With just over three weeks left before NFL training camps open, these are my updated Top 150 Rankings for PPR leagues. Fantasy leaguers just now getting into the swing of things should note ESPN adjusted their standard leagues to points-per-reception scoring, acknowledging a shift in PPR’s growing popularity and diminished interest in touchdown-driven formats. Succeeding in PPR leagues requires more skill simply because there is a new dimension of scoring to account for, more points to go around, and lessened emphasis on touchdowns, which are fickle in nature.
The most common argument against PPR goes something like this: “A reception for -2 yards is worth more than a 7-yard carry!” Which, is true. It is also true that negative-yardage receptions accounted for just 2.8% of the NFL’s completions over the past three seasons, and are low-probability outcomes. From a process standpoint, receptions and pass attempts in general are the most valuable plays in football. Whereas the average pass attempt gained around 6.8 yards last season, the average run play netted roughly 4.2 yards. The average pass completion gained nearly 11.0 yards. In both real life and fantasy football, it is more appropriate and realistic than not for participants to be rewarded for receptions due to the increasingly pass-first and pass-friendly nature of the on-field action.
While adjusting scoring rules in fantasy football toward a state of perfection remains a work in progress, I am in favor of the shift toward PPR as the industry’s dominant scoring system.
For deeper writeups on these ranked players, you can keep tabs on my Team Fantasy Preview series.
