How Does 1.5 PPR Scoring for TEs Impact Strategy?

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By John Paulsen (Senior Editor) on January 4, 2013

John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 season, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in 2012 for an unprecedented three straight top 5 finishes. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-13 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate preseason rankings.  Follow John on Twitter: @4for4_John.

As the Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC) has grown so has the popularity of its scoring system, which includes 1.5 points per reception for the tight end position. Every year we get a few requests from our subscribers asking about the impact of such a rule, and while we generally point them to the FAQ, it's a good time to take a look.

Adding 0.5 points to tight end scoring is going to enhance the value of the position relative to other positions, but how much?
 
Our Full Impact tools do not currently allow for separate scoring systems for each position (in an effort to keep things simple for the vast majority of our subscribers). That said, the Full Impact tools can still be used to see the impact of this scoring change.
 
In Full Impact, I created two leagues that are identical except for PPR. I set one league to 1.0 PPR and the other to 1.5 PPR. I then downloaded each league's Top 200 VBR into Excel and merged the tight ends from the 1.5 PPR league into the 1.0 PPR league.
 
Note: Both leagues give 4 points per pass TD and have starting requirements of 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR and 1 TE.
 
The table below shows how the tight end position compares given the scoring change. The first column is Relative Value, which is a score we determine by showing any given player's distance from the baseline. It allows us to compare value across positions. The table also shows ADP, points per game, old overall rank, new overall rank, old positional rank and new positional rank.

 

RV

ADP Player Tm Bye PPG Old Rk New Rk Diff Old Pos Rk New Pos Rk Diff
114 2.04 Jimmy Graham NO 6 20.1 14 10 4 2 1 1
105 2.1 Rob Gronkowski NE 9 19.6 13 12 1 1 2 -1
25 5.01 Antonio Gates SD 7 14.6 69 68 1 3 3 0
23 5.06 Aaron Hernandez NE 9 14.5 71 70 1 4 4 0
9 8.01 Fred Davis WAS 10 13.6 82 80 2 5 5 0
6 10.01 Jacob Tamme DEN 7 13.4 94 85 9 10 6 4
5 6.07 Vernon Davis SF 9 13.4 85 86 -1 6 7 -1
3 6.12 Jason Witten DAL 5 13.2 90 90 0 8 8 0
3 8.05 Brandon Pettigrew DET 5 13.2 96 91 5 12 9 3
1 6.11 Jermichael Finley GB 10 13.1 89 92 -3 7 10 -3
1 11.09 Brent Celek PHI 7 13.1 91 93 -2 9 11 -2
0 9.11 Jermaine Gresham CIN 8 13.0 95 96 -1 11 12 -1
-3 9.06 Tony Gonzalez ATL 7 12.8 101 101 0 13 13 0
-15 12.03 Owen Daniels HOU 8 12.1 112 114 -2 14 14 0
-22 13.05 Dustin Keller NYJ 9 11.7 118 121 -3 15 15 0
-24 14.04 Greg Olsen CAR 6 11.5 122 122 0 16 16 0
-32 14.08 Kyle Rudolph MIN 11 11.0 124 128 -4 17 17 0
-39 11.04 Jared Cook TEN 11 10.6 130 140 -10 18 18 0

 

Draft Strategy: TE1

Rankings-wise, the top 12 TEs moved up an average of 1.3 spots in the overall rankings. Jacob Tamme moved up the most -- nine spots -- since he is so dependent on catches. His value moved up from the late 8th round to the early 8th round. Graham went from #14 overall in PPR to #10 overall making him a bona fide first-round pick in the FFPC format. Rob Gronkowski (#12) is also worth consideration at the end of the 1st round.
 
Another reception-heavy TE, Brandon Pettigrew, has extra value in a 1.5 PPR league. On the whole, fantasy owners don't necessarily need to target the TE1-types earlier in the draft, though they may not have a choice if the other owners in the league start drafting tight ends earlier. Value-wise, owners should know that there still is good value to be had at the position later on in the draft. The extra 0.5 PPR given to tight ends increases the scoring accross the TE position, but it does not neccesarly affect value relative to other TEs.
 

Draft Strategy: TE2

Please note that the players below the baseline are going to drop further since their Relative Values are more spread out with the scoring change. For these players, it's more important to look at their PPG and how they might serve as flex options. For example, our #18 TE, Jared Cook, is projected to score 9.0 PPG in a normal PPR format. This equates to WR56 (Justin Blackmon) scoring. In a 1.5 PPR format, Cook is projected to score 10.6 PPG, which puts him in the area of WR44 (Sidney Rice) or WR45 (Malcom Floyd). 
 
So clearly, the scoring change makes the TE2-types more of an option in the flex. This means that fantasy owners may want to target their backup tight end a round or two earlier than they normally would. In the case of Cook, if he's going to be used in the flex, his true value is more like Rice's in the 10th than his straight VBR value in the 11th. It's up to each individual owner to balance positional scarcity with depth while also maximizing their output on a weekly basis.
 

Auctions

In auction formats, things don't change too much though high-reception players like Jimmy Graham and Jacob Tamme would get a boost. Owners just need to be prepared to pay WR4 prices (~3% of total payroll) for TE2-types who have some use in the flex.
 

Bottom Line

Scoring an extra half point per reception doesn't make a huge impact on the values accross the TE position relative to other positions. The TEs who catch a lot of passes will, of course, be impacted positively. Gronk and Graham are outliers at the position and are now worth a late first round pick. Also, consider TE2 types a bit earlier than you would otherwise for your flex position.
 
We've seen many 1.5 PPR TE drafts in which the drafters vastly overvalue the TE position because of the increased scoring. This increase in scoring, however, exists for all tight ends. Don't make this same mistake. If owners are overdrafting TEs, use the opportunity to stock up on studs at other positions and take advantage of the TE depth in later rounds. But don't miss out all together. You'll likely have to pony up an earlier pick than value dictates to ensure you don't get left with scraps.
 
Filed Under: Preseason, 2012