Savvy Fantasy drafters know that when it comes to quarterbacks, it’s not about reaching for one of the first guys off the board or purposely waiting until the double-digit rounds. It’s about maximizing value by drafting a great Fantasy quarterback at an excellent, practically impossible-to-believe spot.
Did you draft Tom Brady or Justin Herbert last year? Both were Round 6 picks. Both were loaded with awesome potential (one with much more of a track record than the other). Both went a full three rounds after Josh Allen. While Allen was the best Fantasy quarterback in 2021, he was less than a full point per game better than Brady and Herbert. You tell me who had the better value.
Your goal isn’t to try and steal a quarterback, and you obviously don’t want to take one too soon. It’s that v-word — value — that you should aim for. It’s the foundation of almost every pick you’ll make, but it’s easiest to do with quarterbacks because there are a lot of good ones and almost all of them are undervalued compared to rushers and pass-catchers.
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So when is it too early to take a signal-caller? You’d give up value if you took a Tier 1 quarterback before Round 3. This specifically speaks to Herbert, who had the quietest 5,000-yard season ever. He’s fallen as far as Round 6 in some of our drafts – just ludicrous value for a guy who could lead all of Fantasy in points per game. I’d rather wait on him than take Allen.
The same can be said of Brady, who is my favorite Tier 2 quarterback but could fall past 80th overall. He might be the only quarterback I’m not taking at value, but that’s based on what his ADP is right now. I expect him to rise and be a value in Round 6.
Expect all the quarterbacks through Tier 3 to get taken by the end of Round 11 in one-QB leagues. That means that even if you never get comfortable with a draft value for a quarterback in your first eight picks, you should still find someone with good value.
DAVE’S FAVORITE STRATEGY IF YOU START ONE QB: Wait until there’s a real good value at quarterback and go for it, even if it’s in Round 5. Don’t hesitate to take a second quarterback if it’s an appropriately-ranked second- or third-year player and you have seven or more bench spots.
DAVE’S TREY LANCE STRATEGY: Because of his rushing talent, big arm and the improved outlook for the 49ers passing game, I believe Lance has more upside to be a league-winner than anyone else past 100th overall. If I get to that point without a quarterback, I’m taking him. And then I’ll immediately be on the lookout for a second quarterback to pair with him as a safeguard for my squad. One combo I particularly like: Lance (who plays the Bears and Seahawks in Weeks 1 and 2 before a tough schedule kicks in) and Kirk Cousins (who plays the Lions in Week 3).
DAVE’S ALL-IN ON YOUNG QB STRATEGY: Lance has great matchups in Weeks 1 and 2, and Justin Fields has great matchups in Weeks 3 and 4 (Texans, Giants). You could feasibly draft both young dual-threats, map them out for the first month of the season, and by Week 5 have a good idea of who you can trust moving forward. If one hits, you’re doing great. If both hit, you’ve got trade pieces. If neither hit, there’s always waivers.
DAVE’S FAVORITE STRATEGY IF YOU START TWO QBs: The position depth goes away quickly in Superflex and two-QB formats and everything you just read basically flies out the window. I don’t like to mess around in these formats and will spend two of my first three selections on quarterbacks just so I have two quality starters (and hopefully upside-loaded studs).