PPR Report: Players to Target
If you’re new to the concept of points per reception (PPR) leagues, then my friends, you are missing out. PPR is one of the most enjoyable formats of fantasy football. In fact, I call it the “Cadillac of Fantasy Football” similarly to the way that Texas Hold ‘Em is deemed the Cadillac of Poker. PPR gives more value to WRs, TEs, and RBs that catch the ball. With more relevant players, it makes leagues more challenging and competitive. I played in my first PPR league in 2002, and haven’t played in a non-PPR league since. Whether you’re a PPR novice or a PPR aficionado, I will break down players by position that will have increased value in PPR format.
Steve Smith (NYG)
Julian Edelman, Patriots
Wes Welker Jr. has some fantasy value should one of my favorites, Wes Welker, not be healthy by week 1. I still think Welker could do it, but it’s the furthest thing from a guarantee. Julian Edelman was not as consistent as Welker, but he did have 2 nice PPR games in week 2 (9 catches) and week 17 (10 catches). If you want to take a chance on Welker in the mid rounds then grab Edelman a few rounds later, you’re locking yourself into a nice PPR combination. This is a situation to keep a very close eye on as the offseason progresses as one of these guys will benefit from the Moss Effect.
Michael Crabtree, 49ers
In 2009, “Crab N Grab” had a cool 48 receptions in 11 games. Four catches a game doesn’t seem like a lot, but consider Michael Crabtree sat out the whole offseason and the first 5 games and was developing the chemistry he should have had as the season progressed. As Vernon Davis stretches the field over the middle, the Niners should work in some nice short to intermediate routes for Crabtree and create routes in space for Crabtree to maximize on yards after the catch. Crabtree will also be targeted on 3rd downs as defenses take away the middle by ganging up on Davis. Eighty catches isn't out of reach for Crabtree this year.
Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs
Before last year’s debacle, Dwayne Bowe had two nice seasons with 70 catches his rookie year and 86 in 2008. These nice reception totals came with the likes of some pretty average QBs. Bowe has never had a full season with a QB as good as Matt Cassel. The Chiefs offense as a whole should be improved and there are other options to take the heat off of Bowe. Add in a poor team defense and a relatively easy schedule and the Chiefs look be in some shootouts this year. After you secure a stud or two in the first 3 rounds, Bowe makes a nice target as your 2nd or 3rd WR around the 4th-6th rounds.
Devone Bess, Dolphins
It looks like Devone Bess will operate out of the slot again in 2010. Bess may have caught the quietest 76 passes in NFL history last year. What’s also encouraging is that he had 111 targets and developed a nice chemistry with Chad Henne. With Marshall in town, defenses will key in on him allowing Bess to pick up the scraps. His yards per catch won’t be high, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Bess ends up in the 85-90 reception range in 2010. This offense will likely progress from a run-first offense to more of a balanced attack and I like Bess as a poor man’s Wes Welker
Mike Thomas, Jaguars
Mike Thomas put together a nice 48 catch season as rookie in 2010. Now that Torry Holt is gone, someone will have to account for the 51 receptions he left behind. Thomas will come cheaply this year as he’s a relatively unheard of player. With defenses keying in on Mike Sims-Walker, Thomas should be able to roam freely and catch around 5 balls a game. Like Bess, his yards per catch won’t be that high and he probably won’t score that much, but if you’re looking for nice late round sleeper that can fill in a few weeks as your WR3, then Thomas could be your guy.
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