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How To Attack Two-Quarterback Leagues

Strategy on Attacking Your 2QB 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 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 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 2QB leagues? 

a.  The biggest question is how to value quarterbacks in comparison to other positions.  In leagues that 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.  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, Jamaal Charles, LeVeon Bell, David Johnson, or Adrian Peterson) or the top wideouts (e.g., 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 two-quarterback leagues, there is balance between positions.

b.  How do I know which quarterbacks to select?  The main difference with two quarterback leagues is the increase in value with the players from QB10 to QB25.  The top few 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 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 starts 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 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 starting two quarterbacks 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, five are quarterbacks (down three from last year), nine running backs, twenty wide receivers, and two tight ends.  The balance is incredible in what represents the first three rounds of a fantasy draft.  One-quarterback leagues are more lop-sided for the receivers.  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:

Pos

Player

Team

Pts

ADP

VBD

WR1

Antonio Brown

PIT/8

363

1

181

WR2

Julio Jones

ATL/11

345

2

163

WR3

Odell Beckham Jr

NYG/8

328

3

145

WR4

DeAndre Hopkins

HOU/9

301

4

118

WR5

A.J. Green

CIN/9

291

7

109

RB1

David Johnson

ARI/9

282

6

100

TE1

Rob Gronkowski

NE/9

259

8

96

WR6

Jordy Nelson

GB/4

274

12

92

RB2

Todd Gurley

LA/8

273

5

91

WR7

Dez Bryant

DAL/7

271

9

89

QB1

Cam Newton

CAR/7

387

14

87

WR8

Brandon Marshall

NYJ/11

268

20

86

RB3

Devonta Freeman

ATL/11

265

13

83

WR9

Keenan Allen

SD/11

261

19

78

WR10

Alshon Jeffery

CHI/9

261

18

78

WR11

Allen Robinson

JAX/5

259

15

77

RB4

Ezekiel Elliott

DAL/7

257

10

75

RB5

Lamar Miller

HOU/9

257

17

74

WR12

Demaryius Thomas

DEN/11

256

25

74

RB6

Jamaal Charles

KC/5

256

21

73

QB2

Aaron Rodgers

GB/4

373

28

72

WR13

T.Y. Hilton

IND/10

254

26

71

RB7

LeVeon Bell

PIT/8

249

16

67

WR14

Mike Evans

TB/6

248

22

65

QB3

Russell Wilson

SEA/5

365

37

65

RB8

Mark Ingram

NO/5

246

27

64

WR15

Amari Cooper

OAK/10

246

23

63

RB9

Adrian Peterson

MIN/6

245

11

62

WR16

Brandin Cooks

NO/5

243

24

61

QB4

Andrew Luck

IND/10

360

38

59

WR17

Jeremy Maclin

KC/5

239

40

56

WR18

Jarvis Landry

MIA/8

239

30

56

WR19

Sammy Watkins

BUF/10

236

29

54

QB5

Drew Brees

NO/5

354

42

53

TE2

Jordan Reed

WAS/9

210

36

47

WR20

Larry Fitzgerald

ARI/9

228

49

45

WR21

Randall Cobb

GB/4

227

32

45

QB6

Ben Roethlisberger

PIT/8

344

52

43

TE3

Greg Olsen

CAR/7

206

46

42

RB10

Matt Forte

NYJ/11

224

39

42

WR22

Golden Tate

DET/10

224

45

41

RB11

Doug Martin

TB/6

222

31

39

RB12

Dion Lewis

NE/9

221

43

39

WR23

Eric Decker

NYJ/11

221

53

38

WR24

Doug Baldwin

SEA/5

219

47

37

RB13

LeSean McCoy

BUF/10

218

35

36

WR25

Julian Edelman

NE/9

217

41

35

QB7

Blake Bortles

JAX/5

334

60

33

TE4

Travis Kelce

KC/5

197

64

33

QB8

Carson Palmer

ARI/9

334

58

33

It is interesting how the positions are fairly balanced, even with being a two-quarterback league.  This represents the first five rounds of a draft.  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?  The 90 players represent the first half of the draft.

Pos

Player

Team

Pts

ADP

VBD

QB9

Eli Manning

NYG/8

333

61

32

RB14

C.J. Anderson

DEN/11

214

44

31

WR26

Donte Moncrief

IND/10

212

62

30

QB10

Jameis Winston

TB/6

329

72

28

WR27

Kelvin Benjamin

CAR/7

210

34

27

WR28

Jordan Matthews

PHI/4

210

54

27

TE5

Coby Fleener

NO/5

188

68

25

RB15

Eddie Lacy

GB/4

206

33

24

RB16

Duke Johnson

CLE/13

206

55

23

TE6

Zach Ertz

PHI/4

186

96

23

QB11

Philip Rivers

SD/11

323

73

23

TD1

Carolina Panthers

CAR/7

131

156

21

WR29

Michael Crabtree

OAK/10

202

79

20

QB12

Marcus Mariota

TEN/13

320

85

19

WR30

Michael Floyd

ARI/9

201

56

19

QB13

Tom Brady

NE/9

319

69

18

WR31

DeVante Parker

MIA/8

201

66

18

TE7

Delanie Walker

TEN/13

182

74

18

RB17

Latavius Murray

OAK/10

200

51

17

TD2

Denver Broncos

DEN/11

128

139

17

RB18

Giovani Bernard

CIN/9

199

67

17

PK1

Stephen Gostkowski

NE/9

138

159

16

TD3

Arizona Cardinals

ARI/9

126

144

16

RB19

Carlos Hyde

SF/8

198

48

16

PK2

Graham Gano

CAR/7

137

n/a

15

WR32

Emmanuel Sanders

DEN/11

197

65

14

RB20

Danny Woodhead

SD/11

196

59

14

QB14

Matthew Stafford

DET/10

314

82

14

TE8

Tyler Eifert

CIN/9

176

77

13

WR33

Allen Hurns

JAX/5

195

71

13

QB15

Kirk Cousins

WAS/9

314

80

13

QB16

Ryan Tannehill

MIA/8

313

87

12

TD4

Kansas City Chiefs

KC/5

123

168

12

RB21

Thomas Rawls

SEA/5

194

50

12

QB17

Tyrod Taylor

BUF/10

313

90

12

PK3

Mason Crosby

GB/4

134

n/a

12

PK4

Chris Boswell

PIT/8

133

n/a

11

PK5

Chandler Catanzaro

ARI/9

132

n/a

10

WR34

DeSean Jackson

WAS/9

192

89

9

PK6

Steve Hauschka

SEA/5

131

n/a

9

The wide receivers and running backs are still fairly balanced.  With 17 quarterbacks off the board, it means that most teams are 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, DeSean Jackson and Allen Hurns.  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 (like John Brown, Tyler Lockett, and DeSean Jackson etc.) 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 Rivers (QB11) and there is no way the fantasy teams with the lesser pair of passers can compete with a Newton/Luck combination, for example.

In two-quarterback leagues, the tight end position becomes less valuable relative to the quarterback and running back positions.  It is odd to see the studly Rob Gronkowski listed at player eight overall and TE2 Jordan Reed at 35.  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 (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.