How To Attack Two Quarterback Leagues
By Jeff Tefertiller
August 9th, 2010

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. At the bottom of the article, we will look at a few mock drafts utilizing different draft positions. 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 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 (Chris Johnson, Maurice Jones-Drew, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and Frank Gore) or the top three wideouts (Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Randy Moss) over the quarterback position in the first three rounds. The VBD values will suggest that the passers carry this type of value.

  • b. 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. Only two projected points per game separates QB7 (Kevin Kolb) from QB19 (Vince Young). 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 in gaining value.

  • c. 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 24 players listed in terms of value, seven are quarterbacks, ten are wide receivers, and only seven running backs. 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
    Points
    VBD
    ADP
    1
    RB
    1
    Chris Johnson
    298.5
    129
    1.01
    2
    RB
    2
    Ray Rice
    289.5
    120
    1.04
    3
    RB
    3
    Maurice Jones-Drew
    289.1
    120
    1.03
    4
    RB
    4
    Adrian Peterson
    276.0
    107
    1.02
    5
    QB
    1
    Aaron Rodgers
    324.9
    103
    1.08
    6
    WR
    1
    Andre Johnson
    273.9
    98
    1.06
    7
    QB
    2
    Drew Brees
    317.5
    95
    1.09
    8
    WR
    2
    Larry Fitzgerald
    267.6
    92
    2.02
    9
    QB
    3
    Peyton Manning
    312.6
    90
    2.05
    10
    QB
    4
    Tony Romo
    308.0
    86
    3.10
    11
    RB
    5
    Frank Gore
    249.6
    80
    1.05
    12
    RB
    6
    Steven Jackson
    248.5
    79
    1.10
    13
    WR
    3
    Roddy White
    247.1
    72
    2.10
    14
    QB
    5
    Matt Schaub
    293.5
    71
    4.03
    15
    WR
    4
    Randy Moss
    245.9
    70
    2.01
    16
    QB
    6
    Tom Brady
    289.8
    68
    3.04
    17
    WR
    5
    Reggie Wayne
    237.5
    62
    2.03
    18
    WR
    6
    Miles Austin
    236.1
    61
    2.08
    19
    RB
    7
    Michael Turner
    221.1
    52
    1.07
    20
    WR
    7
    Chad Ochocinco
    225.8
    50
    5.05
    21
    WR
    8
    Greg Jennings
    222.8
    47
    3.08
    22
    WR
    9
    Marques Colston
    221.2
    46
    4.01
    23
    QB
    7
    Kevin Kolb
    266.8
    45
    7.09
    24
    WR
    10
    Brandon Marshall
    217.8
    42
    3.02
    25
    QB
    8
    Jay Cutler
    264.1
    42
    7.07
    26
    QB
    9
    Philip Rivers
    263.9
    42
    4.08
    27
    WR
    11
    Calvin Johnson
    217.1
    42
    2.07
    28
    RB
    8
    Rashard Mendenhall
    209.9
    41
    2.06
    29
    QB
    10
    Matt Ryan
    262.4
    40
    8.04
    30
    RB
    9
    Jamaal Charles
    208.8
    39
    3.06
    31
    RB
    10
    Chris Wells
    204.6
    35
    4.02
    32
    QB
    11
    Eli Manning
    257.0
    35
    8.05
    33
    WR
    12
    DeSean Jackson
    209.8
    34
    3.05
    34
    QB
    12
    Donovan McNabb
    252.7
    31
    9.06
    35
    RB
    11
    LeSean McCoy
    199.1
    30
    4.04
    36
    WR
    13
    Steve Smith
    205.0
    29
    5.01
    37
    RB
    12
    DeAngelo Williams
    197.1
    28
    2.04
    38
    RB
    13
    Ryan Mathews
    197.0
    28
    3.01
    39
    QB
    13
    Carson Palmer
    249.3
    27
    10.01
    40
    QB
    14
    Joe Flacco
    249.0
    27
    8.03
    41
    RB
    14
    Ryan Grant
    196.2
    27
    3.03
    42
    WR
    14
    Hines Ward
    200.6
    25
    7.02
    43
    RB
    15
    Jahvid Best
    193.5
    24
    5.10
    44
    RB
    16
    Joseph Addai
    192.7
    23
    5.02
    45
    WR
    15
    Steve Smith
    198.8
    23
    5.04
    46
    RB
    17
    Pierre Thomas
    191.7
    22
    4.06
    47
    TE
    1
    Antonio Gates
    215.2
    20
    5.03
    48
    QB
    15
    Brett Favre
    240.9
    19
    6.08
    49
    WR
    16
    Hakeem Nicks
    193.9
    18
    6.05
    50
    WR
    17
    Wes Welker
    193.8
    18
    7.06

    It is interesting how the positions are evenly distributed. Yes, there is only one tight end, but 17 wide receivers, 17 running backs, and 15 quarterbacks ... all with values in the first five rounds. How does it change for the players 51-90? This represents the first half of the draft.

