Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

PPR Draft Targets - Undervalued Running Backs

For fantasy football GMs, draft season is gearing up. Preparing for what is waiting for us in our virtual war-rooms is a key part of the process, and the first thing to know is the format of the league we're going to be part of. The difference between Standard and PPR (Point-Per-Reception) scoring systems is really simple, with the latter awarding one extra point to players who catch a pass. Standard scoring was a staple in the early days of fantasy football, but PPR has become the most played system lately.

It doesn't take a genius to know who this benefits the most: over-targeted receivers, pass-catching running backs, and reliable tight ends. While some players are good enough to put up good numbers on their pure talent, others might fall shorter on the ability leaderboard. Some of those, though, trump the most talented ones in fantasy leagues due to a heavier usage and racking up receptions that go for extra fantasy points.

Having the PPR scoring system in mind, it's time to discover which players are surefire bets to excel in leagues following that format that are currently being undervalued in drafts by fantasy GMs. Today, I'm highlighting four running backs who are primed to become studs in these leagues that have lower ADPs and prices than those they should be attached to.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Nyheim Hines, Indianapolis Colts

ADP 205.5, Projected PPR: 146.2

Even in the two weeks Marlon Mack wasn't active last season, Nyheim Hines couldn't crack the 10-rushing attempts mark logging nine and four in Weeks 12 and 13. That will, once more, be the case this season. Indianapolis will use both Mack and rookie Jonathan Taylor as its RB1 and RB2 on the ground, with Hines profiling as the No. 1 option in the backfield when it comes to the passing game.

Before getting too high on Hines you should know the player we're discussing here. Hines is most probably not going to win you the league. PFF has him projected for 146.2 PPR points in 2020, good for RB58. But keep in mind, though, that we're discussing PPR leagues here and there aren't that many running backs with Hines' upside and abilities when it comes to the passing game. Hines is one of just 11 running backs projected to 49+ receptions and the one projected to log the fewest opportunity share with a really low 14.3%. Just in case, only James White (discussed next) projects to get more PPR points over the year than Hines on a 15% or lower opportunity share.

Hines is a great FLEX option in PPR leagues and if either of Mack or Taylor fall injured he'll boost his numbers as he'll probably be used more on the ground (don't expect a lot on that front, though). Among running backs projected to get at least 100 opportunities in 2020, Hines has the third-highest ROI (ADP divided by final overall rank in PPR leagues) only behind Alvin Kamara and Raheem Mostert at the time of this writing.


James White, New England Patriots

ADP 139.1.7, Projected PPR: 153.8

Every year is the same story. Every year I think James White will be properly valued, and I always find myself on the wrong side of things. We're talking PPR leagues here, and White is basically a wide receiver disguised as a running back. White ranked sixth in targets and receptions, and third in receiving yards among rushers last season, and he's still getting drafted in the 11th round at the earliest.

Did I mention that he finished the year as the RB20 without even reaching 70 rushing attempts? That's White for you in the unknown. It will be hard for White to get more carries (PFF projects him to see 59 in 2020) but the targets and receptions clearly outweigh the rushing numbers. With a 77/58/435/2 (targets/receptions/receiving yards/TDs) projected line for next season, White is one of just eight RBs expected to reach at least a 75/55/435/2 line over the year.

Although not an incredible PPR scorer, White is one of (if not the) most reliable and steady performers in the NFL. Just look at his outcomes from 2019 in the chart above. Not counting his Week 12 dud and his impossibly great performance in Week 13, he would have averaged 12.9 PPG never diverging by more than six PPR points from that mark. Consider White a lock to give you 12 PPR points each and every week with upside to getting into the 20s if everything clicks for him.


Tarik Cohen, Chicago Bears

ADP 139.4, Projected PPR: 155.9

Cohen's profile and his situation in Chicago are incredibly similar to those of White (read above). Actually, PFF has White projected at 153.8 PPR points in 2020 and Cohen to 155.9. On a finer level of detail, White's projected receiving line reads 77/58/435/2 while Cohen's sits at 72/58/456/2. Simply put, these two tailbacks can't be closer in expected production and in ADP with virtually the same value there.

