ESPN Cheat Sheet – League Strategy
Photo By: Icon SMI
Perhaps my favorite of the four major websites listed (also discuss Yahoo, CBS, NFL.com) for free play. While ESPN’s rosters sizes and scoring rules don’t differ that much from the others, their site navigation and options when creating custom leagues are preferred with the lone exception being MyFantasyLeague.com but they are a paid hosting site.
Below I have a breakdown of ESPN’s standard roster minimums and scoring, please go to their website to confirm this information.
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ESPN Roster Minimums
Unlike Yahoo, ESPN has an option for a flex play in their rosters for their basic standard leagues. I enjoy this aspect as it allows for more creativity with an owners lineup. Another positive with ESPN is seem to have the best mock draft rooms of the major sites, and they also have Auction league style mock drafts.
While there are things I can’t stand about ESPN as a company, I give them credit for stepping their game up over others like CBS, Yahoo, and NFL.com are solid, give ESPN the first shot when looking to start a new free league.
ESPN Standard Scoring Rules
|Passing||Every 25 passing Yards (PY25) = 1 pointInterceptions Thrown (INT) = – 2 pointsTD Pass (PTD) = 4 points2 pt Passing Conversion (2PC) = 2|
|Rushing||Every 10 rushing yards = 1 point2pot Rushing Conversion = 2 pointRushing Touchdown = 6 points|
|Receiving||Every 10 receiving yards = 1 point2pt Receiving conversion = 2 pointsReception Touchdown = 6 points|
|Miscellaneous||Kickoff / Punt Return TD= 6 pointsFumble Recovered for TD = 6 pointsTotal Fumbles Lost = -2 points|
Like Yahoo, ESPN gives six points for kickoff and punt returns for your position players so keep this in mind when scrolling over options on your draft board. As I’ve pointed out on previous articles, I don’t like the rule setup for two negative points for an interception, especially when a quarterback only gets four points for a touchdown pass.
This is being a little too hard on a quarterback, and it diminishes their value over other positions like running back and wide receiver, in the early rounds of your draft.
Other than that, you have the same basic setup found on the other major websites for general rules for passing, rushing and receiving listed above.
|Kickers||Each PAT Made = 1 pointFG Made (0 – 39 yards) = 3 pointsFG Made (40 – 49 yards) = 4 pointsFG Made (50+ yards) = 5Missed FG = -1 point|
Unlike some of the other hosting sites, ESPN actually docks you for a kicker missing on a field goal but at least they give you 4 points for conversions between 40 and 49 yards, this isn’t the case with some of the others as they would only award you 3 points for anything up to 49 yards.
Strategy – It may be a good idea to focus on kickers with sound accuracy on high-scoring offenses. One kicker who can be had on the cheep that fits this structure well is Eagles second year kicker Alex Henery. After the first month of the season Henery didn’t miss a field goal, and set the NCAA record for the most accurate kicker in college history back in Nebraska.
With the Eagles expected to have a major bounce back season on offense, Henery will benefit and should end up as one of the top five kickers in fantasy this year.
|Team Defense /Special Teams||Each Sack = 1 ptSafeties, Interceptions, Fumble Recoveries = 2 ptsBlocked Punt, PAT or FG = 2 ptsINT, Fumble Return TD = 6 ptsKickoff, Punt Return TD = 6 pts
Blocked Punt or FG for TD = 6 pts
Zero Points Allowed = 5 pts | 1-6 Points Allowed = 4 pts
7-13 Points Allowed = 3 pts | 14-17 Points Allowed = 1 pts
28-34 Points Allowed = – 1 pts | 35-45 Points Allowed = – 3 pts
46+ Points Allowed = – 5
Less than 100 Total YA = 5 pts | 100-199 Total YA= 3 pts
200-299 Total YA = 2 pts | 350-399 Total YA = – 1 pts
400-449 Total YA = – 3 pts | 450-499 Total YA = – 5 pts
500-549 Total YA = – 6 pts | 550+ Total YA = – 7 pts
Oh boy, we need to pay attention to ESPN’s scoring rules for team defense. Not only do they award points for both total yardage and points allowed but they also take points away. A decent amount in fact, as you can lose up to seven points in total yards and five points in points allowed.
It gets tiring to say, but team defense by committee is important in all leagues, but especially a league like this. Not paying attention to who your starting, and who they play against, can cost you valuable points.
Strategy – As I pointed out on our CBS article, look to cheaper defense with breakout potential like the Bills, Seahawks, Cardinals and Cowboys as solid rotation defenses this year.