2-QB Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Going QB-QB-QB-QB Early

2QB Fantasy Football
2QB Fantasy Football
Atlanta GA USA Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson 3 scrambles in the fourth quarter of the NFC divisional playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome The Falcons won 30 28 Daniel Shirey USA TODAY Sports

When writing about 2-QB fantasy football leagues you want to provide as many different 2-QB draft strategy perspectives as possible. There’s no one universal method to draft a 2-QB fantasy team, and you have to open yourself up to a world of varying options.

With the depth at the quarterback position in fantasy football pretty darn deep this year, I wouldn’t fault you for wanting to wait on drafting a quarterback longer than you normally would in your 2-QB league. That would be totally understandable, and in some situations, advisable. Especially in 10-team 2-QB leagues.

But what if I were to suggest you do nothing but draft quarterbacks early in your 2-QB draft? Your initial instinct might be to wonder what’s wrong with me. And follow that up by hitting the red ‘X’ button on the left-hand side of your web browser.

Or you might even tell me to go do it myself, and see how it all works out in the end.

You got me there.

It’s one thing to talk about how to draft in 2-QB fantasy football leagues, and it’s another thing to actually go out and try an unorthodox 2-QB fantasy football draft strategy. Luckily, because of Micah James (@FFMagicMan), we have had plenty of opportunities this off-season to do just that, through his 2-QB mocks.

When drafting in a mock you can take chances, compared to when assembling your fantasy team in a real draft, especially if you have money on the line in that real draft. Mock drafts present the perfect opportunity to try something new, and see what will happen.

I haven’t gotten a chance to try out too many out there 2-QB draft strategies this off-season, but one that I did get to pull off, was to draft four quarterbacks in a row, with my first four picks.

Yes, I went QB-QB-QB-QB. Early.

Even in a 2-QB league that’s an extreme strategy to take when securing your quarterback depth, and it was one that threw off some of my fellow drafters.

The reason why I wanted to try out the QB-QB-QB-QB 2-QB draft strategy was to see what kind of a QB harem I could put together, how the rest of my team would look, and what the rest of the league would do with the quarterback position taking a hit by one owner drafting so many of them, so early.

The QB-QB-QB-QB strategy was initiated in the FFMagicMan 2QB Mock Draft #6, which began on April 20, and ended on May 6th. If you want to take a look at the entire draft results you can do so by clicking on this link. There’s also a screen shot below:

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 4.05.51 PM
If we focus on my team for a moment, you’ll see that I was drafting second overall, in a 12-team 2-QB mock draft. Passing touchdowns were worth 6 points in this league, and interceptions deducted two points. That’s as passing touchdown heavy a league you’re going to most likely find in 2-QB leagues, and with there being 12 teams, the value of quarterbacks is even more than your normal 2-QB league.

If there was any 2-QB league to go quarterback heavy in, this was the one.

As you can see from my first four picks I went Aaron Rodgers (1.02), Russell Wilson (2.11), Ben Roethlisberger (3.2), and Ryan Tannehill (4.11).

Here’s my roster in full:
QB1-Aaron Rodgers
QB2-Russell Wilson
RB1-Stevan Ridley
RB2-Vick Ballard
WR1-Pierre Garcon
WR2-T.Y. Hilton
TE1-Robert Housler
Flex: Chris Ivory/Steve Smith
TMPK-Minnesota Vikings
D/ST-Seattle Seahawks

Bench: Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Tannehill, Isaiah Pead, Bernard Pierce, DeAndre Hopkins, Mohamed Sanu, and James Casey.

With Bradshaw signing in Indianapolis, Ballard’s fantasy value now takes a hit. That pick is kind of a wash, for now. But I also drafted Chris Ivory lower than where you can get him now, so just flip flop those picks.

Replacing Ballard with Ivory at RB2, allows me to bump up Steve Smith to the flex spot, and that’s a team I can trot out, week after week. Tight end is where I took the biggest hit, I think, but a streaming tight end duo of Housler and Casey could work, if Housler becomes Brandon Myers 2.0, and Casey emerges as the lead in the Eagles’ three headed tight end monster. Both big ‘ifs’ though.

