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How To Attack Superflex PPR Leagues

Strategy on Attacking Your Superflex PPR League Draft

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 value of respective players varies widely with the differences in scoring and starting lineup.  It is not advisable to use standard draft strategies in the non-standard leagues.  This is especially true with leagues which have the ability to insert two quarterbacks in the starting lineup.  These “Superflex” leagues add an another layer to regular one or two-quarterback leagues.  An owner may use the flex position in the starting lineup to start a Quarterback, Running Back, Wide Receiver, or Tight End.  An entirely different strategy is essential in order to make the most of the draft.  This article will look at ten team leagues, starting one quarterback with the option to start another in the flex, and utilizing PPR scoring.  We will examine strategies specially designed for these leagues in order to best attack the draft and get the most for your roster.  These will help you form a new strategy for your league.  

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

a.  The biggest question is how to value quarterbacks in comparison to other positions.  In leagues that allow any of the skill positions at the flex, 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.  A team with two strong quarterbacks has a distinct advantage.  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 (e.g., Todd Gurley, LeVeon Bell, David Johnson, or Adrian Peterson) or the top three wideouts (e.g., Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, and Odell Beckham) over the quarterback position in the first two rounds.  The depth at the quarterback position will make it easier to take running backs and receivers in the early rounds.  Rob Gronkowski is the lone tight end worthy of consideration early in fantasy drafts.  The VBD values will show balance in value (VBD) between positions.  In one-quarterback leagues, the position is devalued tremendously due to so many viable players at the position.  In Superflex leagues, there is a balance. 

b.  How do I know which quarterbacks to select?  The main difference with Superflex leagues is the increase in value with the players from QB10 to QB25.  The top two 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, the certainty of the situation, potential lack of upside, or just lack of proven production.  Fantasy owners usually struggle with differentiating between the less than stellar options.  Approximately three projected points per game separate QB10 (Winston) from QB25 (Cutler).  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 hopes to start two players at the position, finding options with upside and proven production is the key to gaining value. 

c.  How does the quarterback scarcity impact the early rounds?  There will be quarterback runs.  This is inevitable.  In leagues which enable starting two players 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 a Superflex starting lineup balances out the options in the early rounds.  The VBD (Value Base Drafting) 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, six are quarterbacks, nine running backs, nineteen wide receivers, and two tight ends.  The balance is incredible in what represents the first three-plus rounds of a fantasy draft.  The league variables used were ten teams, eighteen roster spots, PPR scoring, and starting requirements of 1 Quarterbacks, 2 Running Backs, 3 Wide Receivers, 1 Tight End, 1 Flex (can be QB, RB, WR, or TE), 1 Kicker, and 1 Team Defense. 

