The QB2 Blueprint for 2-QB Fantasy Football Leagues

Giants QB Eli Manning
Giants QB Eli Manning
Aug 18 2013 East Rutherford NJ USA New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning 10 throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter of a preseason game at MetLife Stadium Brad Penner USA TODAY Sports

A question has popped up numerous times during 2-QB fantasy football discussions revolving around the QB2 slot. Both 2-QB fantasy football veterans or novices wonder when should they consider drafting their QB2.

It’s a good question, and one that doesn’t have a universal answer. Each 2-QB fantasy football league is different, with different settings. And everybody views the quarterback position differently with some people placing more of an emphasis on it than others.

League size and scoring settings tend to have the biggest impact on when quarterbacks are selected in 2-QB fantasy football leagues. For instance, if you’re playing in a 2-QB league made up of 12 teams, and passing touchdowns worth 6 points, that’s going to tilt the odds towards drafting quarterbacks pretty early. In such a format, you’re going to probably want to walk away from your draft having drafted two quarterbacks within your first three picks.

If your 2-QB league is ten or eight teams large, and passing touchdowns are worth 4 points, that will give you some leeway on waiting to draft a top quarterback, and allow you to shift your attention towards securing a top player at a different position such as running back or wide receiver.

Of course, the one thing to always remember in any 2-QB league, is that your draft will be dictated by those you are drafting with. Regardless of league size and scoring settings. If you’re in a league that views the quarterback position the same way Guy Fieri eyes a bottle of Frank’s RedHot sauce at a BBQ joint, you’re going to have to dive right into that bucket of hot sauce, and go along with the crazy quarterback drafting antics of your league.

That’s just the way it sometimes goes down in 2-QB leagues, and if you’re not keeping up with your fellow 2-QB crowd, you could very well end up with Christian Ponder as your QB1. And that’s something you probably don’t want to have happen.

One way to decide when to draft your QB2 is by referencing 2-QB ADP data. When using the 2-QB ADP data that we have access to, you want to focus more on the QB rank position rather than the actual ADP number. They are both useful numbers to look at but they’re there just to give us a general idea of the way quarterbacks are being drafted. Below, I’ve grouped up potential QB2 options and tiers, along with the QB1 tier, for easy reference:

QB2 Tiers
QB2 Tiers

The first twelve quarterbacks are pretty much set in stone and the probability of you drafting two from that group to be your starting quarterback tandem is going to be pretty slim. Looking at their ADP, they’re all being drafted within the first two rounds of both 10 and 12-team 2-QB leagues, minus Romo, who has a third-round ADP rank.

That’s a high price to pay for a QB2 and you’re going to have to pay big time if you want the security of two top QB1s. However, as mentioned before, every 2-QB league is different, and if you play in a 10-team 2-QB league, some of those quarterbacks could slip to the third round, which is something to keep in mind.

The group of quarterbacks we will want to focus on for the time being is the QB3 and QB4 tiers. Those are the quarterbacks you will want to consider as QB2 options if you miss out on getting a QB2 from the first tier of fantasy quarterbacks in your 2-QB draft.

Looking at the 2-QB ADP, there’s a big jump in ADP from Romo, the last of the QB1s, to Eli Manning, the top of the QB2 tier, and then there’s a second large jump from Eli’s ADP to Ben Roethlisberger‘s ADP, who comes in at QB14.

It’s like Eli is being drafted in his own little tier, as the head of the QB2 tier, and if you want him, you’re going to have to pay a high price for him. Round 4 seems to be a good round to start entertaining the possibility of Eli to be your team’s QB2 and, if that’s what you want, you might have to reach into the latter stages of the third round, depending on what spot you’re drafting from.

If there are other drafters in your league without a QB2 after the early stages of your draft, make a note of that, so that you don’t run the risk of missing out on Eli.

If you’re okay with the thought of not drafting Eli, the next group of quarterbacks in the same ADP range as Roethlisberger are Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, and Michael Vick. Each of them has their ups and downs, and reasons to draft them and not draft them. It’s been highlighted before why Roethlisberger is being underrated in 2-QB leagues, but it’s never a bad idea to refresh yourself as to why.

Vick is one quarterback to single out from that group. With the news of Vick being named the starting quarterback in Philadelphia, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if Vick were to enter the latter portion of the QB1 tier in your 2-QB drafts or if he were to take over the top spot of the QB2 tier.

Vick is the type of player that could easily surpass his 2-QB ADP and even become the number one overall fantasy points getter at the quarterback position. The talent is there for Vick to accomplish such a feat and he’s done it before. The only worry with him is that we just don’t know if he can stay healthy for the whole season.

An option to consider if you do go all in on Vick during your 2-QB draft is to pair him up with Nick Foles, who finds himself in the QB4 range of quarterbacks, based on the 2-QB ADP. That may seem like a high insurance premium to pay, but if you’re an experienced 2-QBer, you know the value that comes with having a risky QB1/QB2 option’s quarterback handcuff on your 2-QB team. If you draft Vick and don’t draft Foles, somebody else will probably take a flier on Foles, and if Vick goes down, you won’t be able to rush to the waiver wire to pick up Foles.

After the above tier of quarterbacks are drafted, and you’re still left without a QB2, the next tier consists of Sam Bradford, Josh Freeman, Ryan Tannehill, Philip Rivers, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, and Matt Schaub. Alex Smith is already somebody that’s been written about in the pages of Sports Jerks, and he is more valuable as a QB3, than a QB2. But if you were forced to go with Smith as your QB2, you might be surprised by his production. Matt Schaub is a quarterback that has gotten a lot of love over at and has the potential to put up solid QB2 numbers this year.

Bradford is finally surrounded by a bevy of pass catching options and it’s on him to finally realize his potential, whether or not that includes him throwing for 50 passing touchdowns in 2013. Freeman is Mr. Inconsistent, and you never know if you’ll be getting the Freeman that was a fantasy top ten quarterback for stretches of last season, or the Freeman that finished the year on a dud note. Freeman threw ten interceptions and six touchdowns during the last six games of the season, including two zero touchdown games and two four interception games.

Once Schaub is off the board and your 2-QB team is still 2QB-less there’s only one group of fantasy quarterbacks to look at, and they consist of Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Brandon Weeden, Geno Smith, E.J. Manuel, Matt Flynn, and Blaine Gabbert.

Locker, Gabbert, Ponder, and Flynn are still trying to prove themselves as viable every week starting quarterbacks in the NFL and each one of them could lose their starting job at any moment. That’s not really a situation you want to have to worry about with the second starting quarterback on your 2-QB fantasy football team.

That leaves second-year man Weeden, and the rookies, Geno Smith, and Manuel. The case has been made that those three could return value on their draft day selection in 2-QB leagues, depending on where they are drafted. An argument could be made to select two of three from that group, to stream as your QB2, and if you’re drafting them late in a 2-QB draft, you will have solidified the rest of your starting line-up, meaning you won’t have to rely so heavily on your QB2.

The purpose of this article was to answer the question of when to draft your QB2, and by going over some QB2 options/strategies, while also pairing them with their 2-QB ADP, the hope is that you now have an answer to your QB2 question.

There’s both risk and reward when waiting on the quarterback position, especially the QB2 roster spot, on your 2-QB team. However, if you can feel out the rest of your room, and constantly remind yourself of which quarterback got drafted to which teams, you could wind up with a QB2 situation that will have cost a lot less than what it would cost to draft two of the top 10 or 12 QB1s on the board.

Of course, you can always use your first two picks and grab a combo of QB1s, leaving you to not have to deal with the QB2 dilemma for the rest of your draft.

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