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Coffin Corner: Who Likes Non-PPR?

Ray Flowers

Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: M-F at 5-8 PM EDT), Ray Flowers has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. You can follow Ray on Twitter (@BaseballGuys), he never sleeps, and you can also find more of his musings at BaseballGuys.com.

Coffin Corner: Who Likes Non-PPR?

What is this new-found infatuation with non-PPR leagues? Back in the day when scores were tabulated by hand it was easier to leave them out, but in this day and age of computers it makes no sense to me that leagues are reverting to non-PPR setups. I'll explain my reasoning in what follows before touching on some of the numbers that stand out to me as the NFL hits the quarter pole of the 2013 season (well almost since only two clubs haven't played four games this season).

WHY PPR OVER NON-PPR?

Velcro.

Delorean's.

Atari.

Leg Warmers.

Disco.

This is a list of some of the all-time favorites that have seen their heyday and drifted into the background of the mind as they were replaced with the next new fad (I guess disco is still around if you look hard enough). Six months ago I would have said that fantasy football leagues that didn't reward points for receptions, non-PPR leagues as we call them, would have been on this list as well. Not so. Not to call out any providers, but we all know that there are a couple out there who use as their default setting non-PPR. So in this day and age where our cell phones have more power than our home computers did 20 years, why have we regressed to using an archaic scoring system? The only exception I can sign off on is for those of you who have been playing in a league for 15 years and you always used non-PPR as a scoring system. Other than that one instance, I just don't get why anyone would favor that setup. Here's why.

In fantasy baseball a standard league uses 23 starters.
In fantasy football a standard league uses 10 starters (QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, TE, Flex, K, DEF).

That means we start 43 percent of the players in fantasy football that we start in fantasy baseball. Why would we want to further limit our penetration into the player pool by using a non-PPR setup? I say that because guys like Julian Edelman, Danny Woodhead etc. have tremendous value in PPR setups but in non-PPR action their value falls precipitously. Let's delve into the numbers.

(1) In Week 1 this season Miles Austin caught 10 balls for 72 yards. In a PPR setup that awards one point for each catch and one point for every 10 yards, Austin would then have scored 10 points for his catches and 7.2 points for the yardage for a total of 17.2 points. In a non-PPR setup where you are only rewarded for yards, Austin's effort in Week 1 would have earned him 7.2 points. A non-PPR league would have cut Austin's Week 1 point total by more than 50 percent. That seem right to you?

(2) Let's continue on with Austin's 7.2 points in Week 1. In a non-PPR setup Austin, who had 10 catches for 72 yards remember, scored one tenth less than Vincent Brown who had 7.3 points. What did Vincent Brown do in Week 1? He caught two balls for 13 yards an a touchdown. I ask you, honestly, is that an effort that should result in more points than Austin's effort. If you say yes I'm afraid I simply cannot, on any level, agree with you.

(3) In a non-PPR , BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the ball 14 times for 25 yards an a score in Week 1. He also caught a pass for four yards. His total point mark, because of the touchdown, was 8.90 points. Arian Foster ran for 57 yards and caught six passes for 33 yards. That effort only earned him 0.9 points more than BGJE. That seem right to you?

(4) In Week 2 Andre Ellington ran the ball four times for 20 yards. He also caught two balls for 42 yards an a score. In total, that's 62 yards of offense an a score on six touches. That's a solid effort no doubt, but should he have recorded more points than Alfred Morris who produced 120 yards of offense on 15 touches? In a non-PPR league Ellington earned 12.2 points while Morris earned 12.0 points.

(5) How can rankings of players can change in non-PPR and PPR setups? Some examples.

Jamaal Charles leads runners with 97.2 points in a PPR setup. That's tops in the league. In a non-PPR setup he has only 74.2 points, second at the position.

Darren Sproles has 72 points in a PPR setup. In a non-PPR setup he has only 47.0 points. He's 5th in points in PPR, in non-PPR he's 12th.

Danny Woodhead has 59.0 points in a PPR setup. In a non-PPR setup he has only 35.2 points. He's 12th in points in a PPR, in a non-PPR he's 20th.

At wide receiver...

Eddie Royal scored five times in the first two weeks of the season. As a result he's 11th in scoring in a non-PPR. In a PPR setup he's only at 20th in points at wide receiver.

Julian Edelman, Mr. Check-down for Tom Brady, is 6th in points in a PPR. In a non-PPR he's 17th.

Andre Johnson is 14th in a PPR setup thanks to 34 receptions, 368 yards and no scores. In a non-PPR he's sitting at 26th in points.

I'm sure people are still going to disagree, but to me it's a pretty simple. By using a non-PPR setup you are vastly overvaluing touchdowns. You're also devaluing players that don't score touchdowns. Those guys, even if they don't score, do make a difference in the real world and they do contribute to the success of their teams on the field and that should mean something.

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THE RED ZONE

0: Did you notice above when I noted that Andre Johnson hadn't scored a touchdown this season? Check this out. Andre scored twice in 2011 and four times in 2012. Add it all up and he has scored six touchdown his last 27 games. Wes Welker has caught six touchdowns in four games this season as he and Peyton Manning are making beautiful music.

2.4: The yards per carry mark of Maurice Jones-Drew which has led to 138 yards on 57 carries. His current YPC mark is 2.2 yards below his career rate of 4.6. Remarkably consistent, at least until 2013, MJD has never averaged less than 4.2 YPC over the course of his seven previous seasons. Dating back to last season he's also only been into the end zone as a runner two times in 10 contests.

6: The number of touchdowns produced by Jimmy Graham, the most of any tight end in football. Jordan Cameron is second at the position with five scores, now in five games. Compare those efforts to future HOFamer Jason Witten who scored three times in 2012 and five times in 2011. That's eight scores over 32 games for the Cowboy. The guy racks up catches but he just doesn't get into the end zone.

7: The number of quarterbacks who, at the quarter pole, are averaging 300 passing yards a game. They are: Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger and Robert Griffin III. Obviously if a fella averages 300 yards passing a game, and plays 16 games, he will throw for 4,800 yards. In the history of football there have only been 13 seasons in which a quarterback threw for at least 4,800 yards. Manning, Brees and Rodgers are all throwing for more than 350 yards a game. If you do that for 16 games you throw for 5,600 yards. The NFL record is 5,476 yards by Drew Brees in 2011.

52: The league leading target total of Cecil Shorts. That puts him on pace for a whopping 208 targets (the league leader last year was Calvin Johnson with 204 targets). Because of shoddy quarterback play Shorts has caught only 50 percent of the targets meaning he has only 26 receptions. To compare, Wes Welker also has 26 receptions though he has done so on only 36 targets.

708: The amount of passes that Matt Schaub is on pace to throw this season. He has never thrown the ball more than 583 times in a season. The Texans can't win if they are throwing the ball that much. Surprisingly, Schaub is just second in the NFL in pass attempts as Sam Bradford leads the way with 182 passes. That puts Bradford on pace to thrown 728 passes. The all-time record for pass attempts in a season is 727 set last season by Matthew Stafford.

1,740: The yardage pace that Torrey Smith is working on through a quarter of the NFL season. Considering that he recorded 1,696 yards his first two seasons, that's pretty good. He's also on pace for 84 receptions after catching just 50 and 49 passes his first two seasons. The only problem is that he's on pace for four scores after an average of 7.5 the past two years.

Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.