How To Attack Two Quarterback Leagues
By Jeff Tefertiller
August 16th, 2012

The diversity of leagues is one aspect that makes fantasy football so much fun. Some people like the larger leagues, while some like the smaller ones. The values of players vary widely with the differences in scoring and starting lineup. It is not a wise move to use standard draft strategies in the non-standard leagues. This is especially true with league which require two quarterbacks in the starting lineup. An entirely different strategy is essential in order to make the most of the draft. This article will look at ten team leagues, starting two quarterbacks, and utilizing PPR scoring. We will examine strategies especially designed for these leagues in order to best attack the draft and get the most from the roster. These will help you form a new strategy for your league.

Down to basics, what are the differences I should know about the 2QB leagues?

  • The biggest question is how to value quarterbacks in comparison to other positions. In leagues which start two passers, even the most average quarterbacks are worth as much as good running backs and receivers. It is difficult to balance gaining studs at other positions while still addressing quarterback. As a general rule, it is best to only draft elite players at running back or wide receiver over starting quarterbacks. So, this means you should only take the top four or five running backs (Arian Foster, Chris Johnson, LeSean McCoy, or Ray Rice) or the top three wideouts (Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Julio Jones, and Calvin Johnson) over the quarterback position in the first three rounds. The VBD values will suggest that the passers carry this type of value.

  • How do I know which quarterbacks to select? The main increase in value is with the players from QB10 to QB25. The top quarterbacks retain good value in all leagues, but it is the ones ranked lower that need the extra analysis. The players in this range (QB10-QB25) are ranked lower because there is a question about talent, certainty of situation, potential lack of upside, or just lack of proven production. Fantasy owners usually struggle with differentiating between the less than stellar options. Less than two projected points per game separates QB12 (Ben Roethlisberger) from QB20 (Joe Flacco). With so many alternatives, the priority should be on seeking value. While it sounds simplistic, select the players who are the most talented. Next, do not spend a pick before the seventh or eighth round on a player whose job is not secure. Since every team in your league starts two players at the position, finding options with upside and proven production is the key to gaining value.

  • How does the quarterback scarcity impact the early rounds? There will be quarterback runs. In leagues which start two at the position, owners will see the runs coming and will be desperate not to be left behind. This is all driven by positional scarcity. For this reason, it is best to take a stud quarterback, or two, early just to stay ahead of the curve. The mad rush for passers will push quality players at other positions down the draft.
  • When we look at the VBD (Value Based Drafting) application, we quickly realize how valued the quarterbacks are when compared to the other positions. The VBD accounts for positional scarcity and available options at other positions using the Footballguys.com projections. It is amazing that in the first 36 players listed in terms of value, ten are quarterbacks, just one is a wide receiver, twenty-three running backs, and two tight ends. The league variables used were ten teams, eighteen roster spots, PPR scoring, and starting requirements of 2 Quarterbacks, 2 Running Backs, 3 Wide Receivers, 1 Tight End, 1 Flex, 1 Kicker, and 1 Team Defense.

    Below are the Top 50 players according to the VBD values:

