When drafting in 2-QB leagues, we can’t look at standard ADP data, because most of it is skewed toward leagues that only start one quarterback. That’s not to say that all the drafts, mock or real, included in ADP databases are all 1-QB leagues, but the majority of them are.
If you were preparing for a draft tomorrow that starts two quarterbacks and each passing touchdown is worth 6 points, instead of 4, you can’t really use standard ADP to help you draft. Your league is unique, and basing your draft strategy off of Aaron Rodgers‘ current ADP of 19.86 (mid 2nd round in 12 team leagues) would get you nowhere, because Rodgers is usually the first player, not just the first quarterback, taken in such a fantasy football format.
It would be nice to go to MyFantasyLeague.com, browse their ADP section and be able to customize it for 2-QB leagues. We can’t do that, however, and while having the 2-QB ADP that we do have, based on eight 2-QB mock drafts, which you can download here, is a nice resource, even if it’s only based on eight mock drafts, but it doesn’t give us a whole lot to work with.
League size, scoring settings, maximum number of quarterbacks allowed, are all variables that will have an impact on ADP. The 2-QB ADP data we have right now is such a small sample size, that breaking it down into specific categories wouldn’t really be all that beneficial.
That’s why I decided to look at each of the eight completed 2-QB mock drafts, and see how quarterbacks were drafted. It’s interesting to view the “quarterback stock” in 2-QB leagues, and it can be a useful draft preparation tool. Knowing where a certain quarterback is being drafted gives you an idea of how to target them yourself when your 2-QB fantasy football draft unfolds.
Below you’ll see a spreadsheet that includes the following information: each drafted quarterback’s overall draft slot in each of the eight @FFMagicman 2-QB mock drafts, their current 2-QB ADP, and what their highest and lowest draft position was.
*The number in brackets for each mock indicates whether it was a 10-team or 12-team league mock draft.
If you’re in a 10-team 2-QB fantasy football league you’re going to want to pay attention to the first 20 quarterbacks on the list, and if you’re in a 12-team 2-QB fantasy football league, your main focus will be on the first 24 quarterbacks. With that in mind, here are some notes I came away with, while digging through the data:
Newton had an up and down 2012 NFL season, with many of the ups occurring in the second half of the season. Some in the fantasy football playing community look at the loss of Brady’s security blanket, Wes Welker, as something that will greatly hurt Brady’s 2013 performance. And with the recent news of Rob Gronkowski needing a fourth surgery, the Patriots’ off-season is taking hits left and right.
But, Brady, minus his injured 2008 season, has been no lower than the seventh highest scoring fantasy quarterback, in standard scoring leagues, dating back to the 2005 season. Sure, Welker left, but Danny Amendola replaced him, and he’s there, alongside Aaron Hernandez, Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, and second round rookie draft pick Aaron Dobson. Plus. Gronkowski will, hopefully, come back strong, eventually.
ARod, Brees, and Newton, were the only consistent first round candidates. Brady, Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick, Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan and Andrew Luck, each made first round appearances cameos, but the trio of ARod, Brees and Newton went in the first round of each draft, for the most part. Newton did slip to the first pick of the second round in a 10-team mock draft once though.
Mock 2 was the QB-heaviest mock draft, with eight quarterbacks going in the first round, and an additional three more, drafted in the second round. Mock 6 also had twelve quarterbacks drafted in the first two rounds in total, and with each of those leagues being 12-team leagues, as well as Mock 6 passing touchdowns worth 6 points; quarterbacks were going to be in heavy demand.
The way your league is set up, how your fellow league mates value quarterbacks, and how the draft unfolds, will all play a major factor in determining how to draft a quarterback.
If you’re set on taking a top-10 or top-12 quarterback, meaning a QB1, you’re going to have to do so relatively early. When looking at the current ADP, ARod, Brees, Newton, Brady, Peyton, and Kaepernick will cost you a first rounder in 12-team leagues, with Stafford slowly creeping his way into that grouping.
If you’re looking for value at the QB1 level, your best bet would be to target Tony Romo, and his 2-QB fantasy football ADP of 27. In 12-team leagues that’s early 3rd round territory, and if you can stock your team up at other positions, and still get Romo in the 3rd, you would be looking pretty good.
