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Players Who Gain Value in PPR Formats (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Mike Tagliere | @MikeTagliereNFL | Featured Writer
Jun 22, 2020

Don’t sleep on Tarik Cohen in PPR formats, where he’s a top-30 running back

Over the last few years, we’ve seen many fantasy football enthusiasts shift their league to some variety of PPR, though some are still stuck in the stone age of standard scoring. Still, every year that passes, there are more and more leagues trying out the more predictable format (PPR).

We’ve even seen Yahoo and shift to half PPR as a default option, while ESPN and CBS have moved to a full PPR default option. If that doesn’t signal a time for change, nothing will.

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If you’re someone transitioning to the old standard format to PPR, we’re here to help your transition easier. We’ll be talking about the players who benefit the most from the PPR format. We’ll be posting an article later this week highlighting those who lose the most value in the format, so stay tuned for that. 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 2019 season and talk about which players benefited the most from the PPR format.

Running Backs

Tarik Cohen (CHI) +17 spots
This should come as no surprise, as Cohen is on this list every year. Still, 17 spots is a massive difference and the biggest of his career. Currently, in PPR formats, the No. 27 running back (where he finished in PPR) is going as the 64th player off the board, while the No. 44 running back (where he finished in standard) is the 116th player off the board, which is a full five-round difference. If you’re moving to PPR, Cohen should be a locked-in top-30 running back.

James White (NE) +11 spots
We’re used to White being undervalued in fantasy, though this year is going to be interesting without Tom Brady throwing him passes. Brady is the king of swing passes into the flats, as him and White had a real connection on them. Still, finishing 11 spots higher in PPR formats highlights just how much more he should be valued in the format. The question becomes: Just how far does he fall in both formats?

Nyheim Hines (IND) +10 spots
There are some who are excited for Hines now that Philip Rivers is in town, thinking he’ll be the new Austin Ekeler. While I don’t believe that, Hines should benefit from the improved quarterback play. Still, the coaches have clearly shown they don’t want him handling more than 3-5 carries per game, which doesn’t bother PPR league owners. He caught 44 passes for 320 yards last year but didn’t score a receiving touchdown.

Alvin Kamara (NO) +7 spots
The lack of touchdowns really hurt Kamara in 2019, though not as much in PPR formats, where he still finished as the No. 9 running back despite missing two games. Did you know Kamara has caught exactly 81 receptions in each of his three NFL seasons? While some consider Kamara the No. 5 running back in standard leagues, he could be as high as No. 2 in PPR formats.

Notable Mentions: Duke Johnson (HOU), Leonard Fournette (JAX), Le’Veon Bell (NYJ)

Wide Receivers

Jamison Crowder (NYJ) +8 spots
Despite scoring a solid six touchdowns, Crowder still finished eight spots higher in PPR formats. You can thank his 122 targets for that. There are many fantasy enthusiasts who are excited about Denzel Mims and Breshad Perriman in New York, but Crowder is the one you want in PPR formats, and it’s not even close. He finished as the WR26 in the format last year but is being drafted as the No. 46 wide receiver in early ADP.

Robert Woods (LAR) +8 spots
When you score just two touchdowns while hauling in 90 receptions for 1,134 yards, you’re going to finish much higher in PPR. It’s tough to say if you should expect this to continue, because he should have positive regression, but Woods hasn’t been a touchdown scorer throughout his career. If you’ve been playing standard, Woods was likely viewed as a WR3. In PPR formats, he’s easily a WR2 with WR1 upside.

Christian Kirk (ARI) +7 spots
He’s another player who was on the wrong side of touchdowns, scoring just three times on his 68 receptions for 709 yards. Coming into the NFL, Kirk reminded me of Golden Tate. Now, with DeAndre Hopkins on the perimeter, you must wonder if he moves into the slot, making him only more valuable in PPR formats.

Davante Adams (GB) +7 spots
Will Adams always be here? Probably not considering he had double-digit touchdowns in three straight seasons, but Adams continues to improve as a route runner, and it’s led to him generating more receptions per game seemingly every year. He averaged a career-high 7.4 receptions per game in 2018, and despite having to miss time for an injury in 2019, he racked up 6.9 receptions per game. It’s hard to move him up any more when he should be the No. 2 wide receiver selected.

Tyler Boyd (CIN) +7 spots
You’ll see a lot of slot receivers on the list of players who see a boost in PPR formats. Boyd is a big slot receiver who can generate eight-plus touchdowns, but he’ll typically be better in PPR formats. We just saw Justin Jefferson post all-time numbers in the slot at LSU with Joe Burrow, and Boyd will be that safety net for him in the Bengals offense. He should be valued at least one full round higher in PPR leagues, if not two.

Notable Mentions: Julian Edelman (NE), Larry Fitzgerald (ARI), Odell Beckham Jr. (CLE), Sterling Shepard (NYG)

Tight Ends

Jack Doyle (IND) +3 spots
Tight end isn’t a position that changes a whole lot when moving to PPR, as Doyle was the only fantasy relevant tight end who was at least three spots higher in the PPR format. He’s someone who should benefit greatly from Philip Rivers, as he should be the safety blanket over the middle of the field in Frank Reich’s offense. Did you know there’s been just one season where Rivers didn’t produce a top-12 fantasy tight end? Unless you think it’s Trey Burton, you should move Doyle up your draft board.

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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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