While I'm higher on White than on Cohen, the truth is that the latter brings a little bit more to the equation thanks to his usage on the running game. Cohen projects to get 19.8% of Chicago's rushing attempts (74) in 2020 compared to White's 13.6% (59 attempts). The best thing about White and also Cohen is that both, even playing the RB position, are projected to end next season as the third most-targeted players on their attacks with 16% of the targets going their ways.

Although Cohen had a middling first half in 2019 averaging 8.2 PPG from the first game to Week 9, he raised that average to 12.3 PPG during the last eight games of the season. He scored the 18th-most PPR points in that span thanks mostly to his 45 receptions, third only to Christian McCaffrey's 74 and Alvin Kamara's 48 from Week 10 on. Cohen recently admitted he didn't take care of his body properly last year, so it's possible that he will be recommitted to being better.


Le'Veon Bell, New York Jets

ADP 68.7, Projected PPR: 163.3

Considering Bell undervalued, with an ADP of 88.5 (inside the first six rounds), might be a little too much. But bear with me. Bell's current ADP, compared to where he is projected to finish the year in PPR points (RB14) makes him a very nice bargain. With PFF projecting Bell to reach 226.5 PPR points in 2020, that'd make him the 46th-best player overall in the NFL, thus giving him a ROI of 1.49. That mark is the second-highest among running backs getting drafted inside top-third rounds of 12-team leagues only behind Kamara's 4.1. The return on investment can't get much higher.

The perception of Bell's 2019 season is that of a rusher past his prime, and not a very good one all things considered. That is far from reality, though. Bell finished last year as the RB16 in PPR leagues and although he closed the season on a low-scoring streak he was able to perform as an RB1 in six of the first 11 games he played, and only finished below the RB2 threshold six times in 16 games. Bell is, at the very least, a high-level RB2 with upside to turn into an RB1 in 2020.

Most important for the purposes of this article, though, is the fact that he's one of only nine RBs projected to more than 50 receptions (52) and 65 targets. Bell has it all. He is the No. 1 rusher on his team by a mile (he projects to get 58.2% of the Jets rushing attempts, the ninth-highest mark among all RBs), should reach 800+ yards on the ground, and also has the pass-catching ability to consider him a do-it-all player very valuable in PPR leagues.

