League Scoring Settings

Updated: July 16th 2017

As part of my fourth season writing, Matt and Stephen have asked me to write a series of Reality Sports Online strategy articles, sharing what makes the platform so unique and next level. To those who have been participating in Reality Sports Online leagues for at least one year now, some of my strategy series may simply be suggestions to augment or tweak your leagues. Of course any league not in its first year making seismic strategic shifts should let owners participate in a vote to make scoring changes. For you rookie GMs kicking the tires on the only fantasy football platform I use anymore, welcome.

What you’ll get from these articles, aside from hip-hop and pop culture references are ideas on how to optimize the strategy dynamic in your league. What you won’t get right away is too much player commentary, rookie draft analysis (we have plenty of good articles on both by talented writers). Feel free to reach out to me or the Reality Sports Online guys with any questions, knowing that you are part of something special and unique that also has amazing and prompt customer service.

My first article is going to focus on scoring settings. Other articles in the series will include roster and league configuration and contracts. Don’t worry, I will get to the newly introduced in-season contract extensions as well.

So, like Andy Dufresne said to his letter to Red in Shawshank Redemption, if you’ve come this far, come a little further. I can’t promise pristine ocean water on a Mexican beach, but you can potentially take that vacation after you win your coveted league championship.

Here are my five commandments of Reality Sports Online league scoring settings:

1) The Higher Scoring, the Better

You didn’t come to Reality Sports Online to play in some fantasy clunker with a score of 57.02 to 55.61 with limited scoring options. You came to be a year-round General Manager, to make frequent trades and roster moves, and to figure out how to gain your competitive advantage. With that said, make the scoring dynamic and high as the platform offers customized scoring for yards, touchdowns, etc.

As a rule of thumb, depending on how many starting roster spots you have, I personally like the potential for a good game to crack 200 and an epic performance to crack 300 (think about it like bowling in that regard).

You’re long removed from just rewarding players who score touchdowns from a fantasy perspective and the platform allows lots of creativity and categories for different fantasy scoring than your standard, vanilla fantasy platform. So reward yardage and big plays with bonuses wherever possible.

2) The NFL is a Passing League, so…

The key to RSO is that it turns fantasy into reality. The reality is that all but a few running backs are in timeshares, any quarterback who has half a good season is never a real NFL free agent, and that most successful NFL teams feature dynamic passing offenses.

As a result, you’ll want to turn fantasy football historic groupthink on league scoring settings on its head. With that, I highly advocate being very creative when scoring the quarterback position. For instance, the main league I’m in rewards quarterbacks with the same amount of points for a passing touchdown (7-again dynamic, high scoring with distance bonuses) that another player would score rushing or receiving. The quarterback is super valuable as a franchise builder in NFL drafts and in team success, so don’t diminish the position in your RSO dynasty league just because Emmitt Smith ran for 21 touchdowns in 1994.

Additionally, I’m all in favor of rewarding passing completions and penalizing passing incompletions. This just adds another layer of strategy in a manner similar to quarterbacks who are successful at running the football does. For starters, it makes almost every offensive play relevant from a fantasy perspective for quarterbacks. The NFL values accuracy from a passer, so why shouldn’t your league? My league currently rewards completions with +0.5 fantasy points and incompletions with -0.5. This really aids passers like Philip Rivers who don’t rely on the deep ball to be fantasy relevant. If you are in a league where you start two quarterbacks, this small change from typical leagues will make the values of quarterbacks more important.

Those of you who fall into the “Late Round QB” camp don’t have to be adversely impacted by dynamic quarterback scoring because you still have the freedom to choose how much you want to spend/prioritize on your quarterbacks in the Free Agency Auction Room and scoring against the position or other positions is still relative. All this does is adds another strategic element to your league.

