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2-QB Fantasy Football

How To Handle The QB2 Slot In 2-QB Fantasy Football Drafts

Sal Stefanile looks at who and where to draft your second quarterback in 2QB fantasy football leagues.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger

A question many 2-QB fantasy football drafters ask themselves during their 2-QB draft preparation is when to take their second quarterback? For the most part, the elite QB1 tier is pretty standard for most, even if it’s not in the exact order.

Looking at the latest 2-QB ADP that was published on XN we see our QB12 is Colin Kaepernick, who has a 2-QB ADP of 40.5. Add Russell Wilson (2-QB ADP of 41.1) and Jay Cutler (2-QB ADP of 42.2) and you’re looking at the defacto QB1 tier. That’s 14 quarterbacks being selected, on average, within the first 4-5 rounds, depending on league size.

The battle for the top QB2 slot last year was between Eli Manning and a late charging Michael Vick. We all know how that story played out.

What about this year though?

If you’re in a 12-team 2-QB league and don’t want to be stuck playing the matchup game with your QB2 every week then securing two of the top-12 or top-14 quarterbacks will most likely be your course of action.

Going QB/QB to start a draft will provide you with an opportunity to have a weekly advantage over your league mates by trotting out two QB1s. You just have to be prepared to pony up two early round picks, while forgoing top talent at running back or wide receiver.

If you’re a fan of the Studs and Streaming approach to 2-QB leagues then right around Philip Rivers and his 2-QB ADP of 51.1 is where you should begin to look. Below I’ve selected a few QB2s, based on ADP, as to when you should begin to target the QB2 slot in your draft:

Quarterback – QB Draft Rank – 2-QB ADP
Philip Rivers – QB15 – 51.1
Ben Roethlisberger – QB16 – 58.7
Andy Dalton – QB17 – 65.7
Ryan Tannehill – QB18 – 74.7
Alex Smith – QB19 – 78.3
Carson Palmer – QB20 – 87.8
Eli Manning – QB21 – 92.2
Joe Flacco – QB23 – 100.6

I’m going to stop the tier there, as the next quarterback after Flacco is Sam Bradford, who recently suffered a season-ending injury.

As you can see, after the top-14 quarterbacks go off the board, the next tier of signal callers being selected gives you a variety of QB2 options. You can pick and choose just one, like Philip Rivers or Ben Roethlisberger. Or you could double-down on two and stream the position. Alex Smith and Carson Palmer is the QB2 duo I find myself drafting a lot, if possible.

Once you know which QB2(s) you’re targeting, you can draw up a loose QB2 draft strategy heading into your draft. Every 2-QB league is going to be different, so you need to make sure you know your league settings and tendencies of your league mates. The 2-QB ADP data we have is based off a small sample size. It’s not universal. So you have to use it as a guide when preparing for your 2-QB draft.

You don’t want to go into a 2-QB draft thinking you’re going to draft Nick Foles early and Philip Rivers in round six because that’s what the ADP says. Your 2-QB league might go quarterback crazy, and see 12 signal callers taken within the first two rounds. If that’s the case, Rivers will go much earlier than round six. The opposite could happen where your 2-QB league is conservative when it comes to drafting quarterbacks and Rivers could be had in round nine. Go into your draft with an open mind and be flexible. You don’t want to force a strategy.

For those of you looking into the possibility of streaming your QB2 slot, rather than go QB/QB or don’t trust Rivers or Roethlisberger as your sole QB2 then right around Alex Smith and Carson Palmer is when you want to start thinking about them as your QB2 duo. Their ADPs are pretty close in nature, and you should start to consider drafting them around the 7th round. It never hurts to lock onto players you like a round before they normally go, as to not miss out on them.

Carson Palmer’s case as a potential QB1 has been made by many in the fantasy community. He was QB8 in the second half of last season, and XN Sports scribe and President of Hair Twitter C.D. Carter has Palmer with a high equity score of QB5.

It’s hard to find a quarterback with a lower 2-QB ADP than Palmer who has two top WR1 options to throw to in Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald, while also having a pass-catching back in the form of Andre Ellington. Palmer has the potential to be a low-end QB1, and in 10-team 2-QB leagues Palmer almost finds himself in the QB3 tier.

As for Smith, he was the QB13 in standard scoring leagues last season, partly thanks to his #KonamiCode cheat code ability, as he ran for 431 yards and added one rushing score. On a consistency basis, Smith had seven Top-12 fantasy quarterback finishes (only four quarterbacks had more than seven in 2013).

I put Smith through the rotoViz QB Similarity Scores app and it spit out a high (ceiling) projection of 20.9 standard fantasy points game. I ran all 32 quarterbacks through the system and his high projection of 20.9 FPs/G was the sixth highest. His low (floor) projection was 16.8 FPs/G, which was also the sixth best. Smith might not finish as the sixth highest scoring fantasy quarterback in 2014, but he looks to vastly outperform his 2-QB ADP. Just like he did last year.

If you want to wait even further to fill out your QB2 slot you could look at drafting the likes of Jake Locker (QB27 – 118.7), Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB28 – 122.5), and Geno Smith (QB31 – 130.7).

Whether you go QB/QB, Studs and Streaming, or LRQB, you have options when deciding how you want to handle the QB2 slot in your 2-QB draft. Trust your judgment, do your research, and consult the 2-QB ADP data.

Then put your faith into the fantasy football gods to not completely mess up your draft. No matter how prepared you are you can’t do much about drafting Sam Bradford and then seeing him miss the entire regular season before you were even able to insert him into your starting lineup.

*Stats used in this article from RotoViz, and FantasyData.com

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