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6 High Floor PPR Players Based on ADP (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Vaughn Dalzell | @VaughnDalzell | Featured Writer
Jul 21, 2020

Tarik Cohen’s heavy involvement in the passing game makes him a solid mid-round value.

Having multiple players on a bye week during a postseason run is one of the most stressful ways to start your week off. Deciding whether to roll with a bench player, stream a free agent, or make a deal before the deadline is all valid options, but if you draft right, some of that stress will be relieved.

In PPR leagues, both half-point and full, some players hold extra value each season because all they do is get the ball thrown their direction. The following six players are expected to see a flux of targets in 2020. They’re currently being drafted in the seventh round or later in July’s 2020 drafts.

Players left off this list were Colts’ Michael Pittman, 49ers’ Brandon Aiyuk, Browns’ Kareem Hunt, and the Jets’ Jamison Crowder. All four are great mid-to-late round options in redrafts and players to step into starting roles on your fantasy roster during bye weeks, but these three running backs and three receivers have stood out for PPR over standard leagues.

All ranks are courtesy of FantasyPros ECR and ADP data is courtesy of BestBall10s

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Tarik Cohen (RB – CHI)

  • ECR Full-Point: RB36
  • ECR Half-Point: RB45
  • ADP 88.43 (7.04)

Cohen has caught 53, 71, and 79 passes in his first three seasons with the Bears, finishing fourth last year among league leaders in 2019 (79) and fifth in 2018 (71). He’s been targeted 71, 91, and 104 times in consecutive seasons, becoming one of four running backs to receive 100 targets in 2019.

Cohen finished 2019 with an underwhelming but favorable 27th ranking in full-point PPR last season. He totaled 163.9 total and 10.2 per game, and he finished 37th in half-point with 124.4 points and 7.8 per game. There’s no debating he’s a much higher value in full-point PPR leagues. Alongside David Montgomery’s strictly ground game, Cohen’s value remains a mid-round selection for the third-straight year.

FantasyPros predicts Cohen to record the fourth-most receptions (68), the eighth-most receiving yards (467), and seventh-best 2.5 receiving touchdowns. On the ground, he’s predicted to receive 80 carries for 319 yards and two touchdowns.

Those projections are a total of 786 yards and four touchdowns, equating to 169.6 fantasy points and a 28th place finish in full-point PPR leagues. In half-point formats, his fantasy points and ranking drop to 135.7 points and 33rd.

Cohen recorded double-digit fantasy point games in half-point PPR leagues eight times in his third-straight 16-game season. Cohen had a snap share of 49.8% (34th) compared to Montgomery’s 57.9% (17th). Cohen posted a similar snap share in 2018 (47.9%), and he posted career-highs in carries (99), rushing yards (444), rushing touchdowns (2), receiving yards (725), and receiving touchdowns (5). Those aren’t overwhelmingly out of reach numbers for the 24-year-old running back.

Cohen had a breakaway run rate of 9.1%, which was the second-highest in 2018 but dropped to 1.9% in 2019 with Montgomery. It’s clear that Cohen’s primary role will be strictly receiving out of the backfield, and FantasyPros 80 projected carries for Cohen could easily be 80 receptions in this offense. Cohen’s recorded three-consecutive seasons of a 74% or better catch rate, something his new or former quarterback will need in Chicago.

The quarterback change for the Bears wasn’t shocking, but unclear the direction the team is headed. Chicago finished fifth in the league, throwing 25.97% of their passes to running backs; Cohen received 70.7% of those targets. Montgomery recorded 35 targets, and Mike Davis had eight, making Cohen’s role clear and decisive no matter if Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky is at quarterback.

Nick Foles only played in four total games last season, starting three of them, and adds either insurance, competition, or a short-term solution to the Bears quarterback position. Trubisky has a rhythm with Cohen and Foles starts, sure there could be some issues or miscues with Cohen early, but either way, his volume doesn’t change. Allen Robinson is the apparent No. 1 in this offense, and Cohen plus Montgomery fall behind that.

If you need an RB3, that can be your flex; Cohen is a top suggestion of mine in PPR formats. The seventh-round is fair and affordable for him, and because he’s an RB2 in his offense, he gets passed on for rookies and reaching selections.

