NFL Quarterbacks…Who are the Top Five….in Fantasy Football

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In fact, Evan Silva, Miglio, Clay and Ryan Forbes had each selected both of their two starting quarterbacks before Ratcliffe even drafted his first. I’m sure JJ over at would be quite proud of Ratcliffe’s strategy.

Silva was the first to fill out his QB1 and QB2 slots and did so by taking Tom Brady at 4.06 and Colin Kaepernick at 5.07. Miglio took Brees at 3.02 and Matthew Stafford at 6.02, Clay went with the Manning Bros., Peyton at 5.05 and Eli at 6.08, and Forbes’ QB1 and QB2 tandem consists of Robert Griffin III at 5.08 and Matt Ryan at 6.05.

There was only one owner that didn’t select a QB2 at all and that was Sigmund Bloom, who only drafted one quarterback and that was Russell Wilson with the 12th pick in the 5th round. It would be interesting to hear why he only went with one quarterback but when you look at his team you can see that he went a different direction drafting a high number of wide receivers, running backs and tight ends, and in this league TE receptions are worth 1.5 points.  Bloom did take two of the best tight ends in Jimmy Graham and Aaron Hernandez, which will be quite the advantage over the rest of the league if he starts them both each week {Editor’s Note: On Twitter after this article was published Bloom pointed out that you actually do start two tights ends each week in this league, which gives him even more of an advantage with Hernandez and Graham.}.

The last owner to draft his QB2 was, once again, Ratcliffe, who followed his late QB1 selection of Flacco at 6.12 with Ryan Tannehill at 10.12.

After Ratcliffe took Flacco at the end of the 6th round, Cutler went in the 7th round to Pat Daugherty, who completed his QB1 and QB2 tandem of Tony Romo (6.04) and Cutler (7.09).

Then there was a bit of a quarterbacking lull between the Cutler and Tannehill picks, with only six more quarterbacks being drafted:

Josh Freeman (9.02), Philip Rivers (9.03), Jake Locker (10.03), Michael Vick (10.07), Matt Schaub (10.09), and Sam Bradford (10.10).

From there it was bye week fill-ins and quarterbacks with potential drafted with a total of seven taken after Tannehill; all in all six owners drafted a QB3 and one owner (Bryan Fontaine) even took a QB4.

When you look at the spreadsheet of the final quarterback depth charts for each owner what you see is a lot of depth. That’s going to be the key word in 2-QB fantasy football leagues this season and one you’ll tire of me using over and over again. Hopefully you won’t hold it against me. Out of the twelve teams you can’t say anybody really has a bad 1-2 QB tandem, can you?

Sure, there are some question marks like Tannehill, Freeman, Rivers, Schaub, and Locker at QB2 but any of those quarterbacks should make for a serviceable QB2, don’t you think? When you pair them up with a good QB1 you have even less worry, as Day did with Freeman (QB1: Rodgers), Adam Levitan with Schaub (QB1: Roethlisberger) and Fontaine did with Locker (QB1: Luck). The Flacco/Tannehill and Dalton/Rivers combos might not seem to be the most attractive looking duos but they are still two decent quarterbacking duos and I have seen much worse during my years of playing in 2-QB fantasy football leagues.

Then when you look at where they were drafted and what the ADP for the quarterback position currently is you can’t be all that upset with the picks:

Quarterback QB Draft Position QB ADP
Tannehill 25 21
Freeman 19 17
Rivers 20 20
Schaub 23 23
Locker 21 26

Rivers and Schaub matched their ADP, Tannehill and Freeman both were picked later than their ADP has them at and Locker was the only true reach, but Fontaine did take two other quarterbacks in Ponder and Sanchez. Also, this is just my own person take, I believe that Tannehill is going to have himself a much better sophomore season in the NFL and will improve upon his play and stats from last season, which could happen if they do incorporate some read-option offense in the Dolphins playbook and they bring in a true #1 wide receiver like Greg Jennings.

When you look at all the picks made and see where each of the quarterbacks were drafted there were some reaches and some value picks. The first one that comes to mind is Clay’s selection of Peyton Manning. With the 53rd overall pick Clay took Manning, who was the 6th quarterback selected. Compare that to the QB ADP, where Manning is being drafted on average as the 11th QB and there’s quite the discrepancy. Now, is Manning not a potential top-5 fantasy quarterback? I’m not saying that, as he did finish 2012 as the 6th highest scoring fantasy quarterback. But in terms of value and ADP it was a bit of reach. But, really though, it’s not a pick I would truly consider a bad pick, as it will be Manning’s second year in that Broncos’ offense with the weapons he has, the confidence he has in himself and the system, and he could easily be the number one scoring fantasy quarterback next season. I’m probably more shocked at his low ADP, than anything else, but I’m sure that Manning’s ADP will probably move up the closer we get to the start of the fantasy football draft season, which will make Clay’s selection of him much more reasonable. I just pointed out the Manning draft pick to show how ADP and value works in 2-QB fantasy football leagues.

