The Two Quarterback Takeover: A Look At A 2QB Dynasty
March 4, 2014 | Joe Siniscalchi
Fantasy football is a bit like coffee, everyone likes theirs a bit different. There’s a plethora of formats including standard leagues, PPR leagues, re-draft leagues, IDP leagues, two quarterback leagues, and dynasty leagues. While every niche has their support base of players who swear by it, eventually, the need to consume fantasy football will cause you to want to dabble into something more.
With a burning desire to satiate my hunger for fantasy football, I decided to venture into the realm of dynasty leagues. The twist, however, is that I was looking for much more than the traditional dynasty setup. Now, I was still looking to hold on to something I love in 2QB leagues. With that, I was able to collect quite a diverse group of fantasy gamers who were also looking to try something new and start up a league. Some you may have heard of, others are just hardcore players. The setup is simple: a 10 team, 2QB PPR league that starts 3 wide receivers and has two flex options (one of them a RB/WR/TE). The owners who were bold enough to venture into a relatively unknown area come from all different niches as I mentioned. Some of the members are experienced in 2QB leagues, while the others have more experience in dynasty leagues.
Since dynasty leagues are relatively new to me, I absorbed as much info as I can (thanks in part to our dynasty gurus Chad Scott and Rich Hribar over at the Dynasty Headquarters section of The Fake Football). Preparing for this draft was difficult, as there is relatively little 2QB dynasty data available, and quite frankly everyone’s backgrounds added a bit of a chaotic element to it. Now I should warn you of several things. Before the draft even began, several trades took place. Some owners, as you’ll see, tried to get as many top picks as possible, while others preferred to move back and acquire several mid round picks. The first overall pick in both the startup AND rookie drafts were traded, and one member even managed to acquire a mind boggling FIVE picks in a row at the end of round five.
While some of the data may be a bit skewed for ADP purposes due to these trades, this draft provides more value on how to adapt during a draft than anything, as well as illustrates several different strategies in play such as trading up or down in the draft, going after certain positions like quarterback early, or waiting for other positions such as quarterback and tight end later in the draft.
For a full look at the draft and the league, check it out here at MyFantasyLeague.com With that, here is round one:
The first round went somewhat as you’d expect. The three elite quarterbacks went off the board early, as well as the elite wide receivers. LeSean McCoy was the likeliest of the running backs to go first, and he went at pick 4.
My Pick: I originally had picks 13, 19, and 22, but had to capitalize on Calvin Johnson falling. He may be in that “getting old but not quite fading” stage, but for him to fall to 10 in a PPR league bewildered me a bit. I maybe overpaid in a swap (picks 13 and 22 for 10 and 29) to move up, but he’s well worth it.
Doubling Up: Two teams had two first round picks. @Fantasy_Mansion in fact traded away several mid round picks to have multiple picks in the first and second, while @MJ_Baroz traded for an additional first round pick AND the first overall pick in the rookie draft. I was a bit surprised to see Matthew Stafford go off the board so soon at eight, and even more surprised to see Nick Foles go right behind him, ahead of not only some of the other quarterbacks, but some of the top wideouts (including Megatron) and running backs as well.
Shit hit the fan in the second round. There was a quarterback slide of massive proportions that would go on to dictate how the entire draft played out, including forcing me to scrap my strategy on the fly. @MF_J0NES traded UP to take the dual threat quarterbacks back to back. Five quarterbacks went in seven picks, bringing the total of quarterbacks taken to an eye popping 10 through two rounds. Those who picked behind teams that went quarterback saw the value of skill players trickle on down, as Jamaal Charles finally went at pick 13.
My Pick: While I had hoped some quarterback would make it back to me, I simply was not okay with making a panic pick and just taking who was left on the board. This is where I started to zig when everyone zagged, a strategy I had to utilize for the majority of the draft. Eddie Lacy has his share of question marks, but I had no problem with taking a running back early given this year’s shallow talent pool at the position.
