Going RB-Heavy in a 2QB Draft

Eddie Lacy

This is the best year in fantasy football history to wait on quarterback, even in 2QB and Superflex leagues. There is incredible QB depth, and you can put together reliable pieces waiting well into your drafts.

That leaves open the question of how to spend your early draft picks. Do you go running back, wide receiver, or Gronk? What does it look like to skip early quarterback in a 2QB draft?

In this article I will walk you through a 2QB mock draft I recently completed, to show one strategy. I went RB-RB-RB to start in a league that only allows you to start two running backs and gives 0.5 points per catch. This is a 10-team mock draft.

Let’s see how it looks.

1.03: Eddie Lacy – For me, the 1.03 pick is the toughest choice in two-quarterback drafts this year. I’m easily taking Rodgers and Luck with the first two picks, but who should we take with the third pick? In this draft, I relied heavily on some great work by Michael Brusko, finding that “only five percent of running backs had over 2100 total career touches before their RB1 production.” I went with the young running back in an elite passing offense.

2.08 – Adrian Peterson - Wow. After talking down old running backs with my first pick, I couldn’t pass on Peterson when he fell this far. His ADP in 2QB leagues is 9.1 in our July 2QB ADP, so I took the best player available here. I love this start, and I know that I can wait on quarterbacks in 2QB leagues this year.

3.03 – Marshawn Lynch – Fine! I’m just throwing my plan out the window. Lynch has a 2QB ADP of 16.5, and I’m drafting him at 23. I believe RB-RB-RB is a strong way to start, particularly in leagues giving less than a full point per reception. J. J. Zachariason has shown that only half of the first twelve running backs drafted in a given year will go on to post RB1 numbers. That’s a 50% bust rate! RBx3 plans for that fragility and builds redundancy at an important position. I don’t necessarily go into drafts planning to take three RBs to start, but I am not opposed to it when the value falls to me like this. I drafted what I believe to be three top-15 picks, and that’s a value I will take every time.

4.08 – Cam Newton – I am very down on Cam this year if his price is QB5. Essentially, at QB5 you are drafting him at the best he’s ever done, in the face of his declining rushing production and declining usage at the opposing goal line. But at QB8, where I got him here, there is room for him to return value. I wrote two months ago that there were indicators Cam could present a 2015 value.

5.03 – Tony Romo – I love Romo this year, and I believe his second year in a Scott Linehan offense is bound to do even better things for his production.

6.08 – Greg Olsen – In retrospect, I don’t love this pick. I like Olsen for his reliability, which puts him into my top-five at his position. That said, he is inefficient in the red zone, and I could find someone who would produce 75% of his value five or six rounds later. I should have gone WR here.

7.03 – Jeremy Maclin – Six rounds without a wide receiver. Here we go. Yes, he plays with Alex Smith, but I like Maclin. He stands to see a lot of targets this year, as Kansas City’s WR1, and I expect Andy Reid and the Chiefs to come out this year and prove zero TDs to WRs was a fluke last season. I don’t expect Maclin to sniff fantasy WR1 totals this year, but in the seventh round, I like his shot at WR2 totals.

8.08 – Martavis Bryant – This I love. 78th overall for a breakout candidate this season. In an RB-RB-RB start, I want a couple options like this. Players who might not be super consistent but will provide great weekly upside with touchdowns. He’s an ideal target if you start heavy RB.

9.03 – Andre Ellington - I believe Ellington is massively undervalued this year. He was effective in the passing game last season, and his rushing struggles can be attributed to a bad offensive line and lingering injuries. I don’t see an RB1 season, but you can do far worse in the ninth round.

10.08 – Roddy White – His worst season since 2007 was 99 targets, 711 yards. Even if he falls a little below that, this is absurd value. Roddy White should not be falling this far.

11.03 – Andy Dalton – Dalton’s talent has been much derided, but he still put together a top-five season just two years ago. This season, he’ll have A. J. Green, Marvin Jones, and Tyler Eifert all healthy. Dalton is one of my QB3 targets this season.

12.08 – Jason Witten – See? This is why I should have passed on Greg Olsen earlier. I could have just paired Jason Witten with someone like Jordan Reed, for a far cheaper price.

13.03 – Anquan Boldin – Just like Roddy White, Boldin is a fantastic value this year. His worst season since 2006? 100 targets, 837 yards, 3 TDs. Anquan Boldin should not be falling this far.

14.08 – Kenny Stills – Like Martavis Bryant, Stills presents an upside play in an RB-heavy draft. I am not sure what to make of Miami’s passing game yet, but Stills has the physical ability to provide explosive touchdowns and weekly upside. I like stashing him near the end of drafts, so that I get a cheap play on a Miami offense I expect to do very well this season.

15.03 – Devin Funchess – Carolina needs targets for Cam, and Funchess provides a very large target, much like Kelvin Benjamin last season. Add to that the fact that Funchess started mini camp lining up all over the field, and I see reason to expect him to produce in his rookie season. There aren’t a lot of wide receivers there to keep him off the field.

16.08 – Miami Dolphins D/ST – Meh. They should be fine, but why did I bother drafting a defense? This far before Week 1, I should have grabbed another position player and waited to pick up a defense closer to the season. Oh well.

Final Thoughts – I love my situation at QB and RB. My TEs are fine, although I overspent on Olsen. At WR, I expect to have a reliable weekly floor with Maclin, Boldin, and Roddy. With this team, I will be hoping to get a breakout from either Martavis, Stills, or Funchess. I’m balancing low-volatility reliable veterans with high-upside young risks, and I like that approach.

Final Roster:

2QB Mock July 2015

5 Comments

  1. Wayne

    August 8, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Who are some of the players you could have gotten instead of Olsen? Enjoyed the article!

    • Joshua Lake

      August 11, 2015 at 5:48 pm

      Our August 2QB ADP has him going right around the same spot as players like Jonathan Stewart, Allen Robinson, Martavis Bryant, and Andre Johnson. I didn’t need another RB here, so any of those WRs would have been intriguing. TE is just so mediocre and deep once you get past the top three.

  2. Chris M

    August 21, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Can you share the other picks made in the draft? Seems crazy that the RBs fell that much, who was being picked ahead of them?

    • Joshua Lake

      August 21, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      I agree it was crazy. WRs flew off the boards in this mock, more than in most. So don’t consider it indicative of what’s normal, but for me it shows the need to stay flexible and notice draft trends.

      Here’s the full draft.

  3. Jorge Ericks

    August 28, 2015 at 6:49 am

    In a zero-RB heavy draft like this, the top two picks seem incentivized to take Luck and Rodgers in some order because the running backs coming back in the next rounds are so good. At pick 3, there’s more of an argument for going RB because the QB cascade you would create increases your chance of getting a guy like Brees, Wilson, or Manning in the second round.

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