Why You Should Fade QBs in Superflex: Zero QB Strategy

Zero QB strategy is alive

By Jesse Moeller (Twitter: JMoeller05)

In Superflex leagues the quarterback is king. So why am I writing an article that is telling you to fade quarterbacks in Superflex startup drafts? There is serious value to be had at other positions in the draft if you employ this tactic. You will miss out on prominent players such as Mahomes, Murray, Allen, and Jackson. While you will be able to walk away with marquee names such as Kamara, Taylor, Adams, and Metcalf. I’m here to show you how this proven strategy can give you a leg up on the rest of your league

DLF Superflex Dynasty ADP has eight of the first ten picks as quarterbacks. Here are the picks listed in order. Mahomes, Allen, McCaffrey, Murray, Watson, Herbert, Jackson, Prescott, Burrow, Taylor. There are a few things that jump out to me, one is that the teams desire the stud fantasy quarterback. If we include the second round we jump up to 12 of the first 24 picks being a quarterback. (50%!) The next takeaway is how young they all are. Only two quarterbacks are over 30 years old. They are Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers. Everyone else is 27 or younger.

Quarterback age is easily the most overrated part of a dynasty league. As you can see from the graph below a quarterback does not peak until age 29 season. You do not see a significant drop from the quarterback until age 34. What this tells me is that you are getting similar production at age 26 that you do at age 32. The value of the player may not be similar, but you’re going to get similar production starting Kirk Cousins that you will by starting Joe Burrow. The difference in ADP is massive. Burrow is going in the first round while Ryan is going in the sixth round of drafts. Selecting the older quarterback allows you to select elite skill position players earlier in the draft.

I understand why dynasty teams are clamoring to draft young quarterbacks such as Herbert, Burrow, and Lawrence in round one or two of startup drafts. As the value they hold compared to the rest of the league is incredible. How is that going for teams that drafted Mitchell Trubisky, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Dwayne Haskins, and Jordan Love? Let those other teams take the quarterback early while you stock up on filling out the rest of your roster. I’m going to give you an example of picking from the 6th slot in a 12 team draft based on DLF ADP.

Using the “Zero QB” strategy In the first four rounds I prefer to start building the meat of my team at wide receiver and running back. I choose to start by doubling up at both RB and WR. I have the players below sorted by ADP and would be thrilled to grab one player from each round. 1.06: RB1 Christian McCaffrey, Jonathon Taylor, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara 2.06: WR1 Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, D.K. Metcalf 3.06: RB2 Cam Akers, Antonio Gibson, Ezekiel Elliot, Najee Harris 4.06: WR2 Michael Thomas, Tee Higgins, Terry McLaurin, Ja’Marr Chase

Risk It for the Biscuit

There is some serious risk-reward to passing on a quarterback in the early rounds. As with any strategy adjust it based on how the draft is going. If quarterbacks are flying off the board early, go ahead and grab one in the fourth round. Around QB17-30 is where I prefer to get my two starting quarterbacks. That generally puts you in the fifth through the eighth round of a draft. Giving you choices such as Tua, Cousins, Ryan, Wentz, Brady all the way up to Jameis Winston🙄(I know, I know Mr. Pick Six himself). If you are feeling hopeful you can push it out until about Ryan Fitzpatrick 😱 in the 18th round. I would not recommend it, as that is taking this strategy out to the razor’s edge. I prefer to leave myself a bit more leeway.

Proof Is in the Pudding

While other teams are reaching for quarterbacks early in the draft you are securing cornerstone players that you can set and forget in your lineup. Here is one of my Superflex teams that I drafted this offseason using the “Zero QB” strategy. I am thrilled with how this team came together.

Zero QB strategy in SF is one of my favs

Originally tweeted by Jesse Moeller (@JMoeller05) on April 1, 2021.

Using this strategy I was able to get two high-end fantasy quarterbacks in the sixth & eighth rounds. I added Taysom Hill, Cam Newton, Andy Dalton later in the draft to give myself some depth at the position. What this strategy allows you to do is build ridiculous depth at the skill positions. You can target numerous wide receivers and/or running backs earlier in the draft. even later, you can grab players such as Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel in the double-digit rounds. These players are being pushed further down draft boards to make room for the vaunted 2021 rookie class.