Being Bold: @Phil_Culbertson went for his man in Alshon Jeffery, ahead of guys like Demaryius Thomas and Keenan Allen, a move that some might have seen as a reach. Starting off with Aaron Rodgers and Alshon Jeffery with your first two picks isn’t something to be upset about.
More value. Jimmy Graham finally is off the board, while some more of the usual suspects in dynasty leagues start to come off the board, particularly at running back. @BitterPackerFan kept snatching up running backs to have a trio of McCoy, Matt Forte, and Le’Veon Bell. @Fantasy_Mansion made the last of his picks for a long time, going with a top heavy team of Matt Ryan, Foles, Josh Gordon, Julio Jones, and Michael Floyd, opting to avoid running backs entirely. Running backs in general fell a bit, directly as a result of teams going quarterback heavy early on. @LakeTwoQBs kept snatching up PPR dynamos, and to this point has a deadly wide receiver corps of Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, and Cordarrelle Patterson. After a brief hiatus, we finally saw some quarterbacks go off the board again, albeit the older ones. For those who were patient and avoided the slide in round two, waiting on quarterback seemed to still allow you to get a quality QB1.
My Picks: This was a nice time to have three picks in two rounds. I like Doug Martin and C.J. Spiller as post hype candidates, and decided that Peyton Manning had been on the board long enough. With that selection, I immediately decided my team would be in win now mode, as I had three running backs all in/about to hit their prime, an ancient quarterback, and a wide receiver who is on the tail end of his prime.
Where Is The Love?: Through four rounds, 14 quarterbacks, 15 wide receivers, nine running backs, and just one tight end are off the board. In a format that favors two quarterbacks and can start as many as five wideouts, it’s clear that running back and tight end are slightly devalued. What was once seemingly the most important position in fantasy football seems to be really hurting due to uncertainty at the position outside of a few select players.
Ah, there they are. The last two teams without a quarterback grabbed one, while everyone else turned their sights to skill position players. The level of quarterback after Philip Rivers dropped off significantly, as Andy Dalton and Ryan Tannehill were the next two quarterbacks picked. This proved to be a sweet spot for running backs as well, as Shane Vereen was a steal in the sixth round, Adrian Peterson fell to the end of the fifth (!), and Marshawn Lynch went in the sixth.
My Pick: I was without a fifth, and faced the dilemma of choosing between Michael Crabtree and Rueben Randle. I ultimately opted for Randle, someone who I think is one of the best bets for a breakout this season thanks to a combination of opportunity and a scheme that should boost the Giants offense in general.
All In: Here are those five picks in a row I was talking about. AP, Lynch, Gronk, Eric Decker, and Trent Richardson are not guys you’d expect to make it this far, but that’s what happens after such a massive run on quarterbacks early. This team is in my division unfortunately, and is also clearly built to win now. While Decker is a risky pick as a free agent, he’s not a bad WR2, and Richardson may prove to be a steal if he can rebound from an abysmal 2013 season. I was also a bit surprised to see impending free agent Knowshon Moreno go here, ahead of guys like Andre Ellington, Ray Rice, and Ryan Mathews. Maybe he lands somewhere ideal, maybe he stays in Denver, either way, that’s a lot of faith in a free agent who finally had a good year in a system led by Peyton Manning.
I guess people had forgotten about tight ends until now. Three come off the board, while we see a heavy dose of running backs go, including Ellington in the seventh, a huge value. After another great snipe in Ray Rice, a move that can pay off huge dividends, running back begins to get ugly, as more risk/reward backs such as Ben Tate, Lamar Miller, and David Wilson go. There is still a plethora of wide receiver talent to be had as well, as the ageless Andre Johnson, Torrey Smith (a great value at age 25 considering who was on the board), both Jacksons, and Larry Fitzgerald all go. One of the last solid QB2 options also are off the board with Ben Roethlisberger.