3) PPR is the way to go

With the NFL being a passing league, of course I’m down with “PPR” scoring in my leagues. This aids in dynamic scoring. Naysayers will say that a player should not be rewarded in fantasy football for not garnering a lot of yards after the catch. However, if that play results in a first down to sustain the drive or contributes to the drive in a positive manner, I’m of the school of thought to reward it. Players like James White, who produced 14 receptions for 110 yards in the Super Bowl certainly exemplify the value of how accretive an NFL reception can be.

If you want the scoring tempered on receptions slightly, 0.5PPR can work. I know some leagues are even moving to rewarding Tight End receptions differently to 1.5PPR to put those players on a more level scoring field with their wide receiver brethren. My personal preference is to not give Tight Ends an extra 0.5PPR because they end up getting targeted more in the red zone anyways, which helps the middle-of-the-pack Tight End derive their middling fantasy value while being touchdown dependent.

I also don’t diminish the full PPR for pass-catching running backs because I think these plays are valuable in a passing league.

Changing direction for a second-I personally don’t like rewarding running backs with points for carries. I, along with my league commissioner, feel like the act of catching a ball (even if for zero yards) requires an act or skill that adds more value than simply carrying the ball for no gain.

4) Punish Mistakes Heavily

If quarterback is such a valuable position, then an elite quarterback should not make many mistakes in a game. So, if a quarterback throws an interception, -2 is not a sufficient punishment if you are doing dynamic scoring where touchdowns are worth considerably more. I’m in a league where all offensive player turnovers (interceptions, fumbles lost) are worth -5 points. It seems drastic, but it will change your league dynamic and add an interesting wrinkle to things. New this year: RSO has added a “pick six” category if you want to punish your quarterback for throwing interceptions that result in touchdowns for the opposing team.

Furthermore, quarterbacks who take sacks by holding onto the ball and making poor decisions should also not be exempt from negative points. RSO has a unique feature to deduct points for sacks taken and I recommend -1 fantasy pts for taking a sack. I highly advocate for these simple, small changes to make your league more exciting.

5) Special Teams/Defenses

For those of you not in IDP leagues, make sure you differentiate in your league scoring what is a dominant defensive effort from a middling one. The Reality Sports Online settings allow customized positive and negative scoring for points and yards allowed. Defenses in my league tend to fluctuate a lot in terms of week-to-week fantasy points where a dominant effort can be worth as much as a wide receiver catching 10 for 150 with two TDs. Our league collectively voted to move in this direction after our first year.

As a guideline, we value shutouts worth 12 fantasy points and then scale down by -2 fantasy points based on tranches of points allowed. Same deal with yards allowed where under 250 yards is worth 10 fantasy points. The key is in a strategic league like this, owners should have to think about not only which team DST they pay for in the auction (and how much), but which they start on a week-to-week basis without simply thinking of whether or not the team may score a touchdown on the defensive end.

If you want to go super dynamic, you will reward return touchdowns by distance as there are bonuses for yardage.

Additionally, in the vein of punishing mistakes, any kicker who misses PATs or short field goals has customized options for negative scoring.

The point is on Reality Sports Online’s innovative platform, with options such as scoring fantasy points for blocked punts, the only limitation to how your league scores fantasy points is your own imagination.


Matt Goodwin is entering his fourth season as a writer for Reality Sports Online and is in year five of his main league. He also contributes for numberFire. He is an avid sports fan from Cleveland, Ohio who would count a Cleveland Indians World Series victory a close second behind getting married to his wife Renee and the births of his children, Jory (7 year old son) and Lainie (2 year old daughter). Matt loves mid 90’s hip-hop, playing pick-up hoops, traveling, Ohio State football and Arizona basketball, watching Glengarry Glen Ross for the millionth time and being outside the few months it doesn’t rain in Seattle where he lives. He can be found on Twitter @mattgoody2 and hopes you continue to read his In the Zone articles.

Preseason Watch List

Updated: September 1st 2016

Preseason games have started and many player hype trains have already left the station. Some names are familiar while others are getting their first exposure as exciting rookies. I have put together a collection of players that are generating buzz in the fantasy community and some suggestions on what you should be doing with them. Because this is RSO and there is a dollar sign attached to every player I will also offer an opinion on whether you should just bid the minimum or offer above.