1. David Johnson (RB1) – Drafting D.J. is like drafting a running back and wide receiver in one pick.
2. Le’Veon Bell (RB2) – Outscored D.J. in PPR points/game. Steelers O is even stronger on paper.
3. Antonio Brown (WR1) – The last time A.B. didn’t lead all WRs in PPR points, the year was 2013.
4. Julio Jones (WR2) – New OC Sarkisian promises to increase Jones’ RZ involvement this year.
5. Odell Beckham (WR3) – Yet to finish outside the top-5 fantasy receivers through 3 NFL seasons.
6. A.J. Green (WR4) – Led all WRs in receiving yards & PPR points before his season-ending injury.
7. Ezekiel Elliott (RB3) – Off-field concerns make Zeke a high-risk investment in best-ball leagues.
8. LeSean McCoy (RB4) – Outlook improved by loss of Mike Gillislee, who swiped nine TDs in ‘16.
9. Melvin Gordon (RB5) – Gordon was the PPR RB3 before PCL sprain ended season last Week 14.
10. Mike Evans (WR5) – Likely to lose 30+ targets off last year’s total. Overvalued at his 1.07 ADP.
11. Jordy Nelson (WR6) – Jordy has been a top-2 fantasy WR in three of his last four full seasons.
12. DeMarco Murray (RB6) – Every-down back in high-ceiling offense. Derrick Henry overvalued.
13. Jay Ajayi (RB7) – Finished 4th in NFL in rushing. Dolphins want Ajayi’s receiving role to grow.
14. Devonta Freeman (RB8) – Limited volume ceiling, but lead RB in NFC’s most explosive offense.
15. Michael Thomas (WR7) – WR9 (non-PPR) & WR7 (PPR) finishes as rookie. Brandin Cooks gone.
16. Rob Gronkowski (TE1) – NFL’s premier TD scorer on what could be NFL’s highest-scoring team.
17. Jordan Howard (RB9) – Averaged 20.2 touches, 114.5 total yards per game from Week 4 on.
18. Doug Baldwin (WR8) – Top-10 PPR WR finishes back to back. Healthy Russell Wilson will help.
19. Dez Bryant (WR9) – Has caught 10 touchdowns from Prescott over their last 11 full games.
20. T.Y. Hilton (WR10) – Andrew Luck’s throwing-arm surgery is becoming an increasing concern.
21. Amari Cooper (WR11) – 3rd-year WR coming off consecutive 1,000-yard years. Just turned 23.
22. Travis Kelce (TE2) – Topped 100 receiving yards in 3/4 games missed by Jeremy Maclin in ‘16.
23. Todd Gurley (RB10) – Again high risk. Volume-based fantasy commodity on low-scoring team.
24. Leonard Fournette (RB11) – Jags centerpiece offers highest volume ceiling in rookie RB class.
25. Sammy Watkins (WR12) – Gamble I’m willing to take. Top-5 WR upside if he plays 14+ games.
26. Larry Fitzgerald (WR13) – Grossly undervalued. Has over 100 catches, 1,000 yds back to back.
27. DeAndre Hopkins (WR14) – Quarterback concerns remain, but Nuk is a lock for 140+ targets.
28. Allen Robinson (WR15) – High-variance WR2 pick hurt by Jaguars’ defensive improvement.
29. Demaryius Thomas (WR16) – Bubble screens expected to return. 90+ catches 5 straight years.
30. Lamar Miller (RB12) – D’Onta Foreman an overrated worry. Still locked-in Texans feature RB.
31. Joe Mixon (RB13) – Concerning floor, but offers highest peak potential in this rookie RB class.
32. Terrelle Pryor (WR17) – Pryor offers high TD, yardage ceilings in vacated DeSean Jackson role.
33. Davante Adams (WR18) – TD regression candidate, but role-secure No. 2 option for Rodgers.
34. Golden Tate (WR19) – 90+ catches all 3 years in Detroit. Departure of Anquan Boldin helps.
35. Brandin Cooks (WR20) – Better best-ball & DFS tournament than re-draft-league investment.
36. Jarvis Landry (WR21) – Volume-dependent producer losing volume on run-heavy Dolphins.
37. Stefon Diggs (WR22) – Played at 103.4-reception pace last year, but lost three games to injury.
38. Keenan Allen (WR23) – Health & volume concerns. Still heavy favorite to lead Bolts in targets.
39. Aaron Rodgers (QB1) – Has finished as top-two fantasy quarterback in 7 of the last 9 seasons.
40. Isaiah Crowell (RB14) – Secure lead back behind upgraded O-Line. Likely lacks elite RB1 ceiling.
41. Ty Montgomery (RB15) – Converted WR now heavy favorite for lead RB work in top-5 offense.
42. Carlos Hyde (RB16) – Amid job security concerns, Hyde took all 49ers first-team reps in spring.
43. Alshon Jeffery (WR24) – Made it through spring healthy. Should lead PHI in receiving yds, TDs.
44. Martavis Bryant (WR25) – Return more real every day. Reportedly beasted in OTA practices.
45. Tyreek Hill (WR26) – 4.29 burner inherits Chiefs top wideout role after Jeremy Maclin release.
46. Julian Edelman (WR27) – Safe WR3 lacks last year’s ceiling with Pats influx of offensive talent.
47. Christian McCaffrey (RB17) – Overvalued amid uncertain goal-line role, pass-game production.
48. Jordan Reed (TE3) – Always injury risk, but shoo-in top-3 PPR tight end if he lasts 12+ games.
49. Emmanuel Sanders (WR28) – Split stats suggest he will smash ADP if Siemian keeps QB job.
50. Michael Crabtree (WR29) – I think Amari Cooper takes step forward, Crabtree slight step back.
51. Jamison Crowder (WR30) – 100-catch candidate.
52. Willie Snead (WR31) – Great floor, underrated ceiling.
53. Tom Brady (QB2) – Added Cooks and healthy Gronk.
54. Greg Olsen (TE4) – Top-7 fantasy TE 5 straight years.
