One of the biggest decisions every fantasy league must make is what mode of scoring to adhere to. While it’s anyone’s prerogative to prefer one over the other, every league must establish the ground rules before each season: PPR or standard. 

Of course, there are pros and cons for both points per reception (PPR) and standard scoring systems, but it’s important to understand the distinctions. 

First, we’ll take a look at standard scoring. As the name suggests, this set of rules have largely dominated the fantasy football world in the modern era. The basics include one point for every 10 rushing/receiving yards gained, six points for a rushing/receiving touchdown, one point per 25 passing yards and four points per passing touchdown. 

In essence, standard scoring heavily skews toward rewarding touchdowns, which can be good or bad. Obviously, the goal of football is to score touchdowns, so that should be reflected in fantasy. On the other hand, touchdowns are very difficult to predict, and a James Develin touchdown from the one-yard-line after a 35-yard pass from Brady to Edelman disproportionately rewards Develin for much less real-world value. 

Last year, Saquon Barkley led all non-quarterbacks in standard points with 244 (15.3 ppg). Right behind the New York Giants running back was New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (230 points). 

If standard scoring’s best quality is its simplicity, PPR’s is its “arcade mode” style scoring. Essentially every position in PPR leagues scores more points than standard. The scoring is self-explanatory: players receive a bonus point for each reception. This places an premium on players like Edelman and James White who catch a lot of passes but might not find the end zone as consistently as a player like Leonard Fournette. 

 

Some people don’t like PPR because it can reward players for catching a pass and going for negative or zero yards, which doesn’t help real-world football teams. One alternative that is gaining traction in the fantasy community is half-PPR scoring, which awards a half-point for every reception and can be a good middle ground.

Whichever scoring system your league decides to adopt, understanding the intricacies of both is a crucial component to drafting a strong team. 

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