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PPR SPECTACULAR: Dominating your late Fantasy Football draft

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Say hello to the most important document you'll need, when preparing for 12-, 14- or even 16-team PPR drafts.

The new BATSBYSports.com offers a look at the annual PPR Draft Spectacular (longtime readers from SI.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, etc. swear by this document), breaking down certain targets-driven initiatives for fantasy playmakers at wide receiver, tight end and running back.

FUN FACT #1

Let’s start with a mind-blowing stat: Of his last 31 games, including the playoffs, Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins (115 catches, 1,572 yards, 11 TDs last season) has collected double-digit targets and/or one touchdown 29 times.

This feat holds even greater value, when factoring in this:

Covering the last two seasons, Hopkins caught balls from four different Houston quarterbacks (Brock Osweiler, Deshaun Watson, Tom Savage, T.J. Yates)—and only one of actual substance.

WIDE RECEIVERS

TOP 75 PPR WIDEOUTS

  1. Davante Adams, Packers
  2. DeAndre Hopkins, Texans
  3. Julio Jones, Falcons
  4. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers
  5. Tyreek Hill, Chiefs
  6. Michael Thomas, Saints
  7. Odell Beckham Jr., Browns
  8. Keenan Allen, Chargers
  9. Antonio Brown, Raiders
  10. Adam Thielen, Vikings
  11. Amari Cooper, Cowboys
  12. Mike Evans, Buccaneers
  13. Kenny Golladay, Lions
  14. Brandin Cooks, Rams
  15. Stefon Diggs, Vikings
  16. T.Y. Hilton, Colts
  17. Julian Edelman, Patriots
  18. Tyler Boyd, Bengals
  19. Alshon Jeffery, Eagles
  20. Tyler Lockett, Seahawks
  21. Calvin Ridley, Falcons
  22. Robert Woods, Rams
  23. A.J. Green, Bengals
  24. Mike Williams, Chargers
  25. Jarvis Landry, Browns
  26. Allen Robinson, Bears
  27. Cooper Kupp, Rams
  28. Dede Westbrook, Jaguars
  29. Robbie Anderson, Jets
  30. Sammy Watkins, Chiefs
  31. DJ Moore, Panthers
  32. Christian Kirk, Cardinals
  33. Will Fuller, Texans
  34. Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos
  35. Corey Davis, Titans
  36. Sterling Shepard, Giants
  37. Zay Jones, Bills
  38. Chris Godwin, Buccaneers
  39. Courtland Sutton, Broncos
  40. James Washington, Steelers
  41. Marvin Jones Jr., Lions
  42. Michael Gallup, Cowboys
  43. Robert Foster, Bills
  44. Anthony Miller, Bears
  45. Josh Gordon, Patriots
  46. Curtis Samuel, Panthers
  47. Dante Pettis, 49ers
  48. Geronimo Allison, Packers
  49. Jamison Crowder, Jets
  50. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals
  51. DeVante Parker, Dolphins
  52. Adam Humphries, Titans
  53. Devin Funchess, Colts
  54. Cole Beasley, Bills
  55. Keke Coutee, Texans
  56. Marques Valdes-Scantling, Packers
  57. Tre’Quan Smith, Saints
  58. Nelson Agholor, Eagles
  59. John Ross, Bengals
  60. John Brown, Bills
  61. Phillip Dorsett, Patriots
  62. Mecole Hardman, Chiefs
  63. Terry McLaurin, Redskins
  64. Parris Campbell, Colts
  65. DaeSean Hamilton, Broncos
  66. Marquise Goodwin, 49ers
  67. Golden Tate, Giants (four-week suspension)
  68. Danny Amendola, Lions
  69. Marquise Brown, Ravens
  70. Willie Snead, Ravens
  71. Albert Wilson, Dolphins
  72. Donte Moncrief, Steelers
  73. DK Metcalf, Seahawks
  74. Tyrell Williams, Raiders
  75. Mohamed Sanu, Falcons
    75b. Chris Conley, Jaguars

FUN FACT #2

In 2019, Davante Adams’ four games against the Vikings and Bears could have great consequences in fantasyland.