More Fantasy Football Analysis


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts


Jose Altuve19 mins ago

No Baseball Activities For Two Months
Jalen McDaniels25 mins ago

Ruled Out Wednesday
Mecole Hardman26 mins ago

Agrees To One-Year Deal With Jets
James Harden29 mins ago

Will Sit Wednesday
Alex Caruso32 mins ago

Will Play Against Philadelphia
Ja Morant37 mins ago

To Come Off Bench, See Minutes Limit Wednesday
Tyrese Haliburton42 mins ago

And Chris Duarte Ruled Out Wednesday
Kyle Hendricks52 mins ago

Has Three Bullpen Sessions Lined Up
Caleb Martin58 mins ago

Available To Play Wednesday
Kyle Lowry1 hour ago

Will Play Versus Knicks
Torey Krug1 hour ago

Won't Play On Thursday
Filip Hronek1 hour ago

Set For Canucks Debut Thursday
Kyrie Irving1 hour ago

Remains Out Versus Golden State
Luka Doncic1 hour ago

Will Play Wednesday
Bradley Beal1 hour ago

Sitting Versus Nuggets
Elvis Merzlikins1 hour ago

Available For Selection Again
Connor Ingram2 hours ago

Faces Oilers Wednesday
Brandon Nimmo2 hours ago

Could Be Ready For Games This Weekend
Stuart Skinner2 hours ago

In Oilers Crease On Wednesday
Shohei Ohtani2 hours ago

Will Throw In Minor League Game Friday
Darren Helm2 hours ago

Returns To Action Wednesday
Drew Rucinski2 hours ago

To Miss Next Start, IL Stint Possible
Cale Makar2 hours ago

Misses Another Game Wednesday
Kyle Tucker2 hours ago

Should Be Fine Moving Forward
Ranger Suárez2 hours ago

Ranger Suarez Likely To Begin Year On IL
Colton Cowser3 hours ago

Orioles Reassign Colton Cowser
Heston Kjerstad3 hours ago

Gets Reassigned
Oswald Peraza3 hours ago

Continues To Struggle
Keldon Johnson3 hours ago

Could Miss Second Consecutive Game
Jalen McDaniels3 hours ago

Questionable With Hip Soreness
Karl-Anthony Towns3 hours ago

Expected To Return On Wednesday
Bradley Beal4 hours ago

Now Listed As Questionable On Wednesday
Jordan Clarkson4 hours ago

Remains Sidelined With Finger Sprain
Lauri Markkanen4 hours ago

Is Available On Wednesday
Zion Williamson4 hours ago

Cleared For On-Court Activities
Paul George4 hours ago

Will Miss At Least Two-To-Three Weeks
D'Ernest Johnson5 hours ago

Signs With Jaguars
C.J. Stroud6 hours ago

Panthers Meet With C.J. Stroud
Jaxon Smith-Njigba6 hours ago

Runs 4.53 Unofficial Forty
DeAndre Hopkins6 hours ago

Not On Browns' Radar
Russell Wilson6 hours ago

Expected To Be Fine For OTAs
Hunter Brown8 hours ago

Scratched On Wednesday
Brandon Ingram8 hours ago

Scores Game-High 32 Points In Easy Win
Donovan Mitchell8 hours ago

Scores At Will Against Brooklyn
Trae Young8 hours ago

Collects Another Double-Double In Win
Miro Heiskanen9 hours ago

Matches Franchise Record Tuesday
Brett Baty9 hours ago

Survives Another Round Of Cuts
Wyatt Johnston9 hours ago

Pushes His Goal Streak To Five Games
Brandon Tanev9 hours ago

Produces A Big Performance Against Dallas
Francisco Alvarez9 hours ago

Mets Demote Francisco Alvarez
Luke Evangelista9 hours ago

Ties Franchise Record With Four-Point Period
Quinn Hughes9 hours ago

Continues Multi-Assist Streak
Troy Terry9 hours ago

Exits With Injury
Brock Nelson9 hours ago

Injured Versus Toronto
Josh Anderson9 hours ago

Gets Hurt Tuesday
Shintaro Fujinami18 hours ago

To Receive Extra Rest Between Regular Season Starts
Juan Soto18 hours ago

Oblique Strain Deemed "Minimal"
Clayton Kershaw19 hours ago

Pitches Well Tuesday
Byron Buxton19 hours ago

To Serve Primarily As DH
Lucas Giolito19 hours ago

Not Concerned With Velocity Dip Tuesday
Alex Ovechkin19 hours ago

Lights The Lamp In Capitals Loss
Shohei Ohtani19 hours ago

Wins World Baseball Classic MVP Award
Jack Roslovic19 hours ago

Scores Twice in Columbus Victory
Brandon Nimmo23 hours ago

Tests His Ankle/Knee
Noah Syndergaard23 hours ago

Pitches Through Blister Issue Tuesday
Taylor Montgomery23 hours ago

