2QB fantasy football: the format where Quarterbacks are actually highly valued, just like in real life football. When you have to start 2QBs every week, the difference between teams with good QBs and ones with bad QBs will be magnified. As a result of the change in value to QBs, we must adjust our draft plans for that position. In this article, I will present different draft strategies and how each one functions in redraft leagues and in dynasty leagues.
For the purposes of this article, I am using ADP (Average Draft Position) data from the website twoqbs.com. They host mock drafts for the 2QB format and track ADP for both redraft and dynasty, which is perfect for this article.
Note: When writing about players being taken in certain rounds, I will always use a 12 team format.
Know Your League
The most important rule to follow is to know how your league mates value QBs. While the owners in some leagues practice patience, others may not. It is possible that the 1st round could pass without a single QB taken, or everyone might use their first selection to address the position.
It can be difficult to know how QBs are valued if you are the new owner in the league or you are joining a startup. If it is possible to go back and look at draft results from previous seasons, I would do just that: see where QBs have been taken in previous years. If not, you may have to decide on your strategy while the draft is happening. It is important to have a clear idea of what you would like to do but it is equally essential to be flexible.
I will now present several strategies that can help you with 2 QB drafts. It may be an advantage to have most, if not all, of these strategies in mind when entering the draft so that you are able to adapt to which one will work best at the time.
QB – QB
The first strategy that I will present is to take a QB in each of the first two rounds. According to the ADP from TwoQBs, Aaron Rodgers is being drafted at 10.7. My recommendation for Rodgers: even in a 2QB league, do not pass up the elite RBs and WRs to take him. In 2016, I took Rodgers with the 1.02 in a redraft league. While I did make it to the finals that year, I lost to the owner who took David Johnson in the 1st round (the player I should have taken). That being said, I know some people inside the fantasy industry who say that Rodgers is their 1.01 in 2QB and even Superflex leagues. Clearly, Rodgers warrants a 1st round pick; if you want him, you have to take him 1st round.
As for other QBs, Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson and Tom Brady are all being taken in the 2nd or 3rd round. Cam Newton and Drew Brees are not far behind in the 4th round while Kirk Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo and Jared Goff are being drafted in the 5th round. These ADPs make it seem like using your first two draft picks on QBs may be excessive but there may be an advantage in doing so, especially if you consider two or three QBs to be in a tier above the rest. If you cannot swallow using a 1st and a 2nd pick on a QB, I would still recommend filling both starting QB slots by the 4th round.
In dynasty, the need and desire to be more aggressive when taking QBs is even more apparent. There is not much change for Rodgers as he moves from a redraft ADP of 10.7 to 6.7 in dynasty. The value of other QBs in dynasty becomes apparent when Wilson, Wentz and Watson are all being taken a round earlier in dynasty than they are in redraft. Wilson moves from an ADP of 27.1 to 15.3, Wentz from 29 to 15.7 and Watson from 30.9 to 19. Cam Newton even moves up 2 rounds from an ADP of 41.4 to 24.3. With these types of jumps in dynasty, I would stress even further my recommendation to take 2QBs in the first three rounds and even the first two. Some of the QBs going in the 3rd round might be worth taking a round earlier if you want to ensure you get that player. These QBs include Jared Goff, Marcus Mariota, Jimmy Gaoppolo, Andrew Luck, Jameis Winston and Matthew Stafford. If you value any particular QB from this group above the rest, you can take them in the 2nd round without losing too much value. If not, then you will have many options in the 3rd round.
QB – QB – ?? – QB
I personally enjoy drafting QBs aggressively in 2QB drafts, but aggressive is a subjective term. For some people, drafting QBs aggressively means drafting two by the 3rd round. For others, it may be to take a QB 1st overall. Probably the most extreme example of drafting QBs highly that I have come across is courtesy of podcast host and fantasy writer John Hogue. He recommends going QB-QB in the first 2 rounds and then taking another QB in the 4th round, while the 3rd round is reserved to the best available RB or WR. The point of taking your QB3 so early is that it will give you trade leverage during the season when certain owners are scrambling to fill their QB2 slot. It will also protect your high QB investments in the case of an injury.
According to ADP, the last QB1 (QBs ranked 1-12) in redraft is Ben Roethlisberger who is going in the 6th round. Matthew Stafford, Patrick Mahomes, Marcus Mariota and Andrew Luck are also going in that round. As we run through the QB2s (QB ranked 13-24) we see Matt Ryan and Jameis Winston going in the 7th round, Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott and Derek Carr in the 8th round as well as Mitchell Trubisky and Alex Smith in the 9th round.
All that this means is that even if you want an advantage at QB over your leagues mates and draft an elite one in the first 3 rounds, you do not have to double up and draft your QB2 right away. You can afford to wait until the 6th round to get a very productive QB.
