2QB Things We Learned: 2016 Week 8

2QB Things We Learned: 2016 Week 8

Salvatore Stefanile recaps Week 8 of the 2016 NFL regular season in his weekly 2QB Things We Learned blog, discussing Prescott, Romo and QB scoring. …

Going to skip the intro for this week and dive right into my 2QB thoughts after Week 8…

2QB Things We Learned: 2016 Week 8

1. The Dak Dilemma

On Thursday, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport said Dak Prescott would be the starter at least through Week 9…

That’s great news for 2QB Dak owners, as the rookie has been a fantasy revelation. And that was before he scored 27.28 fantasy points versus Philadelphia on Sunday night. He’s the current fantasy QB5 with Sam Bradford and Jay Cutler left to play, meaning he can add one more QB1 (top-12) finish to his 2016 resume.

The rookie Cowboys signal caller has been on a tear since his Week 1 QB26 performance where he scored 10.28 fantasy points. Since then he has scored an average of 20.52 points in his last six games, has four top-12 finishes, and finished no worse than QB20. The Cowboys are 6-1 with the rook at the helm of the offense.

#QBWINZ isn’t a stat we tend to put much stock into when it comes to fantasy analysis, but it’s hard not to think the Cowboys’ record won’t play a factor into the starting quarterback decision once Tony Romo is fully healthy. If it was up to Prescott fantasy owners, they would let him start the rest of the season. However, this is Romo’s team and when cleared to play it wouldn’t be a total shock if he was re-inserted as the team’s QB1. However, it’s no guarantee, and Dak has one more start, at least, coming up. And what a doozy it is. In Week 9, Dak and the Cowboys take on the Cleveland Browns.

Cleveland is a team we love to pick on from a quarterback streaming standpoint. The only quarterbacks to not finish the week as a top-12 fantasy QB against Cleveland this year are Joe Flacco (QB19), Kirk Cousins (QB14), and Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB17* pending MNF). However, the lowest fantasy output allowed by Cleveland was Fitzpatrick’s 14.42 fantasy points in Week 8 and they have allowed the seven other quarterbacks they faced to score 18+ fantasy points, with four reaching the 20+ marker.

Dak vs. CLE puts 2QBers in an interesting spot. You can either stay the course and start him in what might be his best matchup of the year, and take on the risk he might become a real life QB2 if Romo is back in Week 10. Or you could attempt to trade him to a quarterback-needy team in your league, desperate for a win or a bye week replacement (CHI, CIN, NE, ARI, WASH, HOU are off in Week 9). The uncertainty surrounding Romo’s health and status as starter make both options appealing and I think the decision will come down to your current QB depth chart and playoff status.

If you were one of the lucky ones who snagged Dak as a QB3 and were rewarded with a QB1 you’re playing with house money. If the other passers on your team are good enough to start each week, seeing what you could get for Dak via trade makes sense. Even more so if you have a solid record and feel confident about your playoff chances. If your QB depth is shaky and you need a win in Week 9, holding onto Dak could be the difference between making the playoffs or calling it an early season. Holding onto Dak in such a scenario might be worth it.

Regardless of whether you keep and start Dak in Week 9 or trade him, the Dak/Romo dilemma is one of the main 2QB storylines of 2016.

2. 2QB Mid-season Check-In

We’ve reached the halfway point of the 2QB season and I wanted to check in on the state of the quarterback position in fantasy, specifically when it relates to 2QB leagues.

Below is a screenshot of the current fantasy leaders in standard scoring (with MIN/CHI left to play):

From the leaderboard above we have…

  • Eight quarterbacks in the top-ten
  • Ten quarterbacks in the top-12
  • 16 quarterbacks in the top-20/top-24

I broke it down into groups of 10/20 and 12/24 to account for 2QB leagues of the 10- and 12-team varieties:

RankPlayerPosFantasy Points2QB ADP RankOverall ADPPositional ADP
1Matt RyanQB182.34100102.5QB20
2Andrew LuckQB168.261717.5QB4
3Derek CarrQB162.946768.6QB12
4Drew BreesQB161.742725.7QB5
5David JohnsonRB157.277.5RB2
6Matthew StaffordQB154.768686.7QB17
7Aaron RodgersQB153.28910.5QB2
8Andy DaltonQB145.368486QB16
9DeMarco MurrayRB141.36062.8RB18
10Tyrod TaylorQB141.17778.6QB14
11Marcus MariotaQB141.069089.4QB18
12Kirk CousinsQB140.567879.4QB15
13Melvin GordonRB135.18080.6RB27
14Dak PrescottQB133.42149142.5QB29
15Philip RiversQB133.35958.4QB11
16Blake BortlesQB124.665455.9QB9
17Ezekiel ElliottRB122.91111.3RB3
18Jameis WinstonQB121.547272.7QB13
19Ben RoethlisbergerQB121.23939.7QB6
20Cam NewtonQB119.4267.2QB1
21LeGarrette BlountRB116141136.3RB45
22LeSean McCoyRB111.53534.3RB12
23Matt ForteRB110.55355.6RB17
24Julio JonesWR109.933.2WR3

We know quarterbacks matter in 2QB leagues but how much are they worth? Every offseason since I broke into the industry (2013) I have stressed opportunity cost. The thought of investing an early-round pick or two on the quarterback position might make sense because you start two of them, but the position has become so deep over the years you can still hit on productive passers late in 2QB drafts.

