Fantasy Football Basics: The PPR Variation

Daily Fantasy Football Starter Guide (2)

PPR or points per reception leagues are gaining more and more popularity. Points per reception is a slight alteration to the standard scoring system used in fantasy football. As your team accumulates points, each player also racks up a certain number of points for making the catch. In a pass-happy football season, sports fans everywhere are signing up for both standard fantasy football leagues as well as daily fantasy sports leagues.

According to ESPN, scoring positions increase in fantasy points by 32 percent in PPR leagues. The reason for this expansion on the points per reception variation is to better understand how a slight rule change can alter your entire strategy. Although PPR can be minor in some leagues, it can greatly impact the game. Whether you are a new player to fantasy football or a team manager with years of experience, this basic strategy article will help educate all sports fans on the PPR variation. Let’s take a look at how points per reception affect each scoring position.

Points Per Reception on Quarterback

The quarterback may seem to be a scoring player that would not be affected much by the points per reception variation. However, even your quarterback’s value will change come draft day if you are playing in a PPR league rather than a standard league. Although it may not be much, quarterbacks who average anywhere from 25 completions and up per game will hold a lot more value on the draft board in tandem with a same-team player.

The reason being that a quarterback who gains even an additional 5-10 completions a game than the average quarterback will add up over time. For example, if you select New England Patriots Rob Gronkowski in a PPR league, Quarterback Tom Brady would skyrocket in value for your QB selection due to Brady leading the league in completions. Additionally, quarterbacks who can complete a high volume of passes per game come into consideration when drafting any other scoring positions. In the end, it will depend on the quarterback and whichever player receiving the ball to take advantage of PPR.

Points Per Affect on Receiver

Receivers are also affected by PPR and have more to gain from the rule change. All PPR leagues will identify the actual amount of points a player gains from a reception. Depending on the specific league, the number can be as low as .1 points per reception or as high as 1 point per reception. It is always smart to make sure how many points per reception your players are eligible for before putting in hours of research.

Receivers hold high value in all types of drafts due to the popular regulation of a team consisting of three starting wide receivers. However, after ten or so draft rounds, consistent receivers are nowhere to be found thus putting stress on drafting reliable receivers early.

In a standard league draft, one would value Seattle wide receivers, Jermaine Kearse and Doug Baldwin at a higher level than in a PPR league; this is because both receivers only average around three to four catches a game apiece rather than a receiver who catches the ball nine to ten times per contest. Team strategy comes into play when selecting scoring positions in a PPR league draft. Primarily, pass heavy teams hold more valuable receivers and vice versa for a run-heavy squad.

Points Per Affect on Running Back

Running backs are arguably the most affected when it comes to points per reception. Unlike receivers, there are only a considerably small amount of running backs who can impact the game through both running and catching the ball. Versatile running backs will always go first in PPR leagues that award one full point per reception such as on the major platform, FanDuel.

Players like Bears running back Matt Forte and Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, who catch the ball out of the backfield multiple times a game, are far more dangerous in a PPR league than a standard league. With only a handful of successful PPR running backs, researching and drafting players that slip through the draft cracks could pay off big come game day. For example, New England running back Dion Lewis and Detroit running back Ameer Abdullah are both typically drafted in the later draft rounds but produce significant numbers in PPR leagues at little salary cost.


Understanding how PPR affects your draft strategy is essential, but you should also try your hand in a free league using points per reception before risking real cash. As you start to compile the basics into your strategy, don’t forget that the rules and regulations for any league are customizable to your liking. With multiple daily fantasy sports sites offering numerous events and competitions, you can fit the league to your lineup and not the other way around. Be sure to check out our reviews and bonuses for popular Daily Fantasy Sports site as well as the other basic strategy articles on fantasy football. Practice and research are the best things a team manager can do to prepare for real money leagues, so get out there and start drafting. Remember your limits and to enjoy the experience. Have fun and good luck!

Continue with our Part 5 of our Strategy Guide: Drafting your DFS Team.