In fantasy football dynasty leagues, the focus is on finding the players who will be around for the longest, and produce the most fantasy points over that time. In two quarterback leagues however, there are almost always teams that never get off the ground because they didn’t address the scarcest position up front.
It’s a simple mathematical problem: In twelve-team leagues, twenty-four quarterbacks are required to start each and every week including bye weeks. There aren’t thirty-six starting quarterbacks in a thirty-two team NFL league, and quality ones cut the number down even more. The overall winning team in a 2QB league is almost always the one that has two top quarterbacks plus a startable backup and did enough research to find value at other positions early on. My 2QB dynasty articles will address the format and provide both general and specific strategy for drafts, trades, team management and long-term vision.
I need to note up front that this differs from “superflex” leagues where you’re only required to start 1QB. In a 2QB league, you’re required to start two, which is where these strategies can be used against your opponents. You’re essentially attempting to strangle them out with the format.
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I joined my first two quarterback team in 2010 and I was hooked. I researched the format and saw the scarcity problems right away. I picked up Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo in the first two rounds and later added Joe Flacco in a trade when Tony Romo broke his collarbone. Because I was handicapped without a starting WR or RB in the first two rounds, I had to find the value in later rounds. I picked Brandon Marshall in the third round and took a chance on someone who was starting to turn heads in his team’s practices – Arian Foster – in the fourth. I was also starting to hear good things about a guy named LeSean McCoy and I added him in the fifth. Needless to say, it was a good year. I didn’t win as I had one hard luck playoff week, but I put forth a good team and it left me hungry for trophies on my shelf.
So here’s the basic overarching strategy. Imagine you’re in an upcoming 2QB draft. You have the fourth pick in the first round. Who are you going to get at that spot? Send your mind off into the future a moment. If you spent your first round pick on Julio Jones and your second round pick on Eddie Lacy, then your starting quarterbacks – because you’re required to start two each week – are probably some combination of Joe Flacco, Kyle Orton, Shaun Hill and Zac Dysert. That’s not a stretch; a current league I’m in has a team with two of those as his starters. Another team is trying to field two of Teddy Bridgewater, Geno Smith, Kirk Cousins, Robert Griffin III and Michael Vick. Don’t get me wrong, these teams have great wide receivers and running backs, but they aren’t going to the playoffs. And even worse, it’s a dynasty league. They will be fighting over who gets Mariota and Winston in the draft. The guy with the second overall pick in the draft has Matt Stafford, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Hoyer as his starters. As you think of that future, you come back to your draft and see Russell Wilson sitting there at 1.04 right next to Rob Gronkowski and Dez Bryant. Andrew Luck was the 1.01, Aaron Rodgers was the 1.02 and Odell Beckham was the 1.03, much to your dismay. “Is this really dynasty?” you cry out. “Does no one covet Dez, Gronk, Julio and Bell as much as I do? They should have gone at 1.01!” You can shake your fist at the sky all you’d like, but you need to get the quarterback.
It’s ok, I have a few gray hairs myself.
Doesn’t that future seem uncomfortable – going into a season with, say, Mike Glennon and Ryan Mallett as your starting quarterbacks when you’re required to start both of them? It’s like trying to win a championship with Brandon Oliver and Jacquizz Rodgers as your starting running backs or Devin Hester and Hakeem Nicks as your starting wide receivers. There are lots of starting running backs (who are constantly changing roles due to injury) and plenty of wide receivers. Gronk is a reasonable add at that point, but there’s only one of him. 10 weeks out of the season you won’t be facing the guy with Gronk at his disposal. If you can go in with Russell Wilson and Ben Roethlisberger, both high confidence quarterbacks, you can whip 75 percent of the league in that position. Add a late round guy who’s been kicked around like Cutler (but he’s still starting!) and you’ve got a team that can contend.
In most leagues, the quarterback is not a high priority target because there are enough top guys to go around. In 2QB leagues, that strategy is thrown out for the same reason. There are only about twelve quarterbacks who produce top numbers and some of those are close to retiring. Imagine playing with a 420 point-producing QB and a 395 point QB (Like Roethlisberger and Wilson) versus a 340 point and a 330 point QB (Like Stafford and Kaepernick). That’s a handicap of 145 points! And if your guy gets injured like Carson Palmer in 2014 without you having the top spot in waivers, you’ve officially screwed the pooch. Pack it up and come back next year.
But next year… Oh, yeah right. This is dynasty. You’re screwed then too. Who’s going to save you then? Marcus Mariota, who’s been likened to Alex Smith? Jameis Winston, who hopefully won’t be sniffing up crab meat in a bathroom in Vegas before the season starts? Well, maybe Brett Hundley or Bryce Petty can be your guy.
In a few years.
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