Players Who Lose Value in PPR Leagues (Fantasy Football)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Jun 26, 2019

Sony Michel’s upside takes a massive hit in PPR formats

There was a movement in 2018 where some of the major sites started moving away from traditional standard league and ones that promote points per reception (PPR). ESPN has full-point PPR as its default setting, while Yahoo and have gone to half-PPR. Whatever situation you’re in, we’re going to help you transition to point per reception leagues.

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In this article, we’ll be talking about the players who take the biggest hit when moving to the PPR format. We put up an article yesterday highlighting those who gain the most value in the format, which you can read here. There’s a lot more volatility in standard formats, as it relies heavily on touchdowns, whereas PPR formats benefit those who move the chains. It obviously helps scoring touchdowns, but PPR will make your league less touchdown-dependent than ever. Let’s look back at the 2018 season and talk about which players who struggled to perform as well in the PPR format.

Running Backs

C.J. Anderson (DET) -11 spots
Whenever you catch just five passes in a season, it’s going to negatively impact you in PPR. Throughout his career, Anderson hasn’t ever topped 34 receptions despite finishing with 720-plus rushing yards on three different occasions. Going to Detroit to play in a timeshare with superior pass-catchers isn’t going to help Anderson overcome this problem.

Sony Michel (NE) -10 spots
It was somewhat amazing just how poor Michel was in PPR formats compared to how good he was in standard. He was a borderline RB2 in standard formats, while falling into RB3/4 territory in PPR leagues. It’s how the Patriots used to treat LeGarrette Blount when he was there, though it’s odd to see the Patriots use a first-round pick on someone they view as a two-down back, though Michel is more than that. Still, with James White around, he’s not going to see a significant jump. Lower Michel in any form of PPR.

Rashaad Penny (SEA) -8 spots
The Seahawks employed a three-way timeshare last year and it affected Penny the most when it came to PPR formats. He caught just nine passes on the year despite showcasing the ability to catch passes throughout his time in college. The Seahawks did move on from Mike Davis and released Doug Baldwin, so this gap may not be as significant in 2019.

Latavius Murray (NO) -6 spots
While in Minnesota, Murray was viewed as the goal-line back and not the pass-catcher, as he totaled 14 touchdowns on 356 carries while catching just 37 passes with zero receiving touchdowns. Going to New Orleans may not change that, as Alvin Kamara is likely the best pass-catching back in the NFL. Mark Ingram caught just 21 balls in 2018 after catching 58 of them in 2017, so there’s hope, but Murray should be slid down draft boards if you’re playing in a PPR format.

Derrick Henry (TEN) -3 spots
His three-spot difference is a big improvement from 2017 when it was a 12-spot difference in PPR formats. There’s still plenty of concern for the running back who has caught just 39 passes in three seasons, as he’s still got to deal with Dion Lewis for work in the passing game. Lewis is the superior pass-catcher, so it’s difficult to see Henry getting off this list in 2019. He should be anywhere from 3-6 RB spots lower on your PPR boards.

Notable mentions: Adrian Peterson (WAS), Leonard Fournette (JAX), Doug Martin (OAK)

Wide Receivers

Mike Williams (LAC) -12 spots
When you catch 10 touchdowns on 43 receptions, you’re going to be a much better standard asset than you are in point-per-reception leagues. He also saw just 66 targets, becoming the first receiver to post a top-20 fantasy season with fewer than 70 targets. In PPR, however, he dropped down to the No. 32 receiver. He’s going to see more targets with Tyrell Williams gone, but we mustn’t forget that Hunter Henry is returning. Williams has more appeal in non-PPR leagues.

Dante Pettis (SF) -10 spots
He surged late in the year, though PPR leaguers were likely unimpressed, as he finished the year with just 27 receptions. He caught five touchdowns, propping his numbers up in standard formats. Many believe this was more happenstance than anything, as Pettis will likely wind-up being a better PPR receiver in the future. He’s not someone I’d dock too much in PPR leagues just yet, as we have a very small sample size (12 games).

DeSean Jackson (PHI) -10 spots
By this point, everyone who’s playing in PPR leagues knows how much appeal Jackson loses in the format. Whenever you have a deep-ball receiver who rarely plays in a possession role over the middle of the field, they’re going to be much less valuable in PPR leagues. His average finish throughout his career is WR29 in standard leagues, but WR35 in PPR leagues.

Kenny Stills (MIA) -7 spots
This has become a drill with Stills, as he’s finished seven spots lower in 2018, two spots lower in 2017, and a remarkable 19 spots in 2016. There was just one game in 2018 where he caught more than four passes, hurting his PPR stability. He may be someone who can finish as a top-30 receiver in standard leagues, but PPR is going to be a stretch.

Tyler Lockett (SEA) -5 spots
He’s a player many are going to be expecting to take a jump in 2019 with Doug Baldwin out of town. Throughout Lockett’s career, he’s been a much better asset in standard formats, but with him moving into the slot in a near full-time role should increase his PPR appeal. He played the slot a lot in 2018, but also scored 10 touchdowns on 57 receptions, propping up his standard numbers. With his new role, I’d say he should be valued similarly in PPR formats.

Notable mentions: Will Fuller (HOU), John Brown (BAL), Marvin Jones (DET), Calvin Ridley (ATL)

Tight Ends

O.J. Howard (TB) -4 spots
When you finish 19th in receptions but seventh in touchdowns among tight ends, you’re going to wind-up on this list. That’s precisely what Howard did in 2018. He’s going to have trouble racking up massive reception numbers with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin being the target hogs they are, but he can break long plays down the seam and be a big-time presence in the red zone. It’s tough moving tight ends very far in PPR, but if you’re torn between Howard and the other guy in a PPR format, you may want to lean to the other guy.

Trey Burton (CHI) -2 spots
This is actually backwards from what I would’ve predicted prior to the 2018 season, as Burton was someone I expected to get tons of targets in Matt Nagy’s tight end-friendly offense. He oddly finished fourth in touchdowns among tight ends (6), but his 77 targets ranked 11th, and his 54 receptions ranked 10th. With a healthy Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller, this should even out a bit in 2019.

Players Who See a Boost in PPR Formats

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Mike Tagliere is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeTagliereNFL.

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