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This offseason has afforded me some wonderful opportunities to spread the word about 2-QB fantasy football leagues. Rotoworld let me pen a guest piece that basically turned into a primer on 2-QB leagues. Mr. @FF_Contrarian, Shawn Siegele, let me spill virtual ink regarding some 2-QB thoughts over at rotoViz, where I most recently published a guide on how I’m approaching 2-QB drafts in 2014.
XN is my 2-QB home though, and while I wasn’t able to write as much about 2-QB leagues as last offseason I still managed to hit on some 2-QB strategies you can employ in your 2-QB drafts.
With this being the final weekend of fantasy football drafting, and the NFL regular season scheduled to kick off Thursday, I wanted to give one last rundown of ways to attack 2-QB leagues, and a few quarterback targets that can help you make certain strategies a reality.
Before we do that, I went ahead and updated my quarterback rankings heading into Week 1, and put the most recent 2-QB ADP right beside it.
[table id=198 /]
In the majority of 2-QB leagues I have played in over the years this has always been the most commonly used strategy. Owners would lock up two elite signal callers, in the hopes they could land two QB1s to anchor their 2-QB team all season long.
Being able to start two top-10 or two top-12 fantasy signal callers every week could provide a massive weekly advantage at the quarterback position.
If you want to use this 2-QB draft approach be prepared to pony up two high draft picks. The quarterbacks you land by going QB/QB will depend on your draft slot of course. Using the 2-QB ADP, here’s how you could do it:
- Picking from the first three draft slots could see you take one of the big-three (Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning) and then pair either with Nick Foles or Matt Ryan.
- If you’re drafting near the end of the first round, you could go with an Andrew Luck/Matthew Stafford combo, or an Andrew Luck/Nick Foles combination.
The 2-QB ADP data paints a picture of where the above mentioned quarterbacks are being drafted on average in 2-QB drafts, but what we have to keep in mind is that not all 2-QB drafts are alike.
The 2-QB ADP shows only three quarterbacks being taken in the first round, but there are plenty of 2-QB drafts where you can see upwards of five or six quarterbacks drafted in the first round. Heck, I’ve been in a 12-team 2-QB draft where the first 11 picks were quarterbacks. Be prepared to follow the flow of your draft if you want to go QB/QB, and don’t be afraid to reach for a quarterback you want.
QB/QB doesn’t necessarily have to be your first two picks. You could space out your quarterback selections, and wait until rounds two and three to go QB/QB, for example.
One combination that could pan out if you want to go QB/QB, but don’t want to do it in the first two rounds is Russell Wilson and Jay Cutler. According to their 2-QB ADPs, you could target rounds three and four (with slight reaches) for both.
The flow of your 2-QB draft will dictate which quarterbacks you’ll wind up with if you were to go QB/QB.
Before I go into the quarterbacks to target in a Studs and Streaming approach in 2-QB drafts I should clear up the ‘Streaming’ equation of this strategy.
In standard 1-QB leagues streaming the quarterback position is made easy because of the number of quarterback options usually available on the waiver wire all year long.
As hardcore 2-QB fantasy football players know, the waiver wire during the season in 2-QB leagues is usually barren.
You might find one or two lesser quality starters waiting to be picked up like a Chad Henne or Ryan Fitzpatrick, but for the most part, it’s backup quarterbacks and third stringers that await your salvation from the waiver wire. Sometimes they’re not even available, as they’re being drafted as QB3s.
How you approach streaming the QB2 position in 2-QB leagues is by drafting two or three quarterbacks that can alternate as your QB2 all season long based on favorable weekly matchups.
I’ve said in the past this is a strategy geared more towards active managers who are willing to put the time in to researching strength of schedule matchups every week, and who will keep tabs on the waiver wire in their league to pick up any relevant quarterback that might pop up as QB2 starting candidates. Like Josh McCown or Mike Glennon last year.
The goal of Studs and Streaming is to load up on talent at other positions before spending draft capital on the QB2 slot, while hoping one of the QB2 streamers you draft becomes someone you can plug into your lineup all year long.
Just because you come out of your draft with the intentions to stream the QB2 slot doesn’t mean you’re forced to do so all season long. As an example, if you drafted Alex Smith as part of a QB2 streaming combo last season you eventually wound up starting him most weeks.
If we base a loose Studs and Streaming combo off of 2-QB ADP here are a few ways to utilize the strategy:
QB1: Draft any of the top-12 quarterbacks (or wait and draft either Russell Wilson or Jay Cutler)
QB2: Draft Alex Smith and Carson Palmer
If you’re flexible with your QB1 you can wait and take whichever quarterback is left from the top-10 or top-12 quarterbacks on the board. If you want to wait even further then targeting Russell Wilson or Jay Cutler and pairing either with Smith and Palmer would be another option.
I singled out Smith and Palmer as a QB2 duo because at their 2-QB ADP cost they’re a couple of QB2s who could finish the season as QB1s. Smith has some scary good projections according to the rotoViz QB Similarity Scores app. Palmer finished the season as QB8 from weeks 10-17, and will be throwing passes to Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and Andre Ellington.
Of course, you don’t have to follow my lead with those quarterbacks, as there are other options you can choose from to lead your QB2 committee. Take a look at the Studs and Streaming chart based on the Strength of Schedule analysis done by Pat Thorman of PFF Fantasy to see which QB2s you think would pair up well.
If Studs and Streaming already makes you feel ill at the thought of a Jake Locker or Geno Smith potentially being your QB2 then taking the LRQB draft approach and making it work in 2-QB fantasy football leagues will probably make you want to quit playing fantasy football altogether.
While you can’t wait unlit the last few rounds of your 2-QB draft to initiate the ‘Self destruct LRQB sequence’ what you can do is use the early part of your draft to stock up on high-end running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, and then hit the middle and late rounds of your 2-QB draft to tackle the quarterback position. This would mean using the latter portion of your 2-QB draft to get a head start on your waiver wire.
Using 2-QB ADP, you could target Alex Smith in round six or seven, then draft Carson Palmer in round seven or eight, and follow those two selections up by targeting Jake Locker in round nine or ten, and Geno Smith in round ten or eleven. If you have the room on your roster you could also tack on Shaun Hill late. Reaching a round or two early is something to consider because you don’t want to miss out on your QB1 or QB2 because another team is looking to draft their QB3.
One drawback to a LRQB approach in a 2-QB draft is you’re looking to draft around four quarterbacks.
Some leagues limit the number of quarterbacks you can draft to three. Others play with shallow benches, which would mean using two or more bench spots on players that you can’t insert into your lineup every week. You would also be hindered in terms of picking up waiver wire players because you might be hesitant to release a starting quarterback for a wide receiver or running back you might drop the next week.
The appeal of going LRQB in 2-QB drafts is drafting a roster full of high quality players at every position, and waiting to grab serviceable quarterbacks. This 10-team 2-QB LRQB squad is an example of that. But it could end up being a nightmare to manage all year, as you’re streaming both the QB1 and QB2 positions.
It’s possible to go LRQB in 2-QB drafts, but it will take a lot of managing in-season to make work.
Hopefully going over these three draft strategies for 2-QB leagues will give you a sense of how to approach your 2-QB draft, and give you some ideas on which quarterbacks to target and when. Happy drafting.