2QB or Not 2QB: Week 16 Superflex Decisions

2QB or Not 2QB: Week 16 Superflex Decisions

For the most part, 2QB and Superflex leagues are one and the same. There is more urgency to secure a solid QB3 in the former, accounting for bye weeks. In the latter, I still like having at least three starting quarterbacks so I can play matchups, have injury insurance, and leverage that depth in trades. However, you can still succeed if you end up with just a pair of starters. During your bye weeks at the position, you’ll see a small drop-off subbing a non-quarterback for a quarterback. That’s manageable though, unlike the goose eggs you’d lay in 2QB leagues.

The Superflex slot can seem like a built-in safety option for byes and injuries. That’s not all it needs to be, though. If your signal-callers are Drew Brees and Marcus Mariota, then sure, set it and forget it until their bye weeks (or injuries) come around. However, many of us end up with weaker quarterbacks, whether by design or because of injuries. If your QB2 is outside the top-25 at the position, the Superflex slot takes its true form, no longer a de-facto QB2 slot. It depends on the roster settings and scoring setup, as well as your depth at other positions. But starting just one quarterback is viable in certain situations. Hell, I barely missed out on a championship last year, where Alex Smith was my only starting quarterback in a 14-team Superflex league.

Impact of PPR Scoring

The scoring rules of a Superflex league significantly impact whether you should consider starting a flex player over a quarterback. The tables below show how many flex players are projected to outscore each starting signal-caller in Week 16. These are my personal projections, which assume 5 points for a passing TD, and -2 points for interceptions. They are broken down into non-PPR, half-PPR, and full-PPR; all other scoring rules are typical of standard leagues.

The bottom portions of these tables show how stark the influence PPR scoring has when it comes to the positional advantage that (non-elite) quarterbacks have over the flex positions.

Visualizing Matchups + Superflex DFS

I took the last two weeks off of writing, as it was a hectic time for me between work and school. So to anyone who has come to rely on this article in their weekly process, I apologize but there’s a silver lining. The main reason I wasn’t writing was because I was busy with a project for a class I’m taking — Data Science + Visualization. I’ve put some of the skills I’ve learned in that class to use already, for example the chart below (which has an upgrade this week). I also plan to put use those skills to create some cool apps for TwoQBs in the offseason.

The chart below has my usual QB projections, plotted by the strength of both the QB and the matchup. With redraft season winding down and the new Superflex DFS offered by FanDuel, I imagine more and more of you are playing daily fantasy than earlier in the year. So I’ve decided to include some FanDuel-specific projections as well. If you click the dropdown box, you can select one of the Superflex DFS slates. The chart will update to include only the quarterbacks in that slate, and plot them by price and projected points (which now reflects FanDuel scoring). Hopefully this gives you some insight while selecting QBs to play or fade.

I dabble in daily here and there, but mostly I’m a season-long purist. A Superflex DFS option is super appealing though, so I’ll be playing for sure this week. That being said, take the following analysis with a grain of salt. Though hopefully Greg and Ben’s insight on this week’s episode of the 2QB Experience sunk in a bit.

On that pod, they mentioned stacking QBs from the same game, trying to capitalize on high-scoring matchups. If you’re going with that method, I wanted to highlight the QB pairings I like this week, based on combined points per dollar…

Cam Newton and Jameis Winston face off in Charlotte, and are barely behind Russell Wilson/Dak Prescott for top projected points from a pairing. However, you can save $1,200 by going with Cam/Jameis and spend that on upgrades at RB, WR, or TE. As Ben mentioned on the pod, they may be highly owned coming off hot performances. So go with this stack in cash games and look elsewhere in tournaments.

If you want to save a bit more, I’d go with Alex Smith + Jay Cutler. Matthew Stafford + Andy Dalton makes for an enticing matchup, but I’m a little afraid of Dalton being pulled for A.J. McCarron.

If you want to play some heavy hitters at the flex positions and need to skimp on QB, I’d go with Brett Hundley and Case Keenum. Thanks to Aaron Rodgers’ short-lived return, Hundley is priced at the minimum which is a bargain even in a tough matchup. Keenum as the fifth-most expensive option may seem pricey, but I have him ranked fourth so the value’s fine with him.

If that’s not cheap enough for you, plug in a Drew Stanton/Eli Manning stack. You’ll have to find something else to do on Sunday as watching that unfold may be ugly, but this makes for the perfect Hail Mary in a tournament, in my opinion.

Implications

In a non-PPR league, there’s typically little possibility you will have a better option at Superflex than your QB2. A monster group of running backs and a weak QB option can bear that out:

  • Bryce Petty is the only QB I see even a remote scenario of benching for flex players. If you have enough top-12 RBs to fill the flex and Superflex slots, feel free to bench Petty. Otherwise, lock in two QBs and call it a day.

In a half-PPR league, the situation is similar to non-PPR. A few more RBs are Superflex-worthy, while some wide receivers and tight ends enter the mix:

  • Jimmy Garoppolo can be sat if you have a bunch of top-12 RBs.
  • Petty can be sat in favor of top-20 RBs or top-10 WRs.
  • You’d need to have a pair of elite TEs and no regular flex slot to bench Petty.

In a full-PPR league, a lot more players at flex positions project to outscore QBs. However, many of those were early-round draft picks, so actionable scenarios are still mostly contained to teams that loaded up at a flex position early:

  • Top-12 running backs and top-12 wide receivers can be started over any QB projected for 15 points or fewer.
  • Jacoby Brissett can be sat for top-15 options at RB and WR.
  • I’d bench Garoppolo for top-20 options at the RB or WR, and considered among players a tier lower.
  • It’s viable to bench a low-end QB2 if you have any top-30 options at RB and WR.
  • For TEs, the elite tier of Gronk, Ertz, and Kelce can be played above the bottom couple tiers of QBs. The second tier of Graham, Olsen, and Engram can be played over Petty and considered with Garoppolo.

Caveats/Other Thoughts

My non-DFS projections award 5 points per passing touchdown. If your league differs, adjust the signal-callers up or down accordingly. Also, my assumptions for which sets of RBs/WRs are viable are based on a redraft league with a standard snake draft. If you’re in a dynasty league or have an auction instead of a draft, it is more likely that you can build a monster group at RB/WR. If so, you may have a situation not laid out above, but you should be able to glean what you need from the unlikelier scenarios I did touch on. I had a 12-team league in my mind for this as well. While a shallower league means you’ll have better options at the flex positions, you’ll also be less likely to have a weak QB2.

Hopefully, I was able to shed light on any lineup decision you might face. If not, drop me a line on twitter (@Slavin22). Good luck in Week 16!

Sean Slavin

Sean Slavin

Sean Slavin is an all-around sports nut, who has been playing fantasy football since 2001. He focuses on redraft leagues, but dabbles in dynasty, superflex, IDP, and DFS. Sean has a mathematics degree from Rutgers. Besides his day job, he mostly applies his math skills to find an edge in drafting/trading. Sean's favorite sports teams are the Giants, Braves, Hornets, Rangers, and Florida Gators
Sean Slavin


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