Draft Strategy: QB’s

Rankings versus Value

By MV June 13th 2015

Everyone has won leagues with a superstar Quarterback. The rule of thumb is to always wait on QB, I agree. I also know that Fantasy Sports Central won our last 2 high stakes FFPC Main Event leagues while drafting one of the top 2 QB’s off the board (Manning in ’13 and Rodgers in ’14). In the high stakes events we see that the Quarterback actually goes later than most home drafts and is actually undervalued. We drafted both of those 2 in the 3rd round while they went in the 1st and early 2nd in most of our home leagues. At some point the value outweighs the strategy.

The name of the game is value. Whoever gets the most value with every pick wins the league. Remember 2011? Four QB’s had over 39 passing TD’s and 5 had over 4600 passing yards. Records were broken and the Quarterback was over drafted the following year. FSC won leagues in 2011 with Eli and Big Ben that year. Granted we were early on Jimmy Graham, Gronk, and Jordy Nelson. My point is that any strategy can work if you get the most value out of most of your picks. Minimize your swing and misses in the draft by using a few non-negotiables:

  1. Ignore the position run
  2. Don’t pick a breakout potential while passing on the steady-but-boring player
  3. No more than 1 “true” injury risk on your team
  4. Never draft a player that will be missing the beginning of the season due to injury (Except for Gronk – always draft Gronk)
  5.  Don’t strategize around players, strategize around the flow of the draft

At FSC we think outside of the box. Our projections will rank players based on opportunity while excluding hype. Always avoid the hype train. When your league zigs, you need to stick with the rankings. When there is a Wide Receiver run it pays to stick with the rankings. You should always, however, be mindful of the player grouping at the position you are looking at drafting. QB’s for example: would I love to have Rodgers or Luck? Of course. Do I draft them in the first round? Never. Do I ignore them in the third round. Never.

Russell Wilson is our early ranked 3rd QB off the board based on our projections. His opportunity has accelerated with the addition of Jimmy Graham and the late showing of big target Chris Matthews. His ranking is justified as he has been one of the most consistent QB’s in fantasy the last 3 years. He had 30-27-26 total TD’s the last 3 years. We have him at a total of 30.5. Again, let’s talk value. Wilson’s’ ADP has him going somewhere in the middle of the 3rd round.

Matthew Stafford is projected for 27.2 total TD’s and he has a price tag of the 11th round. That is a monumental difference from Wilson. Remember the 2011 reference, oh yeah, Stafford had 41 passing TD’s and 5100 yards that year. I am not saying that he is going to do it again, I am simply saying that he has done it before. When I look for value I usually don’t point to the break-out candidate, rather I point to the guy who has a track record. Especially when there is an 8 round difference. That is a gamble that these Vegas’ guys will always take.

In terms of projected fantasy points we have 12 QB’s knotted up between 320-280 points, while Luck and Rodgers are projected at 370 and 350 respectively. If Luck and Rodgers fall to me at the end of round 2 or later I grab them, if not, I wait on QB. The next tier: Russell Wilson, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees will most likely not land on my teams because I will not give them a round 3-5 pick. Round 6, now we are getting into the value zone. I will most likely be drafting Eli Manning, Matt Stafford, and Tony Romo in rounds 9 through 11.

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