I don’t want to bore you because I’ve written about this kind of philosophy many times.
The late-round quarterback philosophy can and should be used in standard scoring and PPR formats. But over the last month or so, I’ve received many questions as to how the strategy impacts a 6-points per touchdown pass league.
Instead of responding to each tweet and email individually, I felt like it would be a good idea to break down this question. It’s a pretty simple concept, especially if you’ve followed and understood what I wrote about two-quarterback leagues.
As I’ve been reiterating, you should never be concerned with how a quarterback performs compared to a wide receiver or running back. This is the basis of Value-Based Drafting. What matters is how that quarterback performs compared to his peers, or other quarterbacks. This creates value.
The term “value” can be defined as “relative worth”. This relativity, in fantasy football, is “within a position”. The worth is, of course, how many points that player scores within the position.
To compare the pure fantasy points scored by a player and concluding that he is “better” is an incorrect way to do analysis. If we were to value a player this way, then Mark Sanchez would have been the 16th best fantasy player in 2011. We all know that’s not true.
This is why you’ll consistently see running backs rank higher than quarterbacks in the pre-season. It’s not because running backs score more points as a position in most scoring formats; it’s because the position yields more value than other positions in fantasy football. This can be mostly credited to lineups having two or three of them, as opposed to just one quarterback.
When you alter a scoring system, the value of a player and position shifts. For instance, if running backs begin to receive a point per reception in a PPR league, rather than getting nothing in a standard league for a catch, pass-catching running backs become more valuable. They’re now scoring more points than non-pass catchers at the position.
And when you change a quarterback’s scoring from 4 points per touchdown pass (standard leagues) to 6, you’re changing the way that we value players within that position. And, in turn, we change the way we view that position as a whole.
Rather than bore you with charts like I do here, here, and here let’s just pretend you’re in a 10-team, 1 quarterback per lineup league. The biggest advantage a team has at quarterback would be the top one (last year’s Aaron Rodgers), to the 10th ranked one (last year’s Mark Sanchez). The difference in points between the two was roughly 144 with standard scoring last season.
But if scoring structure rewarded quarterbacks with 6 points for a touchdown pass, the largest advantage increases. It increases because Aaron Rodgers threw 19 more touchdown passes than Mark Sanchez. In terms of fantasy points, that’s an additional 38-point difference (19 * 2 additional points per touchdown pass).
You’re now creating more value within the position, as the spread of points becomes larger. Your advantage from one team to another has gotten bigger if you own Aaron Rodgers.
Now, of course this value isn’t a linear one. You don’t lose the same amount of points from the best quarterback to the second best quarterback and so on. But it shows you, from a high level, how your draft strategy can change. And sometimes, a small change in scoring is all it takes.
Math tells you this: In 6-point per touchdown pass leagues, having an elite quarterback is important and valuable.
My strategy for you is this: In a 6-point per touchdown pass league, after the first “big three” running backs are off the board, go for Rodgers, Brady, Brees and Stafford. If you can’t get them, then go with the late-round quarterback strategy.