55. Drew Brees (QB3) – Top-6 fantasy QB in 11 straight.
56. Marshawn Lynch (RB18) – Last an effective RB in '14.
57. Pierre Garcon (WR32) – Likely target monster as 49ers lone wideout with high-volume history.
58. Jeremy Maclin (WR33) – See Garcon. Ravens have led NFL in pass attempts 2 straight years.
59. Mark Ingram (RB19) – Saints RB distribution a mystery. Has big receiving edge on Peterson.
60. Dalvin Cook (RB20) – MIN not ideal landing spot, but heavy favorite for Vikings lead RB work.
61. Tevin Coleman (RB21) – Volatile RB2/flex with top-5 upside if Devonta Freeman misses time.
62. Kelvin Benjamin (WR34) – Despite conditioning concerns, maintains double-digit TD potential.
63. Adrian Peterson (RB22) – High-ceiling middle-round target playing in best offense of career.
64. Donte Moncrief (WR35) – Post-hype target in contract year. Scored in 7/9 games last season.
65. DeSean Jackson (WR36) – Great spiked-week WR3 if you are willing to embrace down games.
66. Danny Woodhead (RB23) – Has been a top-12 PPR back in each of his last two full seasons.
67. Mike Gillislee (RB24) – Zero in pass game, but Gillislee offers double-digit rushing TD upside.
68. Bilal Powell (RB25) – Expected to take over as Jets’ lead back, likely as 1A to Matt Forte’s 1B.
69. Eddie Lacy (RB26) – Very high risk, but favorite for carries/GL work in efficient Seahawks O.
70. Spencer Ware (RB27) – Taking stand here that Ware holds off Kareem Hunt for starting job.
71. Brandon Marshall (WR37) – Now 33 years old with heavy target competition & declining QB.
72. John Brown (WR38) – Smokey can be one of this year’s biggest steals if he refinds 2015 form.
73. Eric Decker (WR39) – High-efficiency RZ weapon meets NFL’s top RZ quarterback in Mariota.
74. Doug Martin (RB28) – Suspended Wks 1-3. All offseason reports on Martin have been glowing.
75. DeVante Parker (WR40) – 3rd-year breakout candidate reportedly turned in dominant spring.
76. Randall Cobb (WR41) – Cheap, middle-round way to get exposure to high-octane pass game.
77. Russell Wilson (QB4) – Limited by ankle/knee injuries throughout ‘16. Top-3 QB in ‘14 & ‘15.
78. Jimmy Graham (TE5) – Had dominant stretches in 2016. Further removed from patellar tear.
79. Theo Riddick (RB29) – Has averaged over 5.0 receptions per game over the last two seasons.
80. Andrew Luck (QB5) – Top-4 QB in 3 of last 4 seasons. Rehabbing from throwing-arm surgery.
81. Frank Gore (RB30) – Lead role secure, but Robert Turbin & Marlon Mack pose usage threats.
82. Derrick Henry (RB31) – Great talent, but needs severe DeMarco Murray injury to hit ceiling.
83. Paul Perkins (RB32) – Likely not a high-upside target, but favorite for lead RB work on Giants.
84. Jordan Matthews (WR42) – More target competition, but maintains critical rapport w/ Wentz.
85. Ameer Abdullah (RB33) – Overvalued at RB21-24 ADPs. Riddick’s presence hurts badly in PPR.
86. Cameron Meredith (WR43) – Meredith was the overall PPR WR17 from Week 5 on last year.
87. C.J. Anderson (RB34) – With brutal schedule, DEN run game shaping up as situation to avoid.
88. Kyle Rudolph (TE6) – Had 6-plus catches and/or TD in 8/9 games coordinated by Pat Shurmur.
89. Tyler Eifert (TE7) – Has 18 TDs last 21 games, but has missed 26 games over the last 3 years.
90. LeGarrette Blount (RB35) – Better non-PPR pick. Needs touchdowns to matter week to week.
91. Tyrell Williams (WR44) – Mike Williams’ back injury helps him. Rivers’ best big-play receiver.
92. Kenny Britt (WR45) – Major quarterback concerns, but favorite to lead the Browns in targets.
93. Marcus Mariota (QB6) – My top QB target from 9th round on. Huge supporting cast upgrades.
94. Cam Newton (QB7) – Big questions in revised offense, but Cam’s ceiling as high as any QB’s.
95. Matt Ryan (QB8) – Major regression candidate never finished above QB7 prior to last season.
96. Martellus Bennett (TE8) – Top-10 TE in 3 of last 4 years. Now playing with Aaron Rodgers.
97. Delanie Walker (TE9) – Top-12 TE 4 straight years. Decker likely costs Walker some RZ looks.
98. Mike Wallace (WR46) – Still quality best-ball target, but Maclin signing dealt a re-draft blow.
99. Quincy Enunwa (WR47) – Should be useful WR3/flex for however long Josh McCown holds up.
100. Kareem Hunt (RB36) – Could be fast August riser depending on camp/preseason progress.
101. Marvin Jones (WR48) – Post-hype appeal on Lions team that lost RZ ballhog Anquan Boldin.
102. Eric Ebron (TE10) – Big positive regression TD candidate. Has gotten better every year in NFL.
103. Adam Thielen (WR49) – Secure No. 2/3 pass option on pass-first team. Worthwhile WR4/5.
104. Zach Ertz (TE11) – Consecutive 75+ catch seasons. There’s more target competition in Philly.
105. Hunter Henry (TE12) – Overvalued in crowded offense with Gates certain to stay involved.
106. Dak Prescott (QB9) – My favorite quarterback target if drafting them from tenth round on.
107. Kirk Cousins (QB10) – Top-8 fantasy passer last 2 years. Skins due for positive RZ regression.
108. Jameis Winston (QB11) – Plays in high-scoring division, now enormous weapons upgrades.