If you’re stuck on the “Romo Sucks” mentality of fantasy football drafting, take a look at this profile I wrote on him for lateroundqb.com. You’ll see that Romo has been a consistent fantasy quarterback over his career. Sure, you would rather have a sexy name as your QB1, like Rodgers, Kaepernick or Wilson, but sex appeal in fantasy football isn’t guaranteed to get you far.
You could also bypass taking a first round quarterback and go with back-to-back quarterbacks in rounds 2 and 3. If you were to go that route, my targets would be Ryan and Romo, if their 2-QB ADP remains steady. Romo would be a much more enticing QB2 option, and Ryan has a chance to be a top-5 fantasy quarterback this upcoming season.
The one wildcard in all of this is Robert Griffin III. His stock has dipped due to his injury, and the uncertainty surrounding his status for next season. Will he be the Adrian Peterson of quarterbacks and have a season for the history books, where we look at his pre-season ADP and wonder why we let him slip so far? Kind of like we also did with Peyton last season. Or will he come back, with a neutered running style, wary of taking big hits? The closer we get to the season, the more his true ADP will come into focus, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him leapfrog his fellow quarterbacks, and become the 5th quarterback drafted, on average. That scenario would only add to the first round 2-QB pool.
If drafting QB1s and QB2s early isn’t your thing in 2-QB fantasy football leagues, a different draft strategy I saw while pouring over the data, was that of drafting three or four middle-of-the-road quarterbacks late, sometimes consecutively,
Here’s one example to illustrate such a draft strategy: Sam Bradford, Kevin Kolb, Brandon Weeden, and Mark Sanchez, were drafted one after the other, in the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th rounds of one particular mock draft, and Bradford was the 20th quarterback drafted overall.
That might seem like a pretty unappealing group of quarterbacks, but the strategy is one worth considering. What strategy would that be? A quarterback streaming strategy, where you draft three or four quarterbacks, and play the best two each week based on match-ups. You can read all about that particular strategy, by the late round quarterback guru himself, JJ, right here.
One word of caution I have with QB-streaming in 2-QB leagues is that it’s a lot easier to stream if you’re drafting in a 10-team league, or a standard scoring league. A 12-team league that awards 6 points for passing touchdowns might not be the best league to stream your quarterbacks in, as the quarterback position is more valued, and you might not be left with the greatest of streaming options, if you were to wait to long. Based on the 2-QB ADP, and how quarterbacks were being drafted, the Ryan Tannehill/Josh Freeman range would be where you would want to start looking for your quarterbacks, and a trio of, say, Tannehill/Bradford/Alex Smith, could be one way to go.
If taking a quarterback early is your 2-QB drafting strategy, a couple of QB2 targets, based on their current 2-QB ADP, to keep an eye on are Tannehill and Alex Smith. The Dolphins have gone about 85% all-in on the offense this season, with the acquisitions of Mike Wallace, Dustin Keller and Brandon Gibson. It would have been nice to see them get a dominant LT, to protect Tannehill, but they still built a nice core around him, and it shows they believe he’s going to improve upon his rookie season.
Last year, Tannehill was the 24th highest scoring quarterback in both standard scoring and 6-point passing touchdown leagues, and with more pass catching options around him, he has a chance to grow in his second season.
Alex Smith finds himself in a new situation, with a head coach that wanted him, and the likes of Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles to throw the ball to. Read Kyle Wachtel’s article about Smith’s 2012 season, which was shaping up to be a career year, to find out what his 2013 season has in store.
Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel are the only two rookie QBs to monitor for now, as they have the best starting opportunities for rookies in 2013. Mark Sanchez and Kevin Kolb shouldn’t be all that difficult to beat out, and the rookie duo could be adequate QB3 options, and guys you can look to during bye weeks. They weren’t really being drafted that highly in the eight 2-QB mocks, and could be cheap QB3 options.
Use the 2-QB ADP data, as well as the spreadsheet in this article, to gauge the quarterback landscape in 2-QB fantasy football leagues. The quarterback position tends to be the highest scoring position in fantasy football, and knowing when to draft quarterbacks in 2-QB leagues, could help you win your league.