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Draft Strategy - How to Approach Two-QB Leagues

For nearly the past decade it has been en vogue to draft quarterbacks late in your typical fantasy football drafts. There are plenty of studies that have determined that there isn’t a huge weekly difference between the perceived top quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers and lower-end streaming options. That advice has worked well and should certainly be how most drafters attack the 2018 season.

All of this changes in the 2QB format. The obvious difference between 2QB leagues and your standard fantasy league is that you have to start two quarterbacks on a weekly basis versus having to start one in a standard league. The quarterback position in these leagues sees a monumental increase in value, as the position becomes much scarcer quickly, especially in 12-team formats where there aren’t enough quarterbacks for every team to fill two quarterbacks on their roster for each regular season week. Owners will scramble to make sure they can field a full roster by trading and wishing on the waiver wire that a backup might get a start. How can you avoid these roster issues and more in your upcoming 2QB league draft?

You’ll see me go through a variety of some of the most frequently asked questions about drafting in 2QB leagues including when and how many to select your quarterbacks, an ideal start to a 2QB draft and how other positions ADP are impacted by the rise in quarterback values. Check out the answers below.

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Strategy Spotlight

When do I select my first quarterback?

Depending on scoring format (6pt passing TD vs. 4pt passing TD), you could select a quarterback as early as the back half of the first round. Something I like to do is to see study how quarterbacks score overall in that league’s scoring settings versus the rest of the players overall. If quarterbacks make up 40-50% of your team’s weekly score, then they should be prioritized early in the draft, with the top quarterbacks earning round one selection. The order of those quarterbacks is up to each fantasy owner, but having a differentiator at a position that can make or break your week should be near the top of your draft board. The big four running backs, Le’Veon Bell, David Johnson, Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott, should all be selected prior to the first quarterback off the board regardless of format as they provide too much upside at a relatively scarce position. If you miss one of the top few quarterbacks (Rodgers, Brady, Wilson), know that there are plenty of other options available, just know you will need to use one of your first four picks to select one.

How many quarterbacks should I roster?

Ideally, after your draft, you will have at least three starting quarterbacks on your roster in all 2QB leagues. Depending on the size of rosters, up to four or five can be easily drafted. You will certainly need a bye-week fill-in no matter who your starters are at the position. There is no worse feeling than taking a zero at a position for a week if you are unable to fill a starting spot on your roster. There will certainly be injuries at the position throughout the season (just look at last year when Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, and Ryan Tannehill all went down), but counting on the waiver wire can be a dangerous thing. You also do not want to be forced to make a trade midway through the season for a quarterback and have to give up some top players in return.

When do I select my second quarterback?

There are a few schools of thought when it comes to drafting a second quarterback in 2QB leagues. First, if you’ve taken a perceived stud at QB like a Rodgers or Brady, you have the ability to wait until later for a second quarterback knowing you have the stud as your QB1. Quarterbacks that could be looked at as this type of QB2 are players like Dak Prescott, Alex Smith, and Mitchell Trubisky. Another path of securing quarterbacks is to pick two quarterbacks that are close to the same rank in ADP in the matter of three rounds during your draft. This grouping would consist of players like Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, Patrick Mahomes, Philip Rivers and Kirk Cousins. None of these players are currently projected to deliver top-five results, but should be able to deliver consistent scoring for your team in a given week.

What about the late-round quarterback strategy?

Yes, that is a viable strategy in two-quarterback leagues as well. Fantasy owners can choose to select their number one quarterback in the fifth or sixth round and hope that turns out to be an every week starter at the position. One of Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Marcus Mariota, or Alex Smith (those quarterbacks are going in the fifth round and start of the sixth according to Fantasy Football Calculator’s 2QB ADP) should be available. If you choose to wait on your first quarterback until round five or six, then you should be selecting quarterbacks with two of your next three selections in order to get some depth at the position. Being able to get two extra starting quarterbacks on your roster will be vital to ensure you have a safe floor at the position on a weekly basis.

With quarterbacks going so much earlier which position can I wait on?

Quarterbacks will be going earlier in a 2QB format draft than your typical 1QB league. Their ADP being pushed up means that other positions’ ADP will be depressed. This will depend on scoring format, but in general, wide receiver values are going to be the ones that are hit. Current 2QB ADP has running backs still going early and often with nine in the first 13 picks. Wide receivers like Doug Baldwin are lasting until the beginning of the 5th round. Just for comparison’s sake, Baldwin is a beginning of the 3rd round selection in half PPR scoring formats. My recommendation would be to wait on receiver and tight end and stock up on running backs and quarterbacks until the middle rounds of your draft.

What is your ideal start to a 2QB draft?

Most analysts will recommend to, “Let the draft come to you”. This is a sound strategy in any draft format, but I certainly have a preference of how I want my roster to look through the opening five rounds. As I stated earlier, wide receiver values will be pushed down due to the quarterback position being drafted earlier than your typical 1QB draft. I’ll take one wide receiver in the first five rounds in order to ensure I have some upside and stability at the position, but that player likely won’t be until round three or four. I’ll want my first quarterback in rounds two or three most likely, unless I’m picking near the end of the first round and Aaron Rodgers is sitting there for me. The remainder of my first five rounds will probably be made up of running backs so I will not miss out of the elite options at a position that is so scarce. To recap, three running backs, one quarterback and one wide receiver would be my ideal start to a 2QB draft barring any unforeseen circumstances like Russell Wilson lasting until the 4th round.

If you are looking for some more advice on 2QB and SuperFlex leagues, please contact me via Twitter @TheRealHalupka


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