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Drafting Quarterbacks in MFL10s


Entering the classroom fifteen years ago, I received prudent advice from a veteran educator: great teachers “illustrate their thinking” in order for the scholar to acquire a better understanding of the lesson. I took the sage suggestion to heart and have tried to illuminate students’ critical thinking skills everyday of my career. As a fantasy writer, I want to display my rationale on paper for other football diehards to gain insight to my process, and enhance their knowledge and skills in this incredible hobby.

Best ball leagues have become all the rage among fantasy zealots. Owners draft a squad of 18-20 players and there are no starting lineup decisions as the highest-scoring players are automatically inserted every week. Managers cannot make any waiver wire pickups throughout the season and if a player is injured, he cannot be replaced. Attrition greatly impacts the final results of the campaign.

Quarterbacks are an essential component of best ball roster construction and fantasy fanatics must choose if their team should have two or three signal callers. The format forces fantasy diehards to examine all starters, and backups, across the NFL. There are only 32 starters and 12 teams in best ball leagues; therefore, it is impossible for all 12 teams to own three starting field generals at kick off in September. Some rosters will not employ two top 20 passers, and at least eight managers, will open the season in a deficit with only two starting pitchers. Based on the MFL10 ADP of quarterbacks, I examined different combinations and analyzed the weekly points scored from last year. In order to maximize production, I drafted signal callers who have different bye weeks and are ranked higher on my season projections than in the rest of the industry.

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Winning Best-Ball QB Configurations

Assessing a grade for each group, I looked at the total points scored at the position based on highest-scoring results each week. I observed the ceiling and floor of each combination and calculated the following results for each faction: over 25 points scored, over 20 points scored and less than 10 points scored. I desire to produce over 25 points at least five times during the season and less than 10 points only once. I also took into account injury risk and final roster construction.

Based on the numbers, arguments can clearly be made for both strategies: two or three quarterbacks. Nevertheless, I must factor into my final decision injury probability as well as opportunity cost and prefer the three-quarterback strategy.

Before drafting a team, I hope you dive into the diverse quarterback arrangements below and orchestrate your own strategy this season.

 

3-QB Team #1: Matthew Stafford, Jameis Winston and Blake Bortles

By far, my favorite combination accrued in best ball drafts. With the first eight picks, I decorated my roster with four running backs and four receivers. I grabbed Stafford in the ninth and the Los Angeles Rams defense in the tenth round. Winston and Bortles fell to me in rounds twelve and sixteen and capped off my club. I have minimized risk at the quarterback position, and no team in the league owns a better group. I could take home the championship this season.

Weekly Results

Over 25 points scored: 6
Over 20 points scored: 11
Less than 15 points: 2

Scholar’s Score: A

3-QB Team #1
Week Stafford Winston Bortles Top Score
ADP 111 136 164
Bye 6 5 9
1 27.1 0 10.3 27.1
2 13.2 12.5 9.8 13.2
3 16.5 15.5 27.6 27.6
4 10.1 26.5 11.4 26.5
5 15.2 18.5 2.7 18.5
6 14.9 2.4 13.5 14.9
7 0 23.4 16.3 23.4
8 18 3.7 0 18
9 22.4 3.5 16.3 22.4
10 21.7 0 16.4 21.7
11 18.3 0 8.6 18.3
12 14 0 22.6 22.6
13 11.9 18.6 25.1 25.1
14 15.2 14.4 18.5 18.5
15 17.4 25.8 25 25.8
16 10.8 13.3 22.4 22.4
17 27.1 23.7 3.2 27.1
Top Scorer 8 4 5 373.1
Avg. ppg. 21.9

 

3-QB Team #2: Cam Newton, Derek Carr and Eli Manning

I wanted to acquire one of my top five pre-season quarterbacks to analyze the roster construction at the end and took Newton in the seventh round. I did not select another one until the thirteenth round when Carr stood out among the candidates, and Manning finished my QB corps in the eighteenth round. The signal callers are an outstanding group with upside potential. If I avoid catastrophic injuries in the preseason, the team can win it all.

