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What is a PPR League?

What is a PPR League?
by Ray of

At this point, the definition of what a standard fantasy football league is has become pretty cloudy. Sure the idea for the most part is the same. You start skill position players and you get points based on their touchdowns and yardage gained. Of course there are variations as to how many players you start and their point values, but for the most part that is a standard fantasy football league.

However, there is another wrinkle to fantasy football leagues that seems to be growing in popularity. That is the PPR (point per reception league). On a simplistic level, it sounds like exactly what it is. For every reception your players get, you get a point. Of course whether or not you actually get a point, or half a point, or any other point value per reception is dependent upon your league. But that is what a PPR league is. Whether you are playing in a standard league or a PPR league will have some impact on your draft board and strategy.

What is a PPR league? A PPR or point per reception league is a format of fantasy football where in addition to receiving points for the yardage gained and touchdowns scored by your running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, you also receive points for every reception they have.

What is the appeal of a PPR league? I would say there are 2 basic factors at work here.

More points

Quite simply, we like action. That's why we are playing fantasy football in the first place. In these formats, more points are scored. That makes watching the games and following the matchup more exciting. There are more things that can happen and more ways for you to earn points. This helps to keep a lot of fantasy matchups closer than they would otherwise be.

It gives players more value than they would otherwise have.

In standard formats the possession receiver that catches 7 passes for 50 yards is not that valuable. You would rather the big play receiver that is going to catch 2 passes for 60 yards and a touchdown. That receiver would be ranked higher for sure. But in a PPR format, they both would score the same amount of points. That certainly adds an interesting wrinkle to player evaluation. The perception of running backs is changed as well. It does not matter as much if your running back is a tank that carries the ball 25 times per game, but what happens on third down? Does he come out of the game, or can he catch a pass or two out of the backfield? That can give you an edge against your competition.

Do some positions now become more valuable than others?

From a points perspective, this does not change the fact that quarterbacks are the highest earners as far as fantasy points go.

Tight ends are still 4th as a whole, but individually those tight ends that catch 80 or 90 balls a season are now elevated to elite or near-elite wide receiver status. In standard formats, the knock on tight ends, is that for the most part they don't gain as many yards or score as many touchdowns so that keeps their value down. But if you then add 80 or 90 points, they suddenly become more valuable. And in some cases they are more consistent in their performance as well which is a help.

Again, as a whole I would still say that running backs are more valuable than wide receivers, but you do need to reevaluate your draft board. The top will not change, but the elite wide receivers that are catching 85 balls a season, gaining a ton of yards and finding the end zone often, are more valuable. Their value is now closer to that of the top running backs. As far as the running backs go, it ultimately comes down to if they catch passes or not. The elite running backs are still first or second round options, but you do need to adjust for their receiving skills. And those running backs that might not gain as many rushing yards but are active in the passing game, are suddenly more valuable than the plodding running backs that are nonexistent in the passing game.

What to do with your flex position?

Now, receivers are more valuable in some cases when you are looking to fill your flex spot. If your running back and wide receiver gain the same amount of yards, the wide receiver is more valuable by the number of receptions they had. So when making your decision, you have to look at the probability of a touchdown, and the consistency of the reception total. A receiver that will consistently get 5 or 6 receptions is more valuable than a running back that might score a touchdown.

If you are going to create a PPR league, how should you structure it?

Keep the roster positions the same. Regardless of the points structure, create the league first based on the player pool you want to use.

Depending on the point structure for everything other than receptions, use the PPR format to make the values of each position as equitable as possible or as equitable as you want them to be.

So the question is, is a PPR league right for you? It is a little more exciting and higher scoring, and it changes the evaluation of some players. If that is a leap that you want to make, I do not think you will be disappointed. And after playing in PPR leagues, you might feel a little empty returning to standard leagues. There is something exciting about seeing 175 point totals each week. It makes you feel good, and most importantly, it is fun.

Better yet, skip the hassle of trying to organize a league and trying to find balance and go sign up at Draftstreet where you can get in PPR leagues and draft a new team each week. Should you decide to open an account and deposit, you can get a 100% bonus (opposed to their standard 20% offer) if you use promo code ROTOPICKS when you sign up! Check it out, you'll be so glad that you did!

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