How to Attack Your Superflex PPR Draft - Footballguys

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 offer the ability to insert two quarterbacks in the starting lineup. These superflex leagues add 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 to make the most of the draft. This article will look at 10-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, Ezekiel Elliott, LeVeon Bell, or David Johnson) or the top few wideouts (e.g., Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, and Odell Beckham) over the quarterback position in the first two rounds. Even then, a quarterback might be the best option. 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. But, your leaguemates will be taking passers early and often. You have a choice to either follow the crowd or eschew quarterback for value elsewhere and hope to land to low-end starters later. There is little middle ground. In one-quarterback leagues, the quarterback position is devalued tremendously due to so many viable players at the position. In superflex leagues, there is a balance. This balance creates choices.

b. How do I know which quarterbacks to select? The main difference with superflex leagues is the increase in value with the players from QB8 to QB16. 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 (QB8-QB16) 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 less-than-stellar options. Less than one projected point per game separates QB8 (Alex Smith) from QB16 (Mahomes). If we stretch the range from QB8 (Smith) to QB20 (Derek Carr), the projected scoring is approximately two points per contest. 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 quarterback position, finding options with upside and proven production is the key to gaining value. The close expected production between Smith and Carr is what will lead you to consider passing on quarterbacks until 10 or so are off the board. If this is your plan, target Roethlisberger or Rivers to anchor the group and take a chance on Mahomes or Mariota later.

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 quarterback 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, we advocate either selecting a stud quarterback, or two, early just to stay ahead of the curve or waiting and selecting value early and scooping up running backs and wide receivers. The main rationale for going quarterback early is 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 accounts for positional scarcity and available options at other positions using the Footballguys.com projections.

Here are the league variables:

  • 10 teams
  • 16 roster spots
  • PPR scoring

And here are the starting requirements:

  • 1 Quarterback
  • 2 Running Backs
  • 3 Wide Receivers
  • 1 Tight End
  • 1 Flex (QB, RB, WR, or TE)
  • 1 Kicker
  • 1 Team Defense

It is amazing that in the first 36 players listed in terms of value, 10 are quarterbacks, 14 running backs, 10 wide receivers, and 2 tight ends. The balance is incredible in what represents the first three-plus rounds of a fantasy draft.

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

Rank
Pos
PosRank
Player
Team
Points
VBD
1
RB
1
Todd Gurley
LAR/12
326
172
2
RB
2
LeVeon Bell
Pit/7
317
162
3
RB
3
David Johnson
Ari/9
309
154
4
RB
4
Ezekiel Elliott
Dal/8
298
144
5
RB
5
Alvin Kamara
NO/6
297
143
6
WR
1
Antonio Brown
Pit/7
292
113
7
RB
6
Melvin Gordon
LAC/8
256
101
8
WR
2
DeAndre Hopkins
Hou/10
278
99
9
RB
7
Kareem Hunt
KC/12
243
88
10
RB
8
Dalvin Cook
Min/10
235
81
11
RB
9
Leonard Fournette
Jac/9
235
80
12
RB
10
Saquon Barkley
NYG/9
231
77
13
QB
1
Aaron Rodgers
GB/7
330
67
14
RB
11
Christian McCaffrey
Car/4
221
67
15
RB
12
Devonta Freeman
Atl/8
220
66
16
RB
13
LeSean McCoy
Buf/11
219
64
17
WR
3
Julio Jones
Atl/8
240
61
18
RB
14
Jerick McKinnon
SF/11
216
61
19
WR
4
Odell Beckham Jr
NYG/9
238
60
20
WR
5
Keenan Allen
LAC/8
238
59
21
QB
2
Deshaun Watson
Hou/10
320
57
22
QB
3
Tom Brady
NE/11
320
57
23
WR
6
Michael Thomas
NO/6
234
56
24
QB
4
Russell Wilson
Sea/7
317
55
25
QB
5
Cam Newton
Car/4
316
54
26
TE
1
Rob Gronkowski
NE/11
215
52
27
QB
6
Drew Brees
NO/6
310
48
28
QB
7
Carson Wentz
Phi/9
305
42
29
WR
7
A.J. Green
Cin/9
216
37
30
WR
8
Mike Evans
TB/5
215
37
31
TE
2
Travis Kelce
KC/12
198
35
32
WR
9
Adam Thielen
Min/10
213
35
33
QB
8
Alex Smith
Was/4
297
34
34
WR
10
Davante Adams
GB/7
212
34
35
QB
9
Jimmy Garoppolo
SF/11
295
32
36
QB
10
Kirk Cousins
Min/10
294
32
37
RB
15
Jordan Howard
Chi/5
184
29
38
QB
11
Matthew Stafford
Det/6
292
29
39
WR
11
Doug Baldwin
Sea/7
207
28
40
WR
12
T.Y. Hilton
Ind/9
206
27
41
WR
13
Larry Fitzgerald
Ari/9
205
27
42
RB
16
Joe Mixon
Cin/9
181
26
43
RB
17
Kenyan Drake
Mia/11
180
25
44
WR
14
Tyreek Hill
KC/12
204
25
45
QB
12
Ben Roethlisberger
Pit/7
287
25
46
QB
13
Jared Goff
LAR/12
286
23
47
QB
14
Philip Rivers
LAC/8
285
22
48
QB
15
Matt Ryan
Atl/8
284
22
49
RB
18
Lamar Miller
Hou/10
175
21
50
QB
16
Patrick Mahomes II
KC/12
283
20