Christine Michael

Christine MichaelI might as well start with everyone’s favorite preseason darling. The story is the same; a freak athlete who has the potential to be an RB1 on a team that has historically run the ball with authority. The big difference this year is that we have now seen what Michael can do in a meaningful game as he was usable in the final weeks of the regular season and playoffs. He is also in a more open backfield that doesn’t feature Marshawn Lynch. It is, however, a very large backfield that features four capable runners (Rawls, Prosise, Collins, Michael). While I don’t like owning any one of these backs at a large cost, I would take the most cost-effective one  in the hopes that they may become the lead back by mid-season.

Verdict: Add Michael from the waiver wire for the minimum. If already owned don’t offer more than low, conditional picks.

Dak Prescott

Dak PrescottFor all you Cowboys fans and Dez Bryant owners, you must be feeling a whole lot better about the future of the team post Tony Romo. Prescott has done nothing but look like a draft steal the first two games of the preseason with five touchdowns in the air and two on the ground. For those of you that took Prescott as a late 3rd or 4th round selection, you have one serious bargaining chip in your back pocket for trades right now. Unfortunately, for most others, he went undrafted in both your rookie and auction draft and with how RSO is setup you cannot add a waiver player for multiple years. Therefore, there is little value in adding Prescott this season unless Tony Romo goes down with an injury.

Verdict: Hold off on adding Prescott till next year’s auction. If Romo should go down then feel free to offer more than the minimum to him as his mobility at the position could make him a viable QB2 option.

**Editor’s Note** With the recent injury to Tony Romo which will likely sideline him for 8-10 weeks Prescott is now a must add if you are shaky at the QB position or are in a 2QB league. If you have the room to roster him he also may be a short term solution to offer to those with Teddy Bridgewater or Tony Romo going down.

Tajae Sharpe

Tajae SharpeWow, has Sharpe looked, well, sharp! The rookie WR out of UMASS flew under the radar of many drafters in May and June and was likely a flyer pick in the 3rd round. Anybody who wants to cash out right now could probably fetch a 1st before he has even played his first game. The Titans sent away the troubled Green-Beckham making Sharpe and Rishard Matthews the outside receivers with Kendall Wright in the slot. Coaches have said they want to run, run and run the ball, but for a team that only won two games last year the game script may force the Titans to pass more often than not late in games. The problem with Sharpe right now though is just the cost to acquire. If he wasn’t already drafted then he has definitely been added from the waiver wire by now and is therefore rostered by someone in your league.

Verdict: If you drafted Sharpe or won the race to wire pat yourself on the back and just hold him to see what he can actually do. If you are looking to acquire him don’t get carried away with what your offering as he still has yet to play a meaningful NFL game. Moving a 2nd and a WR3 would be at my peak trade value IF he’s locked into a low rookie contract for multiple years.

New England’s Backfield

Patriots BackfieldMany expected the Patriots to add one of the RBs from this year’s class but they passed, maybe deferring to the stronger 2017 class. So where does that leave the backfield for 2016? Dion Lewis was a nice surprise that fit well with Tom Brady’s quick release passing offense last season. James White will look to take the same role in the early parts of this season while Lewis is sidelined after another knee surgery. LeGarrette Blount was brought back (after much delay) for another year as the bulldozing, between the tackles, redzone back. Bolden is still there and Tyler Gaffney has looked okay in preseason work against 2nd and 3rd string players. So is there any value in the Pats backfield, and who’s the guy to own?

Verdict: For now White and Blount are the players to own but don’t expect any consistency in terms of an RB2 floor. The best bet would be to actually hold any RBs that are on the fringe of their own rosters that may be a late preseason trade candidate for the Patriots.

Make sure to keep your eyes on the final two weeks as players are cut (or traded) and depth charts are solidified. If you have any questions or want to ask the RSO team about trades make sure to use #RSOtrades.