The 2018 fantasy football is here, which means it’s time to start talking position rankings.
If you’re in a points-per reception (PPR) league, you need to approach your draft differently than if you were in a standard league. No, you don’t dismiss studs like Antonio Brown and David Johnson, but you do need to put an extra incentive on identifying players who might not put up gaudy numbers, but still are focal points of their respective offenses.
Let’s look at five players to target and five to avoid in PPR leagues:
1. Marquise Goodwin, WR, San Francisco 49ers
We’re buying the Niners hype, and Goodwin emerged as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s favorite passing option down the stretch last season with 43 targets in San Fran’s final five games. The speedy wideout again should be the No. 1 receiver this season, and with running back Jerick McKinnon out for the season with a torn ACL, Garoppolo could be looking Goodwin’s way often.
2. Danny Amendola, WR, Miami Dolphins
Amendola is an injury risk, to be sure. But if he’s healthy, expect the 32-year-old to be a favorite target of QB Ryan Tannehill. While the former New England Patriot no longer benefits from working with Tom Brady, we expect him to get even more targets in South Beach to help fill Jarvis Landry’s void.
3. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
Tate has caught at least 90 balls in four consecutive seasons, falling short of the 1,000-receiving yard threshold only once. Yes, he’s 30 years old, and you worry about injuries with a guy who’s gotten a lot of action the last few seasons, but we still believe he’s a PPR stud.
4. Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins
Drake saw virtually no action through Miami’s first seven games last season, but he took off from that point forward. He averaged 88 rushing yards over the team’s final five games, and also saw plenty of targets out of the backfield, including 11 targets in Week 15 against the Buffalo Bills. We expect him to be the feature back in Miami ahead of the aging Frank Gore, and to put up plenty of dual-purpose yards.
5. Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Doyle caught 80 balls for 690 yards and four TDs last season, all without QB Andrew Luck under center. With Luck now back and (presumably) healthy, Doyle should catch a ton of passes, even if he doesn’t put up the yardage and scoring numbers of some of the elite fantasy tight ends.
1. Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots
If everything goes perfectly for Michel, he could be a PPR gold mine. However, we have big concerns about the knee injury that could cost him time at the start of the season, and we also expect the Patriots to feature a by-committee backfield, as they always do. Don’t by into the hype — yet.
2. Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots
There’s a chance Edelman returns to his pre-ACL form, but at 32 years old, we’re not counting on it. Furthermore, he’s suspended for the first four games of the season, and you have to believe it will take some time to shake off the rust with Brady. There are better PPR receiving options.
3. Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
Like Edelman, Ingram is suspended for the first four games of the season. And when he gets back, he shouldn’t get nearly as much action as he did in seasons past, thanks to the emergence of Alvin Kamara.
4. LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills
McCoy still has the talent to be one of the premier fantasy backs in the sport, regardless of format. But there’s a very real possibility he’ll get suspended at some point for recent domestic violence allegations, and you can’t risk a high pick on a guy who might not see the field for part of the season. Look elsewhere.
5. Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers
Cobb still will see plenty of targets from Aaron Rodgers, but his days as a PPR stud likely are over. Davante Adams now is the clear No. 1 receiver in this offense, and tight end Jimmy Graham should see plenty of action, as well. If you can get Cobb in the low rounds, go for it, but otherwise pass.
Thumbnail photo via Bob Donnan/USA TODAY Sports Images