The PPR craze around the fantasy football landscape has changed the value of receivers. More often than not, receivers are going to outscore running backs in PPR, and successful fantasy owners need to have production out of their receivers. Plus, leagues with a flex spot should absolutely be using a receiver over a running back or a tight end for higher floors and ceilings on lower-end players.
Because of the value of receivers, a lot of fantasy owners will go into a draft with a zero-RB plan, which is dangerous territory. Basically, owners won’t take a running back until the middle rounds and try to dominate everywhere else, hoping they hit on a lottery ticket or on the waiver wire. While that isn’t the most plausible plan, going zero-WR in a PPR is just foolish. The upside is too high and they’re too valuable.
receiver has quickly become the most valuable PPR asset for receivers. In fact, you could argue he will outscore any running back this season in PPR leagues. He’s also less likely to get hurt, so there’s a case to take him first overall in PPR. To nobody's surprise, all seven of us have Brown as the No. 1 receiver, which is a testament to his sky-high ceiling and elite floor.
Other possible first-round targets for PPR
After Brown, none of us are in agreement on the top three, but, , , Odell Beckham Jr., and all seem to be somewhat close. Most of these guys have some injury concerns, especially Johnson. Megatron was basically everyone’s No. 1 receiver for drafts last year, but numerous injuries led to decreased production. He and Beckham figure to be the biggest boom-or-bust guys in this tier. Personally, I don’t see how you can let Demaryius, Dez or Julio fall out of the first round.
Let’s take a quick look at how our rankings compare beyond the top 10 to others out there. This is based on our rankings vs. the average ADPs of MyFantasyLeague.com and Fantasy Football Calculator.
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Who we like
, -- A couple of our rankings have Maclin in the top 15, but only one of us has him outside of the top 23. Maclin’s ADP is WR29 right now, which would be a steal. Yes, we all know how much trouble the Chiefs had with their receivers scoring the ball last year, but Maclin is much more talented than Dwayne Bowe. He should be a popular red zone target with coach Andy Reid, all while getting some production between the 20s.
, -- We have him at WR28 compared to WR44 on the ADP. Most people don’t like the Jets offense, but they have a great offensive line and Decker is going to have some big games this year.
Who We Don’t Like
, -- This one is a little tough for me to write because I have AJ as WR18, which is the highest among our writers. Presumably, there is some concern about receiver taking away his targets and maybe Johnson’s age is a factor. For me, the Colts are going to score a ton, be pass-happy and they play in a dome. We have him as WR26 compared to the ADP sitting at WR18.
, -- His ADP is WR26 and we have him at WR31. The Dolphins are tricky. With tight end around, it’s going to be a little tougher to project who gets the targets between the numbers. Plus, don’t forget about DeVante Parker, and even Greg Jennings. The inconsistency is a little too scary to take him as a high-end WR3.
, Pittsburgh Steelers -- Most of us are fans of Bryant, but we have a couple guys who aren’t ready to ante up for a wide receiver with little experience. He could be an absolute superstar, but you’ll basically have to pay a WR2 price to get him. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has said Bryant won’t start, but it sure sounds like a smokescreen. He’s arguably the most popular pick for breakout receiver. His ADP is WR23 and he’s just WR34 for us. For what it’s worth, WR23 in PPR is really, really high. He may be worth that in standard, though.
(DK: Daniel Kelley; DC: Dan Ciarrocchi; AW: Alex Welch; JD: John Daigle; KA: Kenneth Arthur; SK: Scott Kaliska; MG: Michael Gallagher)
|6||Odell Beckham Jr.||NYG||6||5||5||6||7||5||7|
|33||Steve Smith Sr.||BAL||25||32||37||36||24||33||43|
|--||Cecil Shorts III||HOU||42||--||--||--||45||--||--|
SB Nation archives: Rules to follow in your fantasy football league (2014)