What PPR means in fantasy football, and three picks to target in draft

USATSI/NBC Sports Bay Area

What PPR means in fantasy football, and three picks to target in draft

If you’re a fantasy football newbie, the most intimidating acronym just might be PPR.

First, take a deep breath. This is fantasy football, not real football, so nobody’s going to yell at you for not knowing what it is. Well, I can’t speak for the people in your fantasy football league, but I certainly won’t yell at you.

Second, that’s where I come in! This handy guide will explain what the PPR format is, and which players you should target in your fantasy football draft.

Here’s everything you need to know.

What is PPR?

PPR is an acronym that stands for “point per reception.” It is as simple as it sounds: For every catch a player on your fantasy team accrues, you earn a point.

Now, not all PPR leagues are created equal. Some leagues assign different point values per reception, ranging just about anywhere between zero and one. Make sure you check with your league manager to see how many points a reception is worth before you draft, as it will change your approach.

For the purposes of his guide, we’re going to assume one reception is worth one point.

I’m in a PPR league. What does that mean for my draft?

It means you’re going to need to look at players who catch a lot of passes and those who are targeted a lot. Let’s look at Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen as a case study.

In non-PPR leagues, Thielen’s most important numbers from last season were “1,373” and “nine.” The former represented his receiving yards, and the latter his touchdowns. Assuming receiving and rushing TDs are worth six points apiece and receiving and rushing yards are worth 0.1 points per yard, Thielen accumulated 182.3 points in 2018.

That was enough to make him one of the best wide receivers in standard fantasy leagues last year, but he was even more valuable in PPR leagues. He tied for fourth with 113 receptions last season, meaning he would have been worth an additional 113 points.

Most of the top receivers in standard leagues are going to get that kind of volume, but knowing who is targeted most often can make a big difference at some important positions.

Who should I target? 

All four of the players below are examples of skill-position players (one wide receiver, running back, and tight end) whose stock is boosted by their pass-catching ability. 

James White, Patriots RB
White rushed for a respectable 425 yards on 94 carries and added four touchdowns last season. His 751 receiving yards and seven receiving TDs made him a low-end RB1 or really strong RB2 in standard leagues, but his 87 receptions made him a borderline elite RB1 in PPR leagues. 

Sony Michel figures to get the bulk of the carries in New England, but Bill Belichick’s constant backfield tinkering and Brady’s clear chemistry with White still makes him a viable fantasy option. 

Jarvis Landry, Browns WR
Did you know that, through the first five years of their career, no wide receiver in NFL history has more catches than Jarvis Landry? Quit your yards-per-reception jokes, the guy has sure hands! 

Even with LSU teammate Odell Beckham, Jr. joining him in the Dawg Pound, Landry’s going to catch plenty of passes from Baker Mayfield this season. He won’t be your WR1, but he could be your WR2 or even your flex. 

Zach Ertz, Eagles TE
Travis Kelce was the king of the tight ends in 2018 and retains the crown headed into 2019. But Zach Ertz closes that gap in PPR formats. 

He is a favorite of now-healthy Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz, and Ertz caught a career-high 116 passes last season. That was enough to propel him over 49ers tight end George Kittle for second-best at the position in PPR formats, and is something to keep in mind if (read: when) you miss out on Kelce. 

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George Kittle returns to practice, expected to play vs. Washington

George Kittle returns to practice, expected to play vs. Washington

SANTA CLARA -- 49ers tight end George Kittle showed up on the injury report with a groin strain last Friday. Two days later, he looked completely healthy going up against the Los Angeles Rams.

Kittle was held out of practice on Wednesday, but he returned to limited work during the 49ers’ padded work on Thursday at their team facility. Kittle downplayed the team’s report of his physical condition and is expected to play Sunday against Washington.

Kittle caught eight passes for 103 yards in the 49ers’ 20-7 victory over the Rams on Sunday.

However, the 49ers had seven players who did not participate in Thursday's practice. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk, tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon remain out of action.

[RELATED: McGlinchey had tough time watching 49ers' win from home]

Running back Raheem Mostert (knee), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) and nose tackle D.J. Jones (hamstring) sustained injuries in the 49ers’ win over the Rams that have kept them from practicing thus far this week.

49ers practice report

Did not practice
DT D.J. Jones (hamstring)
FB Kyle Juszczyk (knee)
T Mike McGlinchey (knee)
RB Raheem Mostert (knee)
WR Deebo Samuel (groin)
T Joe Staley (fibula)
CB Ahkello Witherspoon (foot)

DE Dee Ford (quadricep)
TE George Kittle (groin)
CB K'Waun Williams (hand)

Washington practice report

Did not practice
S Deshazor Everett (ankle)
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (hamstring)
G Wes Martin (chest)  
CB Josh Norman (thigh, hand)
RB Chris Thompson (toe)

TE Vernon Davis (concussion)

Full participation
QB Case Keenum (right shoulder, foot)
RB Adrian Peterson (quadricep)

Arik Armstead not thinking about contract amid breakout year for 49ers

Arik Armstead not thinking about contract amid breakout year for 49ers

SANTA CLARA — Not too long ago, 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead had trouble staying on the field and was labeled as someone who was not living up to first-round expectations. 

Armstead only was able to suit up for 14 games from 2016-2017, landing on injured reserve both seasons. But fast-forward to Week 7 of 2019, and Armstead is making a case for huge contract after he closes out his fifth season with San Francisco.

Armstead is set to have a career-best season, as he's already racked up 2.5 sacks, four quarterback hits, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and 20 total tackles, four of which were for a loss. The 49ers defense has been bolstered by several offseason additions, including edge rushers Dee Ford and Nick Bosa, and Armstead has been reaping the rewards. 

“It’s been great,” Armstead told NBC Sports Bay Area. “As a whole defense, they’ve had a big impact. It’s fun playing with great players. Those guys are extremely talented and they bring a whole different element to the defense.” 

With the edges sealed up, Armstead has been able to enjoy putting his hand in the dirt next to long-time teammate DeForest Buckner. The two have been playing together since their time at the University of Oregon. Both former Ducks stand 6-foot-7, and limit a quarterback's downfield vision tremendously. 

“Super fun, like it’s always been going out there with a great friend,” Armstead said. “We’ve been going to battle together for a long time. Just trying to go out there and dominate and have an impact on our team like we have had over the years.” 

Armstead won’t admit thinking about if his NFL future includes playing with the 49ers beyond this year. He has been focused on each opponent as they come, while enjoying the team’s victories -- at least just a little bit. 

“I’m just taking it week by week,” Armstead said. “Contract stuff, it’s out of my control. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen with that. All I can focus on is preparing for the game and try to go out there and dominate and win my matchups and show what I can do.”

[RELATED: How 49ers will attack trade deadline at every position]

Armstead has used his production on the field not only to increase his own future contract value, but also to fund equal opportunities in education for underserved youth in his home town of Sacramento. He is donating $1,000 dollars for every sack and $250 for every tackle he makes this season to his foundation. He previously raised $100,000 at his charity gala to fund programs. 

One of the events that Armstead created with his foundation was a trip for 30 students to spend the entire day at 49ers headquarters. They participated in a career panel with 49ers employees as well as getting a tour of the facility.

For more information on donating to Armstead’s foundation, visit www.arikarmstead91.com.