Home > Dynasty 101 > IDP Scoring Systems Pt. 2

By Calvin Danger


Last week we talked about ideal points awarded for Tackles and Sacks in IDP Scoring Systems Pt. 1. Today I will discuss Turnovers and Scoring Plays.

Turnovers change the game. They get the ball from the defense to the offense, often swinging momentum. The top 5 teams in turnover margin for 2014 were Green Bay, New England, Houston, Seattle, and Arizona. Notice a trend? Four playoff teams, two of which squared off in the Super Bowl. Players that create turnovers for their teams should be handsomely rewarded as it clearly has a huge impact on the chances of winning any given game.


Forced Fumbles

Aside from botched snaps and handoffs, it is nearly impossible to recover a fumble without it first being forced. It is also a more rare statistic than one would think. Since 2010 there has not been a single player that has had more than 10 FF’s in a year nor a team with more than 32. By standard scoring, this extremely important and extremely rare play is only worth 1 point – exactly the same as a Tackle, which is by far the most common defensive statistic.


Fumble Recoveries

Strangely, however, there is very little correlation from forcing a fumble to recovering one. Only about 60% of all forced fumbles turn into recoveries by the forcing player’s team, which also shows the importance of who ends up falling on the ball. As a forced fumble is essentially useless without a recovery, the player that picks up the ball should receive more points than the player that knocked it out.



I could almost copy and paste the exact same argument for Interceptions that I use for Fumble Recoveries. To add on to what I talk about there, they are rare, eliminate the opportunity for a scoring drive for the opposing team, and swing momentum. I would score these the same as a fumble recovery.



As much as I want to score defensive TD’s as more than their offensive counterpart, at Touchdown is a Touchdown and should be scored as a Touchdown. There are some bonus points that go into it as well as they are always going to be added on top of an interception or fumble recovery.



Hear me out on this one. Safeties are the most rare play in the NFL. There has never been a season where a team had more than 4 safeties on the season, and only 5 teams have ever done that. There has never been a player that has had more than 1 in a season. It is also has a huge impact on the outcome of a game. It awards 2 points and sets up the offense with great field position. For this reason I would make it the same value as a touchdown. I considered making it more, but keep in mind that safeties are almost always accompanied by a Sack (5pts) or a TFL (3 pts)


So here is my ideal scoring altogether:

Tackle 1.5pt Asst. Tackle .75pt
Tackle for Loss 3pt Sack 5pt
Pass Defended 3pt INT 5pt
Forced Fumble 2pt Fumble Recovery 5pt
Safety 6pt TD 6pt


If you would like to check out the full spreadsheet of 2014 Players and Points using this scoring system click here.

Calvin Danger

Calvin Danger

An avid Detroitfan living in South Florida, I am going into my 7th season as an IDP Dynasty manager. I can't get enough of the defensive side of the ball and am excited to share my research and thoughts on how to become champion of your league.
Calvin Danger

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6 Comments, RSS

  • Ben

    says on:
    July 6, 2015 at 5:46 am

    Really interesting read and one which kind of mirrors our own debates on IDP scoring when setting up our league 18 months ago. We’re still honing our scoring, tweaking the points awarded – we went too high on TDs and forced fumbles/recoveries initially and are twisting things a bit, but we absolutely went into it looking to make IDP as valuable as offensive players.

    A couple of thoughts. Re: forced fumbles and recoveries – I totally understand where you’re coming from but I have toe forced fumble as more valuable than the recovery. I agree that the recovery is the bit that’s important from a team point of view, but equally the recovery, as you acknowledge, is a pretty random event. There’s no correlation between forcing fumbles and recovering them. Recovering them, arguably, is about being in the right place at the right time and the ball taking the necessary bounce. We wanted our scoring to reward skills and, while luck plays its part in forcing fumbles, being able to force fumbles is more of a skill (or less luck dependent) than recovering them.

    If we view recovering a fumble from a team perspective as little more than a flip of a coin and then say that the individual who does so is just the guy who is lucky enough to be standing in the right place at the right time, despite the reward for the team, the player from a fantasy perspective is not being rewarded on a talent level basis. Instead, with a 50/50 (well slightly better) chance of recovery, the more opportunities generated for recoveries the better. Therefore, it makes sense to reward the player(s) who create the most opportunities for recoveries.

    To be honest, I think you can make the argument either way and there’s an element of playing devil’s advocate to this, but I wonder what your thoughts are on the matter?

    My second comment relates to increasing IDP scores in general to bring them into line with offensive players. The key thing I have noticed is there tends to be greater variability from one year to the next in points and player ranking across defensive positions than offensive positions – especially the deeper in the field you get. There’s less variability with defensive linemen than there is with the secondary. Of course, this variability means there are fewer players who can retain their value and thus fewer are have comparable value to a top level WR or RB.

    Finally, the challenge with CBs in particular is not to reward players who are substandard and so get targeted a lot. Richard Sherman is great at the position and so doesn’t get targeted meaning he has reduced stats. I don’t really think there’s anything that can be done about this – you want the best quality players to get the most points but a shutdown corner is going to naturally have limited opportunities to score. It’s a difficult one to know what to do with but I’d be interested in your take.

    • Calvin Danger

      says on:
      July 6, 2015 at 9:58 am

      Thanks for the feedback, you bring up some very good points.

      I agree with you on the forced fumbles in that knocking the ball out takes skill (most of the time, See: Butt Fumble) and players should be rewarded accordingly. The two reasons I have for scoring the recovery slightly higher are the importance of the recovery, as previously discussed, but also the scarcity of the recovery. As fumbles are only recovered approximately 55%-60% of the time by the forcing team, the recovery becomes a more rare statistic than the force.

      The discussion about corners is one I recently had with a first year dynasty player. I think the fact that it is nearly impossible to reward the best cornerbacks in the league is just a quirk of IDP that we must live with. Aside from using advanced statistics, there really is no way to quantify a player that does not record any standard statistics. Richard Sherman is a great example. Quarterbacks spend the entire game throwing to the other side of the field from which he is playing, limiting his opportunity for putting up statistics. If you can come up with a way to improve the scoring systems for a player like him, let me know.

      • Justin

        says on:
        September 22, 2015 at 1:59 am

        I think there has to be a possibility to measure great corners. I think it could be possible through their WR matchup. If the WR they face has projected catches/targets, they could be rewarded for covering the WR. So they get the projected points if they prevent the WR they gaurd from scoring. And for what yards they allow or if they get burnt, they get points taken away or something. Sort of like the standard d/st set up.

        • Taylor Mascia

          says on:
          September 22, 2015 at 11:20 am

          A CB’s matchup is not always so black and white though. Often a CB is not the only one responsible for coverage on a given WR. Maybe for a shadow corner it is but even then they’re not spending 100% of their time on only one WR. What about double/triple coverage? Or safety help over the top? Or zone D? Or a situation like Sherman’s the past few years where he was locked to one side and saw different receivers through the course of the game? I think the following article alludes to the difficulty you’d have with your proposed method:


          Just using Joe Haden as an example he split his snaps covering 5 different WR spots. How do you account for that? Prorate his stats on a play-by-play basis to account for the projections of the WR he just happens to be covering on a given play?

          I agree that its bizarre that the best CBs are often the lowest scorers and I think a method like the one you proposed could work. It would need some sophisticated data work behind the scenes. NFL play-by-play data does not contain defense details to that extent. For example:


          From this we know N. Bradham made the tackle but was he responsible for covering Edelman on the play? If not, who was?

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