It’s funny how one minor change in your league’s settings can completely alter the way your draft shapes out. In PPR formats, certain pass-catching running backs go much higher than they normally would, while receivers are get more attention as well. But what about those who participate in leagues where you are required to start two quarterbacks? I was a part of two mock drafts last night, in which they were two-quarterback leagues, and trust me, if you go back and look at the draft results, it is completely different from your normal, 12-team standard league. For instance, during the first round, 10 signal callers went off the board. If that were to happen in a standard league, I think I would pull my hair out and question the world as we know it. Of course, the quarterback position is crucial to your fantasy success (or demise). I mean, in 2012, only Adrian Peterson was the top non-quarterback to land inside the top-10 among fantasy points scored. So, with that being said, how should fantasy owners approach drafting in a league that starts two signal callers? Here are some different ways:
I’m Rich! I’m Rich! … at quarterback
In two-quarterback leagues, it really is all about strategy. Do you get your two signal callers within the first three rounds, and then stack up on running backs and receivers. For a lot of people, the preference is to land two of the top-12 fantasy gunslingers during that span, considering the position is so dire in this format. Let’s look at one of the drafts I took part in last night with some of the staff from Football Guys (please, go check out their stellar site). I owned the second pick, and once Drew Brees went number one overall, I decided to do what I have always done, and selected a running back with my first pick. So, I went with Peterson at 1.02, and after 11 quarterbacks came off the board before my next pick, I realized something. I am going to be absolutely stacked at running back, but I’ll get to that later. This is about those who take the quarterback heavy approach.
I will say this, however. It is very difficult to go through the first three rounds without drafting at least one quarterback. With that being said, a ton of people grab them while they’re hot, which may end up resulting in a massive hole in other positions, a hole that I’m just not comfortable in attempting to fill. I mean, perhaps in literally any year other than 2013, snagging two high-end signal callers may have been a necessity. But now? No way. I throw this number around a ton, but it is a perfect way to explain just exactly how deep the position is this year. In 2012, 21 quarterbacks posted 200 fantasy points or more, which is the most ever. It’s very difficult to land two of the top-12 fantasy signal callers in the first three rounds, so after you grab your number one option, why reach on your second? Instead, consider doing what I did last night, and see how your team shapes out. It’s all about experimenting, after all.
Middle Class Isn’t So Bad
This is the approach I went with last night, and when you first see my three quarterbacks, you may think I am nuts. However, when you take a glance at the awesomeness that is my running backs, you begin to reconsider. When grabbing two or three starting quarterbacks (yes, that is key, after all) with relatively high upside, rather than going for the elite guys, it presents the possibility of loading up on either running backs or wide receivers. Heck, perhaps even both, depending on how your league shapes out. Anyway, without further ado, here is how my roster looked at draft’s end:
That’s right, Peterson. Arian Foster and Maurice Jones-Drew are my top-three rushers. Granted, perhaps people weren’t as high on Foster due to his recent injury status, but can you really argue against these running backs? I also think my wide receiving corp is very decent with Vincent Jackson and Antonio Brown (who I’m crazy high on this year). My quarterbacks, meanwhile, aren’t as appealing as some of the top tier options, but if you look at some of the projections, the final result isn’t too far off. For instance, my number one quarterback, Andy Dalton, is projected to score only about 50 points less than someone like Robert Griffin III. Dalton has the weapons to be a serviceable quarterback one in two-passer formats. Then, I grabbed two high upside guys in Sam Bradford and EJ Manuel, who allow me to have three (yes, Manuel will start) starting quarterbacks. While the majority of your league goes crazy during their quarterback runs, this allows you to grab some high end runners, and then grab some second-tier signal callers once everyone else is going running backs. If I were to play this league out, I’d likely just stream Manuel and Bradford, which is a recommended strategy in this format. Even if your quarterbacks aren’t as high-scoring as some of the top guys, your depth at the running back position should make up for it.
The most important advice I can give to you is this; Know your league. If possible, it does wonders to print out the draft results from your previous year’s draft, just so you are familiar of how your league drafts. Take note of certain position runs and use them to your advantage. And if you somehow manage to land either Mark Sanchez or Blaine Gabbert on your roster, well, god speed.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.