Green Bay opens the season against Chicago (road) and Minnesota (home) … and then faces the Bears and Vikings again for Weeks 15 and 16—universally the semifinal and final rounds of the fantasy playoffs.

Which brings us to this: Charting his last eight outings against Chicago and Minnesota, Adams was a perfect 8 for 8 in amassing 100 yards receiving and/or scoring one touchdown.

TARGETS ACQUIRED

Here’s one method assessment for quantifying elite-level consistency with seasonal and daily PPR leagues. These 20 wideouts notched at least eight games of eight-plus targets during the 2018 regular season:

14 games—Julio Jones

13 games—Davante Adams, JuJu Smith-Schuster

12—DeAndre Hopkins

11—Antonio Brown, Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr.

10—Adam Thielen, Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Brandin Cooks

9—Stefon Diggs, Robert Woods, T.Y. Hilton, Kenny Golladay, Larry Fitzgerald, Julian Edelman

8—Tyreek Hill, Amari Cooper

FUN FACT #3

Indy’s T.Y. Hilton led all wideouts in receiving yards (560) for Weeks 13-17 last year, while posting a robust catch-to-target rate of 66 percent.

Here’s what’s quirky, though: During that five-game run, Hilton merely topped 100 yards receiving twice; and the Week 17 showdown with the Titans yielded only two catches and 61 yards.

Here’s another stat worth mentioning: For the 2017 season, without now-retired Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Hilton registered four touchdowns and four outings of 100-plus yards in games started by Jacoby Brissett.

When cracking triple-digit yardage that year, Hilton owned robust averages of 6.3 catches, 10 targets, 166 yards and 0.7 TDs. So, at the very least, in the Colts’ new Luck-free era, there’s a boom-or-bust history with Hilton and Brissett.

THE CREAM ALWAYS RISES

Charting last season, 27 wideouts crossed the PPR-elite threshold of seven catches, 95 yards and/or one touchdown at least seven times:

15 games—Davante Adams

14 games—DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown

13—Julio Jones

12—Adam Thielen, JuJu Smith-Schuster

11—Stefon Diggs

10—Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, Julian Edelman, Tyler Lockett

9—Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill, Odell Beckham Jr., T.Y. Hilton

8—Robert Woods, Jarvis Landry, Brandin Cooks, Tyler Boyd

7—Kenny Golladay, Larry Fitzgerald, Dede Westbrook, Calvin Ridley, Chris Godwin, Anthony Miller, John Ross, A.J. Green

TIGHT ENDS

PRESEASON: TOP 35 PPR TIGHT ENDS

  1. Travis Kelce, Chiefs
  2. George Kittle, 49ers
  3. Zach Ertz, Eagles
  4. Evan Engram, Giants
  5. O.J. Howard, Buccaneers
  6. Jared Cook, Saints
  7. David Njoku, Browns
  8. Eric Ebron, Colts
  9. Hunter Henry, Chargers
  10. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings
  11. Vance McDonald, Steelers
  12. Jimmy Graham, Packers
  13. Delanie Walker, Titans
  14. Jordan Reed, Redskins
  15. Chris Herndon, Jets
  16. T.J. Hockenson, Lions
  17. Austin Hooper, Falcons
  18. Trey Burton, Bears
  19. Mark Andrews, Ravens
  20. Jesse James, Lions
  21. Jack Doyle, Colts
  22. Greg Olsen, Panthers
  23. Gerald Everett, Rams
  24. Dallas Goedert, Eagles
  25. Noah Fant, Broncos
  26. Ricky Seals-Jones, Cardinals
  27. Mike Gesicki, Dolphins
  28. Tyler Eifert, Bengals
  29. Jason Witten, Cowboys
  30. Will Dissly, Seahawks
  31. Andrew Beck/Benjamin Watson, Patriots
  32. Blake Jarwin, Cowboys
  33. Dawson Knox, Bills
  34. Cameron Brate, Buccaneers
  35. Hayden Hurst, Ravens


TARGETS ACQUIRED, PART II

These eight tight ends notched at least seven games of six-plus targets last season.