If we look at the other teams and how they drafted quarterbacks it would look something like this:


Drew Brees (1.01)

Tony Romo (2.12)

Geno Smith (10.12)

Matt Barkley (11.01)


Cam Newton (1.03)

Carson Palmer (5.03)

Matt Schaub (7.03)


Matthew Stafford (1.04)

Joe Flacco (3.04)

Blaine Gabbert (10.09)


Andrew Luck (2.08)

Andy Dalton (5.05)

E.J. Manuel (9.05)


Eli Manning (3.06)

Jake Locker (7.06)

Chad Henne (15.06)


Matt Ryan (2.06)

Josh Freeman (5.07)

Matt Flynn (8.06)

Terrelle Pryor (15.07)


Peyton Manning (1.08)

Robert Griffin III (2.05)

Nick Foles (17.08)


Colin Kaepernick (1.09)

Michael Vick (3.09)

Alex Smith (6.04)


Sam Bradford (6.03)

Kevin Kolb (7.10)

Brandon Weeden (8.03)

Mark Sanchez (9.10)


Tom Brady (1.11)

Jay Cutler (4.02)

Drew Stanton (11.11)


Philip Rivers (5.12)

Christian Ponder (7.12)

Ryan Nassib (12.1)

Kirk Cousins (18.1)

All told, 41 quarterbacks went off the board, with five teams drafting four of them.

If you look at the draft positions of those quarterbacks, you’ll notice the usual names in their familiar draft slots. Nine teams drafted a quarterback within their first two picks, and a couple of other teams besides myself (@ThatMurph and @FatKat52) went QB-QB in rounds 1 and 2.

The latest a team drafted their QB1 was @RussellClay17, who went Sam Bradford at 6.03. I want to zero in on Russ’ team for a moment, and not because I don’t like it. On the contrary, it’s a very solid team, all around. The reason why I want to focus on it is because he also went QB-QB-QB-QB. Except, where I went QB-QB-QB-QB in rounds 1-4, he did so in rounds 6-9. That’s basically the equivalent of a 2-QB LRQB approach in 2-QB leagues.

At first glance, if you were asked to choose between a 2-QB foursome of Rodgers/Wilson/Roethlisberger/Tannehill or Bradford/Kolb/Weeden/Sanchez, most would choose the first group. That’s kind of a no-brainer. However, it’s one thing to like the quarterbacks, but what about the rest of the team?

I can’t speak for Russ, so I’m just going to base it off of draft position, but here’s how his team would look compared to mine:

Screen Shot 2013-06-14 at 11.07.00 AM
You see where the difference is when looking at my early QB-QB-QB-QB drafted team to his late QB-QB-QB-QB drafted team. His RB depth is pretty ridiculous, and that’s the one position this year, where you want to get as many great players as you can.

Drafting as early as we did, it was easier to stock up on the rookies like Bernard, Ball, K. Allen, and Patterson, but he still has Ray Rice and Doug Martin. I like Ridley and Ivory, but it’s not the same as having a Rice/Martin combo. His TE depth is better than mine as well, and you can argue that his WR corps would best mine.

At the quarterback position, I have two QB1s in Rodgers and Wilson, and a QB2 that I believe can be a QB1 in Roethlisberger, and an upside quarterback in Tannehill, who I may be higher on than most.

The one QB that Russ can rely on weekly is Bradford, and that QB2 spot, I believe, would be best left to a streaming approach, where he would be choosing between Weeden and Kolb, who can be of value in 2-QB leagues, if named the starter in Buffalo.

After looking at the draft and contrasting the QB-QB-QB-QB approaches, the conclusion I came to is that your team will suffer in some aspect. There is no point in drafting four quarterbacks that early in a 2-QB draft. I already knew that going in, but I wanted to see the results for myself.

You’re going to handcuff your team when dedicating that much attention to the quarterback position, because in all likelihood, the QB3s and QB4s you draft won’t be useful to your team, other than bye-weeks or as injury replacements. You have to look at the big picture, and if it means sacrificing a starting RB/WR, so that you can have a high-end QB3 on your team, you’re taking away value from your team.

There’s nothing wrong with having four quarterbacks, you just don’t need to draft them that early. On the flip side, waiting so long to draft your quarterbacks will lead to having a superb all-around team, but one where you might be forced to stream every week.

That’s not a bad strategy, as long as you can get quarterbacks you’re comfortable with streaming, because you’re more than likely not going to find one on the waiver wire in your 2-QB league.

One other thing to consider is that when you take my team, one that has a lot of talent at the QB position, and Russ’ team, which doesn’t have as much, that could lead to a mutually beneficial trade down the line. That’s one advantage to having solid depth at the quarterback position in a 2-QB league; but that’s not a strategy you can always rely on.

When it matters, draft with the intention of building the best possible team, with the most value, or else you’re doing a disservice to your team.

Having Roethlisberger and Tannehill to back-up Rodgers and Wilson could be looked at as a good idea in theory, but in reality, it only hurts the rest of your team, because you’re passing over players that can actually make an impact for your team every week, rather than a couple of quarterbacks you might only start a handful of times throughout the season.

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 XNSports.com.