The 2013 fantasy football season is approaching fast, and the focus for many owners has shifted to the point-per-reception (PPR) rankings.
While the quarterback, defense and kicker slots are not any different in a PPR league as opposed to a standard scoring league, the rankings are much different for running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.
All of the following players are the cream of their respective crops and will help lead you to a PPR fantasy championship.
Running Back: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs
While Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings and Arian Foster of the Houston Texans will be top picks in most drafts, Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has the potential to be the No. 1 overall player in the PPR format.
New head coach Andy Reid is notorious for his willingness to pass the ball at all times, and one of the biggest benefactors of that system is Charles. With elite pass-catching abilities, the Chiefs RB is in store for a huge jump in receiving numbers.
Kansas City is starting the year with Alex Smith as the starting quarterback, and not only are his weapons limited to just Dwayne Bowe and a few role players along the outside, but the need to dump the ball off will also result in monster season for Charles.
Predicted Stat Line: 250 carries for 1250 yards and four touchdowns, and 60 receptions for 800 yards and four touchdowns.
Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
There is no better wide receiver in the NFL than Detroit Lions star Calvin Johnson, and he will look to prove it once again by following up a legendary 2012 season with an even better campaign this year.
In a PPR league, seeing that Johnson was targeted by Detroit’s QBs 205 times last season is unbelievable, and with 122 receptions for 1964 yards, fantasy owners have to be salivating over what could be a similar campaign this season.
The Lions still lack the kind of complementary receivers that would ease the pressure on Johnson, and PPR owners should expect similar numbers in the receptions and yardage categories.
Fantasy players should also expect a jump in touchdowns, as the drop from 16 in 2011 to five in 2012 should remedy itself this year as the Megatron focuses on his red zone productivity.
Predicted Stat Line: 115 receptions for 1600 yards and nine touchdowns.
Tight End: Jimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
The impact of the return of head coach Sean Payton from his suspension can’t be underestimated, and the New Orleans Saints will see an offensive resurgence unlike anything the NFL has seen in a long time.
Tight end Jimmy Graham will be one of the centerpieces of the overhaul.
While Graham put up admirable numbers in 2012 (85 receptions for 982 yards and nine touchdowns), they paled in comparison to the numbers he amassed in 2011 with Payton calling the offensive shots (99 receptions for 1310 yards and 11 touchdowns).
The entire New Orleans offense is looking to start fresh after such a mediocre season, and with Drew Brees still slinging the ball around for the Saints, fantasy owners should expect a monster season from Graham.
Predicted Stat Line: 105 receptions for 1500 yards and 14 touchdowns.
All statistics courtesy of espn.go.com.