By comparison, 10 tight ends crossed the same threshold in 2017.

15 games—Travis Kelce

14 games—Zach Ertz, George Kittle

13 games—None

12—None

11—None

10—None

9—Eric Ebron

8—Jared Cook, David Njoku, Jordan Reed

7—Jimmy Graham

TIERS OF A CLOWN: DRAFT NIGHT

TIER I — Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, George Kittle
TIER II — Evan Engram, David Njoku, O.J. Howard
TIER III — ErIc Ebron, Jared Cook, Hunter Henry, Vance McDonald
TIER IV — Jimmy Graham, Kyle Rudolph, TJ Hockenson, Noah Fant, Dallas Goedert, Delanie Walker, Mark Andrews, Jordan Reed, Chris Herndon, Jesse James
TIER V — Jack Doyle, Tyler Eifert, C.J. Uzomah, Will Dissly, Ricky Seals-Jones, Mike Gesicki, Jason Witten, Tyler Eifert,
TIER VI — Hayden Hurst, Cameron Brate, Blake Jarwin, Dawson Knox, Andrew Beck, Benjamin Watson, Cameron Brate

THE CREAM ALWAYS RISES, PART II

Charting last season, only five tight ends crossed the PPR-elite threshold of six catches, 80 yards and/or one touchdown at least seven times:

12 games—Travis Kelce

11 games—George Kittle, Eric Ebron

10—Zach Ertz

9—None

8—None

7—Jared Cook

RUNNING BACKS

PRESEASON: TOP 70 PPR TAILBACKS

  1. Saquon Barkley, Giants
  2. Christian McCaffrey, Panthers
  3. Alvin Kamara, Saints
  4. Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys
  5. Le’Veon Bell, Jets
  6. David Johnson, Cardinals
  7. James Conner, Steelers
  8. Joe Mixon, Bengals
  9. Todd Gurley, Rams
  10. Nick Chubb, Browns
  11. Leonard Fournette, Jaguars
  12. Kerryon Johnson, Lions
  13. Dalvin Cook, Vikings
  14. Melvin Gordon, Chargers
  15. Aaron Jones, Packers
  16. Sony Michel, Patriots
  17. Marlon Mack, Colts
  18. Chris Carson, Seahawks
  19. Phillip Lindsay, Broncos
  20. Damien Williams, Chiefs
  21. Devonta Freeman, Falcons
  22. James White, Patriots
  23. Derrick Henry, Titans
  24. Mark Ingram, Ravens
  25. Tevin Coleman, 49ers
  26. Josh Jacobs, Raiders
  27. Kenyan Drake, Dolphins
  28. David Montgomery, Bears
  29. Miles Sanders, Eagles
  30. Duke Johnson, Texans
  31. Austin Ekeler, Chargers
  32. Derrius Guice, Redskins
  33. Tarik Cohen, Bears
  34. Devin Singletary, Bills
  35. Darrell Henderson, Rams
  36. LeSean McCoy, Chiefs
  37. Peyton Barber, Buccaneers
  38. Nyheim Hines, Colts
  39. Jordan Howard, Eagles
  40. Matt Breida, 49ers
  41. Dion Lewis, Titans
  42. Adrian Peterson, Redskins
  43. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks
  44. Latavius Murray, Saints
  45. Jalen Richard, Raiders
  46. Jaylen Samuels, Steelers
  47. Ronald Jones, Buccaneers
  48. Justin Jackson, Chargers
  49. T.J. Yeldon, Bills
  50. Kallen Ballage, Dolphins
  51. Chris Thompson, Redskins
  52. Gus Edwards, Ravens
  53. Giovani Bernard, Bengals
  54. Darwin Thompson, Chiefs
  55. Ito Smith, Falcons
  56. Justice Hill, Ravens
  57. Corey Clement, Eagles
  58. Carlos Hyde, Texans
  59. Kareem Hunt, Brown (eight-game suspension)
  60. Alexander Mattison, Vikings
  61. Chase Edmonds, Cardinals
  62. C.J. Anderson, Lions
  63. Jamaal Williams, Packers
  64. Mike Davis, Bears
  65. Damien Harris, Patriots
  66. Cameron Artis-Payne, Panthers
  67. Ty Montgomery, Jets
  68. Frank Gore, Bills
  69. Benny Snell Jr., Steelers
  70. Ryquell Armstead, Jaguars

FUN FACT #4

Charting his last 25 complete games with the Steelers (including the playoffs), new Jets tailback Le’Veon Bell had reached the elite-level threshold of 100 total yards and/or one touchdown 22 times.

