PPR vs Standard ADP: Running Backs

Most of the names that benefit from points per reception won’t surprise you. These are the players that help make a receiver-heavy strategy early in drafts pay off. Ideally, you want a running back who is on the field every down, but in today’s NFL, those are unicorns.

The table below shows the differential between 2016 running back ADP in standard drafts compared to PPR formats. All PPR data is courtesy NFFC. Standard ADP comes from Yahoo! leagues.

Player Standard PPR +/-
Danny Woodhead (RB, SD) 118.1 59.4 58.7
Duke Johnson Jr. (RB, Cle) 105.5 58.6 46.9
Giovani Bernard (RB, Cin) 105.0 68.6 36.4
Charles Sims (RB, TB) 128.3 93.7 34.6
Theo Riddick (RB, Det) 101.4 29.6
Dion Lewis (RB, NE) 85.3 56.6 28.7
Matt Jones (RB, Was) 78.8 58.0 20.8
Ameer Abdullah (RB, Det) 105.2 90.1 15.1
Frank Gore (RB, Ind) 92.3 78.1 14.2
T.J. Yeldon (RB, Jax) 117.7 105.4 12.3
Arian Foster (RB, Mia) 103.7 91.9 11.8
Rashad Jennings (RB, NYG) 117.6 107.4 10.2
Jeremy Langford (RB, Chi) 85.9 77.0 8.9
DeAngelo Williams (RB, Pit) 99.4 90.9 8.5
Tevin Coleman (RB, Atl) 128.1 121.0 7.1
Melvin Gordon (RB, SD) 95.4 90.4 5.0
Devonta Freeman (RB, Atl) 21.2 17.6 3.6
Isaiah Crowell (RB, Cle) 125.5 122.3 3.2
DeMarco Murray (RB, Ten) 54.1 55.1 -1.0
Todd Gurley (RB, LA) 5.3 6.7 -1.4
Le’Veon Bell (RB, Pit) 8.7 11.0 -2.3
Ezekiel Elliott (RB, Dal) 7.5 10.7 -3.2
David Johnson (RB, Ari) 3.9 7.1 -3.2
Lamar Miller (RB, Hou) 13.9 17.4 -3.5
Adrian Peterson (RB, Min) 8.6 12.6 -4.0
Eddie Lacy (RB, GB) 27.9 32.0 -4.1
Matt Forte (RB, NYJ) 39.5 44.7 -5.2
LeSean McCoy (RB, Buf) 32.4 37.9 -5.5
Mark Ingram (RB, NO) 24.1 29.9 -5.8
Derrick Henry (RB, Ten) 118.3 125.0 -6.7
Ryan Mathews (RB, Phi) 67.7 74.4 -6.7
Chris Ivory (RB, Jax) 95.0 102.0 -7.0
Justin Forsett (RB, Bal) 113.4 120.6 -7.2
Jamaal Charles (RB, KC) 16.8 24.1 -7.3
Latavius Murray (RB, Oak) 53.9 62.9 -9.0
C.J. Anderson (RB, Den) 32.9 42.9 -10.0
Thomas Rawls (RB, Sea) 39.1 50.1 -11.0
Jeremy Hill (RB, Cin) 61.2 72.3 -11.1
Shane Vereen (RB, NYG) 145.0 -14.0
C.J. Prosise (RB, Sea) 130.5 145.3 -15.3
Doug Martin (RB, TB) 21.1 37.3 -16.2
Bilal Powell (RB, NYJ) 127.5 143.7 -16.2
Carlos Hyde (RB, SF) 33.7 53.9 -20.2
Jay Ajayi (RB, Mia) 84.4 118.7 -34.3
Jonathan Stewart (RB, Car) 61.7 100.4 -38.7

The first thing to note is that Yahoo!’s ADP only goes to 130.5, where CJ Prosise closes out the list. Speaking of Prosise, as a player coming out of college with his receiving background, a higher ADP in standard leagues is surprising. That will probably change if the rookie’s role starts to become defined in Seattle’s jumbled RB depth chart.

Two other players who aren’t quite represented properly here are Theo Riddick and Shane Vereen, who skew quite heavily toward the PPR side. They are going later than 130 in Yahoo! drafts, so I calculated their standard ADP as the very next pick at 131 overall — probably 4 or 5 rounds too soon based on their rankings.

You’ll see that almost all of the upper tier backs are discounted in PPR leagues. That is increasingly due to the studly options at wide receiver and late value at running back. Devonta Freeman is the only RB with a standard ADP above round six that is seeing a PPR bump.

Favored in PPR Leagues

Theo Riddick, DET (+29.6)
Riddick would top this list if Yahoo! kept ADP data beyond the 130th pick. He’s going in the round 15 range and sometimes undrafted in standard mocks, so his ranking in the 180-ish range would push his PPR value to about 80 selections higher than standard formats. The fourth-year back should remain in a pass catching role, as his targets actually went up in the second half of last season when Jim Bob Cooter took over as Lions offensive coordinator. Teammate Ameer Abdullah (+15.1) is getting a PPR bump as well.

Gio Bernard, CIN (36.4)
Gio has been a staple PPR back since he came out of North Carolina in 2013. He is a remarkably reliable, performer, getting 71, 59 and 66 targets in his first three seasons. The question now is, how good is the power back in Cincinnati’s offense, Jeremy Hill (-11.1), who has been up-and-down over two seasons. Will he take more touches from Bernard, as he did in 2014? Also, with former OC Hue Jackson now the head coach in Cleveland, will the Bengals operate within the same two-back structure?

Duke Johnson, CLE (+46.9)
The aforementioned Hue Jackson hire as Browns head coach has PPR drafters extremely excited for Johnson’s 2016 season. The second-year back out of Miami has already shown Gio-like ability out of the backfield. Now he has a coach who has proven ability to utilize such a player. There is also less on Cleveland’s depth chart preventing Johnson from earning early down carries.

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Charles Sims, TB (+34.6)
Sims doesn’t have the upside of some other running backs due to a clear No. 1 above him on the Tampa depth chart. He does have a defined pass-catching role, though, with 51 receptions and 1,000 combined yards a year ago. If Doug Martin (-16.2) were to get hurt, Sims has added value as the handcuff. On the other hand, don’t sell Martin short, as he has receiving skills to put together a monster workhorse season if Sims were to fall victim to injury.

Favored in Standard Leagues

Johnathan Strewart, CAR (-38.7)
Not only did Stewart catch just 19 balls in 2015, his workload is expected to decrease in his age 29 season. I’m as shocked as you are about that last sentence. It feels like Stewart should be well into his 30’s by now. Stewart and other running backs who have that shiny “starter” attached to their name stand to lose the most ground versus PPR drafts.

Carlos Hyde, SF (-20.2)
Chip Kelly’s impact is expected to be rather large for a team that annually ran the league’s slowest paced offense before he arrived. Hyde’s value should be massively impacted by this switch. All that’s left for the third-year back is to put his string of injuries in the past. Hyde probably doesn’t deserve the treatment of an early-down plodder that doesn’t catch passes. He has passing down skills. Call me skeptical that Chip is in a hurry to usurp Hyde and manufacture touches for backup Shaun Draughn, who is a fine player, but no Darren Sproles.