Fantasy Football Pro Tip: Don’t Take a QB First in a PPR League
By now, you've probably had your fantasy football drafts and you're ready for the season to start this Thursday night. But for future reference, it's important to remember the difference between a normal fantasy football league and what's known as a PPR (points-per-reception) league.
In case you're wondering what exactly a PPR fantasy football league is, it's a league in which more points are awarded to running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends based on how each pass they catch in addition to the points they're already being rewarded for yards receiving and touchdowns.
In a league as such, your fantasy draft strategy is as important as anything that happens during the actual season. A PPR league requires more focus on pass catchers and therefore, it's not nearly as important to prioritize a quarterback as it would be in a non-PPR league. Quarterbacks on your fantasy football team do NOT benefit from PPR leagues.
Don't get me wrong, it's always important to have a solid quarterback on any fantasy football team, especially in non-PPR leagues, when they're typically the cornerstone of your entire team.
My fantasy football draft took place over the weekend in a PPR league and sure enough, the first three picks off the entire draft were Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Lamar Jackson, respectively. This is where things get a little sketchy. First off, Tom Brady should not be the number one pick out of those three. Yes, on paper he looks like he'll have a great year thanks to the skill set his wide receivers (Chris Godwin and Mike Evans) possess. But what Mahomes has shown he can do over the past couple seasons and what Jackson proved he was capable of last year, the skill set of Tom Brady is not currently the equivalent. But it can also be argued that none of these quarterbacks, given their position should have even been taken during the first round in a PPR league.
In a non-PPR league, that very well is a proper selection for the top three picks. But not-so-much in a league where pass catchers are often emphasized more than quarterbacks. While it's certainly important to have a quarterback with skill sets any of those three possess, the first pick for your team should not be wasted on them, but rather someone who will be catching the ball.
In a PPR-league, it's called 'read the room'. For my draft, I did not pick a quarterback until I had my two running backs, two wide receivers, and my flex player drafted. All those will be getting extra points for each pass they catch. It wasn't until the SIXTH round that I drafted Deshaun Watson, who fittingly enough, was the next quarterback taken after the initial three picks of Brady, Mahomes, and Jackson. It feels like those first three picks of the entire draft were almost wasted. In fact, my third overall pick was Chris Godwin at wide receiver and according to fantasy football data from Sporting News, Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson are the next two players (and first two quarterbacks) ranked behind Godwin overall in PPR leagues.
So if you've already had your draft, good luck to your fantasy teams. In the future, it's important to have a draft strategy depending on whether your league is a PPR league or non-PPR league. The NFL returns this week and regardless of how you've drafted this year, as it always is, it's going to be fun!