109. Derek Carr (QB12) – Jared Cook gives OAK new offensive dimension, but still run-first team.
110. Samaje Perine (RB37) – Skins most talented early-down back should eventually pass Fat Rob.
111. C.J. Prosise (RB38) – Potential PPR beast if Lacy gets hurt, but needs that to really matter.
112. Jack Doyle (TE13) – Emerged as Luck’s favorite possession target in 2016, earned extension.
113. Corey Coleman (WR50) – Continues to miss valuable practice reps. Could rise with big camp.
114. Ben Roethlisberger (QB13) – Top-5 QB play every home game, but low-end QB2 on the road.
115. Philip Rivers (QB14) – Rivers has rough first-half schedule, but Chargers loaded on offense.
116. Andy Dalton (QB15) – My favorite quarterback target if selecting them 11th round or later.
117. Tyrod Taylor (QB16) – I like idea of ‘stacking’ Taylor with Sammy Watkins in best-ball drafts.
118. Matthew Stafford (QB17) – Conservative LRQB pick. Comfortable floor but limited ceiling.
119. Ted Ginn (WR51) – My favorite best-ball WR in 11th-12th rounds. Should mix in big weeks.
120. Matt Forte (RB39) – Expected to be 2nd part of Jets rushing committee behind Bilal Powell.
121. Darren Sproles (RB40) – LeGarrette Blount solidified Sproles’ role as pass-down dominator.
122. James White (RB41) – After Tom Brady suspension, White was PPR RB22 from Weeks 5-16.
123. Rishard Matthews (WR52) – Decker signing hurts. Was already destined for TD regression.
124. Sterling Shepard (WR53) – Marshall signing hurts. Was already destined for TD regression.
125. Marqise Lee (WR54) – Outplayed Allen Robinson in 2016, but healthy Allen Hurns will hurt.
126. Josh Doctson (WR55) – At best, looks like No. 4 pass option behind Reed, Crowder, Pryor.
127. Carson Palmer (QB18) – Favorite quarterback target if waiting until 12th round to take one.
128. Eli Manning (QB19) – Giants weaponry looks nice, but how much does Eli have left in tank?
129. Coby Fleener (TE14) – LT Armstead’s loss may cost him snaps in favor of better blocking TEs.
130. Breshad Perriman (WR56) – Even with Maclin signing, his role is increasing. Worth WR5 flier.
131. Corey Davis (WR57) – Davis’ path to rookie fantasy impact has become less clear since draft.
132. Terrance West (RB42) – Will be Ravens’ early-down back for at least first month of season.
133. Kenneth Dixon (RB43) – Suspended Wks 1-4. Reception ceiling lowered by Danny Woodhead.
134. Rob Kelley (RB44) – Lacks passing-game role, could lose early-down job to Samaje Perine.
135. Jonathan Stewart (RB45) – Figures to remain Panthers GL back behind Christian McCaffrey.
136. DeAndre Washington (RB46) – Passing-down back with upside if Marshawn breaks down.
137. Jacquizz Rodgers (RB47) – Favorite for Bucs RB work Wks 1-3. Doug Martin due back Wk 4.
138. Giovani Bernard (RB48) – Due to ACL recovery, Wk 1 status uncertain. So is role thereafter.
139. Thomas Rawls (RB49) – Will retake Seattle early-down/GL role if Eddie Lacy goes down again.
140. Alvin Kamara (RB50) – Saints want him in old Bush/Sproles role behind Ingram and Peterson.
141. Julius Thomas (TE15) – Dolphins sound like they want to feature Thomas in scoring position.
142. Carson Wentz (QB20) – High-volume QB as rookie. Supporting cast upgraded for year two.
143. Kenny Stills (WR58) – TD regression likely to hit hard after career-high nine scores in 2016.
144. Kevin White (WR59) – Probably a bust, but was force fed targets when healthy last season.
145. J.J. Nelson (WR60) – High-variance WR5/6 should be locked into Cardinals third receiver job.
146. C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE16) – Ceiling isn’t high, but should push for 60 grabs as low-cost PPR TE2.
147. D’Onta Foreman (RB51) – Offers immediate rushing upside, little hope of receiving impact.
148. Will Fuller (WR61) – Faded fast after hot rookie start. Continued quarterback worries in HOU.
149. Cole Beasley (WR62) – Out-targeted Terrance Williams 104-67 including playoffs last season.
150. Tyler Lockett (WR63) – Dynamic playmaker recovering from broken leg suffered in late Dec.
Also Considered: QBs Ryan Tannehill, Blake Bortles, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford, Alex Smith, Brian Hoyer, Deshaun Watson; RBs Dion Lewis, Duke Johnson, Latavius Murray, Joe Williams, Rex Burkhead, Jonathan Williams, Jamaal Charles, Charles Sims, Jeremy Hill, Chris Thompson, Shane Vereen, Devontae Booker, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones, Robert Turbin, Marlon Mack, Jalen Richard, Chris Ivory, T.J. Yeldon, Jerick McKinnon, Wayne Gallman, James Conner; WRs Chris Conley, Devin Funchess, Robert Woods, Allen Hurns, John Ross, Mike Williams, Tavon Austin, Zay Jones, Paul Richardson, Mohamed Sanu, Curtis Samuel, Taylor Gabriel, Malcolm Mitchell, Chris Hogan, Kenny Golladay, Robby Anderson, Laquon Treadwell; TEs Jason Witten, Austin Hooper, Antonio Gates, Jared Cook, Cameron Brate, O.J. Howard, Charles Clay, Jesse James, David Njoku, Evan Engram, Dwayne Allen, Ben Watson, Jermaine Gresham, Austin Seferian-Jenkins