Fantasy football stats can be position-specific, but also some can be universal. Fantasy points per snap are fairly universal. It is broken down per snap, where it can showcase who is making the most with their snaps, but also pointing out who needs that volume on the field to produce what they are producing. The same can be said for fantasy points per touch. Overall stats like fantasy points per game and overall fantasy points is a great overview of who is producing, and compare them to other players.
Looking into quarterback stats, volume is still what is at the highest importance. However, efficiency can be weighted higher for quarterbacks that don’t throw at a high rate. For example, Russell Wilson has been a top fantasy quarterback but is not someone who throws at a high rate in comparison to some of the other quarterbacks. This makes his efficiency stats a little bit more important. Looking at stats like yards per completion and yards per attempt is important, as it usually points out some of the better efficiency quarterbacks. Completion percentage is another one where a name like Wilson is going to have to make the most of his throws. Rushing stats can go along with these quarterbacks as well, if they don’t throw that often, they could add a few fantasy points on the ground to make up for the difference.
Volume is going to be looked at through attempts per game. Attempts per game can be generated by an offensive scheme, or also be because they are not a very good team and are constantly trailing. There is fantasy value within bad teams, as a team like the Bengals and Dolphins over the last few years have had some fantasy worthy names within their passing offenses. As mentioned above rushing fantasy stats can be looked at as a way to add to a fantasy quarterbacks upside or floor. Josh Allen is a better fantasy quarterback than real-life quarterback. He is not the most efficient in the passing game, but he gets yards and touchdowns on the ground to help fill in the gaps.
Volume is very important for the rest of the positions, especially running backs. The years of each team having a bell-cow back are over and they likely will not be returning. Now there are still some backs who do see a ton of touches per game and they generally are the ones we are drafting high and see at the top of scoring charts each week and at the end of the season. Looking through the finishing rankings each year, and before the season, it is largely based on touches. A running back getting 20-25 touches per game is of course going to have the chance to score more fantasy points than a running back that is seeing 10-15 touches per game.
We also need to look at stats in the receiving department, as running backs also have been more versatile in comparison to recent years. They play a role in the passing game now, and some may earn their value solely through receiving stats. James White for the Patriots is a perfect example of someone who has decent fantasy value, yet also doesn’t do much on the ground. targets and receptions are a good area to find where this production goes. You can also view the percentage of the number of targets a running back gets in comparison to his teammates.
Efficiency stats are looked at as yards per catch and yards per carry. We can also breakdown what they are doing with fantasy points per touch and snap. But if a back isn’t getting a ton of touches, but still enough to remain viable, efficiency is going to matter a bit more. If he is running for five yards per carry on ten touches per game, then his fantasy worth is a bit higher. A running back could also be used more in the red zone and his touchdown rate becomes higher because of that. There are a lot of factors that go into a smaller workload and how many quality fantasy plays they become.
Just like the other positions, we will be checking to see who is getting the most targets. What rushing attempts are to running backs are what targets are to wide receivers and tight ends. The higher the volume of rushing attempts per game for these positions is huge. We will see the same in the rankings and projections each week where targets are correlated with fantasy production. A team’s top wideout is usually going to see the most targets per game, and on occasion that can be a tight end as well. Looking into red zone targets is a key aspect of fantasy football too. Teams will have popular targets in the red zone, which correlates with their touchdown production. It is another volume stat to keep in mind.
Now if a receiver or tight end is not getting a ton of targets, but still find themselves around 4-6 per game. There is a chance they are big-play home-run threats or are strong PPR plays because they catch everything. DeSean Jackson for years was a name who could hit on one play and be a huge fantasy point guy just with the deep ball. Even if a guy isn’t efficient, his production could be tied to gaining 20 yards a catch or the touchdown department. As you get down in the rankings and projections weekly the targets tend to drop off.
targets and attempts can always change throughout the year with injury and depth chart changes. This is something to note. Looking over the last three or last five can tell a story, but you will need to find some reasoning behind it. If a WR4 is getting seven targets a game over the last three is it because someone is injured? Or has he jumped into a bigger role on the team? Keeping track of target and attempt trends is very important.
Team Defense Stats
The most important stats for team defense and special teams in fantasy is going to be turnovers and sacks. Now if your scoring format also calculates in yards and points allowed too, which points allowed is the more standard format, then we need to look there as well. However, teams that generate a lot of turnovers and sacks can help negate the fact they give up 25 points per game. Some defenses might be better real-life defenses in comparison to fantasy defenses. This has a lot to do with them not being able to get to the quarterback or forcing turnovers. Some may call them a bend don’t break defense too. Because turnovers and sacks are tougher to project, we can take more into account what the matchup brings and how an opposing offensive line looks.
Like the other positions, volume is going to be crucial for a kicker. A kicker may only make 75% of his kicks, but if he ranks top five in volume, the fantasy points will still be there. If a kicker doesn’t have a ton of volume and makes 90% of his kicks, that production might be less. Volume can depend on a few things, but it usually correlates with how good the offenses are and if they can move the ball in big chunks. Getting into opponent’s territories are huge for fantasy kickers. Extra points help, and it can give a nice extra bump to a kicker, but it is not as important as it is true field goal volume. The one thing we can note about efficiency is that if a kicker isn’t hitting his mark, then his job becomes a bit riskier.
