Running back, wide receiver, and tight end all see shakeups in their rankings in PPR leagues compared to standard, but just how pronounced are the differences? For wideouts, it’s not as dramatic as it is for backs, but it’s still important to note which players are more appealing in PPR formats. While the players at the top, such as Stefon Diggs and Davante Adams, are equally as valuable across both formats last season, more mid-tier and late-round sleepers emerge when you factor in even a half-point uptick per reception. Our 2021 fantasy WR PPR rankings highlight those players, as well as pass-catchers who go from “good” to “great.”
Take Keenan Allen for example. In standard formats last season, Allen finished as the No. 18 WR. However, he finished at No. 13 in PPR formats. The difference lies in the obvious points per reception and average yards per reception. Allen charted 100 catches (tied for fifth) but produced just 9.9 yards per reception (96th among WRs). In formats that don’t reward receptions, it’s easy to see why he fell to a slightly more pedestrian ranking.
On the flip side, Chase Claypool was up nine spots (14th) in standard compared to PPR. Registering just 62 receptions last year, Claypool had a limited PPR ceiling. But with 14.1 yards per reception and 11 total touchdowns (including two rushing), he was able to maximize his touches to the fullest extent, a recipe for standard success from a lower-volume player.
In PPR formats specifically, target share and an offenses’ passing volume is extra significant. Players who are force-fed passes are highly valuable, regardless of whether they have big-play ability. Route-running technicians who command volume are the most reliable in PPR, especially if they are also explosive downfield receivers. However, there are players who are explosive downfield receivers that aren’t going to see a large number of receptions — Claypool, Mike Williams, etc. Of course they are still valuable to a roster, but not in the same way reception hogs are.
Look for players who are set to see a lot more targets and receptions due to vacated targets from last year, such as Calvin Ridley with the loss of Julio Jones or D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson with Curtis Samuel out of town, or guys like Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper, Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel, or DJ Chark and Laviska Shenault Jr., whose offenses are set to take a step forward in passing volume and efficiency. These players range from elite options to mid-tier breakout candidates. Meanwhile, guys like Tyler Boyd, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, Cole Beasley, Antonio Brown, Darnell Mooney, Jalen Reagor, and DeVonta Smith also play in high-volume offenses that should give them plenty of opportunities to be every-week WR2/3s in PPR.
Wide receiver is always a deep position in fantasy, and you can find players later in the draft who are set to command a lot of targets. Just make sure to understand the format of your league before the draft and evaluate the difference between PPR and standard rankings.
We’ll be adjusting these WR PPR rankings and providing further analysis from now until Week 1, so check back for updates. For individual player analysis, check out our standard-league WR rankings.
2021 Fantasy WR PPR Rankings
Rankings are based on full-point PPR scoring formats
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