This weekend marks the official start of football season, with two of New York’s teams going head-to-head in Canton, Ohio, and that means we’re also officially approaching fantasy football season. Fantasy football leagues can be sources of severe anxiety for those of us who don’t make stat-tracking a daily (or hourly, or minute-to-minute) habit. It can be nerve-wracking to be confronted by football superfans who exert their superior knowledge of the game with good old-fashioned football trash talking. What’s a more casual fan to do?
That’s why we’re proud to present this list of five things you can tell your fantasy football friends (or competitors) in order to sound more statistically savvy:
On quarterbacks: “His Passer Rating’s not where I’d like it to be.”
The Passer Rating is a number that basically tells you how good a quarterback is at any given time. The formula used to calculate this number takes into account things like passing attempts, completions, yardage, touchdowns, and interceptions. It’s the official quarterback success measurement used by the big leagues, so using the term “Passer Rating” among your fellow fantasy footballers will make you sound instantly legitimate. The highest Passer Rating a player can have is 158.3, so feel free to work that number into the conversation for additional smart points.
On running backs: “Yeah, but how many touches did he have last year?”
The number of yards a running back logs is easily one of the most commonly cited stats in fantasy football. But, hey, you can’t run for yardage if you don’t get the ball, right? The number of touches is a pretty important sub-point to total yardage, so when someone brags about his #1 running back’s yardage, throw this question out there for instant respect points. An added bonus of this question is, it’s extremely unlikely that the person you ask will know how many touches his running back actually had. You just asked a question that can’t be answered without research. Well done.
On quarterbacks: “Well, you can’t argue with his Total QBR.”
Total QBR stands for “The Total Quarterback Rating”. It’s a proprietary analytic designed by ESPN to give what they consider a more accurate measurement of quarterback success than the Passer Rating. The Total QBR is based on a 100-point scale, and the higher the score, the more likely the quarterback is to have a higher per-play net impact. In other words, the closer to 100 the better the quarterback. This is a great question to throw out there if someone else already mentioned the player’s Passer Rating. It shows that you know there’s a second way to measure QB success, and that you’re not afraid to use it.
On wide receivers: “We’ll have to see how many targets he gets this year.”
Just like running backs, wide receivers are widely judged on the number of yards they log. And just like running backs, they can only run for yardage if they get a chance to catch the ball. When another fantasy footballer starts talking smack about your receivers, drop this thoughtful little nugget on him or her for a retort that he can’t really argue.
On any position player: “Let’s just hope he stays healthy.”
Obvious? Sure. But the beauty of this little pearl of wisdom is its versatility. Not only can it be used as a glib warning when talking to another league member’s good players, but you can use it to come off as humble about your own high-ranking picks. This is an excellent tactic for using politeness to smoke-screen your true intention of decimating everyone else in your league.
Of course, the best way to pick up the lingo is to get yourself to a game and experience the excitement (and the chatter!) in person. Find Football tickets for your home team, and get in the game! Your fantasy standings will thank you.