The three so-called clunkers can be easily rationalized, as well:

a) In 2017, Bell needed the first two games last year to get in football shape, after missing all of training camp (contract dispute).

b) For the October 2017 loss to the Jaguars, Bell accounted for 93 total yards and 10 receptions—or the equivalent of 19.3 PPR points.

c) Also for that Week 5 outing, a touchdown-free Bell still finished fifth among PPR backs.

OPPOSING FORCES AT WORK

There are two ways to characterize David Johnson’s candidacy as a top-five tailback — ahead of Le’Veon Bell, Melvin Gordon and maybe even James Conner:

a) The optimist would say: From Thanksgiving weekend 2015 to Week 16 of the 2016 campaign, spanning 21 regular-season outings … Johnson notched 100 total yards and/or one touchdown 20 times.

b) The negative person would counter: Since incurring significant injuries for his last games of 2016 and 2017, Johnson has eclipsed 100 rushing yards just once in that subsequent span.

Plus, of his final six games last season, Johnson owned painfully mediocre averages of 75 total yards and 0.3 touchdowns.

50-AND-OVER CLUB

Here’s a look at the 21 running backs who collected a minimum of 50 receiving targets last season:

  1. Christian McCaffrey—124 targets
  2. James White—123
  3. Saquon Barkley—121
  4. Alvin Kamara—105
  5. Ezekiel Elliott—95
  6. Tarik Cohen—91
  7. Todd Gurley—81
  8. Nyheim Hines—81
  9. Jalen Richard—81
  10. T.J. Yeldon—78
  11. David Johnson—76
  12. Theo Riddick—75
  13. Kenyan Drake—73
  14. James Conner—71
  15. Dion Lewis—67
  16. Melvin Gordon—66
  17. Duke Johnson—62
  18. Joe Mixon—55
  19. Chris Thompson—53
  20. Austin Ekeler—51
  21. Devontae Booker—51

Jay Clemons, the 2008 Fantasy Football Writer of the Year and 2015 Cynopsis Media award winner for “Sports Blog Of The Year,” has previously served as the lead fantasy analyst for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports South, Bleacher Report and Fanball.com.

About The Managing Editor

Jay Clemons remains the only sports writer on the planet to capture Cynposis Media’s national award for Sports Blog Of The Year (beating out NBA.com, MLB.com, PGATour.com, The Players’ Tribune in 2015), along with the Fantasy Sports Writers Association’s pre-eminent award for Best Writer (2008). Through the years, Mr. Clemons has been a key figure with numerous blue-chip sports/media brands, namely the Detroit Lions, Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report and the NBC/Universal family. With Sports Illustrated (2006-11), Clemons served a triple role with SI.com‘s heralded football coverage—editing Peter King’s famed ‘Monday Morning Quarterback’ column, penning award-winning pieces for NFL and then writing/narrating scripted videos within the NFL and baseball realms. In 2013, Clemons’ first year with the company, FOX Sports South enjoyed a monumental increase of approximately 34 million Web hits in a 12-month cycle—merely posting 11 million hits the previous year. 

Then, over a two-month span in 2014, FOX Sports South amassed 19.5 million Web hits—a 60-day record for any FOX affiliate. And in 2015, Clemons claimed the aforementioned Cynopsis Media award on FOX Sports’ behalf, the company’s only national writing award during that period. Clemons, a graduate of Michigan State University  and Wayne State University, has been an on-camera Web-TV host for Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report and FOX Sports. In 2015, he also became the first-ever sports journalism professor at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta.

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