My Picks: I got several kidney shots it felt like in these two rounds, as I had hoped Big Ben, Smith, and Ellington may keep falling to me in the seventh. I like Julius Thomas and think he has the most to gain from the departing Eric Deckers red zone looks. He also should be a nice safety blanket once Brock Osweiler takes over at quarterback. In the eighth, I also would’ve preferred the Vincent Jackson, despite his age, but had to settle with DeSean Jackson, one of the last wideouts I had in my WR2 tier.
To Each His Own: By this point, no two teams were remotely similar. Teams that stockpiled middle picks really shined at this juncture in the draft, while teams that decided to wait at quarterback also seemed to be set up nicely. The teams that went QB heavy early still have plenty of talent to select from to round out the rest of their drafts as well.
For the rest of the Two Quarterback Takeover draft, I encourage you to take a look at the league in the link provided earlier. While this league is a dynasty league, there are many takeaways here that can be provided to regular 2QB redraft and keeper leagues. Here are some quick hits:
1) Any strategy can benefit you (if you know what you are doing). Those who strategically waited on quarterbacks saw the early benefits of falling value and capitalized. Those who went QB heavy early have a big advantage over those who waited at quarterback by having the elite young talent, and were still able to get some bargains later in the draft.
2) Learning how to play the board in the middle/end of the draft is a valuable skill to have. As rosters start to fill out, you can start to guesstimate what positions the other teams will start to aim for. If you’re torn between a tight end and running back, and see the three out of the five teams between your current pick and the next have a tight end and can use a running back or another position, wait for the tight end. Chances are that he’ll make it to your next pick (assuming you don’t have a substantially large gap between picks). This can help you prevent from reaching, and also help ensure that you get both players you may be torn between at any given spot.
3) Quarterback is deeper than ever. The first quarterback taken was Andrew Luck, the 20th was Eli Manning. While there is clearly a huge dropoff between QBs 1-20 (from a redraft and dynasty standpoint), there’s no need to panic if you only have one or even no quarterbacks for awhile. If you’re in a redraft and want to go late round quarterback or stream the position, you’ll have no problem getting guys like Eli, Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, and Big Ben late. Not to mention this draft didn’t even include the rookies. More likely than not, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel will be drafted as mid to high end QB2s.
4) Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. This sort of expands upon my last note. In a 2QB league, you’re more likely than not to see some more slides during the draft (mainly at quarterback). If you see a massive position slide, lick your chops and let talent from other positions fall to you. Guess what? While that quarterback run is going on, you can gobble up the top talent elsewhere (Jimmy Graham made it to the third round!). What’s going to happen once everyone finally turns their attention elsewhere? You can either wait a big longer if the talent isn’t there, or you can make your strike. This is why I don’t like strict rankings so much as I like tiering players. Saying you’re comfortable with any x number of quarterbacks as a QB1 allows you to not panic and take someone just because others are grabbing quarterbacks. The only time you start to worry is when your list of QB1s that you’re okay with starts to get down to the last remaining options.
5) There will always be wideouts. You may not be enamored with the ones available to you at certain times, but there will always be wide receivers. The position is simply loaded. There are a ton of WR1s, and a large portion of the WR2s and WR3s can blow up and give you WR1 numbers at any time (more so in PPR leagues, but true nonetheless). Just like quarterback, the rookies weren’t even factored in here. And what’s even better for you? This draft class is stacked with wide receivers too. Of all the positions in the draft, I’d be least worried about wide receivers. Outside of grabbing the best of the best (which is also deep with Megatron, Gordon, Green, Dez, Julio, and Marshall), your best bet is to take one here and there as you go/see fit.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway I had from this is that trying something new in fantasy football (or life for that matter, but I’m not here to preach) can be extremely fun and really give you a test unlike any you’ve had before. Whether you’re foreign to 2QB leagues, dynasty leagues, PPR, daily games, a new host for your leagues (I just fell in love with My Fantasy League), anything, you’ll find yourself enjoying a new challenge more than you might think.