Your chance to be an NFL Head Coach
The UK's Original American Football Fantasy Game
Running since 1990 - The Ultimate Fantasy Coaching Challenge
Gridiron Stats (often known as "Gridstats") is the ultimate in Fantasy American Football. You are an NFL Coach. You sign real-life NFL stars, select them for your team and their performances each week determine your success. It's your chance to coach real-life NFL players, and show that YOU are the best coach in your league.
Every week you have to decide which players to select, signing new players, doing trades with other coaches and predictions for the results of NFL games. Gridstats is a "hands-on" game, where to reach and stay at the top you have to be wheeling and dealing every single week of the season.
We have teams available for instant startups - just because the season has started in real life doesn't mean you can't start playing Gridstats straight away.
There are sixteen teams in each game of Gridiron Stats (to ensure a competitive market for the NFL stars), divided into two conferences of eight teams. Each conference is further divided into two divisions with four teams in each.
Gridiron Stats a game of football management. Your squad is made up of twenty current NFL stars and your results are determined solely by their performances in real-life every week. Each turn you have to select a lineup from your squad, made up of seven starters and seven backups (Gridiron Stats only concentrates on the so called offensive "skill positions"). A standard lineup is one quarterback, two running backs, one tight end, two wide receivers and a kicker, though you can play a tight end or wide receiver instead of the second running back and a wide receiver instead of the tight end if you choose to do so.
Your players stats for the week are taken from their real-life performances, with every single game played in the NFL during the previous weekend days being used. It's important you select the right players. There's no point having one of the top scorers in the NFL if you haven't selected him in your lineup!
Players score according to a number of categories. Normally only the starters' scores count, but if a starter fails to score in real-life then his backup's stats count instead. Players score running touchdowns, passing touchdowns and receiving touchdowns the same as in real-life, except that to score a passing touchdown you must have one of your players throw a passing TD in real-life and another (or even the same player) catch a TD in real-life. You don't score if you have someone catch a TD pass but no-one to throw it to him and vice versa.
Conversions and extra points are also scored as per real-life, again subject to the restriction that for your team to make a conversion or extra point you must have scored a touchdown for them to convert. Field goals are scored normally.
In addition to real-life touchdowns players may also be allocated bonus scores for good performances (these are instead of their actual scores, not in addition to them), reflecting the fact that in real-life often one player does the bulk of the work moving the ball down the field while another actually takes the ball into the endzone. A player is awarded one bonus rushing touchdown for every 80 yards rushing, one bonus passing touchdown for every 100 yards passing and one bonus touchdown reception for every 5 receptions he makes, or every 80 yards receiving.
The stats your players and your opponents players produce for each game may be modified by strategies called by you and your opponent. There are a variety of strategies available (e.g. Run based offense adds a rushing touchdown to one running back, but subtracts a passing touchdown from your quarterback) which you may wish to use in certain circumstances.
You can use strategies to enhance an area of strength in your team, mask a weakness or to try to disrupt your opponent. The success of strategies depends upon what you call, what your opponents call and the investment each team has made in their coaching levels (these coaching levels represent your offensive line, defensive line and defensive backs).
The regular season follows the NFL regular season, played from September through to late December/early January, with the playoffs in January (so Gridiron Stats goes into hibernation between February and the August - when it restarts for the following season). Turns are normally run and posted on Tuesdays (hours after the Monday Night Game finishes) with orders for the next turn due to be posted back to us by the following Saturday.
Each week you play one other team in your league and the result of the game is simple - if you outscore your opponents you win, if you donít, they win. At the end of the season the teams with the most wins go forward into the playoffs, trying to reach and win the Gridbowl.
At the end of the regular season the four divisional winners, plus the two next best teams in each conference (known as "wild-cards" go into the Gridbowl playoffs. These are run at the same time as the NFL Playoffs with similar scoring rules to the regular season. However, in the playoffs teams are also allocated "bonus" scores according to their performances during the regular season. Consequently success in the playoffs is based upon a mixture of your regular season performances and any players you have in your team who are also active in the real-life playoffs.
There is often a scramble amongst the contenders at the end of the regular season to sign "playoff performers". Teams who haven't got a chance in the playoffs and are building for the following season can often cash in by trading these players at inflated prices!
Gridiron Stats is a trading game. You have a limited income every turn (which is biased towards helping losing teams to recover by giving them more income, though you can increase your income by investing in marketing, merchandising and so on) with which to pay your players. The more successful your players are, the higher their wage demands become, so you need to continually be signing players and shuffling your roster to keep your finances under control, and keep your team competitive.
Gridiron Stats isnít a game where you can sign the "perfect team" and then simply watch them win all season. Eventually you'll need to address escalating wage demands and sign cheaper, up-and-coming players and make a profit on your high-wage players.
If a player is drastically undervalued then other teams can approach them and tempt them away by offering the player a significantly higher salary (at least 50% higher than his current salary). The playerís current team always have the chance to match such an offer, and if they do decide not to match it they receive compensation when the player moves teams, so theyíll have more money available to go out and find a replacement.
Every player has a value, and itís up to you to decide how much a player is worth to you.
Every turn youíve got decisions to make about signing, trading or waiving players. You can offer your own players for trade, make bids for unsigned players or approach underpaid players from other teams. In all cases you decide how much to bid for a player. If another team decide he's worth more then they can increase your bid the following turn (though they have to bid at least 50% more than you), otherwise you sign the player.
There is also a secondary competition in Gridiron Stats. Each week during the season you have to predict the results of ten real-life games. At the end of the season each team gets an income bonus for the following year according to how well they've done in this competition. It offers an interesting sideline to the game, regardless of how successfully your team is performing.
Now there is a further element to the tipsters competition. During the season you have to predict the divisional, conference and Superbowl title winners. The earlier you pick the right winner (without subsequently changing your mind) the more points you score, so the trick isn't picking the right team, but identifying them as early as possible.
Each turn youíll receive half a dozen pages of emailed PDF reports: a full roster listing with current scoring details for all of your players and full financial details for your teams. Youíll also receive game reports, showing the scorers in every game in the league, league tables, details of free agent signings, trades, holdouts and unsigned players who you may wish to consider making a bid for.
All Gridstats games run with weekly deadlines (so you've seven days between turns). We have positions available in most of these games that will allow you to start play immediately (as in real-life, you take over a team and try to turn their fortunes around). You can join during the season - teams are always available whose coaches have stopped playing and are currently being run by the computer.
Turnfees in Gridiron Stats are £8.00 for four, £18.00 for ten and £32.00 for twenty. Click here for more details of turnfees.
Your instructions are sent through our active website. Click here for more details on play by email
To join Gridiron Stats you'll need to send £5.00 (payable to Ab Initio Games) along with your name and address, which covers the cost of your rulebook(s), team setup and first three turns. When you send in your application please give a team name.
To join the game you need to click here to pay your startup fee by credit card via our secure server website and also email Danny McConnell with your team name then we'll be able to get you started in a game even more quickly.
In April 2020 we launched Gridstats Retro, designed to run outside of the real life season using historical results. Click here for full details of Gridstats Retro.