Players Who See a Boost in PPR Formats (2019 Fantasy Football)
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I don’t want to call myself a PPR wizard but it’s undoubtedly my favorite format. I’ve actually been playing in PPR leagues since I was 12 years old when I rode Daunte Culpepper and Brian Westbrook to a fantasy championship in my inaugural year. To say I was hooked on PPR from there would be an understatement, as I’ve abused players like Wes Welker, Percy Harvin and Matt Forte ever since. Knowing who to draft and who to fade in these formats is critical, and that will be the main focus of my next two articles.
Players to Exploit in PPR
Le’Veon Bell (RB – NYJ)
I think people are forgetting just how good this guy was in PPR before sitting out last season. I’ve seen him fall outside of the first-round in a couple of PPR drafts and that seems downright silly to me. He’s currently the seventh player off the board according to FantasyPros’ ADP but that seems to be his ceiling in the drafts that I’ve done.
Let’s take a look back at this dude’s absurd production, with Bell finishing second and third in total fantasy points in 2016 and 2017. A major reason why was because of his receiving, as he averaged 80 receptions and 636 receiving yards per year. Those numbers would be good for a waiver wire receiver and that doesn’t even take into consideration that he’s one of the best running backs in the game. His 83 catches and 834 receiving yards in 2014 only emphasize just how dangerous this guy is through the air, and he should add a new dynamic to this offense. The move out of Pittsburgh is obviously worrisome but Bell will surely become a safety blanket for Sam Darnold much like he was for Ben Roethlisberger.
Julian Edelman (WR – NE)
This one may seem fairly obvious to your experienced fantasy player but Edelman’s value in PPR is simply astounding. Over the last five seasons, Edelman has averaged 86 catches and 935 yards per year on 128 targets. That target share is simply marvelous and it ranks top-10 in the league over that span. His game log from last year tells you everything you need to know, as he caught at least five passes in 12 of his 15 games while receiving at least eight targets in all but two of those games.
Where it’s really evident is in his season-long finishes, as Edelman has finished top-15 at WR in fantasy points per game for PPR all but one year since 2013. Amazingly, he finished outside the top-15 in all but two of those seasons in standards formats. This is why he’s so much more valuable in PPR and why he’s a huge fade in standard formats. Losing Rob Gronkowski should only add to Edelman’s value, as he will likely be Tom Brady‘s first read on nearly every drop back.
Jarvis Landry (WR – CLE)
Landry is a PPR king and he’s a guy I definitely key in on in these formats. We’re talking about a receiver who has at least 81 catches in all five of his seasons since being drafted in 2014 and he’s actually the only player in the league to do that in that stretch. Staying healthy is a big part of that but the target share is yet another very important variable. In fact, Landry is averaging 138 targets per year in that span, finishing top-8 in targets per game in three of his last four years. That makes this price tag truly mind-boggling, as Landry is being drafted as only the 24th receiver off the board.
Why the stark fall off? Sure, it’s understandable to be worried about Odell Beckham taking targets away from Landry but we need to consider his addition as a positive too. Landry has never played with a receiver like Beckham and it should help to open up even more targets for him underneath. He’s also about to play with the best QB he’s ever had and all of these look like bonuses to me rather than negatives. His 26 total touchdowns and 7.1 yards per target limit his production in a PPR league but those target and reception numbers make him a PPR owners dream.
Delanie Walker (TE – TEN)
We had to get at least one tight end into this article, as Walker is always a favorite of mine in PPR formats. An injury in Week 1 last year plummeted his price tag all the way to the 13th tight end and 137th player off the board. Let’s rewind a few years, as Walker was one of the best TE’s in the game before his injury. In fact, Walker finished 8th among tight ends in 2014, 2nd in 2015, 5th in 2016 and 4th in 2017 in PPR formats. Those are eye-popping numbers and it’s totally bizarre that he’s been overlooked so drastically this season.
The reason he was so reliable is because the Titans fed him as their number-one receiver. In fact, Walker averaged 74 receptions on 113 targets per year in that four-year span while averaging 896 yards and five TDs. Those are unbelievable averages from a player who’s an afterthought in many drafts and reports that he’s fully healthy should have him skyrocket up draft boards. Those receptions make him particularly valuable in a PPR format, as he actually ranks second in the NFL in total receptions since 2014. It’s not like Tennesse added anyone to take away targets from Walker either, as this is still the crappy core with Corey Davis and nobody else.
Other Players to Target in PPR
- Christian McCaffery (RB – CAR): Led all RBs in receptions and targets last season.
- Damien Williams (RB – KC): Andy Reid always uses his RB as one of the focal points of the passing game.
- Tarik Cohen (RB – CHI): Cohen had 91 targets and 99 carries last season and is expected to be an even bigger part of the passing game this year.
- James White (RB – NE): White is one of the only RBs in the league who had more targets than carries last year.
- Michael Thomas (WR – NO): Thomas caught 125 of his 147 targets last season and is a near guarantee for 8-10 targets per game
- Keenan Allen (WR – LAC): Allen has 199 combined receptions over the last two years, which ranks top-5 in the league.
- Golden Tate (WR – NYG): Tate is one of the best slot receivers in the game and should see plenty of targets without Odell Beckham in New York.
- Keke Coutee (WR – HOU): Coutee only played seven games in his rookie year but he had 55 targets as the Texans’ primary slot receiver.