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Dynasty Draft Strategy, Rankings & Tiers: Quarterbacks (2024 Fantasy Football)

Dynasty Draft Strategy, Rankings & Tiers: Quarterbacks (2024 Fantasy Football)

In superflex dynasty leagues, quarterbacks are the heart of your team, while in 1QB dynasty leagues, quarterbacks are the appendix of your team.

That isn’t to say the QB position is meaningless in 1QB leagues (The human appendix is thought to help with immune functions, after all). But just as the human body can function without an appendix, a team in a 1QB dynasty league can contend for a championship without high-quality quarterbacking.

In superflex formats, you can start a second quarterback in a flex spot, dramatically increasing the position’s importance. You’ll almost always want to start a quarterback in the superflex spot because QBs generally score more points than RBs, WRs and TEs.

The law of supply and demand forces managers in superflex leagues to diligently attend to the QB position. In a 12-team superflex league, there are typically 24 quarterbacks in starting lineups every week and just 32 NFL teams. That means several of the teams in a 12-team superflex league won’t have a viable third quarterback, leaving those teams vulnerable to QB injuries and byes.

In 1QB dynasty leagues, managers can be a bit more lax at QB. It’s not that the position is unimportant. Having a high-scoring QB such as Josh Allen still provides a competitive edge, just as it does in redraft leagues. On the other hand:

  1. A significant investment at quarterback usually requires a sacrifice at another position.
  2. 1QB dynasty leagues often have more than one flex spot in starting lineups. The more lineup spots, the more the impact of a high-scoring quarterback is muted.
  3. In a dynasty league, it’s easier to justify not having a high-scoring QB if you have a young quarterback capable of becoming a high-scoring QB.

I don’t like telling people how to play fantasy football. You do you, different strokes for different folks, etc. But if you’re starting a dynasty league, I recommend making it a superflex league. The superflex format adds another layer of strategy and gives the QB position the weight it deserves.

And here’s the better reason to go superflex: Once your startup draft is over, you’ll only draft rookies in subsequent years, and rookie drafts are far more interesting in superflex formats with the added emphasis on quarterbacks.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

Dynasty Startup Draft: Quarterback Primer (2024)

Dynasty Startup Draft Strategy

It’s hard to overstate the importance of having a plan for your dynasty startup draft. You need to chart a course and then build a coherent draft strategy around it. The course you choose will determine your tactical approach at all positions, not just quarterback.

Charting a course means deciding when you expect your team to establish its dynastic reign over the league. Here are the three options:

Win now: Establish your dominance immediately. While your competitors focus on youth in the startup draft, scoop up proven veterans at discounted prices and build a roster that will be a favorite for the league title in year No. 1.

Win in Year No. 2: Focus on youth but mix in some proven veterans. Your young roster might not have the juice to win right away, but you’ll have a collection of players whose value will likely be higher a year from now, positioning you to contend in year No. 2.

Productive struggle: Hat tip to Ryan McDowell of Dynasty League Football for coining the term. Commit to a slow build that will put you in title contention in two to three years. Focus heavily on youth in the startup draft and be willing to trade startup picks for picks in future rookie drafts.

The earlier you plan to contend for championships, the more aggressive you should be in addressing the QB position in your draft.

In a typical superflex dynasty startup draft, about half of the players selected in the first two rounds will be quarterbacks. How many QBs should you roster in the first two rounds?

Here are the pros and cons of the three possibilities:

Two: Starting QB-QB usually gives you a nice head start at a critical position, but by the time you shift your focus to other positions in round three, a lot of the top non-QB stars will be gone.

One: A happy medium? You get a foothold at the QB position and can also land a superstar at another position. But now you’re under the gun to find another QB in rounds three and four, which might mean reaching for a QB2.

Zero: Eschewing the QB position in the first two rounds of a superflex startup means falling behind the competition at a vital position. On the other hand, you’ll have a big head start at the non-QB positions. I typically avoid this strategy because there’s usually better value at wide receiver and running back in roundsthree and four than at quarterback.

For the record, I generally prefer coming out of the first two rounds with one quarterback, but I’m not married to that approach.

How many quarterbacks should you carry on your roster in a superflex league? I think four-five is usually a good number if you have 25-30 roster spots. One or two of those QBs might be high-end NFL backups, but quarterbacks often get hurt, and backups can quickly become valuable assets. Just ask the people who had shares of Joe Flacco or Jake Browning last year.

Quarterback Strategy: 1QB Dynasty Startup Leagues

In 1QB leagues, your approach to quarterback should be all about maximizing value. If a high-quality quarterback falls into your lap in a favorable spot in the draft, great! But if your competitors are over-drafting the top QBs, or if you’re missing out on them by a few picks because of where you’re positioned in the draft, it’s fine to settle for a non-premium quarterback (especially if you’ve charted a course for a productive struggle).

The value of quarterbacks can vary based on your league’s lineup configuration. If your league requires you to start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 2 WRs, 1 TE and 1 FLEX, your quarterback represents one-seventh of your starting lineup. That makes it more important than in a league starting 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE and 3 FLEX, where your quarterback represents one-10th of your starting lineup. The fewer the starting lineup spots, the more important quarterbacks become.

