We’re heading into August, which means most fantasy football players are gearing up for their fantasy drafts. With that in mind, now was as good a time as any to update my quarterback rankings for 2-QB leagues.
The quarterback position gets all the attention in 2-QB leagues, with good reason, and it doesn’t hurt to group quarterback rankings into tiers. The tiered method of ranking quarterbacks for 2-QB leagues is helpful, as they can clear up the QB1/QB2 positions.
You’ll notice three sets of tiers below: QB1, QB2, QB3. This has been the easiest method to rank quarterbacks for 2-QB leagues for me because you can translate them to the QB1, QB2, and QB3 roster spots of your 2-QB team.
Tier 1: QB1 (17)
Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles, Jay Cutler, Cam Newton, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger
Tier 2: QB2 (15)
Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Jake Locker, Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Johnny Manziel, Geno Smith, Eli Manning, Josh McCown, Joe Flacco, Sam Bradford, EJ Manuel, Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Cassel
QB1 Tier Notes
You’ll notice the QB1 tier has added a few names since the last time these rankings were published. Back then I had made note how Kaepernick, Palmer, and Rivers could be solid QB1s for your 2-QB team, and wouldn’t have a problem drafting either one as such. I went ahead and added them to the QB1 tier this time around, as well as throwing Roethlisberger into the mix as well.
With 17 quarterbacks listed in the QB1 tier you get a sense of how I am treating the position this year. Just like last year, and most fantasy seasons, I’m pretty flexible with quarterbacks in fantasy football. Not everyone might feel comfortable starting Carson Palmer as their QB1 though, but if I’m going with a Studs and Streaming or LRQB approach in 2-QB drafts I can pair him with someone that has a friendly streaming schedule.
QB2 Tier Notes
I debated putting Alex Smith in the QB1 tier. The Chiefs signal caller was a 2-QB fantasy savior last season, finishing as the 13th highest scoring fantasy quarterback for the season. From a weekly perspective, he also finished as a top-12 fantasy scoring quarterback seven times in standard leagues. Most of that can be attributed to his rushing prowess, as he scored 19.4 percent of his fantasy points on the ground. You might not like Smith the quarterback in real life, or in fantasy for that matter, but the Konami Code is real, and cheap points still count.
Brian Hoyer and Matt Cassel are both ranked ahead of their rookie counterparts in Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater.
Signs are pointing to Hoyer being the Week 1 starter in Cleveland, and if you had to draft one Browns signal caller today, Hoyer would be the one by default, but it’s no guarantee he’ll start all season long. The Browns have an early bye in Week 4, and if they’re off to a bad start it could be Johnny Football time by Week 5.
The Cassel/Bridgewater battle is a bit iffier to get a read on. The Vikings are coached by Mike Zimmer, with Norv Turner at OC. Both NFL stalwarts, with a combined 49 years of NFL coaching experience. The situation could play out where Cassel is the starter to start the season, and they let their rookie quarterback sit and learn from the veteran.
… The coaches cut Ponder's reps, and gave Bridgewater reps with the 1s. My sense for it is Cassel still leads, but Teddy's closed the gap.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 31, 2014
But, there has been some strong praise coming from the Minnesota coaches about the rook (Turner said he should have been a top-ten pick), and if the competition is legit it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Bridgewater start Week 1.
The best way to approach the Cleveland and Minnesota quarterback situations is by drafting both. That means dedicating two roster spots to one starting position, in the hopes of landing the starting quarterback of either team. It’s difficult to feel secure in either of the four at the moment, unless you feel strongly about who will be the starter.
This approach won’t net you the most value, but quarterback handcuffing in 2-QB leagues sometimes is a necessity. You don’t want to draft Hoyer, for example, and watch as another owner takes Manziel, who might be named the starter. You can apply the same thought process to Josh McCown and Mike Glennon (although McCown has a stronger hold of the starting job in Tampa). Both Manziel and Bridgewater have higher 2-QB ADPs than Hoyer and Cassel, which could influence your decision.
I’ve come around on Ryan Fitzpatrick. I once considered him a QB3, but am now okay with him as a QB2 streaming option. Pat Thorman already mentioned how he was the QB10 last season during his 11 appearances. In that time frame he was a top-12 fantasy scoring quarterback four times and finished in the top-24 eight times.
Fitzpatrick’s schedule is also appealing, and he could find himself flirting with QB1 numbers most weeks. A three-week stretch to start the season sees him play Washington, Oakland, and the New York Giants, with back-to-back matchups against Dallas and Indianapolis in weeks five and six. The nice thing about Fitzpatrick is you can draft him as a QB3 (2-QB ADP has him at QB3), but reap the rewards of a QB2, or even a QB1. The Houston situation overall still has a Goosebumps feel to it though.
QB3 Tier Notes
Chad Henne and Matt Schaub are the only two quarterbacks in this list that are currently starting for their teams. The rest of the ranked quarterbacks are strictly back-ups to monitor during training camp, and to have on your waiver speed dial.
The Jaguars seem intent on keeping their promise to redshirt Bortles his rookie NFL season, leaving Henne with job security all season long. There are appealing weapons in Jacksonville Henne has to lean on in rookie wide receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson, as well as Cecil Shorts.
There has been much talk made about the Jags wanting to pound the ball with Toby Gerhart, which could limit Henne’s pass attempts. His schedule could lead to him being a cheap streaming option in 2-QB leagues though, and the investment in him is minimal at the moment.
The Raiders could falter early, leading to the veteran Schaub getting benched in favor of the rookie Carr, who could be this year’s Mike Glennon. If you draft Schaub, I wish you even more luck than 2-QBers who drafted Josh Freeman last year.
Remember, these are just my rankings and my thoughts. Break down your quarterback rankings into tiers to aid you in crafting a strategy for your 2-QB draft.
*Stats used in this article from FantasyData.com
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