This strategy guide contains excerpts of our Value Based Drafting Strategy Guide. We would recommend you read that first before reading our other guides. This guide will also reference a lot of the points made in our Standard Scoring Strategy. We recommend you read that as a baseline, even if you are not playing in a standard scoring league this year.
Over the last half a dozen years or so, the biggest shift in Fantasy Football has been that it is Points Per Reception (PPR) and not Standard Scoring, that is now the new “norm” for leagues.
PPR means there is more competition for flex spots, and makes elite WRs even more relevant in the format. However the elite Running Backs will still rule this format. In the previous 18 years, 10 times the number 1 player in scoring has been a Running Back. In addition to that, 6 times a QB has finished number one in scoring, and Wide Receivers, just twice.
If you haven’t read our Value Based Drafting Strategy Guide, or our Standard Scoring Strategy guide, then hit pause on this guide, and read those first.
As with Standard Scoring, the principles of waiting for a QB, K and DST are even more relevant. Because the floors of Wide Receivers and the value of Running Backs who catch mean there is more elite talent, and therefore sharper cliffs in drafts.
Therefore the keys to having a good 1Pt PPR Draft is:
- Grab a Running Back who will catch 50 passes in the first round, and doubling up might not be the worst play.
- Targeting high volume WRs over deep threat explosive WRs is the safer player in the middle rounds.
- Don’t be afraid to grab a slot receiver or two late on in drafts.
Grab a Running Back who will catch 50 passes in the first round, and doubling up might not be the worst play.
In four of the last six seasons in which the a Quarterback led overall PPR scoring, the leading Running Back has outscored the top-scoring Wide Receiver. And to expand on that, and looking at the top 5 RBs in PPR scoring, 76 of the 90 since 2001 have managed at least 40 catches, and all 85 top five finish Running Backs have averaged over 50 catches in that corresponding season.
What does this mean? If there is a Running Back with at least 50 Receptions, then you should be targeting these in the first and second round. In 2018, 17 Running Backs hit this threshold of which 15 of these finished in the top 25 Running Backs in PPR. And in 2017 14 Running backs hit this threshold and 11 of these finished in the top 25 Running Backs in PPR.
Running Backs getting 50 catches isn’t common, therefore they are absolute gold. If you can select two of these backs, you have a significant positional advantage over the rest of the league. What is also great, is that if you are a safety first player, getting these types of Running Back will give you a very safe floor. Don’t be afraid to go Running Back/Running Back in drafts in PPR.
Targeting high volume WRs over deep threat explosive WRs is the safer player in the middle rounds.
When it comes to rounds 5-9 in your drafts, you start to see some very attractive and exciting fantasy names in your drafts, especially for WRs.
DeSean Jackson, Courtland Sutton, Tyler Lockett, Sammy Watkins, Corey Davis. These are all players that are projected by analysts to have around 60 catches or less. Which means to be worth the pick, they need to produce at an elite level. Personally we think Lockett can do that, but think he will need more targets to help with that. Just because Doug Baldwin has retired, it does not mean there are extra targets available. Targets have to be earned, and they get earned with production. Lockett could earn that, but players like Watkins, Sutton, Davies need to earn that production. Jackson is different. He will get yards off of big plays. But he won’t see a high volume of receptions.
So in the middle rounds, why not look at players who are going to get the targets and therefore the receptions. Tyler Boyd, especially with the health concerns of A.J Green, should have over 80 receptions this year. Kenny Golladay and Cooper Kupp should see upwards of 75 receptions this year, due to the volume they will receive. Robbie Anderson and Chris Godwin are two more players that should receive that volume. That already gives these players a 15-30 point head start on the players in the paragraph above for the season. But then you factor in that more receptions should yield more production. If someone catches 15-30 passes more, it is more likely they produce more yards.
Yes there is some rare anomalies and outliers, but when looking at your tiers and projections, don’t go for the splashy, highlight reel guys who bust off 40 yard catches. Follow the targets and follow the receptions. Because by doing this, you will get the points bonuses for the format, and most likely more yards.
Don’t be afraid to grab a slot receiver or two late on in drafts.
Following on from above, there are some guys going in drafts for practically nothing that could very well lead their teams in targets and receptions.
PPR scoring massively inflates the volume of slot receivers, especially in bad offenses, due to the number of targets they receive. This is mostly due to a Quarterback not having many other options they favour, due to confidence, talent in the wide positions, depth in the wide positions, scheme, or an adequate Offensive Line.
There are 4 players, that Murf projects will catch between 70-82 balls that all will lead their teams in targets, going at the earliest the 10th round, and as late as undrafted. So that is 70-82 points just from the catches, before the yards to produce. 700 yards, 3 TDs off 80 catches equals 168 points. This would have been good enough for the WR34 in 2018 and the WR32 in 2017. And you are drafting these players as your WR5-WR7 on your team.