A Hard Fade In Austin
Sam Burns24 hours ago

Hard To Trust At WGC Dell Match Play
Kirby Dach1 day ago

Returns To Action Tuesday
Evgeny Kuznetsov1 day ago

A Game-Time Call Tuesday
Ryan Lindgren1 day ago

Back For Rangers Tuesday
Jordan Greenway1 day ago

Won't Play Tuesday
Arizona Cardinals1 day ago

Cardinals Agree With L.J. Collier On One-Year Deal
Dallas Cowboys1 day ago

Cowboys To Re-Sign Dante Fowler To One-Year Deal
Pittsburgh Steelers1 day ago

Steelers Re-Sign Cornerback James Pierre
Max Homa1 day ago

A Strong Contender In Austin
Atlanta Falcons1 day ago

Falcons Planning To Host Calais Campbell
Denver Broncos1 day ago

Broncos Expected To Draft RB This Year
Ronald Jones1 day ago

Cowboys Agree To Deal With Ronald Jones
Austin Ekeler1 day ago

Would Like To Stay With Chargers
Lamar Jackson1 day ago

Ready To Move On From Ravens?
Minnesota Vikings1 day ago

Vikings Re-Sign Jonathan Bullard
Miami Dolphins1 day ago

Dolphins Re-Sign Andrew Van Ginkel
Miles Sanders1 day ago

Viewed As Three-Down Back In Carolina
New England Patriots1 day ago

Dont'a Hightower Announces His Retirement
Bijan Robinson1 day ago

Taking Pre-Draft Visit With Eagles
Isaiah McKenzie1 day ago

Signing With Colts
Philadelphia Eagles1 day ago

Nicholas Morrow Agrees With Eagles
Tom Hoge1 day ago

A Bracket-Buster In Match Play
Hideki Matsuyama1 day ago

Doesn't Perform In Match Play
Kamaru Usman1 day ago

Unsuccessful In Bid To Recapture Title
Leon Edwards1 day ago

Defends Crown At UFC 286
Viktor Hovland1 day ago

Has Struggled In Match Play
Rafael Fiziev1 day ago

Has Strong Showing But Takes Loss
Justin Gaethje1 day ago

Puts On Another Highlight-Reel Performance
Tyrrell Hatton1 day ago

The Favorite In His Group
Bryan Barberena1 day ago

Suffers Second Straight Submission Loss
Gunnar Nelson1 day ago

Scores Impressive Finish At UFC 286
Will Zalatoris1 day ago

Needs Birdies At WGC Match Play
Jordan Spieth1 day ago

Can Advance At WGC Match Play
Matt Fitzpatrick1 day ago

May Struggle At WGC Match Play
Chris Kirk2 days ago

Draws A Bit Unlucky At WGC Match Play
Patrick Cantlay2 days ago

Has Good Chance At WGC Match Play
Brian Harman2 days ago

Has Putter's Chance To Contend At WGC
Tommy Fleetwood2 days ago

Has Challenge At WGC Match Play
Casey O'Neill2 days ago

Takes First Defeat Against Former Champion
Jennifer Maia2 days ago

Earns Decision Win Over Undefeated Opponent
Roman Dolidze2 days ago

Suffers Setback With Decision Loss
Marvin Vettori2 days ago

Picks Up Decision Win
Kyle Busch2 days ago

Finishes In Top 10 At Atlanta
Ty Gibbs2 days ago

Finishes Strong In Atlanta
Erik Jones2 days ago

Gets His First Top-10 Finish Of The Season
Ryan Blaney2 days ago

Bounces Back From Speeding Penalty
Denny Hamlin2 days ago

Has A Strong Showing
Tyler Reddick3 days ago

Hangs in For Fifth Place At Atlanta
Corey Lajoie3 days ago

Corey LaJoie Uses Course To Advantage On Sunday
Christopher Bell3 days ago

Ends Up With Another Top Five Result
Christopher Bell3 days ago

Brad Keselowski Noses Christopher Bell Out For Second
Joey Logano3 days ago

Goes From Pole To Win Sunday
Todd Gilliland4 days ago

Starts 23rd
Ryan Preece4 days ago

Starts 24th At The AmBetter Health 400
AJ Allmendinger4 days ago

Eyes Another Strong Finish
NASCAR4 days ago

Ricky Stenhouse Eyes Back-To-Back Superspeedway Wins
Tyler Reddick4 days ago

May Be Overlooked
Erik Jones4 days ago

Is A Value Play At Atlanta
Denny Hamlin4 days ago

Seeks Better Results
Noah Gragson4 days ago

Might Surprise At Atlanta Motor Speedway
Austin Dillon4 days ago

Looks To Bounce Back At Atlanta
Ty Dillon4 days ago

Hoping To Keep Car Running At Atlanta
NASCAR4 days ago

J.J. Yeley Starts 34th Sunday At Ambetter Health 400
Kamaru Usman5 days ago

Seeking Second Title Run
Leon Edwards5 days ago

Looks To Defend Crown On Saturday