Every week he can put a productive product on the field, and if he hits 70 receptions for his third-straight season, that’s a given 4.3 receptions per game, and the rest is on him after the catchability. I predict Cohen will be an RB25 or better in PPR formats in 2020, and he’ll average better yards per reception than his career-low 5.8 in 2019

Julian Edelman (WR – NE)

  • ECR Full-Point: WR33
  • ECR Half-Point: WR34
  • ADP 78.69 (7.07)

Julian Edelman had to feel left out when Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski both announced they were playing for Tampa Bay next year, but hey, he has Cam Newton now. Some of that frustration must feel good doing OTAs over Zoom Calls with another former MVP, then seeing Instagram posts of Newton recording one of his popular workout videos, flexing, and talking about the comeback with the Patriots.

Edelman at 34-years-old could have been a thing of the past with Jarrett Stidham under center. Now, he remains a core piece of the present with Newton, giving the Pats another run at the AFC title. Newton’s arrival certainly boosts more than a few player’s fantasy relevance in New England post-Brady era, but Edelman’s arguably the most.

Edelman finished seventh in full-point PPR leagues last season with 256.3 fantasy points and 16 per game. He was 10th in half-point PPR points last season with 206.3 points and 12.9 per game, but now he’s a seventh-round pick. There’s value in Edelman, and yes, Newton isn’t Brady, but neither quarterbacks game is throwing deep.

It’s been dink and dunk passes with their I.Q. and play-making separating them from the rest, plus Newton’s legs. Edelman caught 100 passes in 2019, the second time he’s done that in his entire 10-year career, and he surpassed 1,000 yards for the third time. What other seventh-round picks are giving you 100 receptions or close that? Not many.

Edelman’s projected to catch 74 passes for 871 receiving yards, and five touchdowns, which would be pretty similar to his 2018 season when he missed four games due to a PED suspension. The model is predicting a four-game difference in Edelman’s production with Newton at quarterback rather than Brady.

While that’s fair, Edelman could also outdo those numbers as those are align his Patriots career stats as a starter. Edelman posted a 74-850-6 stat line in 2018 and has caught at least 74 passes in five of his last six seasons. He’s averaged six touchdown receptions over his last six seasons and has recorded a catch rate between 65% and 70% in all six.

Edelman’s floor is 74 receptions for me, especially considering he’s the leader of the offense, veteran in that receiving group, knows the playbook, and still projected as a top-30 W.R. at the end of the season. FantasyPros model projects Edelman to be WR29 by the end of the season with 196.7 fantasy points and 31st in half-point with 159.4 fantasy points.

If you can land Edelman as your WR4 or flex, he can be that consistent player you’re looking for. In his four seasons of 14 or more games played, he’s averaged 98.7 receptions, 1,062 yards, and 4.7 touchdowns. With no health problems, no suspension, and a lot of motivation to stay on top, the Edelman and Newton combo is one of my favorite underrated duos/stacks before the season even starts. Individually by ADP, Edelman’s 33rd preseason rank is a crime and sure to change as the season climbs closer.

Justin Jefferson (WR – MIN)

  • ECR Full-Point: WR44
  • ECR Half-Point: WR54
  • ADP 142.39 (11.10)

At LSU, Jefferson posted a 91% catch rate, recording 111 receptions on 122 targets for 1,540 yards and 18 receiving touchdowns in his final collegiate season. In his second sophomore, Jefferson caught 54 passes on 85 targets for 875 yards and six touchdowns. He’s seen a 21% target share or better in his two-year playing career. In his 28 games, he caught 165 passes for 2,415 yards and 24 touchdowns in LSU.

Jefferson is projected to record 52 receptions for 708 yards and four touchdowns. That’s 118.6 fantasy points, good enough for 58th in half-point PPR, and 144.4 points for 56th place in full-point PPR leagues. For rookies, that’s fifth-place behind Jalen Reagor, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III in that order. Every rookie has immediate competition as all fall as WR2 or WR3s on their respective depth charts.

Jefferson arguably has the most upside of this rookie class among this group, and Adam Thielen is off his first injury, dealing with a hamstring strain and ankle laceration that forced him to miss six games. If Thielen misses anytime, Jefferson is the Vikings WR1. Their lack of depth chart at the receiver position leaves Tajae Sharpe as the only other credible threat outside of Thielen and Jefferson. Jefferson could be a slot threat as well; at LSU, he had 109 slot receptions and 1,518 slot receiving yards in his final season.