    Rk
    Pos
    PosRk
    Player
    Points
    VBD
    ADP
    51
    RB
    18
    Jonathan Stewart
    186.2
    17
    4.05
    52
    TE
    2
    Dallas Clark
    211.3
    16
    4.10
    53
    RB
    19
    Knowshon Moreno
    184.9
    16
    3.07
    54
    RB
    20
    Reggie Bush
    184.5
    15
    7.05
    55
    WR
    18
    Dwayne Bowe
    189.7
    14
    6.10
    56
    RB
    21
    Cedric Benson
    182.7
    13
    3.09
    57
    DEF
    1
    New York Jets
    169.4
    13
    9.03
    58
    TE
    3
    Jason Witten
    207.1
    12
    6.02
    59
    QB
    16
    Alex Smith
    233.3
    11
    14.03
    60
    QB
    17
    Matthew Stafford
    232.4
    10
    13.04
    61
    WR
    19
    Sidney Rice
    185.5
    10
    4.07
    62
    WR
    20
    Terrell Owens
    185.2
    10
    11.09
    63
    QB
    18
    David Garrard
    231.6
    9
    18.03
    64
    QB
    19
    Vince Young
    230.9
    9
    13.10
    65
    WR
    21
    Michael Crabtree
    183.8
    8
    5.06
    66
    WR
    22
    Anquan Boldin
    182.9
    7
    4.09
    67
    TE
    4
    Vernon Davis
    200.1
    5
    5.07
    68
    WR
    23
    Percy Harvin
    180.7
    5
    6.07
    69
    RB
    22
    Shonn Greene
    172.6
    3
    2.09
    70
    RB
    23
    Ronnie Brown
    171.5
    2
    5.09
    71
    WR
    24
    Mike Sims-Walker
    177.0
    1
    6.04
    72
    PK
    1
    Mason Crosby
    136.6
    0
    15.08
    73
    TE
    5
    Jermichael Finley
    194.9
    0
    6.03
    74
    PK
    2
    Nate Kaeding
    136.0
    0
    14.10
    75
    WR
    25
    Jeremy Maclin
    175.5
    0
    9.02
    76
    RB
    24
    Jerome Harrison
    169.1
    0
    8.06
    77
    RB
    25
    Marion Barber
    169.0
    0
    7.03
    78
    QB
    20
    Chad Henne
    221.5
    -1
    12.09
    79
    WR
    26
    Santana Moss
    174.8
    -1
    9.04
    80
    DEF
    2
    Philadelphia
    152.1
    -1
    12.07
    81
    WR
    27
    TJ Houshmandzadeh
    173.9
    -2
    10.03
    82
    PK
    3
    Stephen Gostkowski
    133.7
    -2
    14.07
    83
    RB
    26
    Darren Sproles
    167.3
    -2
    11.08
    84
    PK
    4
    David Akers
    132.7
    -3
    17.02
    85
    PK
    5
    Garrett Hartley
    132.3
    -3
    15.01
    86
    RB
    27
    C.J. Spiller
    166.0
    -3
    7.10
    87
    QB
    21
    Matt Cassel
    218.6
    -4
    15.07
    88
    PK
    6
    Ryan Longwell
    131.1
    -4
    16.07
    89
    DEF
    3
    San Francisco
    146.9
    -5
    13.07
    90
    RB
    28
    Ricky Williams
    164.0
    -5
    7.08

    Interestingly, the positional proportions remained about the same. With 21 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.

    We will run three Draft Dominator mock drafts from different draft slots; the 1.02, 1.05, and 1.09. It is important to pay attention to the options available ... just to give an idea of comparable values between positions. Let's start with the 1.02 position. Even though the top quarterbacks will be gone by the time it gets back to our pick, a stud running back is still very valuable as shown by the table above.

  • 1.02 - We have good options and must decide between Maurice Jones-Drew, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice or quarterback Aaron Rodgers. As mentioned above, getting a stud ball carrier is still the way to go. We will go with Jones-Drew since it is a PPR league. He catches more than his share of passes.

  • 2.09 - WOW! The mock has six of each position gone before this pick. This makes the decision extra difficult since there is no elite players available. The top passers are Kevin Kolb, Philip Rivers, and Jay Cutler. Michael Turner is not as valuable in non-PPR leagues, but he is an option. There are some very good receivers left: Brandon Marshall, Greg Jennings, Marques Colston, Calvin Johnson, and Chad Ochocinco. We will resist the temptation to go with Turner or Marshall here and take a passer. One of these options will be available after the turn. Even without Vincent Jackson signed, Rivers is a great play at this spot. We like the other two alternatives, but Rivers is overly discounted due to Jackson's expected absence.

