Diversify Your Running Backs and Wide Receivers

Diversify your WR’s and RB’s within the position:

We have all heard the conversations about “the better in PPR players and better in Non-PPR players”. My position on the issue is that you will want to fill out your roster, by drafting players that excel in both, regardless of the type of league you play in.  Your league settings will determine the higher percentage of players you draft.  Meaning that if you play in a PPR league, you will have more PPR upside type of players on your roster.  And if you play in a non-PPR league, then you will have more touchdown upside players on your roster.  However, take action to not go 100% in on one type of player regardless of the league you are on.

Follow the 3 x 2 rule to determine your draft strategy. This means that if you are in a PPR league then have for every 2 non-PPR or touchdown upside player have at least 3 PPR upside players on your roster.   Stick to your rankings, or the expert rankings of someone you trust and go from there.  Remember, you can have a good idea of what players will be available in which round based on the ADP of the platform you are using to complete your draft.   A well planned out draft is the first step to winning your league.

The Wide Receiver Stereotypes:

PPR                                                              non-PPR

Wide Receivers:                               T.Y. Hilton                                                 Dez Bryant

             Keenan Allen                                            Davante Adams

               Jarvis Landry                                             Desean Jackson

             Julian Edelman                                         Alshon Jeffery

                 Emmanuel Sanders                                  Martavis Bryant

The Running Back Stereotypes:

                                                            PPR                                                              non-PPR

Running Backs:                                   Danny Woodhead                                     Jordan Howard

                       Ty Montgomery                                        Marshawn Lynch

            Christian McCaffery                                  Eddy Lacy

                Theo Riddick                                              Todd Gurley

There are many more players who have a stereotype depending on which format you play in.  These usually help when deciding between two different players.  The stereotype acts as a tie-breaker of sorts.

Regardless of the format you still want to diversify your roster with both types of players.  Doing this will maximize your consistency within the range of outcomes.

The consensus is that PPR players are more consistent but generally have lower upside because they get fewer touchdowns.  On the flip side, Non-PPR players are generally seen as high risk, high reward because they depend on the touchdown to increase their value.  Chasing touchdowns is a hard game to play and therefor, my recommendation is to have a mix within the position and then mix again depending on your other roster positions.  This is what it looks like:

DO THIS                                                                                                         DON’T DO THIS

Round 1:  Devonte Freeman                                                                    Round 1:  Ezekiel Elliot

Round 2:  Melvin Gordon                                                                          Round 2:  Dez Bryant

Round 3: Demaryius Thomas                                                                   Round 3: Todd Gurley

Round 4: Sammy Watkins                                                                         Round 4: Carlos Hyde

Round 5: Keenan Allen                                                                              Round 5: Davante Adams

The roster on the left is able to maintain consistency week to week while also having the potential for very big games.  This roster is diversified with running backs and wide receivers of both types of players.

                                           Running Back                                   Wide Receiver

PPR                                      Freeman                                            Allen

Non-PPR                             Gordon                                              Watkins

And Thomas is a push either way. This is very good balance for the roster.

The roster on the left has pushed themselves into a corner for the remainder of the draft.  They have picked mostly non-PPR stereotype players and while it may be a non-PPR league; their consistency from week to week will be poor.

                                               Running Back                                   Wide Receiver

PPR                                       n/a                                                           n/a

Non-PPR                             Elliot, Gurley,                                          Bryant, Adams

And Hyde doesn’t really fit into either of the leagues.  Carlos Hyde has never had more than 6 rushing td’s or 27 receptions.  Add in his injury history and this is a recipe for disaster.

My advice is to cater your draft to the league type.  If it’s a PPR league then 2 out of your 3 WR should be PPR type players.  If the league is non-PPR, then have 2 of your 3 WR be Touchdown upside players.  Same goes with the running back positions.  Have a plan heading into the draft for each type of scenario to play out.  If you notice touchdown-upside players are falling to you, know who will be available in the later rounds to add your PPR or consistent type plays to your roster.   If the opposite is true; players who are high receptions/rushing yards but low touchdown upside find their way to you, know who will be available in later rounds with touchdown upside.

The first step to a great season is to have a great draft, and it is best to be prepared.  Diversify your running backs and wide receivers to accomplish this.  Have a great season and good luck!



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