Constructing a great fantasy football team goes beyond selecting the best players available.
There is plenty of strategy involved in fantasy drafts, especially those for points-per-reception leagues.
Unlike standard leagues, fractional or full points are awarded for each catch under the PPR format. As such, it’s best to avoid players unlikely to rack up a high volume of receptions on a week-to-week basis, even if they might be good to above-average players.
Here are 10 players you should try to keep away from drafting in PPR leagues.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Fournette largely has been solid since the Jaguars selected him with the fourth overall pick in 2017, rushing for over 1,000 yards in two of his first three seasons. But the LSU product is more of an old-school, downhill running back and isn’t exactly a big threat in the passing game out of the backfield. Yes, Fournette hauled in 76 passes last season, but there are many dual-threat RB options to choose from over the Jacksonville star.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
Metcalf impressed as a rookie, racking up 900 receiving yards with seven touchdowns. But the 6-foot-4 wideout is shaping up to be somewhat of a boom-or-bust player. There likely will be a week or two when you regret not drafting Metcalf, but it will be tough to rely on him to be a big-point producer each week as one of your top wideouts. Metcalf could be a good flex option, but you’d be wise not to use one of your early draft picks on him.
O.J. Howard, TE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Howard, the 19th overall pick in 2017, has yet to live up to expectations in the NFL. The tight end was held to 34 catches or less in each of his first three seasons. Howard has arguably the greatest quarterback of all time throwing passes to him now, but Tom Brady also has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate to target. The Alabama product could be bound for yet another underwhelming campaign.
Mark Ingram II, RB Baltimore Ravens
Ingram might be an enticing RB option after he caught a career-high five touchdowns last season. But keep in mind the Ravens are very much a ground-and-pound football team, and it might be unrealistic to expect the 30-year-old to have another strong season through the air, especially considering he hasn’t caught more than 26 passes in any season since 2017. Not to mention, rookie running back J.K. Dobbins might take some reps away from Ingram.
Will Fuller V, WR, Houston Texans
Fuller can be a force when healthy, but an injury-free version of the Texans wideout has been an effective rarity over the past four seasons. Fuller has yet to play a full, 16-game campaign, and his career-high 14 games played came all the way back in his 2016 rookie season. Expect a handful of big plays from Fuller in 2020, but not consistent production.
Jonnu Smith, TE, Tennessee Titans
Smith now is No. 1 on the Titans’ tight end depth chart following Delanie Walker’s departure, but don’t get caught up in his new role. Tennessee is a run-first football team, and Ryan Tannehill is more likely to target A.J. Brown, Corey Davis and Adam Humphries when he does take to the air. Smith, who caught 35 passes in 14 games last season, shouldn’t be drafted until the later rounds.
Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots
Michel flashed some dual-threat potential at Georgia, but it’s yet to translate in the NFL. The 2018 first-rounder only amassed 19 catches over his first two seasons, and one could argue he’s the worst pass-catcher in the Patriots’ RB room. Furthermore, Michel is expected to miss some time this season due to a foot injury.
Mecole Hardman, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
It’s tough not to get excited by Hardman’s blazing speed, but he only caught 26 passes over 16 games as a rookie. Patrick Mahomes also has better, sure-handed options at his disposal, highlighted by Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. Hardman is much more likely to be an occasional subject in highlight reels than a routine stat-sheet stuffer.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Washington Football Team
This one shouldn’t take much selling. Peterson, who’s entering his age-35 season, never has been much of a dual-threat option over the course of his NFL career. He’s logged 35-plus grabs on only three occasions dating back to 2007. Peterson would be an OK pickup in standard leagues, but his PPR value isn’t overly high.
John Brown, WR, Buffalo Bills
Brown had a breakout season in 2019, catching 72 passes for 1,060 yards with six touchdowns. But between the emergences of Devin Singletary and Dawson Knox, as well as the addition of Stefon Diggs, Brown could be hard-pressed to post similar numbers in 2020. The speedster probably shouldn’t be viewed as a WR1 in the upcoming campaign.