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Faceoff: Stud QB or QBBC?

August 28th


Clayton Gray: Do you prefer spending a high pick on a stud quarterback or going with a QBBC? Explain.

Matt Waldman: I'm more inclined to go QBBC in PPR drafts because I'd rather spend my early picks on players with the potential to accumulate a lot of targets. While I haven't researched this in the past two years, the fantasy points gap between starting quarterbacks generally isn't as great as other positions. Based on past success, I feel confident that I can find one serviceable quarterback to place in a starting lineup backed with other skill talent that won't lose me games even if he doesn't have dominant performances that can carry me. I think the sweet spot to find two quarterbacks will be between the 8th-12th round and I have no qualms about having Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, or Carson Palmer as my starter and pairing them with youthful passers with tremendous upside like Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, or Jake Locker. I think all six of these quarterbacks have the skill to perform as QB1s in 12-team leagues. I wouldn't be surprise if two of them are top-six players this year.

In non-PPR drafts with smaller lineups (2 RBs, 2WRs, 1 TE, and no flex), I'll eyeball the elite quarterbacks and potentially pull the trigger, because having a consistently elite passer can do more to carry a team where the other positions are devalued compared to lineups with 3-4 receivers, flex plays, ppr scoring, big-play scoring, and/or six points per touchdown pass.

Jeff Haseley: Personally, I like going after an elite quarterback, if the draft dictates it. And by that I mean, scoring format, as well as ADP value. I understand why some would want to wait on drafting a quarterback. The obvious reason is to stock up on talent at other skill positions, however to me, it comes down to points. An elite quarterback rarely busts. The return on investment is high and if you have a beat or hunch on a particular breakout RB or WR that can be had cheap later in the draft, it makes more sense to target an elite QB and reap the benefits. An alternative to going after Rodgers/Brady/Brees is to secure Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton or even Michael Vick in rounds three through five. They may not be labeled "elite" but the ROI is still considered high. I am a believer in securing at least one elite running back in the first two picks. However, if there is no running back that you feel good about at your pick in round two or three, deciding to go all-in on a stud quarterback is not a bad decision, in my opinion, especially if one of the top five (Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Stafford, Newton), falls that far.

Andy Hicks: A year ago I wouldn't have clearly answered the QBBC approach, but last year saw the explosion of the stud quarterback. To illustrate how big 2011 was for stud QBs, 5 of the top 10 fantasy scoring seasons of all time for a QB were made in 2011. Is this a one off or the sign of things to come? By contrast the highest QB scorer in 2010 only ranks 34th all time, but 6 were in the top 52. If I miss on the top 3 studs early, then I guess I have to go back to the QBBC approach. After Rodgers, Brees and Brady I wouldn't be comfortable taking another QB in the first 3 rounds. Others may extend the top 3 to top 5 by including Cam Newton and Matthew Stafford, but that wouldn't be my personal approach. There is plenty of good fantasy options available in QB6 to about QB20, so getting 2 or 3 of these guys would make me just as happy, without having to spend a 1st or 2nd rounder on a guy.

Jeff Pasquino: In a 6 points per passing touchdown league, I'd be much more inclined to go after the stud quarterback. With only 4 point passing TDs I would temper my wants to get a Top 6 guy because the point differential just shrunk between the quarterback tiers.

The issue is a critical one, because there are good odds that come fantasy playoff time you will be playing against a team with Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees on it. Do you want to go into a one game showdown against Drew Brees with Matt Schaub or Joe Flacco as your starter? Not me, quite honestly. I want a quarterback for a team that has good receivers and issues with the ground game - and nice weather also helps. Getting a QB who can run in a few scores also doesn't hurt. QBBC sounds like a great idea on paper, but when push comes to shove you have to pick one and put him in your lineup every week. If you nail this year's Eli Manning - you could win big, but it is a big gamble on a weekly basis. I'd much rather try and find a WR3 or RB2 or a flex guy later in a draft or off of a waiver wire than to hope for a Top 8 QB out of nowhere. In today's NFL, give me a Top 5-8 passing quarterback every time.

Mark Wimer: Actually, I'm going to say I prefer going for a second-tier, potentially stud quarterback over a quarterback by committee.

I find the premium for Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady/Cam Newton/Drew Brees/Matthew Stafford to be too high except in quarterback-heavy scoring systems.

However, I think Tony Romo/Matt Ryan/Eli Manning could all easily end up being in the top five at their position, and they are going for a reasonable price/draft pick in my opinion. I'm targeting one of those three guys in all my drafts this year, rather than trying to pick the best out of three lower-tier quarterbacks from week to week.

I want a plug-in-every-week option at quarterback, but I'm happy going with any of Romo/Ryan/E. Manning in that role rather than the perceived "elite" quarterbacks.

Steve Holloway: Totally agree with Mark on this. I want a quarterback that I can start every game as long as he is healthy and it seems that there are more of them than there used to be. I am not against going quarterback early, particularly in 6-point passing TD leagues and smaller leagues. But, even when I wait I am hoping to be one of those ranked in the seven to fifteen range.