Where your placement is in the startup draft round has very little impact on your strategy in a 2QB Fantasy Football league. About half your league-mates will pick up top QB’s early and the other half will go after the WR and RB superstars in the first and second round. Relax, you will get your WR and RB guys too. There will be a run on the best QB’s early, but after that run people will fill other positions before getting their third QB.
There’s a simple script here. Draft the best and longest-lived QB’s in the first two rounds. If you are drafting toward the end of the first round in a snake draft, you can pick up two top QBs and follow it up with a younger developmental QB at the end of the fifth or sixth round. If you draft at the beginning of the first, you will need to get one of the “elite” QB’s in the first as it will be a long wait till you get another draft pick. What’s available in a QB at the end of the second will be your next pick, followed up with other positions and again, a developmental QB in the fifth or sixth. Simple strategy, right?
When you do go after QB’s early, you should focus on the rookie WR’s and RB’s afterwards. People will be drafting Eddie Lacy, LeVeon Bell and Dez Bryant in the first and second round making you think “Oh no, all the top players will be gone!” But actually, when they realize they need to get their own QB’s and start drafting Peyton and Brady, you can get both Amari Cooper and Kevin White.
Here’s an example. I took a contrarian position in a 2014 startup league which started 2QB AND 2TE’s. My placement was 6 in the draft round as I recall. In the first and second round I drafted both Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski (I got Delanie Walker in a later round too) while everyone else went after QB’s – because of positional scarcity. I followed that up with Roethlisberger and Rivers, then drafted both Sammy Watkins and Brandin Cooks(!!!) In a later round I picked up Jay Cutler who everyone was down on, and he fills in pretty well on bye weeks. I didn’t win this season but I wasn’t counting on winning year one. I’m looking forward to the next ten years, though. Don’t tell anyone, but I expect to have Mariota on the board when I make my pick late in the first round, and I’m drooling over him already. That is, unless I can trade out of the first and add 2016 1st round picks. There are three QB’s currently expected to be first round picks in 2016 and I want to hoard those picks ahead of time. A year or two down the road once I have two top young QB’s, I can use rookie picks on top wideouts and the occasional rookie running back again.
The number one mistake people make in this format is not respecting the positional scarcity of QB’s long-term. It’s really hard to recover from that in a dynasty league as getting the best QB’s when they’re young is like finding a needle in a haystack. Some reputable dynasty sites have quarterbacks like 39 year old Peyton Manning and soon-to-be 38 year old Tom Brady ranked higher than younger quarterbacks like Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan and even Teddy Bridgewater who just turned 22 in November. That’s short sighted in my opinion, even in one quarterback dynasty. Obviously if you’re looking to win in 2015 getting an older QB is fine, but long term in a league with QB scarcity you will be hurting. Give yourself a few more years with your quarterbacks and get them before they’re waiting for their Hall of Fame eligibility to kick in. Pair Roethlisberger or Ryan with Rivers or Eli and you’ll have four-plus more years to draft replacement QB’s. Pair Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers with Teddy Bridgewater, Derek Carr or Sam Bradford and you’ll have even more time.
I hope you’re starting to hear the repeating themes: positional scarcity and time. To win a 2QB dynasty year after year, you have to collect as many of the scarce assets that you can and keep them away from the other teams. Strangle your competitors. By the time years three and four come around people will be knocking on your door and trying to get you to sell some of them. If you do sell one at that point – one with a few years left in them, you can get whatever you ask for them.