One of the most essential things fantasy football draft managers need to understand is their scoring settings and how they can impact their team. Knowing how scoring changes, such as using a PPR scoring system (point per reception) can vary a player’s range of outcomes and be substantial on both their ADP and long-term value. As we continue our Fantasy 101 series, what does PPR stand for, and how does it apply to fantasy football?
Analyzing the PPR scoring system in fantasy football
PPR fantasy leagues are exactly what they say in the title. The style of the scoring format means that every time a player catches a pass, they receive one full point for fantasy. This scoring system has become the default for several of the industry’s most popular websites and hosting platforms.
As the NFL has transformed into more and more of a passing league, fantasy football has attempted to keep up with this trend, giving more and more emphasis on receptions. From this came PPR scoring system formats.
Difference between PPR and standard scoring in fantasy football
It’s a rather stark difference from that of a standard league. In a standard scoring fantasy league, receptions do not add any extra or additional fantasy points. Instead, only the yardage or potential score from the reception count. Those looking for a middle ground while not wanting to overinflate receptions could opt to implement a half-point PPR scoring format for their leagues. As you would expect, every reception is worth half a point, in contrast to the full point received in a PPR fantasy scoring format.
To help further illustrate the difference, let’s look at a single player from last year and see how their season changes when we alter the scoring format. This example will use the guy who just had one of the best seasons of all time, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp.
In 2021, Kupp captured the elusive triple crown, leading the league in receptions (145), yards (1,947), and touchdowns (16). Surprisingly, he also led the NFL in targets (191). Kupp posted 294.5 fantasy points in standard scoring systems while averaging 17.3 points per game. While it blew out the competition in standard scoring formats, that would have placed Kupp as the WR7 in PPR scoring.
In full-point PPR scoring systems, Kupp was otherworldly, scoring 439.5 fantasy points on the season and 25.9 per game. Where Kupp was the 12th-highest scorer in standard leagues, he led the way in PPR leagues thanks to the increased scoring for every one of his receptions.
Changing your scoring system is about finding a balance across positions
For all intents and purposes, standard scoring has gone by way of the Dodo. It’s pretty much extinct. As to which format should be the “default” between half-PPR and full-PPR, that is up for debate.
Some commissioners and managers feel PPR scoring system leagues over-incentivize receptions, causing a further gap between the top and mid-tier players. This truly shows up at running back, where passing-game utilization is the key to fantasy success. On average, a target in a PPR scoring format is nearly three times higher than a carry. If you want upside on your roster — especially in a PPR fantasy league — find running backs who are active out of the backfield.
Another option is a tiered-PPR scoring system. Each position is given its own score for a reception in a format like this. Rather than one stock option for every position, this allows for more micro-customization. Running backs could receive 0.25 points for reception, wide receivers 0.5 points, and tight ends receive a full point.
As with all scoring format changes, PPR or otherwise, the primary goal is to create a balanced fantasy league where one position is not vastly overvalued compared to another. That way, fantasy managers can find value at multiple positions at any point of the draft when on the clock.