2QB: The Kirk Cousins Experience

Kirk Cousins

Many are skeptical about the idea that you can wait on quarterbacks in two-quarterback and superflex leagues. It is an understandable fear, but one that can be assuaged.

The theory behind waiting on quarterback is that you delay spending a draft pick (or auction dollars) on a predictable position with a high fantasy floor, with the specific result that you improve your standing at other positions.

The same holds true in a two-quarterback league, although the timing of drafting a quarterback differs. In a typical one-quarterback league you could wait until the double-digit rounds and still draft someone like Philip Rivers or Ryan Tannehill in many leagues. In a two-quarterback league, waiting that long likely leaves you with Brian Hoyer and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

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While just the thought of being stuck with those passers may unsettle your nerves, the strategy is quite viable. But you certainly need to spend longer studying quarterbacks and their matchups, more time dragging the bottom of the barrel.

This year I will chronicle my experience doing exactly that: competing in a two-quarterback league where I waited very late to draft my second quarterback.

My hope is that this series will provide an informative example of waiting on quarterback in a 2QB league and some insight into the weekly decisions when you’re starting quarterbacks worse than any that would even be in “streaming” consideration in a one-quarterback league.

With that introduction, let’s dive into the team.

The League

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The league I call my home league has existed since 2002, and we switched to starting two quarterbacks a decade ago. The majority of the owners have been in the league from its start, so there is a great deal of experience with the 2QB format. The competition in this league isn’t the same as if you were to join a public league on a major site; these folks know their stuff and aren’t going to letting their teams go untended for more than a day at a time.

Our league has ten teams, and we only have five bench spots. Those settings make the late-round quarterback approach more feasible, because there is the outside possibility of grabbing a starting quarterback off waivers. After our draft this year, Brian Hoyer and Josh McCown are still available. Thirty other quarterbacks are rostered.

The other quirk is that the league drafts through an auction, rather than a snake draft. You are left with the freedom to pay for the players you want, allowing much more strategic flexibility than in a typical draft.

Our league is non-PPR with a historic emphasis on the running back position, so I went into the draft planning to buck that pattern and aim for two elite wide receivers. I liked several mid-round RBs, and I planned to pay for three or four who fell to good value. Here is how my final roster turned out, ranked by the price I paid out a $200 budget.

Dez Bryant 44
Julio Jones 42
Matt Ryan 28
Lamar Miller 28
Justin Forsett 22
Mark Ingram 12
Greg Olsen 10
Travis Kelce 7
Ryan Fitzpatrick 1
Kirk Cousins 1
DeVante Parker 1
Devin Funchess 1
Duke Johnson 1
Kansas City DST 1
Stevie Johnson 1

In most ways the auction went according to plan. I got two elite WRs, I drafted three mid-level RBs, and I waited a long time on QB2 and QB3. Drafting two tight ends hadn’t been in the plans, however, so I had less money to spend on those quarterbacks than I had planned. After already owning Greg Olsen I saw Travis Kelce at an incredibly low $6 and decided to take him away from the opposition.

But because of that choice, I had less money to go around. So at the second quarterback position, I will be rolling with the quarterbacks that fell to me: Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick. As the year goes on, however, I fully expect to make use of the waiver wire as well.

Week 1

I write elsewhere about my approach to choosing streaming quarterbacks, and you can read Daniel Lindsey’s excellent thoughts on the topic as well. So each week I won’t dig into the analysis behind my choice at QB2. Illustration is my goal in this series, rather than a how-to guide. So instead of telling you which quarterback I choose in advance, I am going to turn things open to the audience with a poll.

For Week 1, my QB2 options are Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs Cle), Kirk Cousins (vs Mia), Brian Hoyer (vs KC), and Josh McCown (@ NYJ). If you were playing the matchups and choosing from those four quarterbacks, which would you choose this week? Here is how the rest of my lineup looks this week:

QB Matt Ryan
QB ???
RB Lamar Miller
RB Justin Forsett
WR Dez Bryant
WR Julio Jones
WR Stevie Johnson
TE Greg Olsen
K Cody Parkey
D/ST Kansas City


Next week, I’ll check back in with my answer and share the results, before moving on to Week 2’s matchup.

If you’re going late-round quarterback in your own 2QB or Superflex league, I’d love to hear about it. Tell me about it in the comments or give me a shout on Twitter. Good luck to you this season!


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