Notable PPR Decliners: Running Back Edition (Marshawn Lynch, Alfred Morris & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We’ve looked at some of the notable running back risers when leagues move to PPR formats (click here to view), but what about those who lose significant value?  Let’s take a look:


Marshawn Lynch – Seattle Seahawks
PPR Ranking – 16
Non-PPR Ranking – 11

Lynch’s inclusion on this list shouldn’t be a major surprise.  The Seahawks aren’t a team that puts the ball in the air very often (420 passing attempts last season, 405 in 2012) and if they are going to throw the ball more in 2014 you would think it would be to someone like Percy Harvin.  Last season’s 36 receptions was just the second time Lynch has caught more than 28 passes (47 back in 2008) and in his first three seasons in Seattle he posted:

  • 2010 – 21
  • 2011 – 28
  • 2012 – 23

Those limitations are just added to the potential for struggles in general (we talked about how Lynch was a potential bust candidate here) and there are ample reasons to avoid him in non-PPR formats.  He’s just that much worse in PPR leagues.


Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers
PPR Ranking – 25
Non-PPR Ranking – 22

Mathews has the ability to catch passes (he had 50 receptions in 2011), but as the Chargers are currently constituted he simply won’t get many opportunities.  While he could dominate the early downs, there is no question that Danny Woodhead will handle third downs and passing downs.  The latter had 76 receptions a year ago and there is no reason to think that the team is going to do anything different in 2014.

It’s not that Mathews is a poor option, but players like Darren Sproles and Woodhead himself are simply better options in these formats.


Alfred Morris – Washington Redskins
PPR Ranking – 28
Non-PPR Ranking – 20

This one should probably be the most obvious name you will find on this list.  Not only did Morris disappoint in general last season, he has 20 career receptions over two seasons.  Why should we think he is suddenly going to become a force catching the football?


Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers
PPR Ranking – 33
Non-PPR Ranking – 25

There was a time when Gore routinely added 40+ receptions a season, but those days are well behind him.  Over the past three seasons he’s posted years of 17, 28 and 16.  At 31-years old his role is going to shrink, not expand, so unfortunately that’s about all we can continue to expect from him.  The team has added Carlos Hyde to help ensure that, and Marcus Lattimore (if healthy) will also play a role.  Gore’s more of a FLEX at this point, anyways, but in PPR formats there are too many other options who jump over him thanks to his lack of upside catching passes.


Jeremy Hill – Cincinnati Bengals
PPR Ranking – 41
Non-PPR Ranking – 34

Hill is likely to assume the BenJarvus Green-Ellis role in Cincinnati, though even some of those carries could easily go to Giovani Bernard.  Bernard has the potential to be one of the more dynamic RB in the league, both catching passes and breaking big runs.  Hill?  He should be the bruiser, running between the tackles.

Hill had a total of 26 receptions in two years at LSU while Green-Ellis saw all of 8 targets last season.  Hill will hold value, but he’s a much better option in non-PPR leagues.


Stevan Ridley – New England Patriots
PPR Ranking – 44
Non-PPR Ranking – 37

With Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden on the roster Ridley just isn’t going to get many opportunities to catch the football.  As it is his fumbling issues could ultimately cost him time on the field, but even when he plays it mostly will not come on passing downs.


Chris Ivory – New York Jets
PPR Ranking – 51
Non-PPR Ranking – 42

You can argue that he’s not much of an option regardless, especially with Chris Johnson now in place.  However, while he should still get opportunities to run the football his lack of ability in the passing game nearly eliminates any potential value in PPR formats.

Even last season, when Ivory was basically sharing the backfield with only Bilal Powell, he saw just 7 targets (Powell saw 57).  With Powell still in place, as well as Johnson, things look that much worse.


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Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings:

Sleeper Spotlight: Will The Cowboys' Terrance Williams Emerge As A Viable Option?
Can Robert Griffin III Return To His Rookie Success Or Should Our Outlook Change?

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