Weekly Results

Over 25 points scored: 5
Over 20 points scored: 10
Less than 15 points: 4

Scholar’s Score: A-

3-QB Team #2
Week Newton Carr Manning Top Score
ADP 93 145 180
Bye 4 7 9
1 13.1 18.7 6.7 18.7
2 11.8 21.2 11.6 21.2
3 8.3 5.2 22.6 22.6
4 33 9.7 27.7 33
5 26.2 0 13 26.2
6 20.7 6.8 9.1 20.7
7 7.4 30.2 7.4 30.2
8 12.6 12.5 0 12.6
9 20.1 13.7 12.8 20.1
10 35.7 0 16.9 35.7
11 0 13.5 8.7 13.5
12 17.5 15.8 2.4 17.5
13 20.4 15.4 0 20.4
14 14.5 10.4 9.1 14.5
15 31.5 17.5 27.4 31.5
16 15.6 5.9 5 15.6
17 11.1 9.8 6.9 11.1
Top Scorer 12 4 1 365.1
Avg. ppg. 21.5

 

2-QB Team #1: Russell Wilson and Jared Goff

Typically, I would never acquire a quarterback before the seventh round of a draft, but Wilson in the fifth is an enticing option. With the intent of drafting only two quarterbacks, I grabbed Goff at the top of the tenth round. Looking at the numbers, the Wilson-Goff pairing provides the biggest benefit. Unfortunately, the wide receiver corps a lacked top-shelf playmaker, and the tight ends were acquired from the dumpster. With only two quarterbacks, I incurred too much injury risk and am not optimistic about the team overall.

Weekly Results

Over 25 points scored: 8
Over 20 points scored: 12
Less than 15 points: 3

Scholar’s Score: B+

2-QB Team #1
Week Wilson Goff Top Score
ADP 67 123
Bye 7 12
1 8.3 16.4 16.4
2 15.3 10.9 15.3
3 33.5 23.6 33.5
4 27.6 18.1 27.6
5 11.5 7.7 11.5
6 0 9.9 9.9
7 26.4 18.7 26.4
8 35.1 0 35.1
9 23.6 28.4 28.4
10 19.4 26.5 26.5
11 30.9 9.8 30.9
12 23.6 19.9 23.6
13 24.2 15 24.2
14 21.8 14.2 21.8
15 11.6 10.8 11.6
16 14.6 25.4 25.4
17 20.4 0 20.4
Top Scorer 12 5 388.5
Avg. ppg. 22.9

 

2-QB Team #2: Tom Brady and Matt Ryan
By far, the worst pairing of the possible groupings. While Brady and Ryan would appear to have appeal on best ball rosters in the sixth and eleventh rounds, the numbers refute the theory. Some fantasy owners will likely seek this strategy, but I would skip this alternative. The final roster does not foreshadow success in 2018.

Weekly Results

Over 25 points scored: 3
Over 20 points scored: 6
Less than 15 points: 3

Scholar’s Score: B-

2-QB Team #2
Week Brady Ryan Top Score
ADP 77 131
Bye 11 8
1 10.7 17.9 17.9
2 30.8 14.9 30.8
3 35.7 13.7 35.7
4 20.5 8.5 20.5
5 12.6 0 12.6
6 16.2 11.9 16.2
7 18.5 17 18.5
8 17.5 15.9 17.5
9 0 18.4 18.4
10 22.6 14.6 22.6
11 25.6 17 25.6
12 20.7 16.8 20.7
13 8.3 7 8.3
14 9.3 6.8 9.3
15 15.7 15.4 15.7
16 15.6 14.2 15.6
17 15.6 18.1 18.1
Top Scorer 14 3 324
Avg. ppg. 19.1

 

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