Fantasy Football 2020: PPR Rankings Cheatsheet and Expert Reaction

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2020

OUT OF CAMERA FILE REQUEST - Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (41) celebrates his touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

It's hard to believe that the NFL season is right around the corner and fantasy drafts will commence in the coming weeks given the off-kilter sports calendar this year, but here we are. 

And that means draft prep is in full swing. So below, we've provided a top 25 list of PPR players and broken down some of the expert analysis from around the web on three of those players. It's time to maximize those fantasy picks. 

Field Yates @FieldYates

Clyde Edwards-Helaire: the number 1️⃣ rookie in fantasy football this season. https://t.co/MFwE8X0Ylv


PPR Top 25

1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

2. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants

3. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys

4. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints

5. Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints

6. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings

7. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans

8. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

9. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers

10. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals

11. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

12. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

13. Miles Sanders, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

14. Josh Jacobs, RB, Oakland Raiders

15. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers

16. Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals

17. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers

18. Chris Godwin, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

19. Allen Robinson, WR, Chicago Bears

20. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

21. Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

22. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs

23. Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens

24. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

25. George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers



You don't really need an expert to tell you why McCaffrey should be the top overall pick in all formats, and especially PPR. He finished as the 2019 MVP in PPR formats, outscoring the second-best running back, Aaron Jones, by an absurd 156 points. 

To put that in perspective, only 27 running backs scored 156 or more points in total in PPR formats last season. 

The key to McCaffrey's dominance is that he's unquestionably the best pass-catching halfback in the NFL. He may not replicate last season's gaudy receiving numbers (115 receptions for 1,005 yards and four scores), but even if he's in the general ballpark he'll be incredibly valuable for your team. 

Oh, and he's only 24 years old, so it's not like a fall in production should be coming anytime soon. Theoretically, he should only get better. Good luck, NFL defenses. 

But after McCaffrey, things get a bit trickier. Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas are all safe bets to produce, but what do fantasy football experts think about some of the other top players on the board?

Well for starters, a whole lot of folks love Kansas City rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. 

Fantasy Football Today @FFToday

"I LOVE, LOVE Clyde Edwards-Helaire!" - @JameyEisenberg Edwards-Helaire is worth a FIRST ROUND PICK in Fantasy drafts 🔥 https://t.co/6OldhIECyD

Graham Barfield @GrahamBarfield

Clyde Edwards-Helaire *should* have been a top-20 pick before Damien Williams opted out. Top-10 lock now. Over the last two years, Damien Williams has averaged 21.7 fantasy points per game in 16 starts (50% or more of snaps). That would have made him 2019's No. 2 RB behind CMC.

Mike Clay @MikeClayNFL

Edwards-Helaire is walking into a very similar situation to Kareem Hunt back in 2017. Hunt was expected to share with Spencer Ware who then landed on IR. Hunt then averaged ~18 carries/4 targets per game and was FF RB4. Oh and that was pre-Mahomes.

Brad Evans @NoisyHuevos

Why you should go ALL IN on Kenyan Drake this year: 1) Carved a 1,622 total yard, 16-TD pace with ARI in '19 2) Saw stacked front only 8.8% of time 3) No strong challengers for workload 4) Rising offense with Hopkins 5) Likely Kyler step forward 6) Club will boost OL in Draft

If you thought you were going to get Edwards-Helaire—a rookie on the league's most dangerous offense whose style of play is reminiscent of Brian Westbrook, who thrived under Andy Reid in Philadelphia—well, think again. You're going to need to invest a very high pick to nab him.  

Another value pick that sneaky, well-researched fantasy players might have thought they could wait a bit on is Kenyan Drake. But the buzz is out on him, too, after he thrived in Arizona last season. 

Graham Barfield @GrahamBarfield

How Kliff Kingsbury used Kenyan Drake last year: * 2nd among RBs in carries from shotgun (79%) for 5.5 YPC (5th-best) * Faced 8+ men in box on just 8% of carries (3rd-lowest rate) * 10th among RBs in off-tackle rushes (52%) for 5.6 YPC (5th-best)

Warren Sharp @SharpFootball

Are you kidding? Look at who’s been passing to Allen Robinson in his career 372 att from Blake Bortles 233 att from Mitchell Trubisky 29 att from Chase Daniel 11 att from Chad Henne 1 att from Bryan Walters Get this guy some accurate passes downfield & LOOK OUT! 👀🔥 https://t.co/FVw8RdDiPB

The Cardinals offense ticks many boxes. They have a lot of offensive playmakers, they like to run the ball and they have a quarterback in Kyler Murray that defenses have to focus on, potentially opening up running lanes.

The concern with Drake is that he's never rushed for 1,000 or more yards in a season. But 643 yards and eight touchdowns in eight games with the Cardinals last season is a pretty good indication that a major breakout season is on tap for Drake. 

Finally, can you really trust Allen Robinson? Before his strong 2019 season he offered fantasy players three duds in a row, and the quarterback situation in Chicago—Mitchell Trubisky vs. Nick Foles—is hardly inspiring. 

Those are fair points. But Robinson is talented. Don't forget that in 2015 he caught 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 scores. Last year's numbers didn't exactly come out of thin air. 

Also, keep in mind that Robinson has never exactly played with much talent at quarterback:

Evan Silva @evansilva

Allen Robinson caught 98 passes in 2019, seventh most in NFL. https://t.co/TzZANkigy8

Brad Evans @NoisyHuevos

What do The Honey Bears and this loudmouthed fantasy scribe have in common? What rookies could greatly exceed expectations and ADP? Why is Allen Robinson a WR top-five candidate? (See below) Full 2020 All-ManCrush Team --> https://t.co/fPQstcqK1D #FTN #FTNFantasy https://t.co/93TrS4ml4b

Trust in A-Rob. He has the talent to make you look very smart.