Pre NFL Draft Tiered QB Rankings for 2-QB Leagues

NFL Draft

With the 2013 NFL Draft scheduled for Thursday, now seemed like a good time to put together tiered fantasy football quarterback rankings geared towards 2-QB leagues.

NFL Draft
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers 12 passes the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter of the NFC divisional round playoff game at Candlestick Park Robert Hanashiro USA TODAY Sports

The length of this particular tiered quarterback ranking system might seem a bit long to you, and I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend drafting somebody like Domanique Davis, but I wanted to provide more names than you’d see in other tiered quarterback rankings.

For the most part, I’m usually looking at 2-QB leagues from a 12-team perspective, but not that long ago on Twitter, I was asked by @SmthingaboutFB for my thoughts on how many quarterbacks would be drafted in a 16-team 2-QB league, with deep rosters.

In a 16-team 2-QB league, 32 quarterbacks are going to be drafted, at a minimum. Factor in teams that like to draft a QB3 and there’s a good chance many back-up and rookie quarterbacks, will also be taken in such a format. And depending on the size of the roster, it wouldn’t be inconceivable to draft a QB4, and perhaps even a QB5, if league rules allowed it. That means you’re looking at, roughly, anywhere from 32 to 56 drafted quarterbacks.

But every league is different, and with that in mind I came up with tiered quarterback rankings that includes 54 quarterbacks.

One thing to note before diving in, you won’t see any rookies in the below tiered quarterback rankings, and that’s because I want to wait to see how the draft unfolds in regards to the rookie quarterbacks, and where they get drafted.

Tier 1: The Elite Mainstays
Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers

Tier 2: Potential Top-3 QBs
Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Peyton Manning

Tier 3: The High Five Club
Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson

Tier 4: The Rest of the QB1 (non-Brady) Bunch
Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Ben Roethlisberger

Tier 5: Top of the QB2 Zone
Tony Romo, Eli Manning, Joe Flacco, Michael Vick

Tier 6: Upside QB2s
Josh Freeman, Jay Cutler, Ryan Tannehill, Andy Dalton, Sam Bradford, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Philip Rivers, Jake Locker

Tier 7: QB2.5s
Matt Schaub, Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor, Drew Stanton, Brandon Weeden

Tier 8: Real Life QB2s but (for now) Fantasy Football QB3s
Kirk Cousins, Nick Foles, Dennis Dixon, Ryan Mallett, Matt Moore

Tier 9: Out Fishing
Kevin Kolb, Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel, Blaine Gabbert, Chad Henne, David Garrard, Mark Sanchez, Ryan Fitzpatrick

Tier 10: Where’s Tebow?
Shaun Hill, Brock Osweiler, Graham Harrell, Kyle Orton, Jason Campbell, Domanique Davis, T.J. Yates, Seneca Wallace, Colt McCoy, David Carr, Brady Quinn

There you have it, 54 quarterbacks in total, without any rookie quarterbacks ranked, yet. Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib, E.J. Manuel, Matt Barkley, etc., will be drafted this week, and many others. Once the draft is over look for the above tiered quarterback rankings to expand.

When drafting in a 12-team 2-QB league the goal is to get a quarterback from one of the first five tiers, and then pair them up with a Tier 6 quarterback, as your QB2. If you’re not getting, at the very least, your first starting quarterback somewhere in the first six tiers, you probably won’t like your options later on.

However, the quarterbacks ranked in Tier 6 make for an interesting case study. If you bypass taking a QB1 from the top-12 ranked quarterbacks, and you do miss out on one of the top QB2s (Tier 5), you can wait until later in your draft, and go with a trio, from Tier 6 and Tier 7, and then stream the two during any given week.

For example, Tannehill/Palmer/A.Smith, while not sexy, is a solid quarterback trio, and you could you just rotate them from week-to-week. Waiting to draft QBs late will let you strengthen the rest of your team, and is an option to give consideration to.

I would recommend trying out the drafting quarterbacks late in 2-QB leagues strategy if you’re drafting in a 10-team league, or in a standard scoring league. But if your league awards 6 points/per passing touchdown, then even more importance should be placed on the quarterback position.

Always remember that the way you draft will be dependent on your league format, and look at the above tiers as a way to help you with your 2-QB draft strategy. And, also, go ahead and make your own rankings, you’ll find that to be quite useful once draft day approaches.

author avatar
Salvatore Stefanile
Salvatore Stefanile is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and believes that 2-QB fantasy football leagues will be the future of fantasy football. You can read about his 2-QB fantasy football opinions and analysis at