So who are these players? They are:
Albert Wilson Jr.
Drafting one or two of these four slot players gives you viable options for your bye weeks. But with their high volume, their ceiling is high. Turn that 700 yards into 850. And those 3TDs into 6. Then you get the WR23 in 2018 and the WR19 in 2017. There is very little risk, but a huge amount of upside.
They won’t break the internet with their catches, and they won’t make too many highlights in the highlight packages, but their effective, efficient, volume based production will be taking you all the way to the playoffs, and beyond in 2019.
How it plays out in a draft?
So how a 2019 PPR draft will play out typically is as follows:
Rd1- Expect the first 6 picks to be RBs- Barkley, CMC, Zeke, Kamara, Gordon, Johnson.
Picks 7-12 You can expect to see Hopkins, Adams and maybe Julio to come off the board, plus a combination of Bell, Gurley, Conner, Mixon.
Rd2- A mix of RBs and WRs plus maybe Kelce
The fallout of one of the above, plus Williams, Cook, Jones, Fournette, Chubb, with WRs OBJ, Thomas, Juju Smith Schuster, Antonio Brown, Tyreek Hill now, Mike Evans and Keenan Allen plus Travis Kelce
Rd3- Still a mix of RBs and WRs.
Thielen, Cooper, Diggs, AJ Green, Ty Hilton at WR with Freeman, Johnson, Jones, Henry, Mack, and maybe Jacobs. You might see Ertz and Kittle go in this format around here as well. Mahomes has an ADP in this round
Rd4- Load up on RBs
Any RBs that have dropped from the above list should be considered plus Drake and Ingram. Ingram for us here is a reach here. If all gone, you need to be grabbing one of the following: Any of the previous mentioned WRs, Woods, Cooks, Golladay, Edelman. If the TE’s have fallen, feel free to grab one here.
Rd5- Depending on whether you are 2RB 2WR or 3WR 1RB or 3RB 1WR, keep loading up
WRs expected to go, Kupp, Boyd, Lockett, Godwin, Ridley, DJ Moore, Mike Williams and RBs: James White, David Montgomery, Chris Carson, Sony Michel, Tarik Cohen. We tend to go RB here unless short on WR as the RBs fall off a cliff soon after the players mentioned. Oj Howard and Evan Engram with maybe Hunter Henry going around this point. You might also see Rodgers, Luck and Watson go in these rounds
Rd6- Time to start looking for value.
Depending on where you are at this point, it’s time to finish off getting your running back stable. If any of the RBs have fallen they have to be a top priority here. The only RBs with a 6th rd ADP are Lamar Miller and Darrell henderson and Tevin Coleman. If none of the RBs have fallen, Miller should be the only RB you should consider. 6th Round WRs are Alshon Jeffrey, Dante Pettis, Jarvis Landry, Sammy Watkins. Again, other than Pettis, look at the players above who have fallen due to those who have taken QBs early. Rd 6 is the point that you want to nab a faller and get that value.
Rds7-9- Keep Loading Up. Stay Patient on QB. Maybe grab a TE.
If you haven’t grabbed a TE then this range of picks is where you want to grab one. Vance McDonald, Jared Cook, Austin Hooper, Eric Ebron are all guys to grab here if there limited options on the board. Don’t reach for these guys, our PPG projections between this tier of TE is between 0.5-1.7 PPG difference so just wait until the options are getting limited, then grab one.
If you have grabbed a TE already, then look in rounds 7-8 for value. Players to target here are Robby Anderson, Ronald Jones, Royce Freeman, Marvin Jones, Dede Westbrook, Sterling Shepard, maybe Will Fuller. Latavius Murray and Rashaad Penny and even Austin Eckler are worth an explore in these rounds.
If you have got to Rd 9 with 4 great RBs, 3 Great WRs and a TE, then look at the QBs on the board. If you can snag a Winston, Ryan, Wilson or Cam Newton in this round that’s worth the price. If you are near the back end of round 9, and you have a pick of these guys, wait until round 10 then punch their ticket.
Rds 10-12– Get Your QB if you don’t have him
Grab a QB in Rounds 10-11, target a top 12QB.
This is where you want to grab Wide Receivers. If you have a roster of 5RBs 2WRs TE and QB you should be feeling ok, as there are some steals to grab here that are more than good enough. Dede Westbrook if he has fallen, Albert Wilson, David Moore, Trey Quinn, Marvin Jones, DeSean Jackson, Christian Kirk are all guys you can grab here to pad out your receiver line. So many good options here, this is where you can make your hay.
Rounds 13-14- Get some handcuffs
You might want to move up one round to get these and sleep on Quinn or David Moore. Absolutely fine and a smart play. Depends on your roster needs as this point.
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