The 2QB & Superflex Handbook (Fantasy Football)
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My first fantasy football league was a 2QB/Superflex league. I didn’t know enough to run my own, so I joined a random league in NFL.com’s lobby. I didn’t win that year — and I certainly don’t remember who I drafted — but I learned some important lessons along the way.
What are 2QB/Superflex leagues?
A 2QB league requires that you start two quarterbacks, while a Superflex league allows you to start two quarterbacks by giving you a “Superflex” spot for any position. This is a game-changer, as quarterbacks are typically the highest-scoring players week-in and week-out, and you’ll want to start two quarterbacks in both formats.
In 2019, 11 of the top-20 fantasy scorers played quarterback. Six played running back, and only three played wide receiver. Since quarterback is such a deep position, quarterbacks don’t have a lot of value in 1QB leagues — but 2QB/Superflex formats significantly increase their value.
How should your draft strategy differ for this format?
Obviously, you must pay more attention to your quarterbacks. I’ve played in a Superflex league where an owner drafted one first overall and proceeded to take seven more signal-callers in the draft. Even though he could only start two of them, his control of the quarterback market helped him win the league that year.
I’m not saying that you should do what he did, but I am saying that you need to prioritize quarterbacks. There are only 32 starters at the position each week, and injuries, positional battles, and other factors create instability in the already-thin market. For example, 57 quarterbacks started games in 2019. Only 19 of them started 15 games or more, while 29 of them started in eight games or fewer.
With how top-heavy the quarterback market is, it’s important to lock down your guys early.
Should you balance quarterback scarcity with drafting for value?
Yes. To illustrate why, consider this hypothetical. Going into 2019, Patrick Mahomes was the consensus QB1, and Aaron Rodgers was a consensus top-three guy in ADP. If you landed both of them in a 2QB/Superflex league draft, you probably felt confident about your roster.
Though Week 16, Mahomes finished as the QB8 after missing three mid-season games. Aaron Rodgers also earned a QB11 finish. While landing two QB1s sounds great at first, they probably would’ve cost you your first two picks, and that would have held you back elsewhere.
Now let’s look at where the top-five quarterbacks went in drafts last season:
|Quarterback||2019 Finish||2019 ADP|
So while locking down elite guys like Mahomes and Rodgers early would have given you some acceptable returns, they also would’ve capped your upside, as teams that landed Jackson, Prescott, or Winston could’ve invested in other positions earlier.
Here’s my rule of thumb: pick one elite quarterback in the first two or three rounds, then pick two more guys later in your draft — one with a ton of upside, and another with a solid floor. In 2019, this strategy could’ve looked like:
That brings us to the next step — properly understanding quarterback value.
How do you evaluate quarterbacks in 2QB/Superflex?
I like to put quarterbacks into tiers when I’m evaluating them before the season. I use qualitative and quantitative information when I’m constructing them — that way, I can categorize guys by both their talent and their job security. And since you’ll need two quarterbacks every week in 2QB/Superflex leagues, using a tier system like mine can help you structure your roster.
To illustrate this point, here are my quarterback groupings at this point in the 2020 offseason. Players are listed in no particular order.
Group A: High-End QB1s
These are your elite fantasy options. They’re safe bets to finish in the top-14 quarterbacks.
Group B: QB1s
These are excellent fantasy options. While they should finish in the top-14, there’s no guarantee that they will.
Group C: QB2s With Job Security
These guys can fill your second quarterback or Superflex slot, and you can trust them to keep their job for the full season.
Group D: QB2s Without Job Security
These guys can fill your second quarterback or Superflex slot, but they may not start the full season.
Group E: QB2s Without a Starting Job — Yet
Group E mirrors Group D — these are the guys who are pushing for the jobs currently held by those in Group D. If they end up starting, they can fill your second quarterback slot. But that’s a big “if.”
Group F: High-End QB3s, or Backups With Upside
These are equivalent to running back handcuffs. These are talented guys that play in high-powered offenses, and you can expect them to post impressive fantasy numbers if the starter goes down.
Group G: Low-End QB3s, or Everyone Else
These are the rest of the league’s backups. I won’t list them all here, but it’s for guys like Chad Henne, Chase Daniel, and Jacoby Brissett — guys who we know can post respectable numbers when forced into action, but who probably won’t win you many fantasy matchups.
How do you use quarterback groups?
Since you can expect season-long production from Groups A to C, they’re great options to fill your roster all season long. But both players will have bye weeks, and there’s always a chance that one of them gets hurt, so a few guys from Groups D, E, or F can be valuable.
One smart way to get the most out of your quarterbacks is to draft corresponding guys from Groups D and E. If you can get both Carr and Mariota, for example, you should control the Raiders’ starting signal-caller for the full season. It’ll cost you a bit more draft capital, but this strategy can help you hold onto three guys with starting jobs for the full season.
You can also handcuff your QB1s. Handcuffing means you won’t have to worry about wasting a roster spot if your guy gets hurt, and while some guys have better backups than others (Brees and Prescott come to mind), you can usually land someone from Groups F or G in the last round.