2QB or Not 2QB: Week 12 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 12. 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.
Navigating the Matchups
The plot below visualizes the strength of each quarterback’s matchup on both sides of the ball. The color of the bubbles represents the QB’s projected points. (If you are reading this from a mobile device, the QB/matchup info may not show up when you hover over the bubbles. But that info is all in the table below the plot).
The craziness of a holiday week has left me crunched with time, so I wasn’t able to do the full analysis I usually do in this article. Instead, I’ll give a rundown of every quarterback’s outlook/matchup for Week 12. If you have specific start/sit questions, hit me up on twitter @Slavin22.
The bottom couple tiers for Week 12 are made up of weak quarterbacks with poor matchups. Tom Savage (@ BAL) and Brett Hundley (@ PIT) are in especially brutal spots. Blaine Gabbert (vs. JAX) has the roughest matchup of all, but at least he is coming off a good showing, albeit against a struggling Texans defense. These QBs can be sat even for mediocre flex players in formats with some form of PPR. Mitch Trubisky (@ PHI) and DeShone Kizer (@ CIN) also have tough matchups, but can be started unless you’re flush with great options at another position.
The next tier up is filled with QBs in different types of situations. Eli Manning (@ WAS), Paxton Lynch (@ OAK), and Jay Cutler (@ NE) all have decent matchups despite being on the road. Joe Flacco (vs. HOU) is in a great spot, but he’s been so bad in 2017 that a mediocre showing would qualify as a breakout performance. Josh McCown (vs. CAR) and C.J. Beathard (@ SEA) don’t have great matchups, but have at least showed signs of life. A matchup with the Seahawks isn’t as scary as it used to be with their secondary in shambles. However, I’d sit Beathard for any of the other QBs in this tier, just in case Pete Carroll can pull some magic with his defensive backs.
Case Keenum (@ DET), Blake Bortles (@ ARI), and Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ ATL) are in near identical situations this week, as middling options despite solid matchups on the road. I like Keenum the best here as he’s clicking with Adam Thielen and has a nice set of weapons all-around.
Drew Brees (@ LAR) in a tough matchup can still be relied upon in 2QB/Superflex, but that’s a prime matchup for New Orleans to grind it out on the ground. I’m looking forward to seeing what Dak Prescott (vs. LAC) can do with Tyron Smith back, but it’s not a great matchup. Given his struggles, Derek Carr (vs. DEN) may be a bit of fool’s gold here, especially if the Broncos offense can give the defense any help for once. So despite the numbers showing a worse matchup for Matthew Stafford (vs. MIN) and Jared Goff (vs. NO), I’d prefer them over Carr. Tyrod Taylor (@ KCC) and Philip Rivers (@ DAL) are also solid plays in good matchups on the road
Ben Roethlisberger (vs. GB), Andy Dalton (vs. CLE), Marcus Mariota (@ IND), and Jacoby Brissett (vs. TEN) are all in great spots. Cleveland has cracked down a bit lately, but they’re still one of the worst pass defenses overall. If you put a lot of weight to recent performances, go with one of the QBs from the Titans-Colts game if that’s who you’re choosing from.
Alex Smith (vs. BUF) has become mortal again and Buffalo isn’t a great matchup, but I’m betting on Andy Reid to get that offense going again. Matt Ryan (vs. TB) and Cam Newton (@ NYJ) have awesome matchups, but Carson Wentz (vs. CHI) has been so good, he’s on their level despite a poor matchup.
The top tier is made up of QBs in great matchups that have been playing at a high level no matter what defense they face — Tom Brady (vs. MIA), Russell Wilson (@ SF), and Kirk Cousins (vs. NYG).
My projections used here 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 12!