If you are playing in an IDP league, you will be on the lookout for defensive player stats. Knowing your scoring is important, but for the most part, a standard IDP league is going to record fantasy points for touchdowns, sacks, tackles, forced fumbles, pass deflections, interceptions, and fumble recoveries. These are all stats that you will need to track, but the turnover stats are always going to be fluky on a year to year basis. Tackles and sacks can be a bit more consistent. Being on the field is always a big help for generating fantasy points as a defensive player. On occasion, players can only play two downs or also come in for just a third-down play. Players that are on the field for more snaps should be what you are after.
Predicting turnovers is tough, but some have a nose for the ball more than others. Checking in on who is generating the most sacks and tackles will be in more opportunities to record these numbers. The same goes for just being on the field.
Fantasy Football Stats FAQ
Reading football stats is about breaking down each position and finding what stats equate volume, efficiency, and production. For example targets and attempts are volume stats. Yards per attempt or carry is an efficiency stat, while yards and touchdowns are production stats.
A CSV format or file can be downloaded or can be copied over for your own personal use. This can help you build something of your own, or help you keep everything in one spot for offline use. Look in the right corner of the page.
Because volume correlates highly with fantasy production, stats like targets, pass attempts, and rush attempts should be the ones to know. Production generally will follow those who have high volume. It is also key to know who is getting volume in the red zone.
In addition to volume stats like targets and rush attempts, you can factor in efficiency a bit more with receptions. Because it is a point per reception scoring format, this stat is weighted higher. Still weight in with volume stats.
Projecting fantasy football stats is about putting together a module that brings in a mix of volume and efficiency to predict overall production. Adding in factors like strength of schedule, floor/upside, and personal input can help you get to those stats that you want.
What Is PPR Scoring?
A fantasy football scoring format that makes receptions equal one fantasy point. This has become a popular scoring format over recent years, as it will open up the player pool to include more fantasy viable players such as receiving backs and slot wide receivers.
What Is Half-PPR Scoring?
A fantasy football scoring format that makes receptions equal half of a fantasy point. Receptions are weighted just a little bit less in this format, but slot wide receivers and pass-catching backs still have some strong value. It doesn’t completely negate them like standard scoring.
What Is Standard Scoring?
A fantasy football scoring format that records fantasy points just for yards and touchdowns, and not receptions like Half-PPR and PPR. Standard scoring is about as simple as you can make it, where receptions do not have any worth here.
ADP - Average Draft Position, this is where a player is being drafted on average. For example, if an ADP of a player is 34.3. They are being drafted as the 34th overall pick on average. ADP will vary based on scoring formats.
Auction Draft - A draft that uses a predetermined budget to build a fantasy football team.
Bench - Your players that are not in your starting lineup and will not produce points that count towards your overall total.
Best Ball - A league that there is no weekly matchups, instead it is a running tally of your overall fantasy players and the team with the most fantasy points. Each week your highest scoring players will automatically score for you.
Boom Or Bust - A player with a wide range of outcomes. A low floor, but very high ceiling.
Bye Week - An NFL team’s rest week, where they take the week off. These are set before the season starts.
Ceiling - The highest upside a player has for either the week or the entire season. It is the opposite of a player’s floor.
Cheat Sheet - A help guide or rankings sheet to help you draft teams or set lineups throughout the season.
Commissioner - Someone who manages the fantasy league and sets the rules and oversees trades.
DFS - Daily Fantasy Sports - weekly contests for fantasy football where a salary cap determines your lineup.
Deep League - A league with more than 12 teams.
Dynasty League - A league where rosters carry over year after year. Draft picks can be traded, and drafts consist of incoming rookies unless it is a dynasty league draft that is first starting out.
FAAB - FAAB stands for free agent acquisition budget. You will be blindly bidding against your league opponents for options in free agency. This creates a move level playing field in comparison to waiver wire order.
FLEX - This is a position where you can play a running back, wide receiver, and tight end.
Free Agent - A player who is currently on the open market and now owned by any team.
Handcuff - A backup to a star player, where if they got injured, the backup would step into their role.
IDP - IDP stands for Individual Defensive Player. These leagues require to roster defensive players.
Injured Reserve - A roster spot where you can put an injured player and free up a roster spot.
Keeper League - A league that requires you save a set amount of players that can carry over to the new season.
Mock Draft - It is a practice draft that helps you prepare for the new season, often lets you work on your strategy and shows where players are being drafted.
Projection - A formulated number for what a player will produce in a week or season.
RBBC - RBBC is a running back by committee. This is when a team uses multiple running backs to share the workload instead of a running back who sees a majority of touches.
Sleeper - A player who is believed to surpass his expected value.
Snake Draft - Snake draft is a fantasy draft that goes 1-12 for round one, and then 12-1 in round two. This alternates each round.
Stream - A strategy that uses the waiver wire and/or free agency to fill a position for a week or few weeks at a time.
SuperFlex - Similar to the FLEX spot, but this is when you can also play a quarterback.
Trade - Swapping players between two teams.
Transaction - A change in your roster, like free agent pick ups, drops, or trades.
Waiver Wire - After a player is dropped, he will be on the waiver wire. A designated waiver order or FAAB format will dictate him being picked back up.
Waiver Order - The order of players that are picked up off the waiver wire. It could be in order of the draft or by record.