2QB Draft Strategy: Differences in Draft Slots (1-6, 7-12)

2QB Draft Strategy: Differences in Draft Slots (1-6, 7-12) 5

2 QB Draft Strategy

Russell WilsonOne of the growing areas of the fantasy football industry is the inclusion of a second quarterback in starting lineup options – whether this be a mandatory second quarterback or, more commonly, a Super Flex option, where the quarterback can be used or an additional running back, wide receiver or tight end may be selected if a quarterback is not available or desirable. This trend has come about in an effort to mitigate the so called “Late Round Quarterback” strategy, where owners wait as long as possible to grab a serviceable quarterbacking duo and hope to hit gold on one or at least manage the combination to return a solid hybrid performance from the tandem. In many smaller leagues, owners can also work the waiver wire to find serviceable quarterbacks should their late round options not pan out. The two quarterback movement wants to make the quarterbacks, if not the most important, at least equal in importance to the running back and wide receiver positions.

In this article, we are going to highlight some strategies for two quarterback leagues when drafting early (picks #1 to #6) and when drafting late (picks #7 to #12) in a 12-team format. For clarification, we are going to assume that rosters required are 2 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 Flex and the scoring system in place is four point pass touchdowns, one point per 25 yards passing, negative one point per interception and a point-per-reception setting – I find in leagues that use two quarterback setup with non-PPR scoring can be too heavily weighted towards the quarterbacks, so the PPR makes all positions valuable. The mandatory two quarterback system puts a little extra weight on the quarterbacks as opposed to a Super Flex setup as well, so if you are in a Super Flex, you may be able to let the quarterbacks slide a little bit further than my suggestions below…but let you be warned and don’t get caught holding the bag.

Early Picks (#1 to #6)

Contrary to some beliefs, you actually do not want to jump on the stud quarterbacks in this range; in fact, using general projections, the first seven players in value are non-quarterbacks, so at these early picks you will want to treat this as a normal PPR draft and grab a stud WR or stud RB in the 1st round.

The 2nd and 3rd rounds are where it becomes tricky, the first tier of quarterbacks are likely to be gone, however if a Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson or Andrew Luck type is available in Round 2, it is probably prudent to pounce on them; then look for another RB/WR type in Round 3. If this tier of quarterbacks is gone in Round 2, then take another non-QB and wait until Round 3 to consider the next tier of quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Blake Bortles or Eli Manning. Some of these guys may not be quite worth the pick in the 3rd round, but if you let them pass, the 4th round options may not be quite live up to your liking when the best guys left may be the Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr, Tyrod Taylor, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston, Tony Romo types. A few of those guys will likely last into the 6th/7th rounds, but passing on them in 5th round could be a gamble if you end up looking at Andy Dalton or Joe Flacco as your QB1.

In general, most teams will fill both their starting QB slots by the 8th round, so try to use that as a guideline in ranking the top 24 quarterbacks. The bottom end starters should be in the range of Alex Smith, Brock Osweiler or Teddy Bridgewater – if you want to do better than those types as your QB2, make sure you get your second QB at the start of the 7th round.

To recap, from the early spots, I would be looking to start out WR, then RB/WR in the 2nd round unless a stud QB is available. In the 3rd round you have to decide if there is a QB worth selecting, I would probably take Brees or Roethlisberger, but if they are gone, I would wait until the 4th round and hope a Palmer, Rivers or Manning makes it back to you.

Late Picks (#7 to #12)

In general, I have always felt it was easier to building a 2QB roster starting at the end of the 1st round, because I do not feel that a late 1st round is “too early” to take the quarterback, whereas I do feel the early picks are bypassing players that are too good at other positions. Since you are not likely to get a top four WR or a Le’Veon Bell/Todd Gurley type running back, these are the draft slots where you should be attacking the big quarterbacks; look for Newton or Rodgers if you are picking earlier, and throw in Wilson or Luck if you are picking later in the round. You may even be able to grab a stud RB/WR first if you are picking later in the round and still get Wilson or Luck in the 2nd round.

You are not likely to be able to get Brees or Roethlisberger in the 3rd round, but if you are comfortable with a Brady, Palmer, or Rivers type as your QB1, then you can pass on the big quarterbacks in the 1st/2nd rounds and wait until the 3rd/4th round turn. Unless there are some incredible RB/WR values, I would make sure to have at least one quarterback by your 4th round pick for sure, as the end of the 5th round can leave you with some shaky options that you may not want to be considering as your anchor. The 5th/6th round turn does give you the opportunity to go QB/QB and load up with four early RB/WR; however, this plan almost assures you need to be one of the first teams to grab a QB3 in Round 7 or 8, which in turn hurts the depth you built in the first four rounds. Another concept to mention that is available to late pick drafters: the QB/QB start, a tactic which I used in a recent Super Flex draft where I started with Cam Newton and Andrew Luck from the 11th draft slot. This strategy is not for the faint-of-heart and can really paint you into a corner at the RB and WR positions; however, it can create a rush for other teams to grab quarterbacks earlier than planned, which in turn can provide you with value at the RB/WR positions later in the draft.

I hope some of these ideas help you in your foray into the world of Two Quarterback leagues.

About the author

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Russ Prentice

30-something, Southern California native and have lived here my entire life. That being said, the state of NFL Football in the region has been relatively poor for most of my life, so I gravitated to Fantasy Football as an alternative. Being a math nerd, gambler and NFL fan, Fantasy Football was a natural outlet – over the years I have played in small home leagues with my high school friends and also worked my way up the ranks to play in some of the largest buy-in leagues in the world as part of the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC). I am also an avid poker player which began at a young age, but after college I played online poker and competed twice in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in Las Vegas. My day job as a Construction Cost Consultant is another “math” outlet, but I prefer using my brain for Fantasy Football. Most importantly, I am a husband to an amazing wife and new father to a wonderful baby girl.

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