Re-visiting LRQB in 2-QB Fantasy Football Leagues

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith
Howard Smith USA TODAY Sports

Being a disciple of the late-round quarterback philosophy in fantasy football leagues requiring only one starting fantasy quarterback can be smooth sailing. Just wait until near the end of your draft and select the quarterback last left in your draft queue.

Following the LRQB strategy is not quite as simple in 2-QB fantasy football leagues though, because the supply and demand factor is altered. The more quarterbacks required in your starting lineup, the greater quarterbacks will be in demand.

With the depth of the quarterback position continuing to deepen each successive year will LRQB become a staple of 2-QB draft strategies? It’s a question I’ve been toying around with ever since last fantasy football season ended, and have been experimenting with it to a degree this 2-QB mock draft season.

Last offseason I experimented with a number of 2-QB draft strategies in 2-QB mocks, as I wanted to see what worked, what didn’t work, etc. In one mock I went LRQB, and you can see the results here. At the time I deemed it a ‘Strategy to Avoid’ but looking back on it now I would be surprised if that team wasn’t a contender.

With the way the quarterback position unfolded in fantasy football last season (45 fantasy quarterbacks put up a top-12 fantasy performance) it led me to wonder if we can adapt the principles of LRQB to 2-QB leagues this year?

I got a chance to answer that question first hand in a 10-team 2-QB mock put together by Joe Siniscalchi of

In 10-team 2-QB leagues last year I advocated for a ‘Studs+Streaming’ approach to drafting, and it’s a strategy I don’t plan to deviate much from this season. The advantage of building the nucleus of your team around a QB1 and then streaming your QB2 is that you are put in the position to build a balanced team.

However, in this particular 2-QB 10-team mock draft I wanted to see how far I could push my original strategy and find a couple of pairings that would allow me to stream both my QB1 and QB2 position, while building a juggernaut of a 2-QB LRQB squad.

*Word of warning, LRQB is not for the feint of heart in 2-QB leagues. You’ll be pushed to your boundaries and you might crack as you watch QB1 after QB1 get drafted or pass you by.

Below you’ll see the final 2-QB LRQB roster I was able to assemble:

QB1 – Alex Smith
QB2 – Carson Palmer
QB3 – Jake Locker
QB4 – Geno Smith

RB1 – Jamaal Charles
RB2 – Reggie Bush
RB3 – Shane Vereen

WR1 – Brandon Marshall
WR2 – Jordy Nelson
WR3 – Michael Floyd
WR4 – Michael Crabtree
WR5 – Reggie Wayne
WR6 – Jarrett Boykin

TE1 – Vernon Davis
TE2 – Dennis Pitta
TE3 – Delanie Walker

Let’s start with the quarterback position. There’s not a true QB1 in the bunch, but there is potential to piece together a starting tandem every week. The four quarterbacks I drafted combined to put up 17 top-12 weekly quarterback finishes in 2013.

Targeting quarterbacks with softer schedules will be something you’ll want to incorporate when targeting potential late-round quarterback options, and that’s something I’ll be getting into later in the offseason.

The bright side of waiting to draft your quarterbacks in a 2-QB league is that the rest of your lineup will look pretty solid. This particular mock was full-point PPR, and Charles, Bush, and Vereen are all top tier PPR backs.

Marshall and Nelson at wide receiver means I could start two WR1s every week, and with Michael Floyd as the WR3 on my team, I could potentially have three top-15/top-20 PPR WRs. Crabtree, Wayne, and Boykin provide luxurious depth at the position.

As for tight end, Vernon Davis will most likely not repeat his 13 touchdown season from a year ago, and with a healthy Michael Crabtree around his overall production looks to take a hit.

Pat Thorman of PFF Fantasy pointed out Davis was on a “full-season pace of 45 catches on 75 targets once a now-healthy Michael Crabtree returned in 2013.” Having both Crabtree and Davis gives me a good shot at having the top pass-catching option in San Francisco, and backing up Pitta with Davis gives me an out in case Davis bottoms out in ’14.

Experimenting with LRQB in 2-QB leagues isn’t about the quarterbacks you select, but more about what you’re gaining by not taking a top-end signal caller. If I had gone Cam Newton/Nick Foles (the next two QBs drafted) at the 2/3 turn, instead of Marshall/Nelson, I’d be much better off at quarterback, but then I’d be looking at a possible WR1/WR2 tandem of Michael Floyd/Pierre Garcon.

I really don’t think you could go wrong with that route, and if you prefer the stability of elite quarterbacks anchoring your 2-QB team, I’m not going to tell you to not draft that way. The wonderful thing about 2-QB leagues is there are a number of different ways to draft a team; each with their own advantages and disadvantages.

I’m also not trying to make the case that LRQB is a strategy you must follow in 2-QB leagues this year. There’s a risk of going LRQB blowing up in your face in 2-QB leagues, and it’s quite evident by the quarterback stable anchoring my team.

No one is going to pretend Alex Smith, Carson Palmer, Jake Locker, and Geno Smith are going to consistently match the production of an elite QB1 or top-end QB2. You also have to be a very active manager in your league if you go LRQB because you’ll be playing match-ups every week trying to figure out which two quarterbacks you should be starting.

When taking a stab at LRQB, earmarking three-four spots at quarterback will hinder your depth at other positions and take up important room on your bench. In this particular draft I felt the depth I had at every other position was worth taking a fourth quarterback over a fourth running back. You also need to use the end of the draft as the waiver wire, because there won’t be that many options available to you when the draft is over. League size is also a factor, and going LRQB might be more difficult to pull off in 12-team 2-QB leagues.

By experimenting with the LRQB strategy in 2-QB leagues it gives us one more way to take a stab at drafting in 2-QB leagues, and it could wind up being a strategy that either results in winning all the money or coming in dead effing last. There’s a definite boom or bust nature at play. The risk taker in you on draft day will have to decide how far you want to push the envelope of going full LRQB on draft day in your 2-QB league.

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