Even though there might be more than enough starting quarterbacks in the NFL to go around and fill out the rosters of 2-QB teams in 10- or 12-team fantasy football leagues, that still might not be enough to make you switch allegiances from 1-QB leagues to 2-QB leagues if all you’ve ever known in your fantasy football playing career is 1-QB leagues.
Not wanting to have to worry about drafting a second quarterback in fantasy football is understandable, especially if you only really care about figuring out which one quarterback you’re going to start on a weekly basis.
However, the fact of the matter is that the times are changing in the world of fantasy football. Ryan Tannehill may not be ready to be mentioned among the elite NFL quarterbacks, but he does have the opportunity to be a more than serviceable quarterback in the world of fake football.
The position is deeper than it’s ever been, yet, the idea of starting two quarterbacks instead of one hasn’t been completely adopted. It isn’t for everybody, but if you’re at the very least intrigued by the thought of playing in a 2-QB league, then may I suggest an alternative league to play in? How about one where you open up the flex spot to include the quarterback position, which would make it kind of a one and a half starting quarterback league? (Not to be confused with Two and a Half Men, of course.)
In such a league you’re not forced to start two quarterbacks every week, which makes scheduling for bye weeks a little more manageable, as there aren’t enough quarterbacks to go around in 12-team, 2-QB leagues when you factor in bye weeks. But if the requirements are to start one quarterback with the option to start a second quarterback, it makes things a little easier to manage on a week-to-week basis.
What you have to decide if you sign up to play in a QB-flex league is whether or not it would be worth drafting a second quarterback on your team or go with a different position altogether for your flex spot. If you play in a 12-team QB-flex eligible league where you can choose either a QB/RB/WR/TE to start in the flex position, would it be advantageous to draft a second QB over any other position?
To find out the answer, let’s use the example of a 12-team league in which starting rosters look like the following: 1-QB/2-RBs/3-WRs/1-TE/1-FLEX (QB/RB/WR/TE).
Starting-wise, we’ve got 12 QBs, 24 RBs, 36 WRs, and 12 TEs, at minimum, and then the flex position will still need to be accounted for on top of that. When you see the numbers at the starting offensive positions, you’ll want to be targeting the following with your flex position: QB13, RB25, WR37, and TE13. While it’s possible to leave the draft with players higher than those particular rankings, for the benefit of this article, let’s assume you aren’t a far superior drafter than the rest of your league members.
Remember, when choosing your flex player, you’re going to want to compare each position to one another and not make the mistake of simply comparing quarterbacks to quarterbacks or running backs to running backs. This is a practice you would do when drafting a non-flex position in fantasy.
Going over last year’s point scoring totals, we can see if it would be best to go with a QB/RB/WR/TE at the flex position in both PPR, non-PPR, 4 points per passing touchdown and 6 points per passing touchdown leagues. Below is a handy chart I put together showing you exactly that:
As you can see, whether it was a PPR or non-PPR league and whether passing touchdowns were worth 4 or 6-points, there’s a noticeable advantage at starting a quarterback in the flex spot over any other position. Not only did the 13th highest scoring quarterback (Stafford) in both 4 and 6-point passing touchdown leagues score more points than the 25th highest scoring running back, 37th highest scoring wide receiver and 13th highest scoring tight end, but a high number of quarterbacks other than Stafford also scored more than those particular players. Below is a quick rundown of just how many:
• 30 QBs scored more points than Ballard in 4PT Passing TD leagues
• 31 QBs scored more points than Ballard in 6PT Passing TD leagues
• 31 QBs scored more points than Roberts in 4PT Passing TD leagues
• 32 QBs scored more points than Roberts in 6PT Passing TD leagues
• 32 QBs scored more points than Bennett in 4PT Passing TD leagues
• 34 QBs scored more points than Bennett in 6PT Passing TD leagues
• 26 QBs scored more points than McFadden in 4PT Passing TD leagues
• 27 QBs scored more points than McFadden in 6PT Passing TD leagues
• 25 QBs scored more points than Floyd in 4PT Passing TD leagues
• 27 QBs scored more points than Floyd in 6PT Passing TD leagues
• 27 QBs scored more points than Gates in 4PT Passing TD leagues
• 29 QBs scored more points than Gates in 6PT Passing TD leagues
Just to highlight one name in particular, Mr. Butt Fumble, Mark Sanchez, was the 30th highest scoring quarterback in both 4 and 6-point touchdown leagues last year. He scored more points than Ballard, Roberts and Bennett in non-PPR leagues. If you want a low scoring quarterback to compare to the PPR scorers from the chart, how about Michael Vick? Last season, Vick, a QB27 in both 4 and 6-point leagues, scored more points than Floyd, McFadden and Gates in PPR leagues.
One thing to remember in all this when choosing your flex player in QB-flex eligible fantasy football leagues is that every league is going to be different. You might play in a league in which running back receptions are worth only half a point or passing interceptions don’t get penalized. Or maybe tight end receptions are worth two points. Whatever your league scoring rules are, it will be in your best interest to compare each eligible flex position to determine which route you should go. In some instances the quarterback position could be devalued when compared to other positions so go over your points scoring format carefully.
But when there is the option to start a quarterback in the flex spot, you will more than likely have a sizeable advantage if you draft two quarterbacks and start two quarterbacks each week. How much of an advantage will be based on who else in your league is savvy enough to go with a quarterback in the flex as well, but if you have the ability to draft a second top performing quarterback to play in your flex spot you should be able to make it work for you.
Treating 1.5-QB leagues like 2-QB leagues will work to your benefit when preparing for your draft and could be a potential gateway towards you one day fully embracing a 2-QB fantasy football league.