Cassy Aite

What Does PPR Mean in Fantasy Football?

Jan 30
8 minutes

To attract new players, create balance, and keep things interesting for veterans, fantasy football is always coming up with new formats, drafts, and other alterations to the game. From auction drafts to the highly touted superflex league, fantasy continuously evolves.

But aside from the draft and starting lineups, scoring systems have also changed how fantasy players earn their way to the title. One of those is PPR.

If you’ve been asked to join a league or you're a first-time player, you might be asking yourself, “What does PPR mean in fantasy football?” Well, we’re here to help you make sense of it. Discover the ins and outs of PPR and how you can turn this scoring format into a driver of fantasy points in your respective league.

What Does PPR Mean in Fantasy Football?

A football wide receiver in a red and white uniform wearing number 80 and holding a football

PPR in fantasy football stands for a point per reception. This means that any offensive player who catches a pass instantly earns 1 additional point on top of yardage and touchdowns. In a pass-heavy NFL, this translates to more weekly points for fantasy managers who choose heavily targeted wide receivers, tight ends with great hands, and pass-catching running backs often targeted by the quarterback.

For example, let’s say the heavy pass-catching Eagles are up against the Browns. Every time AJ Brown catches a pass, he gets one point, regardless of how many yards or touchdowns he gets — even in worst-case scenarios. If he catches 10 passes for 20 yards and 0 TDs, fantasy players would still get 12 points (10 points for PPR and 2 points for yardage), even though Brown never found the end zone, and his overall stat line leaves much to be desired.

As a result, fantasy teams can tally loads of extra points — on average as much as 40% to 60% — simply for loading up top quarterback targets from pass-heavy teams or exploiting matchups against teams with poor pass defenses.

Aside from PPR, the scoring largely remains the same. Positive yardage for rushing and receiving and touchdowns add even more points, while fumbles and interceptions remove them.

PPR leagues can also combine the scoring format with any other league type. So, you can have a PPR league that also uses IDP, superflex or flex, D/ST, and other formats that your league commish chooses.

What’s the Difference Between PPR, Half-PPR, and Standard Scoring?

Though PPR has surged in popularity, it’s not the only scoring format used in fantasy football. Half-PPR leagues and standard scoring still have their rightful place in the fantasy football world.

Standard Scoring

Standard scoring leagues — also known as non-PPR leagues — add points for positive yardage and touchdowns and subtract points for fumbles and negative yardage. This is still a format favored by purists who deem the PPR format as imbalanced, which is a highly debatable issue. In standard leagues, the idea is that players aren’t rewarded for inefficiency. You must pick up rushing yards or have a strong passing game to tally points.

Half-PPR Scoring

Half-PPR scoring — where receivers earn a half-point (0.5) instead of a full point (1) for each reception — is also widely used. Unsurprisingly, half-point PPR is the happy medium between standard league scoring and full-point PPR. Many fantasy players view half-PPR as the perfect balance, giving points for a reception, but without making PPR overpowering during either a regular season or playoff matchup.

What Fantasy Football Leagues Use PPR?

In most cases, PPR scoring has become the standard scoring method in most fantasy football leagues. However, some leagues don’t automatically have PPR scoring, while others allow the commissioner to choose the scoring.

Here are the default settings for the most popular fantasy football leagues:

  • ESPN: Full PPR, option to choose half-PPR
  • NFL Fantasy/ Full PPR, option to choose half-PPR
  • CBS Sports: Full PPR, option to choose half-PPR
  • Sleeper: Full PPR, option to choose half PPR
  • Apex Fantasy Leagues: Full PPR
  • Yahoo: Half PPR, option to choose full PPR

PPR and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

If you’re a DFS player, you likely gravitate to the two big names in the industry: FanDuel and DraftKings. Both use PPR formats, but perhaps to provide some parity, they use different PPR formats. FanDuel opts for half-PPR scoring, and DraftKings goes with full-PPR scoring, so consider that when you’re selecting your team with the budget given.

