By Joe Pollock
So you signed up for your first 2QB or Superflex league. Now what? The good news is, the strategy for winning a Superflex or 2QB league is essentially the same as the strategy for winning any redraft or dynasty league. No matter what kind of league you’re playing in, a combination of early-round home runs, mid-round values, late round sleepers, and waiver wire gems is the formula for success that will keep you setting meaningful lineups into the twilight of the NFL season in late December. By the same token, there are some specific tips for leagues with multiple quarterback slots in the starting lineup that can give you an advantage over your competition.
If there’s one specific strategy for winning fantasy leagues, I’ve never seen it. Zero RB, RB heavy, late-round QB, zero WR, throw a dart at Google’s first ten pages of search results after a quick query for “fantasy football draft strategy” and it’d be tough to miss an article about one of these fantasy football methodologies. The key to dominating the opposition year after year is strategic fluidity. Let me tell you a secret. Rigid strategies that win fantasy leagues every time are a myth. There is no magic number of players to take per position or what round to take them in, but there are some guidelines, and those guidelines change just a bit in multiple QB leagues. I’ve never subscribed to the ideas that taking a QB early is a lousy approach or that you have to draft a QB in the first five rounds to have a successful season.
If you play fantasy football for long enough, you’ll see championships won by teams whose quarterback slot is filled with names like Rodgers, Wilson, Manning, Manning, Flacco and even McCown or Cutler. Conversely, you’ll see last-place finishes from teams whose quarterback position is filled with names like, well, Rodgers, Wilson, Manning, Manning, Flacco, and even McCown or Cutler. The name doesn’t matter. It’s all about fantasy points. For the sake of this piece, I’ll assume you’ve already mastered the art of maximizing points for standard or PPR redraft and dynasty leagues. This isn’t the be-all-end-all of 2QB and Superflex guides, but if it doesn’t help you in your quest for winning a championship, drop me a line on Facebook or Twitter. I’ll personally make sure you get over that hump in 2019. So let’s jump right in.
#1: No Matter What She Says, Size Matters
If you’ve ever played in an eight-team league with short benches or a 16-team league with long ones, you know size matters. With only 32 or fewer starting QBs getting meaningful snaps each week, player scarcity in multi-QB leagues is magnified. In a 10-team league with three-QB roster limits, streaming a quarterback can be a somewhat viable strategy; in a 16-team league with no QB limit? Forget about it. Check league size. Check positional limits. Do the math. It’s that simple.
In a 16-team league with no QB roster limit, you better have your second quarterback by the fourth or fifth round and your third soon after or you’re going to find yourself stuck behind the eight-ball. This is how fantasy owners end up trading legitimate fantasy assets for mid-to-low tier QBs every year. On the other hand, in an eight-team league with a three-QB roster limit, let the noobs draft QB early. Listen to The Fantasy Takeaway every Thursday, pick up a streaming option, get top-ten production off the waiver wire, and laugh all the way to the bank.
#2: The Bad QBs Matter More Than the Good Ones
2017 saw 43 quarterbacks with a QB1 week in 12-team leagues. Think about that for a second. The Denver Broncos quarterbacks were terrible in 2017. Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler, and Paxton Lynch finished 27th, 38th, and 48th in passing yards respectively; all three had a QB1 finish. In Week 17, Paxton Lynch finished with more fantasy points than, among others, Kirk Cousins, Tom Brady, and Cam Newton. Brock Osweiler spent training camp and the preseason with the worst team in football after being traded along with a second-round pick by the Houston Texans. A quarterback terrible enough to get cut by a team that finished the 2017 season 0-16 finished Week 15, you know, championship semifinals week, as the number seven QB. Trevor Siemian got benched in favor of these two stooges multiple times in 2017. Siemian was a QB1 three times! The matchups matter. Even in 2QB or Superflex leagues, you can get elite quarterback production out of scrubs off the waiver wire or late round QBs.
#3: Never Underestimate the Power of Consistency
I’m not saying you should trade your whole draft for a second first-round pick so you can have Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson; far from it. Drafting QB in a 2QB league is anything but an exact science. Just like with any other position, when you pull the trigger on drafting a quarterback should be based on value. Familiarize yourself with the format and league size by taking part in a couple mock drafts. If there are six QBs taken in the first eight picks of your 12-team Superflex, don’t take a quarterback with pick nine! You never want to be the guy at the end of the run. When you’re choosing between David Johnson and Kirk Cousins, the decision should be apparent. That said if Aaron Rodgers is there at pick 10 and it’s Rodgers or Melvin Gordon, the quarterback position deserves a consideration.
I’m not here to tell you where that line is player-to-player, at least not today. The one player I will talk about is Aaron Rodgers. When it comes to consistency at the quarterback position, there’s Aaron Rodgers, and there’s everyone else. Rodgers has finished as QB number 2, 1, 2, 1, 2,26 (calf),1, 7, 1, and 31 (collarbone). Aaron Rodgers has never finished a 16-game season worse than QB7. He deserves his own standing at the top of the QB1 tier and, depending on league size, deserves consideration right up there with the elite players at any other position. If it’s not Rodgers, it can wait.
#4: Know the QB, WR, and RB Scoring Trends by Weekly Finish
For this tip, I need to reveal some methodology. This analysis doesn’t take into account actual finishes by individual players. Instead, it is a 2016-17 analysis of weekly points scored at each finishing position. The curves on these visual aids represent mean, maximum and minimum weekly score vs. finishing spot–WRs & RBs 1-36 and QB 1-32 (where applicable)–for the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In a nutshell, this chart helps to visually compare, for example, the QB17, RB13, and WR11 in an average week.
There’s a lot to digest here; some of which I’ll be addressing later this summer in an article that breaks down positional valuations. Right now, let’s just focus on where the QB (blue) curve crosses the WR (yellow) and RB (red) curves. QBs, on average, start scoring fewer points after QB/WR25 and QB/RB28. Now, this isn’t to say the number 27 QB always scores fewer points than the number 27 WR or the number 30 QB always scores fewer points than the number 30 RB. These are averages, so they’re merely a guideline to follow; a coin flipper of sorts.
Now let’s check out the minimum and maximum values based on the same approach.
These last two visual aids represent absolute ceiling and floor on average for each weekly finishing position. What do they mean? Essentially, if you’re breaking a tie between two relatively equally ranked players for your Superflex spot and you already know whether you need to shoot for the moon or make sure your guy doesn’t totally $h*t the bed, these charts can give you a quick guide for making those kinds of decisions.
#5: Don’t Overthink It
You already know how to win. That’s why you decided to take on the challenge of a Superflex or 2QB league. You’re confident in your player evaluations. The only thing that’s different with these leagues is the value of the quarterback position. Nothing else has changed. If you’ve ever employed the late-QB strategy, you’ve even done the kind of analysis required to succeed in 2QB or Superflex already.
So do some mocks, check out the 2QB or Superflex ADP on your favorite platform–or you can use my favorite, the –study the roster changes for some up and coming or low-end QBs that you may need to draft in the late rounds of what’s about to become your new favorite format. Don’t worry, you’ll be an expert in multi-QB leagues before you know it. You got this. FantasyPros Consensus ADP