Draft Strategy

2 QB League Draft Strategy: Five Different Approaches to Building a Team

2 QB League Draft Strategy

Over the last few years, two quarterback fantasy football leagues have started to become in vogue. In normal formats, the quarterback position has diminished value due to the fact that there are usually at least ten quarterbacks that consistently put up good fantasy point totals. In 2016, the gap between the number one quarterback (Aaron Rodgers) and the number 10 quarterback (Russell Wilson) was just under 110 points. This gap may seem significant, and it is to some degree, but it’s not even close to the gap between the number one scoring running back and the number 10 scoring running back, which was over 177 points. In two-quarterback leagues, almost all starting quarterbacks are in play for fantasy purposes which makes constructing a roster a bit different. Here are a few common strategies that are worth examining in order to ensure success in your upcoming draft.

Strategy #1 – Pair an Elite Quarterback with a Mid-Tier Option With Upside

Degree of Difficulty: Easy

Matthew Stafford FantasyThe first strategy that we’ll cover involves spending draft capital early to lock down one of the top three or four best quarterbacks. In two-quarterback formats, the upper echelon signal callers are almost always selected in the first round, and if you’re looking to utilize this strategy you will take your second quarterback anywhere from rounds five through eight. Taking a look at last season’s ADP, you could have ended up with a fantastic duo last season by following this strategy. First round quarterbacks included Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and Andrew Luck. You could have paired any one of these quarterbacks with the likes of Matthew Stafford, Jameis Winston, Kirk Cousins, or Matt Ryan.

Things to consider before using this strategy:

One thing that is important to identify with this strategy is that you will undoubtedly miss out most of the top-tier position players. Your second draft pick, depending on your draft slot, would likely have been someone like Dez Bryant, Rob Gronkowski, or Devonta Freeman. If you go with this strategy you need to nail your second round draft pick, as most of the “can’t miss” guys will already be off the board. Going by current ADP trends, you could conceivably end up with a duo that stars a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Andrew Luck, or Tom Brady coupled with Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, or Matthew Stafford. Not too shabby.

Strategy #2 – Doubling Down by Taking Elite Quarterbacks with Your First Two Selections

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate to High

This strategy is definitely risky. However, if you’re the type of fantasy football player that excels at evaluating talent and potential breakout players at positions other than quarterback, you just may be able to pull this off. The “double down” ensures that you have two of the best possible quarterback options available to you. Having two top options at the quarterback position can give you a leg up on the rest of your league seeing that quarterbacks almost always outscore running backs and wide receivers. Having two elite options automatically puts you a step above other teams that have just one solid quarterback… and those type of teams will exist in two-quarterback formats.

Things to consider before using this strategy:

If you opt to utilize the double down method, you will be playing catch-up selecting position players in the middle rounds of the draft. By selecting quarterbacks with your first two picks, your first position player will likely by someone such as Lamar Miller, Mark Ingram, DeMarco Murray or a receiver such as Amari Cooper, T.Y. Hilton, or Brandin Cooks. You can certainly win by constructing your roster this way but there is zero room for error with your picks in rounds three through six.

Strategy #3 – Cherry Picking Two Quarterbacks in the Middle Rounds

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate

Strategy number three requires waiting for most of the QB1 options to be selected. In 2016, all of the top-10 quarterbacks were off the board in the first three rounds, so you are looking to draft your signal callers starting in the fourth and fifth rounds. By utilizing this strategy, you are able to pad your roster with plenty of top-notch position players early, which can be a significant advantage. Once the fourth round rolls around, you are then able to “cherry pick” your preferred quarterback, whether that be a rookie or someone you think has breakout potential. Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, and Tyrod Taylor were all available in the sixth round in 2016, and these three quarterbacks finished among the top-10 scorers at the position. However, it remains to be seen whether or not there will be that many breakout quarterbacks in the middle of the draft this season.

Things to consider before using this strategy:

If you can correctly identify which quarterbacks are on the verge of breaking out, you will have a massive advantage over the rest of the league as you were able to secure your quarterbacks without expending the draft capital by taking them early. I personally have won a couple of two-quarterback leagues using this strategy. You need to do your research beforehand and make sure the players that you target don’t get taken before you can snag them. Take it from me, there’s nothing worse than waiting for two rounds to pick the quarterback you want, only for him to go two picks before your draft slot and being left to scramble and subsequently panic picking someone like Jay Cutler.

Strategy #4 – Selecting Multiple Low-End Quarterbacks and Hoping for a Breakout Year

Degree of Difficulty: High

By choosing this strategy, you select anywhere from 3-5 quarterbacks outside of the top-12 that you think could break out. You’re essentially hoarding multiple low-end quarterbacks and banking on a couple of them being startable. Blake Bortles’s spectacular 2015 season is a recent example of a success story from this particular strategy. Dak Prescott was another player that you could have conceivably have nabbed by following this strategy last season as he had plenty of upside due to Tony Romo’s injury history. Prescott went in the middle of the 12th round and turned out to be an absolute stud, finishing with 286 fantasy points – the sixth-highest total in the league.

Things to consider before using this strategy:

This strategy is a bit riskier than strategy number two. The high degree of risk comes from the fact that there are no guarantees that there will be a breakout quarterback drafted in the late rounds. QB2s go late in the draft for a reason, so you’re most likely going to be banking on a younger, unestablished quarterback. On the flip side, you’re able to stockpile talented running backs and wide receivers, so if you completely whiff you can always look to trade with another team in your league.

Strategy #5 – The Zero-QB Approach

Degree of Difficulty: Insanely High

Kirk CousinsWith this strategy, you are most likely waiting until everyone has their two starting quarterbacks before selecting one yourself. By using this approach, you are banking on some of the low-end quarterbacks exceeding expectations and/or using multiple bad quarterbacks depending on their matchups. This strategy ended up being feasible for the 2015 season. That year, Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick were taken after the 11th round and ended up in the top-12 for fantasy points scored. Cousins and Fitzpatrick were both not expected to be their team’s starting quarterbacks which greatly deflated their perceived value.

Things to consider before using this strategy:

This is easily the riskiest strategy of them all. The one time I attempted to try something like this, I finished dead last in the league and missed the playoffs for the first time in years. It’s true that there have been some serviceable quarterback performances from the bottom of the barrel options but these results are too scarce for my liking. Most of the quarterbacks drafted after the eighth round were awful last year. Those options included the likes of Brock Osweiler, Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sam Bradford, and Robert Griffin III.

Things That All 2-QB League Teams Must Consider

  • Bye Weeks – Make sure to take note of your two starting quarterback’s bye weeks. If your two starting quarterbacks have the same bye, you need to carry four starting quarterbacks up until that point. You can’t afford to get a zero from a quarterback position due to your inability to plan a few weeks ahead.
  • Amassing Quarterback Depth – It’s imperative that you draft at LEAST three quarterbacks. You will need bye week coverage at some point. It’s also important to have a backup in case one of your two starters goes down. You can’t depend on finding someone in the waiver pool in 2-QB leagues due to the fact that almost all starting quarterbacks will be owned.
  • Mock drafts – If you are new to 2-QB leagues, mock drafts will be your best friend. 2-QB drafts play out a lot different than normal league drafts, so it’s important to mix it up in a few mock drafts to understand how they work. Practice makes perfect, and knowing a bit about when you can expect certain players to be drafted can only help you when the pressure is on and you’re on the clock in your league that counts.
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