and Ian Millman
Last Updated: Aug 24, 2012 3:06 PM
10 Commandments for Winning at Fantasy Football
This is the fifth in a series of articles geared toward winning at fantasy football. To find more content on useful ways you can win your league, click here
5th Commandment - Thou Shall Wait on Thy Quarterback
If you plan right, he will come. Try and be one of the last guys in your league to get a QB, use your FF Champ's Draft Tracker, and wait until almost everyone else in your league has their starter. Almost every year the top tier of QB's goes way too early, in 2012 we are talking about Brady, Brees and Rodgers. Once those guys go off there will be a run for the likes of Cam Newton, Matthew Staffor, and the guys you are left with will most likely consist of Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo, and Mike Vick and hopefully one of our top 2012 sleepers, Matt Ryan.
Once these teams take their first QB they are usually a little behind at either running back or receiver and won't take their second QB for a while; this gives you even more time. In a recent draft for Pro Forecast Magazine we took our first QB in the 8th round and he was the 9th QB taken off the board. The name doesn't matter, but we have him projected to score 270 points, plus we think he has tons of upside, but that's neither here nor there. Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers were both taken in the 1st two rounds and we have them at 495 points and 472 points respectively. Over a 17 week season (that's how we project) that's less than 2 points per week difference between our guy and their guys. In the meantime, while teams were picking those QB's we took our 3rd runner for depth, our number 2 WR and a stud TE. You tell me, who got the better value?
Two rounds later we followed up with our 9th ranked QB, effectively getting our 8th and 9th ranked QB, both of whom we think have upside in the 8th and 10th rounds. We were able to come back with another QB that fast because teams were now scrambling to try and find lightning in a bottle at WR and RB , positions which we had long shored up, and we think are much more important.
If you just look at the pure number of quality QB's out there, this theory holds water. All you need is any of the top 8-12 QB's, and he will score enough points at the position to keep you in the league. But the value that you added to your roster in the meantime, mainly at RB and WR in those earlier rounds, will carry you to the Playoffs. Our strong belief is that WRs are often the difference maker position in leagues as most guys just don't gravitate toward drafting them. By waiting on QB we get to build hopefully the strongest WR corps in our league and our RBs won't suffer too much.
Worst case scenario, the two QB's we took will be average and we will play matchups to squeeze a little more out of them. Best case scenario is one of them plays like a top 5 QB, effectively making him a 3-6 round pick, if you compare him to where the other QB's were taken.
The point is – wait for a QB. You may not end up with the most exciting QB on the field like Drew Brees, but what's more exciting – having the best QB, or hoisting the trophy at the end of the year? So let the other guys waste early picks on Rodgers and the rest of them, and you sit back and wait for a guy that won't underperform by that much. But you see if they can find a Running Back or Wide Receiver who will perform like the guys you take in the 2nd through 4th rounds.
***DISCLAIMER – There are certain leagues where we DO NOT advocate waiting this long on QBs, and sometimes in fact we go after them early. We touched on this in the 1st Commandment, but here are the examples:
-If your league awards 6 points per pass TD, and/or 1 point per 15 yards passing, QBs REALLY should score a lot more than the other positions, so it would be OK to reach for one of the top 5 QBs. I still wouldn't take ANY QB in the 1st 2 rounds, but by round 3 I would look to get one of the best 4 or 5 QBs and if I missed one by the 3rd I'd go back to waiting on the QB a bit more.
-One league I am in let's you flex any position in that spot (QB or Defense included). QBs score the most (as in most leagues), so I make sure to not only NOT wait on a QB, I try to take 2 early. Maybe even 2 within the first 4 rounds, as I want a decided advantage over my competition every week at that position, (FYI, I've won that league the last 2 years and came in 2nd the only other year I was in it).