Receptions are a big thing — but not the only thing — in PPR leagues. Yards and touchdowns still matter most, so even though someone like Derrick Henry moves down in our fantasy RB PPR rankings, he still has plenty of value. Likewise, reception-machines like Tarik Cohen and James White move up, but they’re not suddenly elite running backs. Keeping a balance between “traditional” workhorse backs and receiving specialists can give you a good blend of consistency and upside, as well as help you find the right sleepers and breakout candidates.
The subtle movers in the top tier can be easy to overlook. Everyone knows Alvin Kamara is an elite receiver, but Kenyan Drake is a possible breakout candidate who can be had for a slightly lower cost. Drake averaged 5.5 targets and 3.7 receptions in six games with the Cardinals last year. That averages to just under 59 receptions over a 16-game season, which would have tied him for ninth among all RBs last year. With Kyler Murray a year more experienced and Drake having a full offseason in the Cardinals system, it’s entirely possible that number increases even more.
2020 STANDARD FANTASY RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Defense | Kicker | Top 200
On the flip side you have Leonard Fournette, who surprised almost everyone with 76 receptions last season. That number is likely to come down this year with the addition of Chris Thompson. Given his history, it’s safe to say Thompson won’t stay healthy all year, but Fournette, while still gaining some value in PPR leagues, might be overvalued.
Along those lines, it’s important to know which back in a committee will be the preferred pass-catcher. Again, this doesn’t mean they’ll have more value, but it might mean they have more value than most realize. We prefer Phillip Lindsay to Melvin Gordon in standard leagues, but Gordon should have the edge in PPR formats. Similarly, we prefer JK Dobbins to Mark Ingram, James White to Sony Michel, Matt Breida to Jordan Howard, and Antonio Gibson to Adrian Peterson in PPR. It’s possible touchdowns will ultimately give the latter halves of those duos more value, but if carries are relatively close, then we’ll stick with the far superior receivers in PPR formats. Given the ages/relative mediocrity of some of the veteran backs, we foresee more of an overall workload split than many think.
Regardless, having a few “receiving backs” gives your team a higher floor in PPR leagues, as they’re not totally reliant on touchdowns, heavy workloads, or big plays. You’ll have to deal with the occasional dud, but that’s true of most players at most positions. Ideally you’d have a team full of Saquon Barkley’s and Christian McCaffrey’s, but since that isn’t possible, you have to crunch the numbers and look for advantages where you can find them.
We’ll continue to update our RB PPR rankings throughout the preseason. Check back for updates. For our standard RB rankings, click here.
2020 Fantasy RB PPR Rankings
The following rankings are for full-point PPR leagues.
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