Note: The below guest post was written by Jeff Miller. Follow him on Twitter @FFJeffM. He’s a writer for DLF, co-hosts the DLF Podcast & sells video games on eBay. …
Back in 2013 I was writing for a site called numberFire. One of my regular beats was to recap every NFL game during the season, giving each a couple hundred words before doing a good/bad/ugly thing. A few weeks in, it became apparent it wouldn’t be possible to give a fresh take on players every seven days for four months, so I started being ridiculous. I used poetry, skipped games entirely, mocked coaches, and invented the Pumpkin Head Award in honor of Andy Dalton.
Despite all that, the proprietor of this site, Sal Stefanile, retweeted my recaps, offering praise and encouragement along the way. His kindness not only gave me the confidence to bring more of who I am to my articles, but it helped me pile on the followers and clicks I needed to get a foothold in the industry.
Sometime later, likely against his better judgement, Sal asked me to be a part of Sportable. It was a great time, even if I did flex a bit too much of my own personal crazy on the way to making his life a bit difficult on occasion. Basically, I am not always an easy person to work with, yet Sal remained ever patient and supportive.
Somewhere along the line, thanks in no small part to Sal and others (most notably JJ Zachariason of numberFire), I found myself at my current post with Dynasty League Football. I not only write weird stuff for them, I also host the DLF Podcast three or so times per month. Well, at least until they realize how insane it is to give me multiple platforms, but I digress.
Why am I explaining all this?
- You should know you made a great choice coming to TwoQBs for fantasy guidance. The advice is fantastic, the writers are top-shelf, and the owner is an amazing guy. Huzzah to you for your patronage.
- In case you’ve never read anything I’ve written, you now have a quick primer to let you know what you are getting yourself into. You’ve been warned.
With all the touchy feely stuff out of the way, let’s talk some fake football.
Over at DLF we don’t have ADP for two QB leagues, but we do have an excellent set of rankings from some of our best writers and Nathan Powell (I kid, I kid). I also happen to be in the middle of a 2QB mock draft run by the very capable Kevin O’Brien. Using a combo of that data, we can get an idea, more or less, how QBs will be drafted in a 2QB dynasty startup. I’ll be using the knowledge gained from the ranks and mock throughout.
Think About the QB2 Slot Before Drafting Your QB1
We can talk all we want about where you should draft quarterbacks, how to rank them, which ones to target late and all that other stuff, but if you don’t think about how your quarterbacks relate to each other, all of that hand wringing is for naught. Who you draft first should impact who you draft second, third, and fourth. If it doesn’t, you’re letting yourself down.
Let’s start with an example: If you want to draft a QB in the first round, you have four to choose from. We aren’t here to argue over which of Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, and Cam Newton is best, so for the sake of this discussion we will consider them to all be more or less equal except Cam because he is a thug who hates children according to lots of southern white people. (I warned you.)
Drafting one of the aforementioned top-tier guys should give you a lot of flexibility, and it’s a good thing because you are going to be weaker at another position due to the loss of that first round pick. While you are filling up your receiver slots (Generally speaking, if I go QB early, I ignore RB for at least three or four rounds and just patch it together later.), you’ll see QBs fly off the board. And I do mean fly. As in at least 12-15 more by the time round five rolls around. It is your job to resist joining in.
Because you have a surefire stud, you can afford to wait and add somebody like Eli Manning, Tom Brady, or Carson Palmer, who are all going in the fifth or later for one reason (inconsistency) or another (age, injury, etc.). Don’t get impatient and sacrifice the rest of your roster to add Blake Bortles in the third.
Assuming you’ve ended up with a player in the vein of those mentioned above to pair with your first round superstar, now is the time to gamble. You have stability and production, so a guy like Jay Cutler doesn’t do much for you. Joe Flacco is fine and all, but he isn’t capable of being good enough to start in front of Palmer and Rodgers, and by the time one of them retires, he will already be in his mid-30s. Instead, you want somebody akin to Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, or Brock Osweiler. You can afford to roll the dice and try and hit big, so gamble away.
Always Be Thinking About QB Depth
That very specific scenario is meant to be a primer to get your brain place humming along. (I can hear the mouse on the wheel now.) My aim is to get you to understand that every time you select a quarterback in dynasty or redraft, it should be done with the rest of your depth chart at the position in mind. Having Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater, and Carson Wentz on a single roster may make you feel like you have a shot at a superstar, but it also gives you a very legitimate chance at three Rick Mirers, and nobody, not even Mirer’s own mother, wants that.
If you do happen to end up with Derek Carr and Tyrod Taylor as your two starters, a plan I wouldn’t be at all afraid to execute, you need to consider somebody like Alex Smith or Ryan Fitzpatrick late. These guys are about as sexy as my belly button after a day of shirtless yardwork, but you can rely on them should one of the youngsters falter.
Another option, which is my personal cup of whiskey (whiskey > tea), is to get that stud early then wait, wait, and wait some more before taking two QBs in that sixth to eighth round area. I have several dynasty rosters with both Cutler, who I drafted at a low point pre-Marc Tretsman, and Flacco. This gives me flexibility to stream away, Frankensteining together a pretty productive passer. Other players I’d add to this mix are the aforementioned Smith and Fitzpatrick or the suddenly lowly regarded Tony Romo.
“But Jeff, I am already in a league. The draft was two years ago. Your advice is as worthless as a Denny Carter food taek.”
Geeze guys, we just met and already with the insults? It is a fair point though, so let’s see if I can help y’all out as well.
QB Roster Construction For the non-Startup Crowd
Much of what I already said applies to an existing roster. Where things differ is mostly in how I handle my fourth QB slot. In a startup and for the first year or two in a new league, I ignore it. Unless you drafted Peyton Manning last summer, odds are good you have a couple seasons before you have to make another move at QB. Once it is time, I start looking for one of two types of players depending on my needs:
- Whatever the current version of Flacco is.
- A youngster who wasn’t the first overall pick in the recent NFL draft.
With the first scenario, I am assuming your roster has an aging QB in the Brady or Philip Rivers mold. A couple years from now they will be ever closer to retirement and you may need somebody that can step in for a season or two while you get somebody to develop. Even in 2QB leagues, low-end QB2s come very cheap. Too cheap, really. You should be able to add one rather easily.
Our second scenario brings us to the likes of Brent Hundley, Jimmy Garoppolo, or Ryan Nassib (yes, I just suggested Ryan Nassib may have future value). Maybe they work out, maybe they don’t. But with them as your QB4, who cares? They are a cheap bet with a nice potential payoff.
Existing roster or fresh startup, my advice is pretty much the same: Don’t be afraid to go away from your rankings to fill your non-QB1 quarterback slots. Rely on common sense based on who you already have and how your roster is constructed much more than an arbitrary order posted on a website or spreadsheet. It is really quite simple when you think about it, so thinking about it is half the battle.
In my experience, obvious, common sense things are very often neither to most owners. Don’t be most owners. Be like me, and together we can take over the world, one city at a time. Or at least win some fantasy championships.
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