Fantasy Football How Does The Defense Score?

Fantasy Football Defensive Score Summary

In fantasy football, there are three different groups of players that can add points to a team. These groups include:

  • Offensive Scoring
  • Special Teams Scoring
  • Defensive Scoring

Though most fantasy players usually draft their defense in the closing rounds, it can be an important contributor to a team’s total points each week. With different strategies that can be used, the defense earns points much differently than offensive players.

Fantasy Points

fantasy points

Different positions have different ways of obtaining points in fantasy football, but all points go toward the same total fantasy points. While the defense may not always average as high of a point total as a running back or a quarterback, the points can still be the difference between a win and a loss. Different leagues may have different scoring breakdowns, but the overall allotment of points for specific plays stays similar for most of them.

Standard Defensive Scoring System

The standard defensive scoring system in fantasy football is the easiest to implement, especially in leagues run by individuals instead of a website. For defensive players, the points are most often broken down as follows:

  • Blocked Kick = 2 points
  • Safety = 2 points
  • Sack = 1 point
  • Fumble = 1 point
  • Fumble Recovery = 1 point
  • Interception = 2 points
  • 0 Points Allowed = 10 points
  • 1-6 Points Allowed = 8 points
  • 7-13 Points Allowed = 6 points
  • 14-20 Points Allowed = 2 points
  • 21-27 Points Allowed = 1 point
  • 28-34 Points Allowed = 0 points
  • 35-41 Points Allowed = -2 points
  • 42 or more Points Allowed = -4 points

The most prominent method of scoring for fantasy football defenses, points allowed, represents the number of points a football defense surrenders to the opposing offense. This is why at the start of a game, a fantasy defense will have ten points, because they have allowed 0 points in the real-life game.

Individual Defensive Player Scoring

In IDP scoring, specific defensive positions are taken into account for each game. This system is not meant to stand alone, but to go along with another scoring system as a way to get more in-depth.

The positions that contribute to the defense’s score include:

  • Defensive Tackle
  • Defensive End
  • Cornerback
  • Safety
  • Nickelback
  • Outside Linebacker
  • Middle Linebacker

The scoring system for these positions is:

  • Solo Tackle = 1 point
  • Assist on a Tackle = 0.5 point
  • Tackles for a Loss =  1 point
  • Sack = 2 points (1 point for every 10 yards lost)
  • Direct Hit on Quarterback = 1 point
  • Interception = 3 points
  • Pass Defended = 1 point
  • 2-Point Conversion Return = 2 points
  • Fumble Forced = 3 points
  • Fumble Recovered = 3 points
  • Defensive Touchdown = 6 points

Standard Scoring Chart

Blocked Kick2 points
Safety2 points
Sack1 point
Forced Fumble1 point
Fumble Recovery1 point
Interception2 points
0 Points Allowed10 points
1-6 Points Allowed8 points
7-13 Points Allowed6 points
14-20 Points Allowed2 points
21-27 Points Allowed1 point
28-34 Points Allowed0 points
35-41 Points Allowed-2 points
42 or More Points Allowed-4 points

IDP Scoring Chart

Solo Tackle1 point
Assist on a Tackle0.5 points
Tackles for Loss1 point
Sack2 points
Sack Yardage1 point for every 10 yards lost
Direct Hit on Quarterback1 points
Interception3 points
Pass Defended1 point
2-Point Conversion Return2 points
Fumble Forced3 points
Fumble Recovered3 points
Defensive Touchdown6 points


What is a good score for a defense in fantasy football?

Defenses can score a wide range of points in a game, all dependent on how well they play. They can score negative points if they allow too many points in a game, but they can score lots of points if they keep the game low-scoring and have a large number of interceptions and sacks. Generally, a good score for a defense during a game is around 12.5 points. Good defenses will achieve this score, while weaker defensive teams may only score four or fewer points.

How can defenses score points in fantasy football?

Defenses can gain points by performing certain actions on the football field. Some of these actions include sacks, fumble recoveries, tackles, and interceptions. Each action will gain the defense a certain amount of points. For example, a sack is worth one point, while an interception is worth two. The more impressive the action, the more points the defense will earn.

How many defensive players can a team have in IDP leagues?

In IDP leagues, there is quite a variance regarding how many defensive players any given team can have. This will come down to your league’s commissioner and what roster specifications the league has set. Typically, in IDP leagues, teams will carry three or four defensive players or feature a single defensive player for each defensive position. Once again, there isn’t a right or wrong way to decide which roster structure you and your league mates use; it all comes down to personal preference.