The Emergence of Tiered PPR and Point Per First Down

A football player stretching for the goal line while a defender leaps over him

So, “What does PPR mean in fantasy football?” In the dynamic fantasy football realm, it can mean more than just one-point and half-point receptions.

The constant evolution of fantasy football means that scoring formats will continue to change — or maybe players in multiple leagues just want some variety during the season. Whatever the case, tiered PPR point per first down (PPFD), and yardage-based PPR have gained some traction as alternative PPR formats.

Tiered PPR Format

Though tiered PPR is far from the standard, it’s something that fantasy football players may want to acquaint themselves with moving forward. As the name implies, tiered PPR gives different amounts of points based on either the player making the reception or how much yardage they gain on a reception.

In position-based tiered PPR, the player’s position determines the number of PPR points:

  • Running backs: 0.5 points
  • Wide receivers: 1 point
  • Tight Ends: 1.5 points

This may include variations on the number of points per position, but you get the gist of it.

Point Per First Down Format

Point per first down — or PPFD — are league scoring formats that include additional points on top of standard PPR or half-PPR leagues. In PPFD, players are awarded either 1 point or 0.5 points for each first down they achieve.

For example, let’s say the Lions are taking on the Vikings in a divisional matchup. If Jared Goff completes an 8-yard pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown for a first down, and you’re in a full-PPR plus full-PPFD league, St. Brown would net you 2.8 points on that catch alone — 1 point for the reception, 1 point for the first down, and 0.8 points for yardage.

Interestingly, a 1-yard pass reception for a first down can be worth more (2.1 points) than a 10-yard reception on 3 and 13 (2 points), so some might find this unbalanced. However, the game's object is to get first downs, and a receiver with field position awareness should get rewarded for their efforts — or so it would seem in a PPFD league.

Yardage-Based PPR Format

If you want to circumnavigate the issues with PPFD or ostensibly ruin the feasibility of a West Coast-style offense in the fantasy football world, yardage-based PPR formats make sense.

In this PPR format, the value of the PPR is solely determined by the length of the reception. Here’s an example of what yardage-based PPR scoring might look like in a fantasy league:

  • 0 to 4 yards = 0.25 points
  • 5 to 9 yards = 0.5 points
  • 10 to 19 yards = 1 point
  • 20 to 24 yards = 1.25 points
  • 25 to 29 yards = 1.5 points
  • 30+ yards = 2 points

With yardage-based PPR, teams aren’t unfairly tallying PPR points for low-yardage receptions, while big plays get even more of a boost.

Fantasy Football Draft Considerations in PPR Leagues

In many ways, your fantasy football draft doesn’t change much from non-PPR leagues. Running backs, elite wide receivers, and pass-catching tight ends should remain at the top of your draft board, as well as using the average draft position (ADP) to size up the best possible pick.

However, one aspect that may change is that you can push your QB selection further down the draft board. Obviously, you still want a top QB if you can find them, but your league mates will almost certainly opt for pass catchers over QBs for those extra PPR points. Don’t neglect the QB position; just put it further down on your must-have list.

Late in the draft, PPR scoring may force you to choose a #3 or #4 wide receiver compared to perhaps a D/ST position or a kicker. A decent D/ST or kicker is almost always available on the waiver wire, and compared to a receiver, you might accumulate more points going with the latter.

Research Your Way To the Top of Your PPR League

Answering the question, “What does PPR mean in fantasy football?” is the precursor to a successful campaign. Drafting well, planning for bye weeks, and navigating the waiver wire are crucial parts to victory in a fantasy football league — PPR, half-PPR, non-PPR, or otherwise. So don’t leave your fantasy football league because you forgot to prepare.

With Wise Guys Edge, you have all the tools you need to forge an unforgettable season, fly up the rankings, and emerge as the triumphant winner of your fantasy NFL playoffs. Using odds from Vegas sportsbooks, five-player comparison tools, and an in-depth blog, you have just what you need to succeed. From deciding who to sit or start to nabbing a sleeper free agent from the waiver wire, Wise Guys Edge puts you at the top of your game.