The Vikings sent Stefon Diggs to Buffalo after another solid year apart of the Vikings receiver duo. Diggs posted a 24th-ranked full-point PPR season in 2019 and was 15th Weeks 1-9 with Thielen healthy. Thielen was 22nd in PPR during that span, and both players averaged 13.5 points per game or more.

There’s hope Jefferson could be a double-digit product in most of his games and with a new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. Kubiak helped lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl victory in his run as head coach from 2015-2016 with Peyton Manning. While Kirk Cousins is no Manning, he could use Kubiak’s quarterback knowledge, especially in a season after losing half of his 1-2 punch out wide.

Jefferson recorded a contested-catch rate of 92.3% that ranked first among the 98 draft-eligible pass-catchers who saw at least 10 contested targets per Pro Football Focus (PFF). Jefferson also caught 49 of his 53 targets that were thrown between one and nine yards downfield per PFF.

That 92.5% catch rate ranked first among the 122 FBS wide receivers, and Cousins himself is dominant on passes between one and nine yards, which makes this a match made in heaven. Cousins completed 107/150 passes (71.3%) for 1,136 yards, 11 touchdowns, and no interceptions for 117.5 quarterback rating. He had his most completions, pass attempts, yards, and touchdowns on short-yardage throws per NFL Situational Stats.

Cousins had the second-highest supporting cast efficiency last season (+16.43), so Jefferson will have some shoes to fill with Diggs’ departure. Diggs was a considerable part of that offense, with an 83.1% snap share and a 21.9% target share. Jefferson tied the NCAA-lead with 111 receptions with Joe Burrow as the quarterback, so if he’s asked to take the brunt of the load at specific points throughout the season, he can handle it, unlike most rookies.

Duke Johnson (RB – HOU)

  • ECR Full-Point: RB49
  • ECR Half-Point: RB49
  • ADP 124.63 (10.05)

Duke Johnson had the lowest catch (44), target (62), and receiving yard totals (410) of his career last season with the Texans. He backed up Carlos Hyde as a change of pace back, and Hyde cruised to his first-ever 1,000-yard rushing season. In exchange for his lower receiving numbers, Johnson recorded his second-most rushing attempts (83) and a career-best 410 receiving yards. He was thought to be the guy before the DeAndre Hopkins trade sent David Johnson to Houston, keeping Duke as the primary backup.

Johnson is projected to catch 41 passes for 360 yards and two touchdowns. His rushing predictions as the RB2 in Houston are 78 carries for 361 yards and one score. That comes out to a predicted 41st in full-point PPR with 135.1 fantasy points and 44th in half-point PPR with 114.5 fantasy points. While those numbers aren’t anything to wow over, Johnson had six top-20 fantasy point games and eight top-30 in 2019.

He saw seven games of five or more targets in 2019 and score all five of his touchdowns in different games. Johnson had 10 games with five or more carries and six games of nine or more total touches. On the season, he averaged nine touches per game on 5.18 carries and 2.75 receptions.

His counterpart, David Johnson, posted 94 carries and 36 receptions in 13 games with Arizona last season as he looked like a shell of his 2016 and 2018 self. He missed all of 2017, and in 2020, his comeback season, it was anything but that. He scored six touchdowns and had 715 total yards, finishing behind Duke in PPR rankings (37th), and his health will determine if that happens for a second-consecutive season.

Surely, Duke was hoping to have his first season as starting running back, and alongside Deshaun Watson in this highlight show of an offense would have been a stable place to do so. His chances at RB1 numbers are long gone, and RB2, pretty much the same, but as RB3 with RB2 upside week-to-week, that’s his 2020 calling card.

Duke is one of the best handcuff drafts picks in the league because if David Johnson goes down, Duke becomes an immediate RB2 with PPR RB1 upside. For a 10th round pick, or later, he’s one hell of a handcuff, and that’s pretty much all he is outside of a PPR stream. Duke saw a 49% snap share and 34.4% opportunity share as the second-fiddle to Hyde and the third-down back, but his production premium of +22.1 is a positive sign for his lack of playing time.

Dede Westbrook (WR – JAC)

  • ECR Full-Point: WR69
  • ECR Half-Point: WR73
  • ADP 198.03 (16.07)

Westbrook had back-to-back 66 reception seasons on 101 targets, and a third-straight with those numbers would be productive for a plug-and-play PPR option. With the Jaguars, Westbrook has 132 receptions, 1,377 yards, and eight touchdowns in his last two seasons, playing in 31 of 32 games. He’s been durable and consistent, posting a 65.3% catch rate and a 74% snap share or better in his last two years.