Let’s look at the 16 quarterbacks that are in the top-24 of fantasy scoring…

  • Three in the top-ten had a 2QB ADP of QB10 or higher (Luck, Brees, Rodgers)
  • Three in the top-12 had a 2QB ADP of QB12 or higher (Luck, Brees, Rodgers)
  • Of the 16 QBs in the top-20 of overall fantasy scoring, seven had a 2QB ADP of QB12 or higher (Luck, Brees, Rodgers, Rivers, Bortles, Roethlisberger, Newton).

After we break it all down we are left with nine quarterbacks in the top-20 of overall fantasy scoring who were drafted outside of the QB1 tier, with Dak Prescott (142.5 ADP/QB29) being the lowest-drafted signal caller.

Looking at it from a percentage breakdown, 80 percent of the top-24 fantasy scorers are quarterbacks, 35 percent of the quarterbacks drafted had an ADP of QB12 or higher, 45 percent of the quarterback drafted had an ADP of QB13 or below.

*In case you’re wondering, fantasy scoring is split evenly in full-PPR leagues, with 12 QBs and 12-non QBs in the top-24 of overall scoring. Of those 12 QBs, four had a 2QB ADP of QB12 or higher.

Clearly we can see quarterbacks matter, but maybe we value them too highly during draft season. A common refrain you hear from 2QBers is they want to draft a quarterback early because they want a safe investment. Drafting an elite quarterback like Aaron Rodgers in round one theoretically means not having to worry about streaming the position or benching your stud quarterback. However, with quarterback scoring up across the board, you can still find production in the late rounds.

Below is a chart showing the ADP of every QB that was drafted and where they rank in fantasy scoring at the position (*Bradford/Cutler still have to play in Week 9):

ADP RankOverall ADPQBQB Fantasy Rank
17.2Newton, Cam16
210.5Rodgers, Aaron6
317.1Wilson, Russell24
417.5Luck, Andrew2
525.7Brees, Drew4
639.7Roethlisberger, Ben15
749.1Brady, Tom18
850.6Palmer, Carson17
955.9Bortles, Blake13
1058.4Manning, Eli22
1162.6Rivers, Philip12
1268.6Carr, Derek3
1372.7Winston, Jameis14
1478.6Taylor, Tyrod8
1579.4Cousins, Kirk10
1686Dalton, Andy7
1786.7Stafford, Matthew5
1889.4Mariota, Marcus9
1990.5Romo, TonyDNP
20102.5Ryan, Matt1
21107.1Tannehill, Ryan21
22110.3Fitzpatrick, Ryan28
23113.3Flacco, Joe23
24121.3Smith, Alex19
25128.4Cutler, Jay41
26132.5Osweiler, Brock25
27133.9Bridgewater, TeddyDNP
28137.9Griffin III, Robert46
29142.5Prescott, Dak11
30143.9Bradford, Sam31
31144.8Goff, JaredDNP
32145.9Kessler, Cody32
33146.4Gabbert, Blaine30
34147Kaepernick, Colin35
35148.4Garoppolo, Jimmy33
36148.5Siemian, Trevor27
37148.6Wentz, Carson20
UndraftedN/AKeenum, Case26
UndraftedN/AHoyer, Brian29
UndraftedN/AMcCown, Josh33

*From a points per game perspective, it’s a much rosier picture, with eight of the top-12 PPG leaders (excluding Josh McCown, including Tom Brady) had a 2QB ADP of QB12 or higher.

With the wide talent pool of quarterbacks available, using a first or second round pick on the position in 2QB leagues might not be as prevalent this upcoming draft season. Of course, casual 2QBers will continue to latch onto the idea of drafting quarterbacks early so there may still be one of two that go in the first round. However, with only four taken in the first two rounds of 2016 drafts we may already be in the midst of a wait-on-quarterback shift.

*Stats used in this article courtesy of FantasyData

Salvatore Stefanile

Salvatore Stefanile is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) and has been playing fantasy football since his high school days. He is a proponent of 2QB fantasy football leagues and his work has been featured on XN Sports, RotoViz, and Rotoworld. His writing on 2QB fantasy football leagues earned him the FSWA award for 'Best Fantasy Football On-Going Series' in 2013. He earned a second FSWA nomination in 2015. You can follow him on Twitter @2QBFFB

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