How many quarterbacks should you carry on your roster in a 1QB league? It depends on roster size. With rosters of 30 or more players, it’s fine to carry three QBs, especially if you don’t have a star. You’ll have more flexibility to play matchups with your subpremium quarterbacks. Don’t feel compelled to draft more than two, however. In 1QB leagues, there are usually a few starting quarterbacks available on waivers, and you’ll be able to grab one if an injury puts you in a pinch. With rosters of 28 players or fewer, stick with just two quarterbacks and throw an extra dart at the all-important RB and WR positions.

1QB Dynasty Quarterback Tiers

Let’s sort quarterbacks into three baskets based on where they will likely be chosen in 1QB startup drafts. Estimated round values are based on league formats that require you to start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE and 1 FLEX.

Elite

Expect these quarterbacks to be drafted in the first 3.5 rounds.

Foundational

Expect these quarterbacks to be drafted from the middle of round four to the middle of round six.

Quality Young Veterans & Promising Rookies

Expect these quarterbacks to be drafted from round six to round nine. I’m including rookies even though rookies may or may not be eligible for your startup draft.

Functional Veterans & Youthful Wild Cards

Expect these quarterbacks to be drafted in the 10th round and beyond.

Final Thoughts

Here are two final thoughts on drafting quarterbacks in 1QB startups:

  • Value-seeking is the way to go in a 1QB startup draft. Don’t zero in on a single target and overdraft that player by a full round or more. The QB position is too bountiful in 1QB leagues to justify an overpay.
  • While elite quarterbacks are needle-movers who can give your team a major lift, there is an opportunity cost to taking an elite quarterback and bypassing good young running backs and wide receivers. Don’t overspend. Besides, it’s relatively easy to trade for a quality quarterback in 1QB dynasty leagues because of the abundant supply. There are likely to be managers in your league who are sitting on two or three good quarterbacks and would be willing to part with one for a reasonable price.

Quarterback Strategy: Superflex Dynasty Startup Leagues

Quarterbacks drive the economy in superflex leagues. The value of all players in superflex leagues is filtered through the prism of QB value. That’s why the QB position is such an obsession in superflex dynasty leagues.

Quarterbacks are a scarce asset in superflex leagues, and the market reflects that. Quarterbacks will dominate the first round of a startup draft in this format. Once the draft is over, good QBs will always be expensive in the trade market. Prying one away from one of your rivals will require you to develop a blockbuster offer involving some of your most valuable assets. Beyond year No. 1 of your league, you’re better off taking quarterbacks in your rookie drafts than trying to trade for quarterbacks.

You might be forced to overspend for at least one of your quarterbacks in a startup draft. Don’t beat yourself up for overpaying at QB; you’ll sleep easier if you have at least a decent group of quarterbacks. The consequences of punting the QB position in a superflex dynasty league are harsh. It’s hard to win games in a dynasty league when you’re starting Geno Smith and Derek Carr, and your opponents are throwing Patrick Mahomes/Jordan Love and Allen/Joe Burrow combos at you.

Ideally, you’ll draft an anchor quarterback in rounds one or two. If you’re picking in the top half of the first round, you’re obligated to take a quarterback. It’s simply the right thing to do.

Beyond the first two rounds, things get tricky. The goal is to draft opportunistically at the QB position to maximize value but also not to get left out in the cold. It’s a difficult balancing act because quarterbacks are almost always overdrafted from round two on in superflex startups. You may be required to temporarily abandon your value-seeking principles when addressing the QB position.

It’s not impossible to win a superflex dynasty league with below-average quarterbacks, but it’s a tall order. The rest of your roster needs to be a war machine. The more likely result of inadequacy at the QB position is also-ran status in your league and a daily preoccupation with fixing a hard-to-fix problem.

Supeflex Dynasty Quarterback Tiers

Let’s once again sort the quarterbacks into baskets.

Premium

Draft one of these quarterbacks in round one if you have the chance.

Good Enough

If you pick in the 1.09-1.12 zone, draft one of these quarterbacks with one of your first two picks, but don’t double-tap the QB position with your first two picks; the value just isn’t there.

Worthwhile

These quarterbacks will likely to go anywhere from the late-second round to the seventh round. Draft opportunistically if the value is right.

Filler

This group is an assortment of veterans who might not be starters for much longer and youngsters who might not be good enough to hold starting gigs long-term. Draft for depth if the value is right.

Final Thoughts

Here are a few final thoughts on drafting quarterbacks in superflex startups:

  • Don’t be so youth-obsessed that you overlook the value of aging veterans who have firm grips on starting QB jobs.
  • One way to maximize QB value in a startup draft is by trading up or down. In most dynasty leagues, there’s a lot of trading in startup drafts. Don’t be shy about entering the fray. If there’s only one quarterback from a QB tier still on the board and eight picks to go before your selection, trading up makes sense. If you’re on the clock and need a quarterback, but all of the available QBs would be reaches in that spot, trade back. You can acquire extra draft capital and take a QB a little later.
  • Handcuffing a starting QB in superflex can be a viable strategy, but only if league roster sizes are big enough to justify the opportunity cost (at least 26-28 roster spots) and if you’re convinced the backup would fare reasonably well if forced into action.

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