    Rk
    Pos
    PosRk
    Player
    Team/Bye
    Points
    VBD
    ADP
    1
    RB
    1
    Arian Foster
    Hou/8
    266.7
    166
    1.01
    2
    RB
    2
    Ray Rice
    Bal/8
    255.6
    155
    1.02
    3
    QB
    1
    Aaron Rodgers
    GB/10
    390.5
    139
    1.03
    4
    RB
    3
    LeSean McCoy
    Phi/7
    232.4
    131
    1.04
    5
    QB
    2
    Tom Brady
    NE/9
    357.0
    105
    1.07
    6
    QB
    3
    Drew Brees
    NO/6
    354.6
    103
    1.10
    7
    RB
    4
    Chris Johnson
    Ten/11
    201.1
    100
    1.06
    8
    RB
    5
    Matt Forte
    Chi/6
    198.1
    97
    2.01
    9
    RB
    6
    Darren McFadden
    Oak/5
    197.0
    96
    1.09
    10
    QB
    4
    Cam Newton
    Car/6
    342.7
    91
    2.08
    11
    RB
    7
    DeMarco Murray
    Dal/5
    191.5
    91
    2.05
    12
    RB
    8
    Jamaal Charles
    KC/7
    186.3
    85
    2.09
    13
    RB
    9
    Trent Richardson
    Cle/10
    185.4
    84
    2.04
    14
    RB
    10
    Maurice Jones-Drew
    Jac/6
    183.6
    83
    1.08
    15
    RB
    11
    Ahmad Bradshaw
    NYG/11
    183.3
    82
    4.04
    16
    QB
    5
    Matthew Stafford
    Det/5
    332.7
    81
    2.07
    17
    RB
    12
    Doug Martin
    TB/5
    177.1
    76
    5.03
    18
    WR
    1
    Calvin Johnson
    Det/5
    209.8
    76
    1.05
    19
    RB
    13
    Steven Jackson
    StL/9
    175.9
    75
    3.04
    20
    RB
    14
    Fred Jackson
    Buf/8
    172.1
    71
    4.01
    21
    RB
    15
    Marshawn Lynch
    Sea/11
    170.1
    69
    3.07
    22
    RB
    16
    Ryan Mathews
    SD/7
    168.5
    68
    3.03
    23
    RB
    17
    Michael Turner
    Atl/7
    163.6
    63
    4.05
    24
    RB
    18
    Frank Gore
    SF/9
    160.8
    60
    4.08
    25
    QB
    6
    Michael Vick
    Phi/7
    311.7
    60
    4.09
    26
    RB
    19
    Adrian Peterson
    Min/11
    160.5
    60
    3.01
    27
    RB
    20
    Reggie Bush
    Mia/7
    154.6
    54
    6.01
    28
    RB
    21
    Willis McGahee
    Den/7
    154.6
    54
    7.08
    29
    QB
    7
    Eli Manning
    NYG/11
    304.2
    52
    5.09
    30
    TE
    1
    Jimmy Graham
    NO/6
    167.8
    51
    2.03
    31
    TE
    2
    Rob Gronkowski
    NE/9
    167.1
    50
    2.06
    32
    QB
    8
    Philip Rivers
    SD/7
    302.0
    50
    6.06
    33
    RB
    22
    Shonn Greene
    NYJ/9
    149.6
    49
    6.07
    34
    RB
    23
    Darren Sproles
    NO/6
    149.1
    48
    4.06
    35
    QB
    9
    Matt Ryan
    Atl/7
    298.8
    47
    7.10
    36
    QB
    10
    Tony Romo
    Dal/5
    298.7
    47
    5.08
    37
    RB
    24
    Donald Brown
    Ind/4
    146.7
    46
    9.05
    38
    RB
    25
    BenJarvus Green-Ellis
    Cin/8
    144.8
    44
    6.10
    39
    RB
    26
    Isaac Redman
    Pit/4
    143.1
    42
    7.05
    40
    QB
    11
    Robert Griffin III
    Was/10
    293.0
    41
    8.07
    41
    WR
    2
    Julio Jones
    Atl/7
    171.8
    38
    3.09
    42
    WR
    3
    Larry Fitzgerald
    Ari/10
    171.5
    37
    2.02
    43
    RB
    27
    Mark Ingram
    NO/6
    131.9
    31
    9.09
    44
    QB
    12
    Ben Roethlisberger
    Pit/4
    282.7
    31
    9.01
    45
    QB
    13
    Peyton Manning
    Den/7
    282.2
    30
    6.09
    46
    WR
    4
    Andre Johnson
    Hou/8
    163.6
    29
    2.10
    47
    WR
    5
    Greg Jennings
    GB/10
    161.3
    27
    3.02
    48
    WR
    6
    Roddy White
    Atl/7
    161.2
    27
    3.05
    49
    WR
    7
    A.J. Green
    Cin/8
    160.8
    27
    3.08
    50
    RB
    28
    Stevan Ridley
    NE/9
    126.7
    26
    8.05

    It is interesting how the positions are weighted so heavily toward running backs and quarterbacks. Yes, there are only two tight ends, but 7 wide receivers, 28 running backs, and 13 quarterbacks ... all with values in the first five rounds. As far as draft strategy, the values indicate a push to get as many of the top quarterbacks as possible and add running backs early in the draft before they become scarce. How does it change for the players 51-90? This represents the first half of the draft.

