Fantasy: House Rules – The Quest for an IDP Scoring System: Benchmarking – Part 2

| March 3, 2011

Here at ProFootballFocus we have been trying to come up with the perfect scoring system for IDP leagues. To do this, first Jeff researched the frequency of a statistic happening in the NFL, and I investigated some benchmark production values to help us assign values to positions.

In this article I will take this a step further and establish some quick reference stats for IDP draft cheat sheets, based on a standard scoring system, and discuss the issues with this certain positions being over/under-valued.

As with the first benchmarking article, I have taken the PFF data collected between the 2008-10 seasons and used a standard IDP scoring to rank players.

I’ve then taken the top 120 performances for Defensive Lineman, Linebackers and Defensive Backs as a starting point. The top 40 performances over this 3-year span for each position make up the #1 ranked (starters) players for each position. 41-80th qualifies as #2s and 81-120th make up the data for #3s. I have then separated each set of players into their individual positions, i.e. ILB vs. OLB, to be able to see how many of each makes up the #1s etc. For example, there are 35 ILBs who are LB1s compared to only 5 OLBs.

Standard Scoring System

Stat Pts
Sack 3
Solo 1
Assist 0.5
FF 2
FR 2
INT 3
PB 1
TO 2

The initial analysis of the raw data showed some issues with a traditional scoring system, namely that it rewards players with high tackle numbers, namely Inside-Linebackers, in-the-box Safeties (i.e. Eric Weddle) and run-stopping Cornerbacks (i.e. Richard Marshall). It also showed that despite having a relatively similar role a top 3-4 Outside-Linebacker (i.e. James Harrison) is much more valuable than an elite 4-3 Defensive-End (i.e. Jared Allen), because of the extra tackles they accumulate.

A closer look at the numbers also revealed that there are two types of elite OLB. One that gets high sack numbers or one who amasses 75+ tackles and approximately 7 sacks (a rookie Brian Cushing). There is also separation between the truly stud fantasy DEs (Suggs, Allen, Tuck, Cole), who can be relied upon for tackles and turnovers at a higher rate than the ‘Premier DEs’ such as Mario Williams or Dwight Freeney.

In basic IDP leagues players are split into three categories – DL (DE and DT), LB (OLB and ILB) and DB (CB and S), starting two or three in each category. More advanced leagues will break these positions down even further. However, due to a standard scoring system heavy favouring players with high tackle numbers, an LB1 (a top 10 IDP linebacker) is much more likely to be a ILB than an OLB. The split between positions is as follows:

IDP Positional Breakdown

ILB OLB
LB1 35 5
LB2 37 3
LB3 31 9
CB S
DB1 8 32
DB2 17 23
DB3 19 21
DE DT
DL1 33* 7
DL2 25 15
DL3 23 17

*9 Elite DEs and 24 Premier DEs.

The benchmarked data, split into similar value grouping, shows that even when separated the Elite DEs are only as valuable as an ILB3 or S2. I find it hard to accept that any system that can score the performance of Justin Tuck as comparable to Nate Clements, is doing an accurate job of correctly valuing a player’s production.

Standard IDP Scoring Value Cheat Sheet

Name QB Sk Solo Ass INT TO FF PTS Example
Band 1 ILB1 3 105 15 1 3 131 Ray Lewis 2010
OLB1 16 60 10 1 6 128 James Harrison ’10
Band 2 ILB2 2 90 14 1 2 111 James Laurinaitis ’10
S1 2 85 12 2 3 109 Eric Berry ’10
CB1 1 80 11 3 4 107 Terrell Thomas ’10
OLB2 v1 8 70 10 1 2 106 Brian Cushing ’09
OLB2 v2 18 30 10 1 7 105 Tamba Hali ’10
Band 3 ILB3 2 80 12 1 2 97 Karlos Dansby ’10
Elite DE1 14 40 10 0 4 96 Justin Tuck ’10
S2 1 70 8 3 3 92 Earl Thomas ’10
CB2 1 70 7 3 3 92 Nate Clements ’10
OLB3 13 40 7 0 4 91 Jason Babin ’10
Band 4 S3 1 65 9 3 2 85 Louis Delmas ’10
DT1 7 50 10 0 2 80 Haloti Ngata ’10
CB3 1 60 6 3 2 79 Brandon Flowers ’10
Premier DE1 11 35 5 0 3 77 Mario Williams ’10
Band 5 DE2 8 30 6 0 3 62 Ray Edwards ’10
DT2 6 35 8 0 2 61 Tommy Kelly ’10
Band 6 DE3 6 30 6 0 2 55 Will Smith ’10
DT3 3 35 8 0 1 51 Marcus Stroud ’10

Seeing as Defensive-Ends are considered the x-factor of an actual NFL defense, a system that values them so poorly seems inadequate. The simplest way to correct this should be to reduce the value of a solo tackle and assisted tackle and to increase the value of a sack (and turnovers). Also, if your league allows additional scoring for tackles-for-loss, this can help to increase the value of D-Line playmakers.

Another problem with IDP scoring systems is that shut-down corners will often score poorly, while run-stuffers and sure-tacklers rack up the points. One possible solution will be to increase the value of a pass-defensed. Although it can be argued that it should remain valued the same as a tackle (as essentially a player is knocking a ball down rather than allowing a reception, then tackling the pass-catcher), these plays are a 9.5 on Jeff’s Solo Ratio, meaning for every 9.5 solo tackles there is only 1 pass-defensed. In his DPOY season in 2009, Charles Woodson has averaged 8 a year since ’08. Revis charted a 3-year league high of 24 in ’09 and CB1 2010 example, Terrell Thomas, had 12.

Go here to read about the finished IDP scoring system we created, or feel free to hit up @PFF_RossMiles and @JeffRatcliffe on Twitter.

  • elkman8102

    The Ray Lewis stats appear to be incorrect. He had 2 interceptions last season and 2 sacks. He was also involved in 5 turnovers (2 int + 3 fr). He also forced 2 fumbles.