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

Rank

Pos

Player

Team

Pts

ADP

VBD

1

WR1

Antonio Brown

PIT/8

361

1

162

2

WR2

Julio Jones

ATL/11

345

2

146

3

WR3

Odell Beckham Jr

NYG/8

329

3

130

4

WR4

DeAndre Hopkins

HOU/9

301

4

102

5

WR5

A.J. Green

CIN/9

294

7

95

6

TE1

Rob Gronkowski

NE/9

261

8

98

7

QB1

Cam Newton

CAR/7

388

9

86

8

RB1

David Johnson

ARI/9

282

6

87

9

RB2

Todd Gurley

LA/8

277

5

81

10

WR6

Jordy Nelson

GB/4

273

13

74

11

QB2

Aaron Rodgers

GB/4

374

20

72

12

WR7

Dez Bryant

DAL/7

272

10

73

13

WR8

Brandon Marshall

NYJ/11

270

18

71

14

QB3

Russell Wilson

SEA/5

365

28

64

15

WR9

Alshon Jeffery

CHI/9

263

19

64

16

RB3

Devonta Freeman

ATL/11

263

14

68

17

WR10

Allen Robinson

JAX/5

261

15

62

18

RB4

Ezekiel Elliott

DAL/7

262

11

67

19

WR11

Keenan Allen

SD/11

261

21

62

20

QB4

Andrew Luck

IND/10

360

30

58

21

WR12

T.Y. Hilton

IND/10

254

26

55

22

WR13

Demaryius Thomas

DEN/11

253

29

54

23

RB5

Jamaal Charles

KC/5

254

22

59

24

RB6

Lamar Miller

HOU/9

254

16

59

25

QB5

Drew Brees

NO/5

354

35

52

26

RB7

LeVeon Bell

PIT/8

251

17

56

27

WR14

Mike Evans

TB/6

248

23

49

28

WR15

Amari Cooper

OAK/10

246

24

47

29

RB8

Mark Ingram

NO/5

247

25

51

30

TE2

Jordan Reed

WAS/9

212

32

49

31

RB9

Adrian Peterson

MIN/6

245

12

50

32

QB6

Ben Roethlisberger

PIT/8

345

44

43

33

WR16

Brandin Cooks

NO/5

243

27

44

34

WR17

Jarvis Landry

MIA/8

242

34

43

35

WR18

Jeremy Maclin

KC/5

240

41

41

36

WR19

Sammy Watkins

BUF/10

238

31

39

37

TE3

Greg Olsen

CAR/7

206

42

43

38

WR20

Randall Cobb

GB/4

234

36

35

39

QB7

Blake Bortles

JAX/5

335

55

33

40

QB8

Carson Palmer

ARI/9

333

57

31

41

QB9

Eli Manning

NYG/8

333

56

31

42

TE4

Travis Kelce

KC/5

197

60

34

43

WR21

Larry Fitzgerald

ARI/9

228

49

29

44

QB10

Jameis Winston

TB/6

328

65

26

45

WR22

Golden Tate

DET/10

223

46

24

46

QB11

Philip Rivers

SD/11

324

64

22

47

WR23

Eric Decker

NYJ/11

221

53

22

48

RB10

Doug Martin

TB/6

222

33

27

49

TE5

Coby Fleener

NO/5

188

67

26

50

RB11

LeSean McCoy

BUF/10

222

37

26

It is interesting how the positions are fairly balanced, even with being a league where two quarterbacks may be started.  Yes, there are 5 tight ends, 23 wide receivers, 10 running backs, and 11 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, then wait at the position, 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.

Rank

Pos

Player

Team

Pts

ADP

VBD

51

RB12

Matt Forte

NYJ/11

220

40

25

52

WR24

Julian Edelman

NE/9

219

43

20

53

WR25

Doug Baldwin

SEA/5

218

48

19

54

RB13

Dion Lewis

NE/9

219

47

24

55

QB12

Marcus Mariota

TEN/13

318

82

16

56

QB13

Tom Brady

NE/9

317

66

15

57

QB14

Matthew Stafford

DET/10

316

72

14

58

RB14

C.J. Anderson

DEN/11

214

45

19

59

TE6

Zach Ertz

PHI/4

181

92

18

60

TE7

Delanie Walker

TEN/13

180

75

18

61

WR26

Donte Moncrief

IND/10

212

61

14

62

QB15

Kirk Cousins

WAS/9

313

74

12

63

WR27

Jordan Matthews

PHI/4

210

59

12

64

QB16

Tyrod Taylor

BUF/10

312

81

10

65

QB17

Ryan Tannehill

MIA/8

311

84

9

66

RB15

Duke Johnson

CLE/13

210

54

15

67

WR28

Kelvin Benjamin

CAR/7

207

39

8

68

QB18

Derek Carr

OAK/10

308

73

6

69

QB19

Ryan Fitzpatrick

NYJ/11

308

87

6

70

TE8

Tyler Eifert

CIN/9

174

79

11

71

RB16

Eddie Lacy

GB/4

206

38

11

72

QB20

Andy Dalton

CIN/9

306

78

4

73

WR29

Michael Crabtree

OAK/10

204

88

5

74

RB17

Latavius Murray

OAK/10

204

51

9

75

WR30

Michael Floyd

ARI/9

202

58

3

76

RB18

Thomas Rawls

SEA/5

202

50

7

77

QB21

Matt Ryan

ATL/11

302

83

0

78

TE9

Gary Barnidge

CLE/13

168

95

5

79

RB19

Carlos Hyde

SF/8

200

52

5

80

WR31

DeVante Parker

MIA/8

198

71

-1

81

RB20

Giovani Bernard

CIN/9

200

69

4

82

QB22

Tony Romo

DAL/7

298

80

-4

83

TE10

Julius Thomas

JAX/5

164

99

1

84

QB23

Alex Smith

KC/5

297

98

-5

85

TE11

Antonio Gates

SD/11

163

101

0

86

WR32

Emmanuel Sanders

DEN/11

197

68

-2

87

RB21

Danny Woodhead

SD/11

195

62

0

88

RB22

Ryan Mathews

PHI/4

191

70

-4

89

QB24

Joe Flacco

BAL/8

291

93

-11

90

TE12

Jason Witten

DAL/7

162

143

-1

 The wide receivers and running backs are still fairly balanced.  With 24 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.  Check out the last two receivers in the list, DeVante Parker and Emmanuel Sanders.  Each is a steal this late. 

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 eight 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 in the middle of 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.  The VBD values drop off considerably after Drew Brees (QB5) and there is no way the fantasy teams with the lesser pair of passers can compete with a Rodgers/Brees combination, for example. 

In Superflex leagues, the tight end position becomes less valuable relative to the other 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, after the top two or three receivers are off the board, 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 running back and quarterback. 

 Please feel free to email me (Tefertiller@Footballguys.com) with any questions or comments. Also, I am on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/JeffTefertiller), LinkedIN, and Google+ so feel free to connect where most convenient