Fantasy football owners have more choices to make than ever.
This goes beyond the obvious decisions of which players to pick. Before even entering the draft room, gamers have an array of league formats and scoring systems. Most people still take the path of least resistance by creating standard snake drafts, and that’s just fine.
More participants, however, are traversing to the great beyond. Point-per-reception leagues have evolved from a fringe feature to the mainstream. With the industry rising in appeal, it’s easier than ever to find a group of committed guys and gals to form a dynasty league.
PPR gamers can’t abide by the traditional rankings, and dynasty managers must alter their strategy to ensure short- and long-term success. Here are some PPR rankings and dynasty tips to build a strong foundation.
And for those still stuck on the initial, least consequential choice of naming the fantasy squad, let’s start with some suggestions.
- Benn the Knee
- Flowers for Agholor
- Little Red Fournette
- Rudolph the Red-Zone Reindeer
- Dak to the Future
- Wentz Upon a Time
- Hooked on a Thielen
- A Van Down By the Rivers
- Stairway to Evans
- The Goulden Corral
Oh, you wanted names for your fantasy squad? Well in that case, definitely don’t pick an existing NFL moniker. Beyond that, it’s your team. Name it what you want.
PPR Rankings (Redraft)
- David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
- Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
- Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
- Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
- LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
- A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
- Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons
- Melvin Gordon, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
- DeMarco Murray, RB, Tennessee Titans
- Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
- Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
- Jay Ajayi, RB, Miami Dolphins
- Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
- Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
- T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts
- Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
- Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
- Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
- Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
- DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
- Brandin Cooks, WR, New England Patriots
- Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
- Lamar Miller, RB, Houston Texans
- Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
- Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
- Terrelle Pryor, WR, Washington
- Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
- Isaiah Crowell, RB, Cleveland Browns
- Michael Crabtree, WR, Oakland Raiders
- Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
- Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
- Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
- Ty Montgomery, RB, Green Bay Packers
- Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
- Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
- Carlos Hyde, RB, San Francisco 49ers
- Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
- Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders
- Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
- Danny Woodhead, RB, Baltimore Ravens
- Greg Olsen, TE, Carolina Panthers
- Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
- Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
- Bilal Powell, RB, New York Jets
- Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos
Biggest PPR Riser: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
The later the draft date, the tougher it will be to snag Christian McCaffrey at a reasonable price.
Fantasy managers enter every preseason reminding themselves not to get carried away over exhibition buzz. This year, McCaffrey is the incoming star to wipe away all sensibility with dazzling game film.
Take a look at the rookie running back’s Week 2 preseason highlights, courtesy of the NFL:
Fans and fantasy fiends aren’t the only ones impressed. Per ESPN.com’s David Newton, Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera discussed his excitement watching the versatile newcomer.
“You always hold your breath when he’s got the football,” Rivera said, “especially when he’s got space.”
McCaffrey, who set the NCAA’s single-season record for all-purpose yards (with 3,601) in 2015, has the makings of a PPR stud. He’s the perfect backfield complement to Jonathan Stewart, who registered just eight catches last year and hasn’t played more than 13 games in a season since 2011.
The neophyte should at least play a major role as a pass-catching back, but don’t be surprised when he eats into the veteran’s carries as well.
Don’t overpay in standard formats, as Stewart and Cam Newton likely won’t leave him many red-zone rushing opportunities. In a PPR league, take the plunge late in the third round or early in the fourth. There’s an increasingly probable chance he won’t last that long.
Target Young, Post-Hype Players
It happens every year. Following underwhelming rookie and sophomore campaigns, formerly hyped talent falls by the wayside. The next batch of neophytes absorb all the buzz, starting the cycle anew.
Yahoo Sports has trendy wide-receiver sleepers Zay Jones (No. 143) and Kenny Golladay (No. 162) ranked higher than Breshad Perriman (No. 165), Will Fuller (No. 174) and Kevin White (No. 179), a highly popular trio with health hazards. While Perriman and White will try to stay on the field, Fuller will miss part of the season with a broken collarbone.
Fuller teased drafters last year by opening his career with a pair of 100-yard outings, but he has the skills to make a major downfield impact alongside DeAndre Hopkins. Although investors may need to wait another year for a breakout, the Houston Texas drafting of DeShaun Watson boosted the 23-year-old wideout’s long-term value.
Corey Coleman (No. 121) is given more short-term respect despite recording 33 catches in 10 rookie games. Yet that’s still selling his ceiling short, especially from a dynasty standpoint. According to PlayerProfiler.com, last year’s No. 15 pick received a 22.6 percent target share when on the field, and now receptions leader Terrelle Pryor is now out of the picture.
Cleveland should give Coleman every chance to succeed, and he will likely be far easier to attain in dynasty formats than rookie receiver Corey Davis, whose unknown mystique will entice managers to overpay.
Balance Upside Picks with Consistent Performers
While chasing high-ceiling talent, be sure not to go overboard. Don’t be the dynasty manager who, blinded by potential, has spent the past decade overseeing a never-ending rebuild. Get some steady, boring contributors to support the lottery tickets.
This especially applies to gamers starting from scratch. Anyone who wants Dak Prescott or Carson Wentz will likely have to pay a premium for the second-year quarterbacks. The shrewd drafter will see if Kirk Cousins or Matthew Stafford, a pair of 29-year-old passers in their prime, slip instead.
Stafford won’t headline a juggernaut, but he will dutifully play his role. Once perceived as an injury liability, the Detroit Lions signal-caller has not missed a game since 2010. He has exceeded 4,250 passing yards in each of the past six seasons.
As a result, as noted by Nerdy Football’s Matt Camp, he joins Drew Brees and Russell Wilson as the only quarterbacks with an active five-year streak of top-15 position finishes in fantasy. Even though his peak is limited in a methodical passing offense that rarely stretched the field, not every selection should have a wide range of outcomes.
Pounce on steady contributors like C.J. Anderson, Michael Crabtree and Kyle Rudolph, who may slip in drafts or cost less in a trade. There will be plenty of opportunities to find the next star through the waiver wire and annual rookie drafts. It often pays to simply take the best value on the table.
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