By Failing To Prepare, You’re Preparing to Fail: Creating a 2QB Big Board is Vital to Your Success.
Rankings are overrated. Sorry to break the news. The era of lists and rankings should soon be over. You can rank the top 32 teams in the NFL from best to worst, but that doesn’t mean the higher ranked team will win every Sunday. On that same logic, it doesn’t mean a higher ranked player will always outperform the players below him. Rather than using rankings as a strict way to decide “Player X is better than Player Y”, rankings should be used as a guideline for establishing desired production.
This concept is important when coming up with a way to differentiate quarterbacks in 2QB leagues. Since most people who play in 2QB leagues won’t have the luxury of starting a Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers duo every week, coming up with a strategy for drafting/starting/rostering/acquiring quarterbacks is very different for those playing in 2QB leagues.
Something I’ve found extremely helpful is creating a big board for the position. In a normal one quarterback league, most big boards are essentially a detailed set of rankings. In 2QB leagues, however, they can be taken a step further with a big board.
Creating a big board specific to the 2QB format helps owners drill down on the key factors they value when it comes to the quarterback position. First, it helps differentiate between QB1s and QB2s.
Secondly, within each category, it creates subcategories. For QB1s, I typically look at your studs (guys that have a high floor and a high ceiling on a consistent, week-to-week basis) and your steady QB1s (they still have high ceilings, but the floor and consistency aren’t there). The next tier is that fringe QB1/high-end QB2 range. Since realistically there are more players who perform at a QB2 level, there are more subcategories within this tier. This consists of players that I may not necessarily mind as my QB1 given my roster, but would prefer to have them as my QB2. These players are more high floor, lower ceiling types. Moving down the list, we have our steady QB2s. This range consists of players that consistently score in the QB2 range, but will have a handful of elite games during the season. The low-end QB2s are the last of the startable bunch. These players have lower ceilings and extremely low floors, but won’t sink your lineup consistently. Beyond that tier I usually have what I call “dumpster diving”, or players who are most likely sitting on your waiver wire only to be started in a pinch.
By tiering quarterbacks within the subcategories of QB1s and QB2s, you can quickly come to your own conclusions of what types of players you want to go after, who may be a value, and how you truly feel about someone relative to their cohorts. It’s obvious Kirk Cousins might be a solid QB2 to someone, but when looking at the players valued in the same tier as him, suddenly factors such as ADP, the strength of the tier overall, or the gap to the above or below tier may suddenly make Cousins more or less valuable. I find this tiering strategy more helpful when drafting. If a run on quarterbacks is taking place, I like to rely on a big board to dictate if I should grab someone if it looks like a tier is drying up, or if I should hold tight and be comfortable with the remaining players and zig when everyone zags.
Players should be loosely ranked within each tier, but that’s more of a way to answer a tiebreaker between two players within the same tier. Again, it’s better to use this as a guideline to follow if you feel the need to find an instructive way of differentiating between players. If you’re unsure of what to expect in a 2QB draft, or don’t want to rely on the traditional 1-32 rankings, this is a great method to learn about applying your own evaluations towards a process to help you during the draft and in-season.
It’s important to not only establish a big board, but to keep it as a living, breathing piece that is constantly changing. Maintenance and tracking movement during the course of a season allows you to learn from one update to the next. It will help analyze anything from trends that apply to the position as a whole (such as depth within tiers), to information relative to each specific player. After a quarterly update, you may realize that a player hasn’t lived up to your original valuation, but you can ask yourself why. Was he injured? Was his supporting cast injured? Was his schedule difficult? Did he fail to produce against easy competition? These are the questions necessary to answer when moving a player up or down your board. If a player has been playing above your valuation, the same process is helpful. Was he playing against easy competition? Has he benefited from a positive game script? Was he playing well against top competition? Every aspect of the board needs to be evaluated, whether it’s under a microscope or from a 30,000 foot view. This helps you grow as you become more experienced playing in 2QB leagues.
My challenge to you would be to try and come up with your own form of a big board. What I outlined here obviously is based on my own personal experiences and preferences, but the more you can cater it to your own views and processes, the more comfortable you will become if you’re new to the format.
In the meantime, you can view my initial stab at creating a big board for the 2016 2QB fantasy season to get a visual representation of a big board. It will be updated throughout the season.