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Points Per Deception: A Look at PPR Scoring

Looking at a compromise scoring system between PPR and no PPR.

Fantasy football has had many scoring tweaks along the way, but none are quite as controversial as the point per reception, or PPR. The motivation of adding PPR to many leagues, including many higher stakes leagues, is rather simple - it boosts the scores of both wide receivers and tight ends to be more in line with running backs. What's the point? Well, running backs score the most in fantasy football with the possible exclusion of quarterback. However, since quarterbacks have their own scoring categories (passing touchdowns, interceptions, passing yardage), many leagues can adjust quarterback totals lower to be closer to that of a good running back.

So why bother? What is the importance of getting all the various positions about equal? Well, this scoring normalization allows for a few things. First, your team is no longer dependent solely upon one player. If Aaron Rodgers will likely score 400 points in your league but Adrian Peterson and Todd Gurley are both projected for 200, the league is dependent upon quarterbacks. You have to get an elite quarterback just to compete, as having two of the top three running backs barely gets you the same point total as Rodgers. Now, if they are closer together, there becomes a point where there is a competitive balance amongst positions. It is okay for a quarterback to be the highest scoring position in your league, but the relative value cannot be out of whack. Otherwise there is too much pressure on having a key quarterback and minimization of the remaining positions.

How about wide receivers and tight ends? Well, this is where PPR really comes in. Wide receivers and tight ends are elevated to closer valuations of running backs in fantasy leagues with PPR scoring. It is also becoming more standard, as is adding a third wide receiver. Both maneuvers increase the relative value of both wide receivers and tight ends in one fell swoop.


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