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2-QB Fantasy Football

Going QB/QB to start in 2-QB Fantasy Football Drafts

Sal Stefanile considers the advantages and disadvantages of drafting two quarterbacks early in your 2-QB fantasy football draft.

Jay Cutler
Jay Cutler

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

When some people think about what it’s like to draft in a 2-QB fantasy football league their mind immediately conjures up a draft board that is nothing but quarterback after quarterback. While it’s true there are some 2-QB leagues that are extremely tailored towards drafting quarterbacks early, not all 2-QB leagues are alike.

Last season one of the most effective draft strategies I employed in 2-QB leagues was the Studs and Streaming approach, which allowed me to split the difference between going QB/QB and LRQB.

The reason why this particular strategy worked out so well was because instead of dedicating two early round picks on the quarterback position I was able to draft stud players at other positions, and fill out a more balanced roster, while still having one top-end QB1 to anchor the quarterback position. When going QB/QB you’re restricting your roster building and putting a lot of draft stock into a position that still has viable options later on in the draft. It’s great seeing Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck on your team, but at what cost? That’s not a question all 2-QBers ask themselves when drafting, but it’s one they should.

I recently took a stab at updating the Studs and Streaming draft strategy in 2-QB leagues based on the excellent SoS work done by Pat Thorman of PFF Fantasy. I also revisited the LRQB approach in 2-QB leagues, and think it could be a viable strategy in certain 2-QB leagues, as long as you’re an active enough manager.

But what about the diehard 2-QB strategy of going QB/QB? Does anyone draft two quarterbacks early in 2-QB fantasy football leagues anymore?

You would think in 2-QB leagues it would be the draft strategy of choice, as having two elite-ish quarterbacks could be a weekly advantage (a costly one, that is), but a number of LRQB enthusiasts have migrated over to the 2-QB realm, and it seems more 2-QB drafters are willing to wait on the quarterback position, rather than take one early. At least that is what I took away from the majority of 2-QB mock drafts I participated in this offseason.

I wasn’t the only one who noticed, as fellow 2-QB writer Joe Siniscalchi of TheFakeFootball wondered where all the early quarterback drafters went?

Even though I’ve mostly settled on the Studs and Streaming strategy for a majority of my 2-QB leagues that doesn’t mean it’s a strategy set in stone. You need to be flexible when it comes to any draft, and trying to shape your draft around a certain strategy is never a good thing. That’s why I decided to conduct a 2-QB experiment, which was to go QB/QB from each draft slot over the course of 12 different 2-QB mock drafts.

Yes, that meant drafting from the 1.01 spot all the way to the 1.12 spot in 12 separate 2-QB mocks. Thankfully enough Twitter followers signed up so that each mock was full and I could find out how a 2-QB roster would look like if I used my first two picks on the quarterback position from each draft slot.

Before I show you the results, let’s go over the settings for each mock draft:

  • 12 teams, 6 points/passing TD, .5 PPR, 14 rounds in total
  • Starting lineup requirements: QB1, QB2, RB1, RB2, WR1, W2, WR3, TE, Flex (W/R/T), Kicker, DST
  • Three bench spots

I spaced when creating all these drafts and drafted from the 1.09 slot twice, skipping out on 1.10. But I did try out a couple of different strategies in each of the 1.09 drafts, so there’s still something to take away from those two particular drafts.

Below you can see a spreadsheet (click on the graphic to see it in large print) of how each of my drafts from the different slots played out, and what the starting lineups for each draft would look like. I also tried to switch things up by mixing up when I drafted RBs, WRs, TEs, etc., so it wasn’t QB/QB and then the same players every other pick in every draft.

QB:QB

Now that you’ve seen what QB/QB looks like in action, how do we apply the results to our real 2-QB drafts?

If you’re drafting in the early part of your 2-QB draft, say from pick 1.01 to 1.04, and you have decided in your mind you’re going QB/QB, there’s a good possibility you’ll be passing on some really good running backs and wide receivers.

For example, at 1.01, instead of taking Jay Cutler with my second round pick I could have went Alshon Jeffery or Giovani Bernard to pair with my third round pick of Jordy Nelson. A Bernard/Vereen combo would have been much more preferable than the Bush/Vereen duo I wound up with.

Going QB/QB in the later rounds seems more of a viable draft strategy than going QB/QB with an early draft pick because you get to grab your two signal callers back-to-back, rather than wait and pick from what’s left at the position like you have to do when drafting early.

Ignoring the 1.11 team for a moment, where I went QB/QB/QB, and focusing on the 1.12 team instead, when you’re next OTC in rounds three and four, you can start to stockpile running backs and wide receivers. If you look at the final results, the starting lineup is quite balanced, and if you’re not a fan of going tight end early you could replace the Jordan Cameron pick with someone like Joique Bell or Bishop Sankey.

When picking in the middle, a QB/QB start could work to your advantage. Not only do you get two high-end QB1s, but you’re still in that part of the draft where there’s a chance one of the top running backs or wide receivers falls to you.

One thing I want to come away from any draft this year with is a top RB1. The middle tier wide receiver pool is deep enough where I can wait to grab a few wide receivers in the mid rounds (think Roddy White, Michael Floyd, Torrey Smith, Mike Wallace) and go with one or two running backs early.

If you look at the draft results from when I was picking in the 1.06 hole you’ll see that’s what happened when I went with three straight running backs after going Brees/Luck. I was still able to hit on some mid-round wideouts like Roddy White and Mike Wallace, while also coming away with a trio of weekly startable running backs.

Depending on what my draft slot is, how the scoring rules are set up, and the draft tendencies of my league mates going QB/QB could work to your advantage in some instances. However, I do feel that, for the most part, using your first two picks on quarterbacks will hinder your ability to draft a well-rounded overall team and force you to miss out on early round stud players because you’re beholden to a specific draft strategy.

Helping out with these mocks was my 2-QB friend Paul Grossman, who bypassed taking quarterbacks early, to contrast my QB/QB approach. A look at a few of his teams:

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 1.13.47 PM

While I might not agree with each player Paul picked, the process of waiting on quarterbacks shows how different (and perhaps more attractive) your 2-QB team can look if you bypass the position in the early rounds of your draft.

When quarterbacks like Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, and Carson Palmer are available later in your drafts it doesn’t seem right to grab two quarterbacks with your first two picks when you can instead draft the likes of Jamaal Charles, Dez Bryant, LeSean McCoy, and Julio Jones.

I still think that a balanced approach of grabbing one early quarterback and then waiting to fill out your QB2 slot, be it with one quarterback or a couple to stream based on matchups, will lead to you assembling the strongest overall team possible. Of course, going all the way with the LRQB approach in 2-QB teams could also lead to a formidable weekly squad, while still having enough working pieces at QB1 and QB2 to compete.

In the end, the way you want to draft your 2-QB team is up to you. Be it Studs and Streaming, LRQB, or QB/QB. You have a number of different strategies to play around with. I just wanted to show you what would happen if we broke out the ole’ QB/QB strategy.

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