The Pi-Rate Ratings

September 1, 2021

The PiRate Ratings Alternative to Fantasy Football

Filed under: Pro Football Simulation — Tags: , , , , — piratings @ 9:06 am

One of the more frequent questions we field at the PiRate Ratings is, “Do you guys participate in Fantasy Football and have any pointers?”

The answer to that question is, “Yes and No.”

We do not participate in standard fantasy football, where one must monitor lineups and make substitutions, having to keep up with injuries, bye weeks, and the like.  Considering that our regular occupations take up a bulk of the week, and then the PiRate Ratings for college and pro football take up a large chunk, and then our dedication to making tabletop strategy football and baseball games is a never-ending process and a 100% charitable process, there just isn’t any time remaining.

However, a small group of us participate in our own in-house version of fantasy football.  It actually started with SEC football teams only, but it moved to the NFL after the lack of parity made it worthless.

What is PiRate Fantasy Football?  It is team-oriented rather than player oriented.  Rather than select a quarterback, a running back, a wide receiver, etc., in a draft and then keeping a lineup, we select entire teams and instead of individual stats that have to be kept with an official fantasy football site, our scoring is simple enough to do it in-house in less than 30 minutes.  

PiRate Fantasy Football involves picking a team for each of these stats:

Offensive Stats

Points Scored–2 points

Rushing Yards–1 point

Passing Yards–1 point

QB Sacks allowed–1 point

Turnovers–1 point

Defensive Stats

Points Allowed–2 points

Rushing Yards Allowed–1 point

Passing Yards Allowed–1 point

Sacks By–1 point

Turnovers Forced–1 point


Scoring Margin–1 point

This is 11 different scoring values.  In our draft, rather than have 32 QBS, 96 WRS, etc., we have 32 choices for each value, and in each, it is the 32 NFL teams. 

Then, in our draft, the first selector picks a stat and a team.  For instance, if I had the first pick, I might choose Offense Points Scored–Kansas City.  Then, the next person could just as easily pick Offense Passing Yards–Kansas City.  Then, the third person might choose Defense Sacks By–Baltimore, and then the next person could choose Offense Rushing Yards–Baltimore.  

Each of the 32 teams has an entry for each of the 11 different stats, and when a team is chosen for a particular stat, that option comes off the board.

With 8 people picking, that means that we could select 4 different “depth charts” if we wanted and then select which team we wanted each week to be in the starting lineup like regular leagues pick players.  But, we don’t have the time for that, so we only pick a first string and then a backup second string to only be used when the first string team has a bye week.  Only 16 of the 32 teams are picked per stat.

Once the teams are picked, we use a schedule from the American Football League of 1965 and play a 14-week schedule.  We use week 1-14 with week 15 being the championship game.  It ends on the Sunday between Christmas and New Year’s Days.

Here is an example of how it works.  Let’s say, I, the Captain, has this team for 2021-22.


Points Scored: Green Bay

Rushing: Buffalo

Passing: Los Angeles Rams

Sacks Against: Baltimore

Turnovers: Tampa Bay


Points Allowed: Minnesota

Rush Yards Allowed: Cleveland

Pass Yards Allowed: Indianapolis

Sacks By: Denver

Turnovers Forced: San Francisco


Scoring Margin: Green Bay

I have the Buffalo Bills Schedule.  My week 1 opponent is the person with the Boston Patriots Schedule, or in this case, Sean.  Sean’s teams are: 


Points Scored: Dallas

Rushing: Tennessee

Passing: Arizona

Sacks Against: Kansas City

Turnovers: Las Vegas


Points Allowed: Pittsburgh

Rush Yards Allowed: Washington

Pass Yards Allowed: Denver

Sacks By: Seattle

Turnovers Forced: Seattle


Scoring Margin: Dallas

Now, when Week 1’s real games are played, we look at the stats for each team in our lineup.  Whichever team had the better stat in their game wins the points in this game.


Points Scored: Green Bay 31/Dallas 27–Green Bay wins 2 for me

Rushing: Buffalo 97/Tennessee 134–Tennessee wins 1 for Sean

Passing: Los Angeles Rams 286/Arizona 311–Arizona wins 1 for Sean

Sacks Against: Baltimore 0/Kansas City 1–Baltimore wins 1 for me

Turnovers: Tampa Bay 1/Las Vegas 1–Tie means no points awarded


Points Allowed: Minnesota 16/Pittsburgh 13–Pit wins 2 points for Sean

Rush Yards Allowed: Cleveland 111/Washington 138–Cle wins 1 point for me

Pass Yards Allowed: Indianapolis 189/Denver 201–Ind wins 1 point for me

Sacks By: Denver 2/Seattle–Sea wins 1 point for Sean

Turnovers Forced: San Francisco 1/Seattle 1–Tie, no points awarded

At this point, the score is tied at 5 to 5.  The tie-breaker is then used.


Scoring Margin: Green Bay +8/Dallas +8.  In this rare event, the outcome is 5-5, and it counts as an overtime tie. 

This is an easy way to participate in fantasy football without the investment in time or money.  We play just for fun.  It takes 30 minutes to hold a draft and little time each week to determine the winners.  The only substitutions to make are when a team has a bye week, and it automatically means the substitute team is used for just that one week at each stat spot.  Give it a try.

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