Fantasy Football 2020: PPR Cheat Sheet, Strategy and 4-Round Mock Draft
Featured Columnist September 5, 2020 Comments Comment Bubble Icon
Part of the allure of fantasy football is the fact that it comes in a variety of flavors. From dynasty to daily, there’s a format of fantasy for everyone.
Points-per-reception (PPR) leagues, however, are one of the most popular. The scoring format adds an extra element to the game by increasing the value of running backs and receivers who, well, produce more receptions. Dual-threat backs like Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler see a big bump in value in PPR, as do possession receivers who rack up the catches but not necessarily the yards.
Here, we’re going to examine a four-round mock draft conducted using FantasyPros’ mock draft simulator and dig into how the scoring format might impact some early draft decisions. We’ll also examine some PPR draft strategies and some updated PPR positional rankings heading into Week 1.
2020 Fantasy Football Mock Draft, PPR
1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
2. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
3. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
4. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
6. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
7. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
8. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
9. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
10. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
11. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
12. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
1. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
2. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
3. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
4. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
5. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
6. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
7. Mile Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals
9. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears
10. Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
11. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
12. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
1. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
2. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
3. Kenny Golladay, WR, Detroit Lions
4. Adam Thielen, WR, Minnesota Vikings
5. D.J. Moore, WR, Carolina Panthers
6. Mark Andrews, TE, Baltimore Ravens
7. Cooper Kupp, WR, Los Angeles Rams
8. Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks
9. JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
10. Robert Woods, WR, Los Angeles Rams
11. Todd Gurley, RB, Atlanta Falcons
12. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
1. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
2. Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
3. Zach Ertz, TE, Philadelphia Eagles
4. DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
5. A.J. Brown, WR, Tennessee Titans
6. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
7. Melvin Gordon III, RB, Denver Broncos
8. Le’Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets
9. DJ Chark Jr., WR, Jacksonville Jaguars
10. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
11. Courtland Sutton, WR, Denver Broncos
12. Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Football Team
As you’ll notice, running backs are still at a premium in PPR, though you’ll notice that dual-threat backs are far more valued than their run-heavy brethren. Unsurprisingly, McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley—two backs who have topped 2,000 scrimmage yards in recent years—kicked off the first round. Alvin Kamara, who has 81 catches in each of his three seasons, went at No. 3.
However, Derrick Henry didn’t come off the board until pick No. 11, even though he led the NFL in rushing last season. This is because his PPR potential isn’t very high, making Henry extremely dependent on a heavy rushing workload.
Henry has caught just 57 passes in his four-year NFL career.
When targeting running backs in PPR, it’s best to prioritize those who have plenty of three-down value. A run-heavy back like Henry of Nick Chubb will have value, but they can become a liability in weeks when their respective teams are playing catch-up on the scoreboard.
The Cleveland Browns trailed for much of their Week 16 and 17 matchups last year, and managers who were starting Chubb suffered. Though he was the runner-up in rushing yards, Chubb only produced 87 scrimmage yards in those two games combined.
While there wasn’t as much emphasis on wide receivers in the first two rounds of this mock, this is largely because of the depth at the position. True No. 1 receivers can usually still be found in the third round or later—Kenny Golladay is a prime example here—and No. 2 receivers regularly top the 1,000-yard mark.
DK Metcalf, taken near the bottom of Round 4, is a great example of a high-end No. 2 receiver with a ton of fantasy upside.
“Guys, I love Chris Carson, I love Russell Wilson, but this might be the year of DK Metcalf in Seattle,” NFL Network’s Peter Schrager said on Good Morning Football.
With several quality receivers likely to be available late, it’s wise to try coming away with at least one running back in the first two rounds. Managers who do double up on receivers early—as Team 12 did with Julio Jones and Tyreek Hill—must get a running back before the end of Round 3.
Perhaps the biggest surprise here is that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson went in the first round—though that’s certainly going to happen in some real-world fantasy drafts. Round 1 is too early for a quarterback, though Jackson’s elite running ability makes for a tempting target.
Jackson rushed for 1,206 yards and threw an NFL-high 36 touchdowns in 2019. Those numbers do justify a first-round selection. though it’s hard to see Jackson running at that rate for a second-consecutive season. The gap between Jackson and quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson may be minimal, and those guys will be available later.
Elite position players like Jones and Ekeler won’t be there in Round 3 or 4.
2020 PPR Positional Cheat Sheet
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
2. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
5. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
6. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
7. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
8. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
9. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
10. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
1. Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
2. Saquon Barkley, New York Giants
3. Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
4. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs
Part of the allure of fantasy football is the fact that it comes in a variety of flavors. From dynasty to daily, there's a format of fantasy for everyone. Points-per-reception (PPR) leagues, however, are one of the most popular…