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5 Players to Draft in PPR Leagues (2024 Fantasy Football)

Fantasy football players know the type of scoring makes all the difference in which guys you want to draft. In PPR leagues, fantasy players want to start wide receivers in their flex spots. Meanwhile, they want to start running backs in their flex spots in non-PPR leagues.

2024 fantasy football draft kit

However, PPR scoring doesn’t just help out wide receivers. Some running backs and tight ends get a significant boost in fantasy production in PPR vs. non-PPR leagues. Players with high catch rates but lack touchdown upside are ideal targets in PPR leagues. Meanwhile, players with high touchdown rates but lack a high target share are better targets in non-PPR leagues.

Let’s look at five players who were significantly better in PPR than non-PPR leagues last season and what fantasy players should do with them in 2024.

Players to Draft in PPR Leagues

Rachaad White (RB – TB)

  • 2023 PPR Finish – RB4 | 15.8 Fantasy Points Per Game
  • 2023 Non-PPR Finish – RB8 | 12 Fantasy Points Per Game

White had a breakout season in 2023, thanks to a featured role on the ground. However, the former Arizona State star was 24.1% better in PPR vs. non-PPR leagues. His 64 receptions were the third-most on the team and the fourth-most in the NFL among running backs. Yet, White had only an 18% target per route run rate, a lower average than D’Onta Foreman (per Fantasy Points Data).

Unfortunately, his role in the passing game will likely take a hit in 2024. The Buccaneers added Jalen McMillan and Bucky Irving during the NFL Draft, giving them two new talented weapons on offense. Irving should cut into White’s role in the passing game, which impacts his value in PPR leagues. While he is a solid low-end RB1 option, fantasy players shouldn’t expect another top-10 finishing this upcoming season unless White has more success finding the end zone.

Jaylen Warren (RB – PIT)

  • 2023 PPR Finish – RB22 | 11.6 Fantasy Points Per Game
  • 2023 Non-PPR Finish – RB30 | 8 Fantasy Points Per Game

The Steelers’ offense could look significantly different this year under Arthur Smith. However, fantasy players know his offense will flow through the backfield after Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier were top-34 last season running backs with Smith calling the plays. While Najee Harris was the lead rusher, totaling 106 more attempts than Warren, the former undrafted free agent had 32 more receptions and 36 more targets in 2023.

Furthermore, Warren had the fifth-most receptions among running backs last year despite ranking 21st in route run (237) at the position. More importantly, he had a 30% target per route run rate last season, the same average as Breece Hall (per Fantasy Points Data). During Smith’s time with the Atlanta Falcons, the running backs averaged 107 targets per year. Warren has a chance to break out regardless of scoring format but should get drafted sooner in PPR than in non-PPR leagues.

Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – IND)

  • 2023 PPR Finish – WR13 | 15.6 Fantasy Points Per Game
  • 2023 Non-PPR Finish – WR25 | 8.8 Fantasy Points Per Game

Fantasy players loved Pittman in PPR and found him solid in non-PPR leagues. The former USC star has never been a high touchdown producer, totaling 15 scores in 62 career games. Furthermore, he has four touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. However, Pittman has been a catching machine, totaling 88 or more receptions every year of his career since his rookie season. Last year, the veteran had 109 receptions, the fourth-most among wide receivers and the fifth-most in the NFL.

Pittman averaged 4.5 receptions per game and a 22% target per route run rate in the two contests Anthony Richardson finished last season (per Fantasy Points Data). By comparison, the receiver averaged 7.3 and 29% in the 12 contests Gardner Minshew started. While Pittman remains a solid WR2 for fantasy players, his target volume should come down with the addition of Adonai Mitchell. Unfortunately, nothing suggests he will have eight or more receiving touchdowns this year.

Adam Thielen (WR – CAR)

  • 2023 PPR Finish – WR17 | 13.6 Fantasy Points Per Game
  • 2023 Non-PPR Finish – WR31 | 7.5 Fantasy Points Per Game

While he wasn’t the most consistent wide receiver in fantasy football last year, Thielen managed to have a top-20 finish in PPR. By comparison, the veteran finished outside the top 30 in non-PPR leagues. Thielen was the only reliable weapon Bryce Young had in 2023, posting a 23% target per route run rate, 7% higher than anyone else on the team with at least 40 targets (per Fantasy Points Data). Furthermore, he had 103 receptions last season, the ninth-most among wide receivers.

The veteran receiver has always been a high-catch player, totaling 92 or more receptions in seven of the past eight years, with the lone exception coming when he missed six games in 2019. Thielen was also a high touchdown producer during his time with the Minnesota Vikings, totaling 10 or more in two of his final three seasons with the team. However, he is a late-round pick regardless of scoring this year after the Panthers added Diontae Johnson and Xavier Legette to their wide receiver core.

Evan Engram (TE – JAX)

  • 2023 PPR Finish – TE2 | 13.5 Fantasy Points Per Game
  • 2023 Non-PPR Finish – TE6 | 6.8 Fantasy Points Per Game

Engram led all tight ends in several receiving categories, including receptions (114), targets (143), and routes run (581). He finished with at least 11.2% more receptions, targets, and routes run than any other tight end in 2023. However, the veteran ranked 12th among tight ends and 54th in the NFL with four receiving touchdowns. Yet, that wasn’t a surprise, as Engram has 18 receiving touchdowns in 84 career games since his rookie season (3.2% TD rate).

Therefore, fantasy players shouldn’t be shocked that the veteran averaged nearly twice as many fantasy points per game in PPR vs. non-PPR last year. However, that could change in 2024. Engram had five end zone targets last season, the third-most on the team (per Fantasy Points Data). The two guys with more were Calvin Ridley and Zay Jones. While the veteran could be better in non-PPR leagues this year, fantasy players should prioritize Engram in PPR leagues after the moves the Jaguars made at wide receiver this offseason.

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Mike Fanelli is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.

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