Your friendly neighborhood Madman loves a fantasy football format that most closely reflects what we see on an actual football field. That’s why we despise PPR scoring, why we cringe at partial points, why we like scoring for first downs, and why we adore the idea of an overtime player to break ties.
It takes something monumental to get us to budge off some of these ideas. An issue whose level of disparity is so great it eclipses the football-flavored fantasy we like in our fantasy football. As catastrophic as … the devaluation of quarterbacks in almost all fantasy formats.
There is little debate that QB is the most critical position on the field in a given real-life football game. NFL teams spend high draft picks to get them, are willing to trade vast amounts of draft capital to acquire them, and throw ungodly sums of money to sign them. They do this because great ones are in such short supply.
And in most fantasy formats, QBs score at a lower rate for both yards passing and touchdowns compared to comparable rushing/receiving stats. So we’re already deviating from our football-flavored comfort zone. But even with these points discounts, QBs still generally outscore other positions on a regular basis.
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The real problem lies in league size. Because it just doesn’t work well for redraft leagues, or even keeper leagues with a small number of holdovers, to have dozens of teams, almost all leagues are 10 or 12 teams in size, with a small number going to 14 and anything above considered rare and extreme.
And the stone-cold, hard-love truth is, there are 10-14 fantasy QBs good enough to win your league — provided you have strong players at other key positions. The 14th-ranked QB isn’t going to win your league, but waiting to draft QB14 gives you additional early picks to load up on shallower positions.
Thus, fantasy QBs go extremely undervalued compared to their real-life counterparts. So how can you fix this?
Sadly, the Madman has conjured no solution that lives within the confines of football-flavored. Instead, we prefer the Superflex format.
In case you’re unfamiliar, a Superflex roster spot (ideally added in addition to a standard Flex) allows you an additional starting roster spot you can fill with a player from any position, including QB. And if your league is a Superflex league, this means you should plan on using a QB there.
Yet, unlike strict two-QB leagues, which require starting two QBs every week, a Superflex gives you the option of starting any position, so you don’t have to use a QB.
So, if you have a 12-team league, figure each team wants to have two startable QBs on the roster, and most would like a backup to boot. But there aren’t 36 playable QBs across the league, so Superflex solves this problem by providing flexibility strict two-QBs don’t have.
Now that you can use two QBs each week, it dramatically elevates the fantasy value of the position. Instead of waiting until the middle of the draft to even think about QB, you have to immediately put them on the radar as soon as the clock starts ticking for Pick 1.
Betting on the NFL?
As we have seen in recent seasons with Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson, even top-tier QBs might not live up to expectations for various reasons. So you don’t have to jump on them in Round 1, though it is fine if you do. But we certainly are looking early. You know how we’ve talked about liking to wait to get a QB then platoon (in single-QB formats) and how the Derek Carr-level is about as low as we like to go for the second one?
Well now, Carr is still as low as we want to go for a second QB, only now he would be a starter. And we will be more eager to jump at a top option, probably by Round 2, or Round 3 at the latest. Essentially, you need to be comfortable taking two QBs in your first 4-5 picks — possibly sooner if there is an early run.
Then, when you start getting to those who normally are on or near the undrafted cut line in standard leagues — think: Trevor Lawrence, Ryan Tannehill, Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston — chances are you’ll have to pull that trigger at least by Round 8.
No, this isn’t a perfect solution to our dilemma. But it does the job well enough. And it makes the fantasy draft and the season much more interesting. If you’re not playing in a Superflex league yet, hurry, act now. You’ll have a super time.