2QB/Superflex Rankings Methodology and Cheat Sheets
Editor’s Note: This piece has been excerpted from the 2018 TwoQBs Draft Guide and updated for 2019.
In 2016, I dove deep into my rankings philosophy at TwoQBs. The ideas I presented in that article still resonate with me, and my process for ranking players hasn’t changed much. There are differences, of course, because I now have another full season of experience to draw on in my approach to rankings. I’ll get into what has changed for me below, but for now, just look at all the instances of “I,” “me,” and “my” in this paragraph so far. Creating rankings is a very individualistic exercise. Houston, we have a subjectivity problem.
Everyone plays fantasy football in their own way. Furthermore, everyone plays with unique collections of opponents and league settings. It’s silly to expect one set of rankings to work for such a varied group of drafters, but here I am, attempting to put my rankings methodology into words. Ultimately, these ideas are informed by my own drafting experience and roster-construction tendencies. I understand, however, that my background is not necessarily applicable to all players.
With that in mind, I’ve created two separate sets of overall rankings for drafting two-quarterback leagues. My QB Value rankings are indicative of how I draft in two-quarterback formats. If you like to wait on QBs like me, these are the rankings for you. On the other hand, my QB Aggression rankings are for drafters whose opponents will place a higher value on the quarterback position. For those leagues where passers fly off the board early and often, drafters can’t blindly assume value will fall to them at the QB position with a late-round QB mindset. An adjustment must be made, and my QB Aggression ranks attempt to qualify the adjustment by raising quarterbacks up the board. Don’t get the wrong impression, though. Our goal is always to mine as much value as possible at every position. My QB Value and QB Aggression baselines exist on a sliding scale, and it’s your job as a drafter to adapt each time you’re on the clock.
To be honest, this is why I put very little stock into overall rankings. Drafts move too fast and are generally too unpredictable. After two or three rounds of picks, most assumptions made by a set of overall rankings can be thrown out the window. Understanding relative value differences between positions is still relevant, but the picks already made (by you and your leaguemates) will increasingly impact your roster’s needs as the draft progresses. If you follow overall rankings too rigidly, you can miss out on in-the-moment values and fall too far behind at certain positions, especially if you devalue a position relative to everyone else.
Positional rankings are much more useful, especially when similar players are appropriately clustered into tiers. If you rank players relatively well within their positions and have a holistic understanding of which positions you feel are most important, that’s more than half the battle. Tiers show us the value drop-offs between groups of players, and that information helps us forecast which positions are likely to give us the most value in later rounds. To do that, however, we need some knowledge of our opponents’ behavior. How they begin their drafts will dictate how they must finish their drafts to field competitive teams.
For example, if the top tier of running backs — Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Nick Chubb, David Johnson, and Ezekiel Elliott — fly off the board with the first six picks, you don’t necessarily want to jump in line and draft the running back with the next-highest ranking at 1.07. Doing so puts you a full tier behind those first drafters at the RB position and allows later drafters to get ahead of you at other positions. Instead, it’s better to beat the later drafters to the punch. Get your own tier-based advantage with a top-end player at wide receiver, quarterback, or tight end, especially if you predict you can still land a second-tier running back in the second round.
Of course, not all positions are created equal. A late-round running back, wide receiver, or tight end is more likely to give you zero points in any given week than a late-round quarterback. Furthermore, most leagues typically allow owners to start more running backs and wide receivers than quarterbacks and tight ends, even in 2QB/Superflex. Scoring settings can also impact the relative value of positions. For example, wide receivers gain value in PPR leagues. Before we get to the rankings themselves, let’s dive into some basic assumptions for league settings and a few notes on my general methodologies.
Know Your League Settings
Let’s start with scoring settings. As with last year, my rankings assume the following:
- Passing TD = 4 points
- Non-passing TD = 6 points
- Interception = -2 points
- Fumble lost = -2 points
- 25 Passing Yards = 1 point (0.04 points per yard)
- 10 Rushing Yards = 1 point (0.1 points per yard)
- 10 Receiving Yards = 1 point (0.1 points per yard)
- Reception = 0.5 points (Yes, this is a hedge between No-PPR and Full-PPR.)
These choices are typical for most leagues, but many formats will tweak the values of passing TDs, turnovers, and receptions. If your league has more outlandish deviations from the norm in terms of scoring, you’ll need to be more careful about using my rankings. Feel free to reach out to us at @TwoQBs on Twitter with league-specific questions about how scoring settings impact draft values.
My assumption of weekly starting lineups is similarly standard, at least for two-quarterback formats:
- 2 QBs (or 1 QB and 1 Superflex)
- 2 RBs
- 3 WRs
- 1 TE
- 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE)
- 1 D/ST
- 1 K
I also assume we’re drafting 10-team leagues, but I believe my rankings are still generally appropriate for 12-teamers. Note that the behavior of your leaguemates will probably skew more toward QB Aggression than QB Value with more teams in the mix.
Basic Rankings Methodology
With those organizational similarities out of the way, let’s move on to some basic principles that dictate how I value and rank players:
- Kickers and defenses should never be drafted before the final rounds, and you should look to stream both positions during the season.
- Tight end should not be a priority. Apologies to Travis Kelce, but the position’s one-of nature makes all other skill positions more important.
- Good every-down running backs are still fantasy’s most scarce commodities.
- On the other hand, running backs in great offenses can overcome timeshares through efficiency and/or TD volume.
- At wide receiver, I want solidified volume or at least a consistent type of role (to help predict week-to-week volume based on matchups during the season). I don’t have room on my rosters for too many boom/bust options. Give me consistency and predictability.
- If a receiver’s volume or role is tied to a good quarterback, that’s a huge plus.
- Quarterback is generally less important than running back and wide receiver. The NFL is a pass-first league, and passers touch the ball more than any other offensive position, so even lower-tier QBs can regularly stumble into productive fantasy weeks. The same cannot be said for “bad” players at other positions.
My final mantra here is a point of contention for many experienced 2QB and Superflex drafters, however, and that’s why the QB Aggression rankings were created for this guide. I concede that some leagues will value signal-callers higher than I do, and you can’t wait forever to draft your quarterbacks in that sort of scenario. Regardless of a league’s QB-drafting pace, I hope to end up with at least three of the top-25 QBs in all of my drafts (see my Startable Quarterback Percentage article to find out why). When other owners go heavy at the position with early picks, that means I need to speed up my timeline for drafting quarterbacks.
None of this means I won’t draft quarterbacks early. I’ve become more open to doing so in recent seasons. It won’t happen frequently because most other two-quarterback drafters still covet the elite passers more, but if I’m trying to leverage tier advantages against my fantasy enemies, owning players like Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson is a fine way to do so. However, the same can be said about owning the elite running backs and wideouts, so they still merit the highest priority to open a draft in my opinion. No matter how you choose to prioritize the positions, though, your early picks will dictate where you need to play catch-up in the later rounds. On the whole, I believe taking quarterbacks early raises your draft’s degree of difficulty slightly more than taking rushers or receivers early.
I hope this explanation of my rankings methodology is beneficial to you. If you have the time and energy, I recommend trying to rank players on your own, just to get a better feel for the ins and outs of the process. Feel free to contact me @gregsauce on Twitter if you have any questions.
2QB/Superflex Cheat Sheet Download
You can download my 2019 2QB/Superflex Rankings Cheat Sheets here: 2QB-Superflex Cheat Sheets (2019-08-27).
Note that the document features three pages, the first with QB Value rankings, the second with QB Aggression rankings, and the third with auction values for both the QB Value and QB Aggression approaches.