Fantasy football used to be a game played on legal pads and required newspapers to tally scores. This is going back to as early as the 1960s and 1970s. The growth of the game began to grow, as fantasy football Digest was one of the early publications put out by a set of friends, which reached a few thousand copies. Throughout the years since then, fantasy football has evolved as technology has evolved. We went from consuming most of our fantasy football advice through magazine isles at the grocery store to now getting instant analysis through websites and social media.
The standard scoring format has largely been the same throughout fantasy football’s history. Projecting and calculating just yards and touchdowns made it easier back in the day, it also dwindled the player pool down. However, that wasn’t much of the reason for using basic stats. Along came PPR scoring over the past few years. A few sites have made it their default scoring setting, while other sites at least have it as an option to consider.
So why has PPR scoring become so popular and is now the new norm? One of the main reasons is that it opens up more players to be drafted and picked up off the waiver wire. A standard scoring league is going to negate some players having any sort of value. Those running backs who only get third-down passing work have little to no fantasy worth in standard-scoring leagues. It also helped expand more fantasy value to wide receivers and tight ends. Overall it gives us more options to work with.
One of the other reasons why PPR has become is popular is that it balances out the weight of scoring touchdowns. When looking at touchdowns weekly, it is an extremely volatile thing to project. A running back who runs for 100 yards, and catches a few passes should have a noticeable difference in fantasy points than a running back who falls into the end zone from just a few yards out. The same goes for wide receivers and tight ends. It beefs up fantasy scoring a bit, and touchdowns still hold their weight, and we certainly want them. It just creates a better floor for fantasy players.
To branch out even further, we have seen a dynasty community and format explode. This league setting is about carrying over your whole roster year after year, ultimately recreating what it would be like to be a real NFL GM. You deal with incoming rookie classes, trade draft picks, and also make moves for long term effects as well. This differs from singular fantasy seasons where everything is short term.
PPR Vs. Standard
When looking at key differences between the two scoring systems, opening up the player pool is one of the more noticeable differences. We also see players that were already fantasy-relevant get major upgrades because they are running backs that also catch passes, or are wide receivers and tight ends who catch seven-eight passes a game. On draft day, this helps you build a roster because there are more options out there to take. It also helps during the season when injuries and byes come about because the pool of free agents is increased as well. Your bench and weekly options are going to look a lot better because of this scoring.
A receiver that puts up a 6-60-0 line is going to score six fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues. That jumps to 12 fantasy points in PPR leagues. And while everyone is in the same boat in standard leagues, the jump to PPR scoring makes those weekly matchups less dependent on a touchdown stat that is of high variance.
ESPN has had their foot in the fantasy football door for a long time, and they have had that advantage of being such a household name. With other big named sites having their product, but also plenty of sites that are specifically tied to fantasy football have come about as well. ESPN has its pros and cons. The design of the site has largely remained unchanged for some time and doesn’t offer a clean-cut feel in comparison to some of the others. However, it is easy to navigate still, and beginner users should have no issues finding what they need to do.
However, the mobile product is not ideal. To be fair, most of the sites need a major shakeup in mobile development. It is tough to use and fairly clunky when trying to navigate through it. With many of us wanting to check scores and adjust on the fly, we are not always at a computer. The lack of effort in their mobile product is disappointing.
ESPN has pumped money into their fantasy football analyst department, with Matthew Berry often looked at as the poster boy for all things fantasy football there. They have some bright minds behind their projections and do churn out weekly analysis for the less seasoned fantasy players. There are a lot of strong stat pages and ways to just simply view fantasy football numbers in general, but the design and mobile work are really what lacks.
They have also moved their default scoring setting to PPR, and they are now one of the two major sites to have done so. As far as customization for your league and team, ESPN has done a decent job of giving you plenty of options. If you are running a keeper league, there is no issue with doing that through ESPN. There is not much that separates customization from some of the major sites anymore, as the standard has become the new norm. The difficulty of setting things up on ESPN is fairly easy though.
There have been major strides in updating the NFL.com fantasy football department over recent years. As sites began to make it a priority, they did as well. We might not necessarily think of NFL.com as a powerhouse site for fantasy, as sites like Yahoo, MFL, ESPN, and CBS are referenced far more, and that is because they took an earlier initiative to dominate the industry.
NFL.com still has a strong presence, and they have cleaned up their interface. It is clean and simple, which is perfect for a lot of the beginner users that will use this site. They are also represented well on the NFL Network, which is a major plus for them. When you go to a stadium and see fantasy football stats across the Jumbotron, those will be from NFL.com. The mobile app is better than some of the other major sites, which is a clear edge that they have.
As far as information and stats go, they have put together a pretty good team of names, and have invested in outside talent. Embracing the fantasy football chaos was a little late on their part, but it has now taken up quite a bit of broadcast time as well as their weekly content goes.
Strategy Changes For PPR
You might have been flipping through each scoring format’s rankings and noticed some bigger differences within the three. That is because the changes from standard to PPR can cause some pretty big swings and also open up the player pool. Let’s look at a couple of quick examples of how value can change. A running back that dominates in rushing attempts that also catches over 50 balls per season is going to have elevated importance over other positions and players within the position. If a running back doesn’t get used much in the passing game, they are not going to have as much value and won’t be viewed as highly in fantasy rankings or ADP.
Tight ends and wide receivers have much more value in PPR formats, and that is a plus. Julio Jones has had a couple of down touchdown seasons, but his receptions and receiving yards have always been in the top one percent of the league in these numbers. In those weeks where Jones goes off for nine receptions, 150 yards, and no scores, his fantasy production is still very strong factoring in his receptions.
We want to be adding depth at wide receiver and running back positions, where it gives us options each week. Looking for running backs who work in the passing game will have the edge over others who don’t. Those wide receivers who catch 90-100 balls a year are going to have an advantage in this scoring format, even if they don’t find the end zone too often. Looking at the FLEX role, wide receivers have a slight edge when you look past the RB1, RB2, WR, and RB2 names. Going deeper into the list of names available for a FLEX, wide receivers will score a bit more than running backs. However, a running back who works in a third-down role or a heavy passing attack can also be used.
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PPR fantasy football Rankings Frequently Asked Questions
PPR stands for points per reception, which has become the popular default scoring system. Players will receive one fantasy point per reception. This was created to help make certain players more relevant and create a change in how different fantasy stats are weighted.
How Are PPR Points Calculated?
Points per reception points are only relevant for running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. Every reception your player records, it translates to one fantasy point for your team. If Christian McCaffrey has eight receptions, he will have eight fantasy points off receptions alone.
Do QBs Get Points In PPR?
Unless a quarterback catches a pass in a trick play, quarterbacks do not usually record points for receptions. Their fantasy points are still going to be dependent on how your league’s scoring format is set. Which is usually one point per 25 passing yards and four points for passing touchdowns.
What Position Should I Use In FLEX?
In PPR leagues, you are going to have some more options to work with. Wide receivers are a deeper position when it comes to PPR leagues, and they can do more on fewer touches in comparison to running backs that are outside the top 35 in scoring.
Is PPR Better Than Standard?
PPR has quite a bit of positive elements, like opening up scoring numbers each week, expanding useful fantasy players, and adding another aspect to researching for drafts. Standard makes touchdowns extremely important, which we can’t count on each week in comparison to receptions for a floor.