ADP Differentials Between Standard and PPR Scoring -- Running Backs
Obviously, there’s a significant difference in the scoring between standard and PPR leagues. Thanks to anywhere from a half-point to, in some leagues, two points per catch, numerous players have a much higher value in a PPR system and should therefore be bumped up on your draft board when putting together your own personal cheat sheets. What we’re going to do over the next three articles is cover each of the three positions (sorry, quarterbacks) where PPR scoring makes a difference and do an ADP comparison of where each player goes, on average, in each style of league. I’ve taken the top 150 from both Mock Draft Central’s standard league ADP and matched it up with the top 150 from the NFFC data for the purpose of these articles so while not every player in the NFL universe will be listed in the tables, these are the top ones to consider.
We’ll start with those who dominate the higher rounds of your draft – the running backs.
Darren Sproles, NO (+53.64) – Everyone’s favorite PPR stud as Sproles gets a ridiculous number of targets from Drew Brees in the pass-happy ways of the Saints. He should still see a fair number of passing targets this season but take into account that his carries dropped off considerably and the increased development of Mark Ingram. Sproles’ value will remain higher in PPR play than it is in standard leagues, but a drop off in targets will not be compensated by any increase in running work.
Vick Ballard, IND (+44.47) – The higher value Ballard has in PPR leagues should remain, but with Ahmad Bradshaw in-house now, he’s likely to see less playing time (aside from third down work) which means that he’ll see less targets as well as fewer carries.
DeAngelo Williams, CAR (+38.62) – Williams is the better pass-catching back between him and Jonathan Stewart so the work on third down should continue to belong to him. But his rushing attempts per game has decreased over the last three seasons and, similarly to Sproles, any decrease in targets won’t be made up for on the ground. However, one thing working in his favor, and we’ll know more as we move closer to the regular season, is that, despite turning 30, he could get added work as Stewart is coming off of ankle surgery, did not participate in OTAs, and is still in need of a physical and re-evaluation from the team.
Daryl Richardson, STL (+34.65) – The running back situation in St. Louis is definitely one to be watched closely in training camp as Richardson is competing for work with Isaiah Pead and rookie Zac Stacy. Working in his favor is his pass-catching ability so if he ends up splitting time with one of the other two, he’ll at least get the majority of third down work. The offensive line had some struggles last season and Sam Bradford no longer has Danny Amendola there to be his go-to guy, so there is a chance we see more check-downs to Richardson which obviously helps his value.
Reggie Bush, DET (+32.79) – The big question regarding Bush is his health. If he can stay healthy, this move to Detroit, with a more competent quarterback and bigger passing game, could be big for his overall value. He’ll be used as the primary back but Mikel Leshoure is likely to get a fair amount of work as well to take it between the tackles and help weaken the defensive line. But without another legitimate threat at wide receiver to help draw coverage away from Calvin Johnson, Bush could see quite a number of dump-offs in the flat. Even as a six-year veteran, his ability to run in space is still one of the best.
Montee Ball, DEN (-21.22) – Pass-catching is not Ball’s number one asset and with Peyton Manning looking downfield for three outstanding receivers, the likelihood of a high number of check downs is pretty small. The Broncos also have Ronnie Hillman who is sure to see a fair amount of third down work. But Ball, should he beat out Hillman and Knowshon Moreno for the number one spot in the backfield, will still be an excellent choice of running back regardless of the scoring style. He’ll see the bulk of the carries as well as the goal-line work, so while there may be a handful of backs you’d rather have in PPR play, Ball should still be considered a strong option.
Rashard Mendenhall, ARI (-16.77) – The former Steeler makes his way over to Arizona and is slated to be the number one back on the team. Ryan Williams and rookie Stepfan Taylor should see a decent amount of work as well if they have strong camps, but Mendenhall will take the lead. Williams is probably the better pass-catcher so you can expect to see him on third downs, but Mendenhall should still be considered a solid choice in most leagues. It’s just that without catching many passes in the past, those in PPR leagues tend to wait on him a little more.
Both Mark Ingram and BenJarvis Green-Ellis are the complements to guys we just mentioned in the section above, so there’s really not much reason to elaborate further. The Saints have never been known for their rushing attack, so while Ingram should see an increase in his carries this year, his value has very little to do with his total receptions. And as for the Law Firm, well, many actually speculate that Bernard will eventually supplant him as the top back in Cincinnati this year, so his overall value is likely to take a hit in all leagues.
Le’Veon Bell, PIT (-10.28) – We’re looking at less than a full round’s difference here for Bell with respect to draft position in association with scoring style. He won’t be as high a scorer in standard leagues as he will in PPR, but his number of carries, should he beat out both Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman, will be sufficient to keep your overall point total rising.
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.