Fantasy Football 2019: PPR Cheat Sheet, Strategy and 4-Round Mock Draft

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 16: Dalvin Cook #33 of the Minnesota Vikings carries the ball in the first quarter of the game against the Miami Dolphins at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

As NFL teams narrow down their rosters to 53 spots, fantasy football managers who continue to put together their draft boards should heed last-minute advice. Before you line up your queue, it's important to understand and follow through with a clever strategy.

In order to build a winning roster, it takes more than knowing who will start or how many touches a running back will receive in an offense. Managers should have a plan B for injury-prone players, keep a few sleeper targets in mind and plan for the unexpected on draft day.

Don't freeze up when it's your turn to make a selection; with only one minute between picks, plan a blueprint you're ready to execute in order to dominate the draft.

Here we will sort out the top 50 players in point-per-reception leagues, go through a four-round mock draft and take a closer look at some elements to consider when on the clock.


Top 50 Players in PPR Leagues

1. RB Saquon Barkley, NYG

2. RB Alvin Kamara, NOR

3. RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR

4. RB Le'Veon Bell, NYJ

5. RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL

6. WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU

7. WR Julio Jones, ATL

8. WR Michael Thomas, NOR

9. RB James Conner, PIT

10. RB Chris Carson, SEA 

11. RB Dalvin Cook, MIN

12. RB David Johnson, ARZ

13. WR Davante Adams, GB

14. WR Tyreek Hill, KC 

15. WR Odell Beckham Jr., CLE 

16. WR Antonio Brown, OAK 

17. RB Joe Mixon, CIN

18. QB Patrick Mahomes, KC

19. WR Mike Evans, TB 

20. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT

21. TE Travis Kelce, KC

22. WR Adam Thielen, MIN 

23. RB Nick Chubb, CLE

24. RB Todd Gurley, LAR 

25. RB Devonta Freeman, ATL

26. WR Keenan Allen, LAC

27. RB Damien Williams, KC 

28. QB Deshaun Watson, HOU

29. RB Kerryon Johnson, DET

30. WR Amari Cooper, DAL

31. TE George Kittle, SF

32. WR Stefon Diggs, MIN 

33. RB Josh Jacobs, OAK 

34. RB Mark Ingram, BAL

35. RB Marlon Mack, IND 

36. RB Duke Johnson, HOU

37. WR Tyler Lockett, SEA

38. TE Zach Ertz, PHI 

39. RB Aaron Jones, GB

40. RB Leonard Fournette, JAC 

41. RB Phillip Lindsay, DEN

42. RB David Montgomery, CHI

43. WR Brandin Cooks, LAR

44. WR Calvin Ridley, ATL

45. WR Kenny Golladay, DET 

46. RB Derrick Henry, TEN

47. RB Sony Michel, NE 

48. WR Chris Godwin, TB

49. RB Tevin Coleman, SF 

50. WR Robby Anderson, NYJ


4-Round Mock Draft

Round 1

Team 1: RB Saquon Barkley, NYG

Team 2: RB Alvin Kamara, NOR

Team 3:  RB Christian McCaffrey, CAR

Team 4: RB Le'Veon Bell, NYJ

Team 5: RB Ezekiel Elliott, DAL

Team 6: WR DeAndre Hopkins, HOU

Team 7: WR Julio Jones, ATL

Team 8: WR Michael Thomas, NOR

Team 9: RB James Conner, PIT

Team 10: RB Chris Carson, SEA

Team 11: RB Dalvin Cook, MIN

Team 12: RB David Johnson, ARZ


Round 2

Team 12: RB Damien Williams, KC

Team 11: RB Joe Mixon, CIN

Team 10: WR Odell Beckham Jr., CLE

Team 9: WR Tyreek Hill, KC

Team 8: RB Nick Chubb, CLE

Team 7: RB Todd Gurley, LAR

Team 6: RB Devonta Freeman, ATL

Team 5: WR Antonio Brown, OAK

Team 4: WR Davante Adams, GB

Team 3: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT

Team 2: WR Mike Evans, TB

Team 1: WR Adam Thielen, MIN


Round 3

Team 1: RB Kerryon Johnson, DET

Team 2: RB Josh Jacobs, OAK

Team 3: RB Mark Ingram, BAL

Team 4: RB Duke Johnson, HOU

Team 5: RB Leonard Fournette, JAX

Team 6: QB Patrick Mahomes, KC

Team 7: RB Aaron Jones, GB

Team 8: RB David Montgomery, CHI

Team 9: WR Keenan Allen, LAC

Team 10: RB Marlon Mack, IND

Team 11: TE Travis Kelce, KC

Team 12: WR Stefon Diggs, MIN


Round 4

Team 12: TE George Kittle, SF

Team 11: RB Phillip Lindsay, DEN

Team 10: RB Derrick Henry, TEN

Team 9: WR Brandin Cooks, LAR

Team 8: WR Tyler Lockett, SEA

Team 7: RB Sony Michel, NE

Team 6: TE Zach Ertz, PHI

Team 5: WR Kenny Golladay, DET

Team 4: QB Deshaun Watson, HOU

Team 3: WR Calvin Ridley, ATL

Team 2: WR Chris Godwin, TB

Team 1: RB Tevin Coleman, SF


Protection for Injury-Prone 1st-Rounders

Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

Running back Dalvin Cook looked refreshed on an 85-yard touchdown run against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3 of the preseason. He missed 17 games in his first two years because of a torn ACL and a hamstring injury. Now healthy, the 24-year-old could play up to his potential.

According to the Star Tribune's Ben Goessling, offensive adviser Gary Kubiak's influence on the offense bodes well for Cook.

"Kubiak's teams have long prioritized the zone running schemes that helped make Terrell Davis a Hall of Famer and turned Arian Foster into the NFL's leading rusher in 2010," Goessling wrote.

While this all sounds good for Cook, fantasy managers must consider his spotty availability in the past. As shown above, Team 11 covered its injury-prone first-round pick (Cook) with Joe Mixon, a potential high-volume running back, in the second round, and Phillip Lindsay in the fourth round. 

In the best-case scenario, Team 11 will have two running backs set to handle a heavy workload. If Cook goes down with an injury, Lindsay, who finished ninth in rushing yards (1,037) last year, could slide into the starting lineup.

Fantasy managers can use this strategy with top wideouts who have struggled with injuries in the recent past, such as Keenan Allen, too.


No Top Wide Receivers Available? Grab a Tight End

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 22: Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts prior to the preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at Lincoln Financial Field on August 22, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

In terms of fantasy value, there's a gap between the top three tight ends—Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Zach Ertz—and the rest of the group.

Perhaps one of the few remaining lead wide receivers comes off the board a couple of picks before your turn. Don't reach for an alternative at the position. Instead, focus on one of the top tight ends mentioned above. All three led their respective teams in targets last year.

Under standard settings, approach the tight end spot like an extra slot for a wide receiver. A top-notch player at the former position could compensate for a weak collection of talent at the latter.

In other words, Kelce, Kittle and Ertz may help you cope with missing out on JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adam Thielen or Amari Cooper in the second and third rounds. Don't view the tight end position as an afterthought if you have the opportunity to snag a premier talent.


Marlon Mack's Opportunity to Shine in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - AUGUST 17: Marlon Mack #25 of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball during the first half of the preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterli
Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Quarterback Andrew Luck shocked the NFL with his decision to retire Saturday—his absence deflates fantasy values of the Indianapolis Colts pass-catchers, most notably wideout T.Y. Hilton and tight end Eric Ebron, who had a breakout year with the team in 2018.

In place of Luck, Jacoby Brissett could have a serviceable year, but he's unlikely to distribute the ball to his weapons like his predecessor. He started 15 games during the 2017 campaign, but the 26-year-old has much room to grow heading into his fourth season.

According to Football Outsiders, the Colts ranked fourth in run blocking last year; the offensive line averaged 4.83 adjusted line yards per carry. Indianapolis kept its front line intact, returning all five primary starters for the upcoming season. As a result, we could see significant growth from running back Marlon Mack.

Last year, Mack battled a hamstring injury that sidelined him four games early in the season, but he finished with 908 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

Backup running backs Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins may steal some carries and targets in the passing game. Nevertheless, Mack could eclipse 1,000 yards on the ground in the lead ball-carrier role behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.


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