It is interesting how the positions are balanced, even with being a league where two quarterbacks may be started. Yes, there are 16 are quarterbacks, 18 running backs, 14 wide receivers, and 2 tight ends. ... 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, or wait at the position, add running backs early in the draft before they become scarce. With the emphasis on quarterbacks early, many solid running backs and wide receivers will be pushed down the draft and become value picks. How does it change for the players 51-90? This represents the first half of the draft.

Rank
Pos
PosRank
Player
Team
Points
VBD
51
RB
19
Alex Collins
Bal/10
174
19
52
WR
15
JuJu Smith-Schuster
Pit/7
197
18
53
WR
16
Demaryius Thomas
Den/10
197
18
54
WR
17
Stefon Diggs
Min/10
195
17
55
RB
20
Derrick Henry
Ten/8
171
16
56
TE
3
Zach Ertz
Phi/9
177
14
57
WR
18
Brandin Cooks
LAR/12
191
13
58
WR
19
Golden Tate
Det/6
191
12
59
WR
20
Amari Cooper
Oak/7
190
11
60
WR
21
Alshon Jeffery
Phi/9
189
11
61
QB
17
Dak Prescott
Dal/8
273
10
62
PK
1
Stephen Gostkowski
NE/11
157
8
63
RB
21
Jay Ajayi
Phi/9
162
7
64
QB
18
Andrew Luck
Ind/9
269
7
65
DEF
1
Jacksonville
Jac/9
158
6
66
WR
22
Allen Robinson
Chi/5
184
5
67
WR
23
Michael Crabtree
Bal/10
183
5
68
QB
19
Marcus Mariota
Ten/8
267
5
69
RB
22
Derrius Guice
Was/4
160
5
70
WR
24
Josh Gordon
Cle/11
183
5
71
TE
4
Greg Olsen
Car/4
164
1
72
RB
23
Rashaad Penny
Sea/7
155
0
73
WR
25
Marvin Jones
Det/6
179
0
74
RB
24
Tevin Coleman
Atl/8
155
0
75
TE
5
Jimmy Graham
GB/7
163
0
76
DEF
2
Minnesota
Min/10
150
0
77
QB
20
Derek Carr
Oak/7
262
0
78
PK
2
Justin Tucker
Bal/10
147
-1
79
RB
25
Dion Lewis
Ten/8
154
-1
80
RB
26
Chris Thompson
Was/4
153
-2
81
PK
3
Greg Zuerlein
LAR/12
145
-2
82
PK
4
Wil Lutz
NO/6
144
-3
83
RB
27
Royce Freeman
Den/10
152
-3
84
RB
28
Ronald Jones II
TB/5
152
-3
85
RB
29
Sony Michel
NE/11
152
-3
86
RB
30
Carlos Hyde
Cle/11
152
-3
87
PK
5
Matt Bryant
Atl/8
143
-4
88
QB
21
Andy Dalton
Cin/9
259
-4
89
QB
22
Ryan Tannehill
Mia/11
259
-4
90
RB
31
Tarik Cohen
Chi/5
150
-5

The wide receivers and running backs are still balanced, actually even until player 80 (Chris Thompson). With 22 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. Receivers like Emmanuel Sanders, Sammy Watkins, and Robby Anderson did not make the list. 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 Andy Dalton 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 Carson Wentz (QB7) and there is no way the fantasy teams with the lesser pair of passers can compete with a Rodgers/Brees combination, for example. If you miss out on one of the elite quarterbacks, doubling up at the position is a good strategy.

In superflex leagues, the tight end position becomes less valuable relative to the other positions. Savvy owners should wait until the eighth round or later to address the position. There are more than ten quality tight ends, so you can afford to wait.

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.