2014 Draft Prep: 12-team PPR draft
Which players will see a significant bump in value in point-per-reception formats? Our Jamey Eisenberg shares his overview and the results from our 12-team, PPR mock draft.
One of the easiest ways to enhance your Fantasy Football experience is by changing the scoring system, and the most popular addition is adding a point per reception. It's a format many Fantasy leagues have already embraced.
In upgrading from a standard league to a PPR format, the focus is greater on receivers, especially in the flex spot. Running backs who are expected to catch a high volume of passes -- Andre Ellington, Shane Vereen, Pierre Thomas, Danny Woodhead -- get bumped up in value, but the receivers dominate the early part of the draft.
In our last 12-team standard mock draft, there were only five receivers drafted in the first two rounds. In this 12-team PPR mock draft, there were 10 receivers selected in the first 22 picks. And it made sense based on their value.
Three owners -- me, Adam Aizer and Dave Richard -- drafted receivers with our first two picks, and it's a strategy I recommend in this format if it makes sense for your team. Dave took Calvin Johnson and Alshon Jeffery from the No. 5 spot, I went with Demaryius Thomas and Julio Jones at No. 10 and Adam had Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall at No. 12.
All three of us were now chasing running backs, but I think we compensated well. Dave took Vereen and Ray Rice with his next two picks, and I got Marshawn Lynch and Reggie Bush. Lynch falls in PPR formats because of his lack of receptions, and I consider this is a steal even though I'm down on Lynch this season.
Adam started with Toby Gerhart in Round 3, but he couldn't pass up on Drew Brees in Round 4 (his next running back was Stevan Ridley in Round 5). Peyton Manning fell to Round 3, and you'll see quarterbacks tend to fall in PPR leagues as the receivers get pushed up. Aaron Rodgers also went in Round 4, and these are tremendous value picks.
My strategy was to pick two of my Top 5 receivers and then load up on running backs. After Lynch and Bush, I took Trent Richardson in Round 5 and Matthew Stafford in Round 6. I wasn't planning on a quarterback this early, but Stafford could have a career year and seemed like a steal.
Terrance West and Brandin Cooks were easy picks next based on their upside, especially Cooks in this format. And then I drafted Jarrett Boykin and Carlos Hyde next as two sleepers with a lot of potential. My team finished off with Kenny Stills, Heath Miller and Mark Ingram as the skill players, with the Rams DST and Nick Novak at kicker.
Miller is my only question mark because of his performance last year coming off a torn ACL, but I'm expecting a bounce-back season. He could easily play like he did in 2012 when he was the No. 4 Fantasy tight end with 71 catches for 818 yards and eight touchdowns. While it would be overly optimistic to expect that, I'm still counting on Miller for a quality season, making him worth a late-round selection if you miss on the elite tight ends as I did here.
In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We also have one point for every reception. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be six reserve spots for a 15-round draft.
Our draft order is as follows:
1. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
2. Larry Hartstein, Fantasy Writer
3. Joe Polito, Social Media Coordinator
4. Rob Rang, NFL Draft Analyst
5. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
6. Michael Hurcomb, Editor
7. Will Brinson, Senior NFL Writer
8. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
9. Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
10. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
11. J. Darin Darst, College Football Producer
12. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host
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