We have been pushing our readers toward loading up at wide receiver and running back through the early rounds of the fantasy draft, and waiting to draft a quarterback and tight end in rounds 8 and later. Our strategy is to fill the RB and WR positions in the early rounds, then to add QB/TE committees later in the draft.
You have to build this around how many roster spots/draft rounds your league has. I believe that last season the average number of rounds in fantasy drafts jumped up over 16 with more leagues moving to a more draft-heavy structure. In a perfect world, our 16 round draft order would look something like this: WR/WR/RB/WR/RB/WR/RB/QB/TE/WR/QB/RB/TE/WR/D/K.
Of course, the order that you draft each of these positions is based entirely around where the value is. Currently, Dez Bryant is a great value at 10, but if Todd Gurley were to fall to that spot, he may be a better value. This would shift your first five picks to be RB/WR/WR/WR/RB…
It’s our opinion that if you are drafting based on value, you have to leave the first 6 picks with 4 wide receivers and 2 running backs. There may be exceptions (if Gronk falls or a RB slips), but in 90% of the mock drafts we have done there is no getting around it.
So, if you do commit to a QB-committee, how do you know when and who to target? The key is to set a tier. I know that if I’m going to draft a QB in round 7 or later, Newton, Rodgers, Wilson, Luck, Brees, Roethlisberger, Brady are likely not going to be available. So I set a tier behind them, and once a name goes off of that tier, I know it’s time to consider drafting the best available QB.
This is where you start to look at what the teams on either side of you have at QB, and figure out just how long you can hold out and get one of the QB’s in your second tier. Don’t hold out and miss out on the tier entirely, but don’t pass up on a value positional player if the teams in between this pick and your next already have their QB.
We have gotten our QB as late as round 10 when drafting at the top of a 12 man league. This allows you to draft 2 quarterbacks, and 2 tight ends in round 9-14 and avoid the RB/WR picks in the back half of the draft that are flop 90% of the time or more.
Who to Target and Where
Assuming the group we mentioned earlier are off the board, this leaves a second tier of quarterbacks that we have ranked in the following order:
- Carson Palmer
- Eli Manning
- Blake Bortles
- Philip Rivers
- Tony Romo
These guys should start coming off the board late in the 8th round. Assuming you draft one somewhere in the 8th/9th round, you won’t have to worry about targeting your second QB until round 12, when the next tier starts to come off the board. We define our next tier as:
- Matthew Stafford
- Derek Carr
- Tyrod Taylor
- Andy Dalton
- Kirk Cousins
When you are building your QB committee, the two most important things to consider are early season matchups and bye weeks. First and foremost, I want a committee who’s schedule lines up well. For example, if you go with Philip Rivers as your tier 1 QB, you will likely want to avoid his week 1 matchup with the Chiefs and week 6 matchup with the Broncos. Looking at the tier 2 QBs’s, Stafford has a top 10 matchup (Colts and Rams) in each of those weeks.
The best way to do this is to simply come in prepared with a pair of QB’s in mind, but to ultimately draft the best available tier 1 quarterback, then analyze his schedule/bye week and draft the tier 2 QB that fits best. The best way to practice this prior to your draft is to do as many mock drafts as possible, targeting different QB’s in different rounds to see what strategy works best.