The 2QB Life: Back to the Basics
The best thing about fantasy football is that it’s a game created by you and me. In the real NFL Football games they do not run waivers on every Wednesday morning or fire a kicker when it’s a bye week. It’s a whole fantasy world we play in where this player or that player is better than another because of their quarterback, their offensive line and their running back, when in actuality they might be similarly skilled. In fantasy football we decide the rules, we decide the scoring and we decide the number of teams in a league. So, recently when I was listening to someone on Twitter poke fun at me for saying “you needed to draft a quarterback in the first two rounds of a startup or you were an idiot”, I felt I needed to clarify this particular fantasy world I live in so people can find their own grain of salt to take it with. There are a lot of different types of 2QB leagues and the strategy is different for each.
My favorite format is 12-team 2QB dynasty leagues. I love these leagues. I will go into the basic strategy for these leagues more in future articles, but the primary thing to know is that I recommend you get the highest ranked dynasty quarterbacks with both your first and second round picks. This is where I base my articles and most of my experience. The reasons for this strategy are many, but it has a lot to do with skill tiers of quarterbacks, age, their duration in the league, and the shortage in the position that happens very quickly when 24 starting quarterbacks are required to be active every week, regardless of injury or bye weeks.
Redraft 2QB leagues are completely different from dynasty in that you choose your players each year. So there’s less impetus to get one of the top-six or top-seven quarterbacks because this puts the older quarterbacks back into your selection list. In a dynasty league I’m not buying soon-to-be retiring vets like Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Carson Palmer. But in redraft these guys are all top-ten quarterbacks and feasible starters for the whole one year you can play them. You can easily wait till the third or fourth – or later – rounds to get your quarterbacks because there will always be two starters available.
Superflex dynasty or superflex redraft leagues are also treated differently. This is where you have one dedicated quarterback slot and one slot that can be used for a quarterback *OR* another skill position player like a running back, wide receiver, or tight end. In this scenario your team only needs one quarterback, however, with them being one of the more consistent positions they are valued more here than other players. A wide receiver can go a week without catching a ball or a running back can go a week without getting a rushing touchdown, but everything still flows through the quarterback. In the 2015 Scott Fish Bowl Invitational league – a superflex format – I didn’t draft my first quarterback till the eighth round came, where I drafted Jay Cutler and Andy Dalton back-to-back. You might not decide to wait till the end of the eighth round to get your first quarterback, but there’s no reason to jump very early for one either. You will want to start two quarterbacks most weeks, but the quarterback pool is deep if you only have to start one. Focus on the other skill positions first and trust your judgment on when the QB pool is starting to thin out.
10-team 2QB dynasty leagues are also different than 12-team leagues because well, um… Math. Each team in the 10-team league can have three quarterbacks with no problems. As long as you don’t draft the three oldest quarterbacks in the league you should be able to make it through a few years till another starting quarterback enters the league and you can draft him late in the first or early in the second round of those rookie drafts.
There are other differences in leagues if you feel like getting into the minutia of the whole thing, such as tight end premium leagues, where Gronk falling to you in the first round might change your strategy. Decreasing the passing touchdown scoring from four/six points down to three can reduce the need to get a top quarterback as well (and takes some of the fun out of the game if you ask me).
In summary, the common 12-team 2QB dynasty league format provides just enough scarcity challenge to bring the value of the younger, elite dynasty quarterbacks like Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck up to first round status. But your own league characteristics can change that value or scarcity to minimize the need for this. Be sure to know your own league’s settings and scoring before following any one article’s advice without reading the fine print as to which type of league it addresses.
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