The #4 seed, 8-6 squad wins a fantasy football championship and the rest of the league can’t believe it. When you look at their team you realize they had the highest Points Against (PA) and were #1 in Points For (PF).
PF and PA are telling stats.
Winning teams usually share one characteristic: a PF that is higher then or at least equal to their PA. Let’s look at the top four teams in the HBFFL after Week 11:
Here are the latest standings of the 14-team league I am in (I’m NE Argonauts):
As you can see the teams that score more generally have a better win/loss record. But as we have seen in our example in the opening paragraph, and in the standings of the two fantasy leagues, record might not indicate a PF higher then a PA.
Sometimes there will be teams that win with a low PF and an even-lower PA. They are playing with house money however, and once that runs out so does their season. It might happen early or late but it will happen and the pressure is on these teams to be flawless.
On the flip side are the teams, again like the example in the opening paragraph that are top in PF that also have a high PA. They generally hover right above the .500 mark, in striking distance of a postseason berth. Those teams are very, very dangerous because they score a lot and are used to playing high scoring teams.
So how does a fantasy football owner take advantage of PF and PA?
There is not much anyone can do about their PA. It is an indicator of vulnerability and completely out of anyone’s control.
PF is the key. Build a team that will blow up the scoreboard every week and you will be a formidable foe week in and week out.
It’s a take on the NFL adage of building a team that can beat the best team. Since we never know until after a draft which teams are the best, the tactic can be adapted to beat the highest scoring squad instead.
It starts with the draft. Pick players that are primed to score a ton of points at WR and RB. Chose those positions early and often in the draft because it improves the chances of getting top production.
During the season free agency provides the opportunity to upgrade your team. In the early weeks, look for the potential high scorers that were missed in the draft. You will also want to monitor the TE, K, and DEF positions. They can be a crap shoot most times but you have to swap out low-scoring ones.
Trades can help too but be careful. It is very easy to do a trade that ends up changing the scoring production of a team. Throw injuries into the mix and even a good deal for both teams could turn bad for one side.
In the end PF and PA are stats you need to pay attention to. Fantasy football success depends on it.