Twentieth Century they were worth four points, until finally changed to their present value of three points in 1909.

In the fantasy world, one finds a similar scenario. Field goals are typically worth three points, but not always. With each passing year, the number of unique fantasy football scoring systems increases. Most fall into the following basic categories for kicker scoring.

Straight-up scoring is the same as in the real world. All field goals (FG) are worth three points. All points-after-touchdown (PAT), a.k.a. extra points, are worth one point. This is the most common scoring system. Using this approach, David Akers scored 153  fantasy points for his 29 field goals and 66 extra points last year. Just the same as he did in reality.

Additional points are scored for longer FGs. Shorter FGs typically remain the same as standard, medium range FGs are worth a little more, and long FGs are worth even more. The numbers can be adjusted for a wide variety of variations.
Example: FGs under 40 yards are worth three points, FGs from 40 to 49 yards are worth four points, and FGs of 50 or more yards are worth five points. In the Saints Super Bowl win a few years back, Garret Hartley would have scored 14 fantasy points, instead of the standard 11,  for his two extra points and field goals of 46, 44 & 47 yards.

Points are deducted for missed kicks. Missed longer FGs typically are not penalized, medium range FG misses are a small deduction, and missed short FGs are worth a moderate deduction. The numbers can be adjusted for a wide variety of variations. The penalty approach can be used in conjunction with any other scoring system; however it is most commonly used in conjunction with bonus scoring.
Example: Missed FGs under 30 yards are a two point deduction, missed FGs from 30 to 39 yards are a one point deduction, missed FGs of 40 or more yards are not penalized, and missed PATs are a one point deduction. When the Colts beat the Giants in the 1958 NFL Championship game, Steve Myhra and Pat Summerall each had five points in the official boxscore. But in fantasy football, Myhra would have only had three points due to a blocked 26 yard attempt early in the game.

Decimal scoring has become fairly common for many fantasy positions, although less so for kickers.
Example: FGs are scored by multiplying the FG distance by 0.1. In the season opener last year, former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes would have scored 4.2 fantasy points for his 22 yard field goal and two extra points.

Kicker Importance
The value of the kicker position is increased (or decreased) relative to other positions, by increasing (or decreasing) the points awarded for PATs and/or FGs. 
For example, if a fantasy league used Walter Camp's original football scoring system from way back in 1883, then Cowboys' kicker Dan Bailey would have been very important in the season opener on Wednesday - scoring 17 fantasy points (five for his field goal and four points apiece for his three conversions after touchdowns).

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Football Guys - there's no better place for fantasy football! Thanks for your insight, I love your blog!

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