He finished 2019 ranked 42nd in full-PPR with 156.7 fantasy points and 10.3 per game; and 45th in half-PPR with 123.7 points and 8.3 per game. FantasyPros model projects his 2020 totals to be 58 receptions, 618 yards, and three touchdowns. That would be ahead of his 69 and 73rd ranked ECR, finishing 59th in full-PPR with 141.3 fantasy points and 60th in half-PPR with 112.3.

Those would be lower totals than his previous season, but I have to disagree with that. Sure the emergence of D.J. Chark will takeaway from Westbrook’s production, but they and Leonard Fournette (100) were the only three Jaguars to receive 100 targets. Chark had 118 targets with 73 receptions, while Founrette led the team with 76 catches. Westbrook finished third on the team with 660 receiving yards, trailing Chark (1,008) and Chris Conley (775).

With Minshew, the Jaguars were a much more efficient passing threat. He completed 247/418 passes for 2,849 passing yards and 18 touchdowns to four interceptions. He averaged 34.8 passing attempts in his 12 starts, and Westbrook played in 11 of those games. There’s undoubtedly a rhythm between the two, and if Fournette is expected to receive fewer targets this season, Westbrook could be in for an increase.

Westbrook recorded seven top-40 performances last season, and five top-23 finishes in his 15 games played. He received at least five targets in 12 games and eight with seven or more, and seven times he recorded 50 or more receiving yards in 2019. The Jags are finally all-in on Minshew-Mania, and he should surpass his 470 passing attempts easily in year two. His receiving core volume should see a significant increase, especially with Fournette, in the last year of his contract before the Jags decide his future.

Westbrook might be a free agent in 12-team leagues this season, and he can be a valuable streamer in a pass-heavy offense. Westbrook’s production can be hit or miss, but with 33% of his games being in the top-23 (WR2), and nearly have in the top-40, he’s a WR3 or flex filler this season.

James White (RB – NE)

  • ECR Full-Point: RB30
  • ECR Half-Point: RB37
  • ADP 79.33 (7.07)

In James White’s last five seasons with the Patriots, he’s caught more passes (315) than he’s had carries (265). As the Patriots’ primary third-down back and receiving threat out of the backfield, he’s had 56 or more receptions in his last four seasons with Tom Brady. Now with Cam Newton, he sees his role remain the same behind Sony Michel’s one-dimensional game.

Michel had 12 receptions on 20 targets last season while White had 72 catches on 95 targets. White’s 95 targets were fifth in the league last season, and in 2018 he finished third among running backs with 87 receptions on a second-best 123 targets. He’s even above Cohen when it comes to PPR, and Newton has shown he values his running backs, a la Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey had 107 receptions on 124 targets in 2018, both led the league, and his 80 receptions (2nd) on 113 targets (1st) were among the elite in 2017 as well. Before McCaffrey, it was a variety of backs that struggled to reach 30 receptions in that offense; in fact, no running back since Jonathan Stewart’s 47 receptions in 2011 has caught 30 passes from Newton.

With Bill Belichick calling the shots, White should remain heavily involved entering his seventh season with the Patriots. FantasyPros model sets White’s 2020 season for an even 57 carries and 57 receptions. As if we haven’t had a clear indicator of his role in the offense, the model also predicts 495 receiving yards and three receiving scores to 237 rushing yards and two rushing scores. That’s 30th in full-PPR with 159.3 points or 9.9 points per game; and 35th in half-PPR with 131 points or 8.1 per game.

White’s as productive as running backs come in the passing game, and he had six or fewer defenders in the box a league-leading 83.6% of the time, which led to more mismatches and one-on-ones for him. In 11 of his 15 games last season, he finished as an RB20 or better and had 12 double-digit scoring games, per PlayerProfiler. White finished second among backs in 2019 with 6.5 yards per touch and fifth in 2018 with 6.5 as well.

Although the quarterback changes, the system remains the same for New England, and White’s apart of that script. As Newton’s wear and tear of running and taking hits as started to take effect, he’s turned to his running back as a crucial part of the passing game. White’s no McCaffrey, but he can mimic at least half of McCaffrey’s production with Newton at quarterback. White will be a valuable RB4 in fantasy leagues, and if you can squeeze out past the seventh round, he should reward his fantasy owners consistently.

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Vaughn Dalzell is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Vaughn, check out his archive or follow him @VaughnDalzell.

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