As I have mentioned before, according to this ADP data, QBs seem to be valued higher in dynasty. While I said that in redraft you could afford to wait until the 6th round to get a QB who is ranked in the top 12, this does not appear to be the case in dynasty startups. The last QB1 in dynasty is Dak Prescott who is being taken in the 4th round. Other QBs being taken in that round include Kirk Cousins and Tom Brady, while Patrick Mahomes, Matt Ryan, Derek Carr and Mitchell Trubisky are all being drafted in the 5th round. In this range, we see some older established QBs, as well as some young ascending talent. After taking a high upside QB in the 1st or 2nd round, you can draft quality starters at other positions, while still having strong options for your QB2 in the 4th and 5th round.
The last strategy that I will explain is to wait on QBs. This will allow you to draft elite RBs and WRs (or even TEs if you dare) in the first three or four rounds. I will recommend trying to fill your starting requirements at RB and WR before taking a QB. Therefore, in a league where roster setting are 2QB/2RB/2WR/1TE/FLEX, this late round QB strategy would dictate that you wait until the 6th round to take a QB. I would use my first five picks to take at least 2 RBs and 2 WRs as well as one extra player from the position you prefer flexing. According to the ADP data, you might end up with Matthew Stafford, Ben Roethlisberger, Patrick Mahomes, Marcus Mariota or Andrew Luck as your QB1. Even, if your league mates draft QBs more aggressively than this ADP data indicates, you could still end up Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Philip Rivers, Dak Prescott or Derek Carr available to you.
With the late QB strategy, once you take the plunge and draft a QB, I would recommend getting your QB2 and even your QB3 as soon as possible. If you wait until the 6th round to take a QB, it is not out of the question to go QB in the 7th then again in the 8th round.
The ADP data shows that drafters favor the young QBs in dynasty. The simple math indicates that a young QB like Dak Prescott will probably have many more years of production than those in their late 30s. However, for those owners looking to win right away, having an older QB1 isn’t out of the question, especially considering how late some of them are going. If we use the same late QB model as we did for redraft (filling RB, WR and FLEX starting position), some QBs available could be Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger or Philip Rivers. Again, like in redraft, I recommend to those that are taking their first QB late, to get two or three in rounds 6-8.
In 2QB dynasty drafts, it is the 6th-8th rounds where we begin to see the rookie QBs in dynasty. Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen all have ADPs in the 7th or 8th round. Drafting one might not get you much immediate production but would give you a nice pairing to go along with the older players mentioned earlier. If you do decide to take a rookie QB, it is imperative that you take another QB who is a week 1 starter to act as a placeholder while you wait for the rookie. Andy Dalton with an ADP of 87, Blake Bortles with an ADP of 106.3 and Eli Manning with an ADP of 120.7 all fit these criteria.
Redraft to Dynasty Discrepancies
Here are the QBs who have the biggest ADP drops from redraft to dynasty formats. For those who draft in dynasty startups with more of a redraft mentality, here are three QBs that you should target:
Redraft ADP (Round) Dynasty ADP (Round)
Tom Brady 34.6 (3rd) 45 (4th)
Drew Brees 45.3 (4th) 62.3 (6th)
Case Keenum 129.6 (11th) 147 (13th)
As can be seen, Brady, Brees and Keenum are being drafted one to two rounds later in dynasty as compared to redraft. This is the opposite of what we see with most of the other QBs who tend to be drafted higher in dynasty. If you are going into a 2QB dynasty startup trying to win now, you can feel comfortable taking both Brady and Brees in the 3rd and 4th round as your two starters. I would then recommend drafting a rookie or 2nd year QB later to compliment these older guys. As for Keenum, you can attempt to save him for later, in the 11th round for instance, to be your QB3. That will allow you to draft eight players from other positions, thus giving you decent depth on your team as a whole.
Zig or Zag
While I have presented various strategies, I would like to return to my first idea of knowing your league. The ADP data is great but does not account for how your league mates will draft. When the other owners Zig you can either choose to Zig with them or to Zag. For instance, if most in your league go QB-QB in rounds 1 and 2, you can follow suit, or potentially draft your highest ranked non-QB. In this example, Zigging with your leagues mates ensures that you will not fall behind at the QB position, while Zagging away from them means that you can get incredible value at either RB or WR. If most other owners prefer to wait on QB, then you can potentially get your top 2 QBs at the expense of high-end production at other positions.
I think the most important thing you can take away from this article is that there are many options available to not only you but to your leagues mates as well. The point is, it is impossible to know exactly how the draft will unfold beforehand. Having a plan is important, but flexibility is key. Remember to be present-minded in order to take advantage of any trends you see unfold during the draft.
I hope that this article helps you prepare for your 2QB leagues in both redraft and dynasty. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter and let me know what strategy you prefer, or if I missed any type of strategy.
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