With NFL training camps starting this week, is it the perfect time to unveil our Fantasy Football Rankings for Point Per Reception (PPR) formats. Debating how much the extra point per reception affects each offensive position is pure enjoyment for fantasy football enthusiasts. As always, these positional lists are based on projected end of season finishes in PPR formats.
Skinny: The consistency of the top three quarterbacks is unquestioned, putting Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady in a class by themselves. Fantasy owners are patiently waiting for Russell Wilson to put together a great full statistical season, and this will be the year. Phillip Rivers is one of the best values in all of fantasy football currently going as QB15.
Marcus Mariota will be the breakout fantasy quarterback of 2017, propelled by a great offensive line and a significant upgrade in offensive weapons. Derek Carr is a much better real life than fantasy football quarterback. Despite a great season that led to a massive contract, Carr ranked only 14th among quarterbacks with 17.8 fantasy points per game last season. Tyrod Taylor is always underappreciated, and will produce multiple QB1 weeks this year. Sam Bradford is a great late round selection who set an NFL record for completion percentage last season.
Running Back Rankings
Skinny: Three down running backs that are prolific pass catchers rule the roost here, making David Johnson and Le’Veon Bell the clear top choices. Melvin Gordon‘s best competition is Brandon Oliver, who is recovering from a torn Achilles tendon last season. He gets the nod over DeMarco Murray, who has the highest fantasy floor of any other running back on this list. Lamar Miller and Jay Ajayi aren’t great PPR fantasy options, but opportunity trumps all.
The first rookie on this list is Cincinnati’s Joe Mixon, who should have the full time starting job by week four at the latest. Dalvin Cook gets a huge boost from the Latavius Murray injury news, and let’s pump the brakes on Leonard Fournette. Jacksonville will use both Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon behind an average offensive line. Darren Sproles and Giovani Bernard are annual underappreciated fantasy PPR assets.
Jacquizz Rodgers and Terrance West will start the year off very strong, and could move drastically up this list if they remain the lead back for their respective teams. If the Los Angeles Rams are trailing, Lance Dunbar is a sneaky RB2 play for his reception ability. Check the matchups and use him a bye week replacement against a strong Rams opponent.
Wide Receiver Rankings
Skinny: The top five wide receivers are the typical names but in a different order. The last two years Jordy Nelson has played all 16 games, he has finished as the WR2 and WR3 in PPR formats. Cincinnati will look to open up the offense this year by acquiring more weapons through the 2017 NFL Draft. This will lead to a career year from A.J. Green. Keep doubting Doug Baldwin, and he’ll continue to prove you wrong. Golden Tate‘s return to slot receiver makes him a PPR bonanza in a pass heavy Detroit offense.
Tough to continue to rely on Dez Bryant red zone touchdowns, he was 66th and 81st among wide receivers the last two seasons in yards after catch. Don’t kid yourself, Julian Edelman is the best fantasy wide receiver in New England. Terrelle Pryor gets the nod over Jamison Crowder, but in a PPR format that will be a battle worth watching. Jeremy Maclin ranks as WR34, but will move up higher at the season approaches. He will have WR2 production if Joe Flacco approaches 700 pass attempts again.
You say Tyreek Hill, I say Cordarrelle Patterson. Chicago’s main receiving weapon will be Cameron Meredith, who produced five top 10 PPR performances last season. Tyrell Williams jumps to a WR2 if Keenan Allen gets injured again, and Kenny Britt could produce a Terrelle Pryor-esque line in Cleveland with just average quarterback play. JJ Nelson and Ted Ginn Jr. are best-ball receivers with seasonal home run potential during the right week. Anquan Boldin had a dominant red zone season in 2016, so whichever team he lands with will get multiple WR3 performances.
Tight End Rankings
Skinny: Rob Gronkowski is the absolute best tight end in real life or fantasy football, but his ADP is simply way too high. Travis Kelce was the top fantasy tight end in total points last season, and that was before the Chiefs jettisoned their best wide receiver in Jeremy Maclin. Kyle Rudolph‘s TE7 ADP is an amazing bargain for a player who led all tight ends with 15 red zone receptions in 2016.
Austin Hooper has an incredible athletic profile and no longer has to contend with Jacob Tamme. Since his rookie season in 2003, the only time Antonio Gates did not finish as a TE1 in either PPR formats was in 2012 when he was the TE13. That’s the safest bet in all of fantasy football. Here’s believing Coby Fleener is settled in New Orleans and soaks up some of Brandin Cooks targets.
Martellus Bennett is the most athletic and accomplished tight end in Green Bay since Jermichael Finley. The Bears didn’t sign Dion Sims to this contract for him to sit on the bench. Charles Clay and Vance McDonald are two veteran starting tight ends with solid NFL production. I prefer them over rookie tight ends who always struggle to contribute in year one.