    Rk
    Pos
    PosRk
    Player
    Team/Bye
    Points
    VBD
    ADP
    51
    RB
    29
    DeAngelo Williams
    Car/6
    125.4
    25
    9.08
    52
    RB
    30
    Jonathan Stewart
    Car/6
    122.9
    22
    8.03
    53
    WR
    8
    Dez Bryant
    Dal/5
    154.4
    20
    5.02
    54
    WR
    9
    Percy Harvin
    Min/11
    154.2
    20
    5.06
    55
    QB
    14
    Josh Freeman
    TB/5
    271.7
    20
    12.04
    56
    RB
    31
    Roy Helu
    Was/10
    119.1
    18
    7.09
    57
    WR
    10
    Mike Wallace
    Pit/4
    151.9
    18
    4.10
    58
    RB
    32
    C.J. Spiller
    Buf/8
    117.6
    17
    8.06
    59
    WR
    11
    Victor Cruz
    NYG/11
    150.8
    17
    3.10
    60
    WR
    12
    Hakeem Nicks
    NYG/11
    150.7
    17
    4.03
    61
    WR
    13
    Steve Smith
    Car/6
    150.3
    16
    5.01
    62
    RB
    33
    Chris Wells
    Ari/10
    116.3
    15
    8.01
    63
    WR
    14
    Demaryius Thomas
    Den/7
    149.2
    15
    5.07
    64
    QB
    15
    Carson Palmer
    Oak/5
    266.2
    14
    13.01
    65
    WR
    15
    Brandon Marshall
    Chi/6
    146.6
    12
    4.02
    66
    WR
    16
    Jordy Nelson
    GB/10
    146.5
    12
    4.07
    67
    RB
    34
    Peyton Hillis
    KC/7
    112.5
    12
    8.08
    68
    TE
    3
    Antonio Gates
    SD/7
    128.2
    11
    5.10
    69
    WR
    17
    Vincent Jackson
    TB/5
    144.6
    10
    6.04
    70
    TE
    4
    Aaron Hernandez
    NE/9
    127.1
    10
    6.03
    71
    WR
    18
    DeSean Jackson
    Phi/7
    144.2
    10
    7.04
    72
    RB
    35
    Michael Bush
    Chi/6
    109.5
    9
    10.08
    73
    WR
    19
    Denarius Moore
    Oak/5
    141.8
    8
    9.10
    74
    WR
    20
    Miles Austin
    Dal/5
    141.7
    8
    5.05
    75
    WR
    21
    Marques Colston
    NO/6
    141.0
    7
    5.04
    76
    RB
    36
    Ryan Williams
    Ari/10
    107.7
    7
    12.01
    77
    QB
    16
    Matt Schaub
    Hou/8
    257.5
    6
    10.05
    78
    WR
    22
    Steve Johnson
    Buf/8
    139.3
    5
    7.02
    79
    PK
    1
    Stephen Gostkowski
    NE/9
    136.4
    5
    14.08
    80
    WR
    23
    Antonio Brown
    Pit/4
    138.6
    4
    7.07
    81
    QB
    17
    Andy Dalton
    Cin/8
    255.7
    4
    13.07
    82
    QB
    18
    Jay Cutler
    Chi/6
    254.9
    3
    10.04
    83
    DEF
    1
    San Francisco
    SF/9
    149.4
    2
    10.01
    84
    QB
    19
    Alex Smith
    SF/9
    252.7
    1
    16.03
    85
    RB
    37
    Cedric Benson
    GB/10
    101.1
    0
    22.09
    86
    RB
    38
    Pierre Thomas
    NO/6
    101.0
    0
    14.02
    87
    WR
    24
    Dwayne Bowe
    KC/7
    134.2
    0
    6.05
    88
    WR
    25
    Wes Welker
    NE/9
    134.1
    0
    3.06
    89
    RB
    39
    Kevin Smith
    Det/5
    100.9
    0
    12.05
    90
    QB
    20
    Joe Flacco
    Bal/8
    251.9
    0
    14.06

    The wide receivers caught up to the running backs in a hurry. With 20 quarterbacks off the board, it means that every team is assumed to have drafted two already at the position. This mad rush of passers has pushed very good backs and receivers into extreme value situations.

    After running a few mocks, it became obvious that getting at least one, and possibly two, top players at the quarterback position is essential. There is no way to win your league if you are starting Alex Smith and Joe Flacco at the quarterback position. A team having two of the top seven elite fantasy options has a monstrous advantage. A shortage is quickly created. The wide receiver position is the opposite. The are several very good options available at wide receiver (like Dwayne Bowe, Wes Welker, etc.) halfway into the draft.

    In the first five rounds, it would be best to have two quarterbacks, two running backs, and either another back or one wide receiver after five rounds. The VBD values drop off considerably after Romo (QB10) and there is no way the fantasy teams with the lesser pair of passers can compete with a Rodgers/Brady combination, for example.

    In two quarterback leagues, the tight end position becomes less valuable relative to the quarterback and running back positions. Savvy owners should wait until the six round or later to address the position. There are more than ten quality tight ends so you can afford to wait.

    In summary, load up on ball carriers and passers early in the draft and only address wide receiver and tight after the talent falls off at the two primary positions.

    Please feel free to email me at tefertiller@footballguys.com with any questions or comments. Also, I am on Twitter, so feel free to ask me questions there.

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