  • 3.02 - Turner went at the corner. Our decision now is between Marshall and another quarterback. We can see that there will be strong running backs and wide receivers available at the 4/5 turn so we are inclined to pass on Marshall for Jay Cutler. He could have a monster season under the tutelage of Mike Martz.

  • 4.09 - We made the right decision as Joe Flacco and Carson Palmer are the best quarterbacks available. While it might seem attractive to take another passer here, just to create a shortage, doing so hurts us more than it impacts others. There are good players left. Wide receivers Hines Ward, Wes Welker, and Steve Smith (NYG) and Ryan Grant are all as good as we could have hoped for at the last turn. Grant is too good to pass up in the fourth round. We will look for a receiver after the turn.

  • 5.02 - We need a wide receiver with this pick and there are three very good options. This comes down to personal preference. We will go with Wes Welker since the emphasis is on elite talents. But,taking him means planning on selecting Julian Edelman in the ninth or tenth, much earlier than his ADP, just for insurance. But, the move is worth the risk.
  • While this is just a mock draft, we would be ecstatic with this team through five rounds. How do the decisions change as we move to the 1.05 hole?

  • 1.05 - This is a huge decision. A quality running back in Frank Gore or the top passer (Aaron Rodgers)? We will go with Gore because there will be at least one quarterback we like in the second round. He is the last of the elite ball carriers we like in the first round in 2QB leagues.

  • 2.06 - Five quarterbacks have gone off the board since our pick. But, the good news is that Tom Brady remains. He is a quality option, even over the likes of Michael Turner, Reggie Wayne, or Miles Austin. The positional scarcity at quarterback makes Brady the easy choice.

  • 3.05 - Oh my, this is a difficult choice. A quarterback (Jay Cutler or Philip Rivers), a running back (Rashard Mendenhall or Jamaal Charles), or Calvin Johnson. We will take Rivers just to have two top players at the position. There is hope that a very good tailback or receiver will be available in the fourth round.

  • 4.06 - So far, 12 QBs, 10 RBs, and 13 WRs off the board. This means a very good back should be there for us. LeSean McCoy, Ryan Mathews, DeAngelo Williams, and Ryan Grant are available in the mock. We will go with the upside of Williams over the solid play of Grant.

  • 5.05 - We need to address the wide receiver position just like in the previous mock. It is a good thing that we have two very good choices in which to make a selection: Wes Welker and Hakeem Nicks. We will go with Welker, since he is back practicing so early. The plan is to take Julian Edelman as insurance.
  • The two mocked teams are similar so far. Both are very good and put an owner in a great spot to start the draft. Will things be different as we move to the 1.09 spot?

  • 1.09 - What a decision between Larry Fitzgerald or a stud quarterback like Tony Romo. We will go with the Arizona pass catcher and hope to nab Matt Schaub or Tom Brady after the turn.

  • 2.02 - This is another tough choice. Schaub, Brady, running back Steven Jackson, or a quality receiver like Roddy White. Staying true to our thoughts that only an elite player should be taken before a quarterback early in the draft, we will go with Matt Schaub. Jackson and White are enticing, but getting a strong QB1 is essential when picking at the end. A run at the position could be devastating if we passed o quarterback at this pick.

  • 3.09 - There are 10 QBs, 7 RBs, and 11 WRs now gone off the board. While there are good options available at running back and wide receiver, the quarterback position seems primed for a run. For this reason, we will take the best option. It is Eli Manning. He makes a great QB2 starter and gives our team a distinct edge against most other squads.

  • 4.02 - Who would have thought we would still not have a starting running back at this juncture? There are two quality ball carriers remaining; Jamaal Charles and Chris "Beanie" Wells. Both are very good options for this late in the draft. Both are in committees, but we will go with the upside of Charles. He was on quite the roll to end the 2009 season.

  • 5.09 - This pick could go a myriad of ways depending on personal preference. There are some very good backs left: Jahvid Best, Joseph Addai, Jonathan Stewart, Knowshon Moreno, and Pierre Thomas. Wes Welker is still on the board at the receiver position and his ADP suggests he will not be selected at the turn. So, we will take the back we like best with the thought of selecting Welker at 6.02. All five of the rushers have warts, but still plenty of potential for a big season. We will go with Moreno since he is the one who will garner the majority of carries as long as he can remain healthy.
  • The three teams are different, but all are full of quality players. The one consistent aspect of all three teams is the desire to be strong at the quarterback position since there will good options at the running back and wide receiver positions int he fourth and fifth rounds.

    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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