I thought the biggest QB value, and a major steal, was the selection of Matt Ryan at 6.05 by Ryan Forbes. Ryan was the 13th drafted quarterback and when looking at his ADP he’s the 9th QB taken on average. A top ten fantasy football quarterback was drafted as a QB2! That’s just wild to me. To top it off, Forbes had also drafted RG3 (5.08) earlier so he has a QB1-QB2 tandem of RG3 and Ryan. Not to mention that he also took Kirk Cousins late (14.05) as RG3’s handcuff in case RG3 isn’t good to go. If I were handing out fake awards for the fake team that had the best fake quarterback draft it would have to go to Forbes, with Miglio (Brees/Stafford) and Silva (Brady/Kaepernick/Pryor) tied for second.

Those three teams stood out to me the most after looking over the draft results and if I was able to walk away with any three of their quarterbacking combinations I would in a heartbeat. If you add up the combined top two quarterbacks on each team based on standard scoring points from last season Forbes’ team would be number one with 622.36 points scored from Ryan and RG3, and that could have been even higher if it wasn’t for the time RG3 missed last season.

Here’s how the points scored would have looked like for each team’s top two scoring quarterbacks from last season using last season’s points totals for a standard scoring setting (remember in this league you only get 0.03 points for every passing yard, which is less than the standard):

Forbes – 622.36
Miglio – 621.16
Day – 592.10
Clay – 543.88
Silva – 514.34
Loechner – 481.54
Spratt – 475.14
Fontaine – 469.66
Daugherty – 463.54
Levitan – 445.82
Ratcliffe – 417.74
Bloom – 275.62

Going over those numbers I came up with the following observations:

  • Day drafting the first quarterback provided him a top-3 finish.
  • Miglio taking the highest scoring quarterback from last season and pairing him with the 11th highest scoring fantasy quarterback gave him the second best quarterback tandem.
  • Silva might have been the first to draft two quarterbacks but only had the 5th highest scoring duo, although a full season of Kaepernick stats would change that in a hurry.
  • Ratcliffe being the last to draft his QB1 and QB2 would have paid the price for that strategy, as Forbes’ quarterbacking duo would have scored 13.41 points more per game than Ratcliffe’s, which is a pretty significant difference.

In a 1-QB 12-team league the difference between Day’s Rodgers, who was the first quarterback taken in this draft, and Romo, who was the 12th quarterback drafted would have been 4.04 points per game, and the difference between Rodgers and Flacco, the last QB1 taken in this draft, would have been 6.8 points per game. Obviously, and you don’t really need me to say this, but 13.41 points per game is better than 4.04 or 6.8 points per game. That’s a difference of either an extra 9.4 or 6.6 points per game when starting two quarterbacks instead of one.

When you take everything into account such as when quarterbacks were drafted, which teams drafted early at the quarterback position, which teams drafted late at the quarterback position, which teams took care of their QB1 and QB2 slots early, you come to the realization that in a 2-QB league, while there is a lot of depth and plenty of quarterbacks to go around, you want to take at least one quarterback early in a 2-QB league, which is the opposite draft strategy to take in a 1-QB league.

How early? That will depend on your draft and scoring system but in a league where quarterback points are devalued, such as this league, quarterbacks were still taken as early as the third round. And you don’t even need to start two quarterbacks in this league! In a league where quarterback points are high such as leagues where 1 point is awarded for every 25 yards passing and 6 points are awarded per passing touchdown, and you actually do start two quarterbacks each week, you will most likely be drafting your first quarterback much earlier than the third round. Whether it’s the first round or second round will be determined by the type of league you play in and how aggressive your fellow owners are when it comes to drafting quarterbacks.

Clay mentioned that he’s writing up an article on the draft results and I’m intrigued to find out what his take is on how the draft played out. I only focused on the quarterbacks and he’ll be looking at each position so maybe it won’t matter as much how quarterbacks were drafted, which could easily be the case with how much they were devalued. Still, I’m looking forward to that article and hopefully it will shed some insight on the draft strategy of the experts that took part in the mock draft when it comes to the quarterback position and 2-QB fantasy football leagues.

This article is courtesy of our good friend Salvatore Stefanile, former fantasy writer for GMenHQ and current editor of