Embrace The Fear

Most of your league mates will be tripping over themselves to trade up into the first or second round to grab one of the top 12 quarterbacks. Happily trade back in the startup and accumulate more picks at building depth and/or future picks. It will be challenging to trust as you are letting the premium talent pass you by. I mean who doesn’t want Kyler Murray and Josh Allen on the roster? Hold firm to the belief that in the long run, you are giving yourself the best chance at winning a championship. Implemented correctly it can lead to a bounty of assets in the third to the sixth round of drafts.

I personally aspire to have as many picks in the third through the sixth round of startups. Those players are only a tier or two below the elite assets in fantasy and have the potential of joining those assets in the upper tier a season later. Let the draft come to you, and savor the success you can achieve with players such as Akers, Gibson, Cooper, Robinson, Higgins, and so on. That range of picks is where you get discounts on players and are easily able to round out the roster from a paper tiger to a dynasty contender.

I hope this article is able to convince you to try this strategy out and see what you think for yourself. It may not be for everyone, however is my favorite strategy in Superflex leagues. Once you try it, I know it will be a strategy that you enjoy.

Three QBs Over 30 to Buy in Superflex Dynasty Leagues

Derek Carr Is a Must Buy

By: Marcel Boudreau

Winning a dynasty fantasy football league, like any fantasy football league, is often achieved by getting players at a value, whether that value be in terms of upside, or stability. This article is biasing Superflex (SF) Dynasty, and highlights three quarterbacks (QBs), all over the age of 30, in which are still being undervalued in the fantasy community, in which you are able to acquire for less than they are worth. Why over the age of 30? Because so many dynasty owners overreact to age and will quickly dump a player nearing the end of their prime, for an unproven young player or future draft picks. 

Ryan Tannehill 

32y.o 

2020 🡪 QB8 

Passing: 33 TDs, 7 INTs, 3819 yards 

Rushing: 7 TDs, 266 yards 

Dynasty SF Value = two 1.04-1.08 draft picks

Dynasty price tag = 1.05 + 2.06-2.12

We were all very suspicious if Tannehill’s second half 2019 season heroics were going to be fluke. 

We were all weary that the passing volume, and opportunity for Tannehill to put up fantasy production would be capped due to the nature of this run heavy offense. 

If the 4-year $118 million extension was not enough to sway us, his 2020 season should be enough proof to make us purchase Tannehill. Below is a list of Pros and Cons.

Cons:

  • 36 Deep Pass Attempts (26th) 🡪 Deep Ball completion % of 33.3% (27th)
    • Minimal big plays limiting his upside in the passing game
  • Protected Rate (24th)
    • Opposing teams could easily get to him.
  • 31.8 pass plays per game (30th)
    • Low volume, less opportunity
  • 23rd in Accuracy Rating 
  • Play Action Completion % of 59.6% (33rd
    • Playing for a run-heavy team, he needs to make these throws count. 

Pros:

  • 12th in Rush Yards and 7 Rushing TDs (4th)
    • Easy fantasy points, higher floor
  • 2nd in true passer rating
  • 3rd in true completion %
  • 5th in catchable pass rate
  • 2nd in fantasy points per drop back.

The narrative that the offense runs through Derrick Henry (quite literally) is true. But Tannehill continues to prove he can co-exist with Henry and be extremely fantasy relevant. Tannehill did all of this, while being on the team with potentially the most COVID issues. He proved he could do it before, as he was the QB 8 back in 2014 with Miami, and he has now proven he can continue to do.

The big question would be if Tannehill is better with or without Henry. The answer is hard to project, but I would assume the similar fantasy outputs. He would go up in volume but decrease in efficiency; Tannehill did score 23 fantasy points in his one game without Henry (vs. 2019 Saints), small sample size, but he was stellar in that game, so he can be trusted regardless how long Henry is on this team.

Matthew Stafford 

33y.o

2020 🡪 QB15 (missed ~1 game)

Passing: 26 TDs, 10 INTs, 4084 yards

Dynasty SF Value = two 1.05-1.10 draft picks

Dynasty price tag = 1.08 + 2.06-2.12

Matthew Stafford began his career playing 13 games in his first two season… since then? He has been a Top 10 QB in six of nine healthy seasons, and top 15 in eight of nine healthy seasons, with one season (2019) only playing eight games. 

How about this season? We need to recognize that he was extremely beat up, had no O-line, and his best receiver was Marvin Jones. Yes, Jones is a great WR, but he’s not an elite WR. His second-best weapon was a toss-up between Hockenson and Swift, but Matt Patricia was doing his best not to play Swift early and went with Adrian Peterson to try and have a decent start to the season knowing his job was in Jeopardy. 

Matthew Stafford, if you haven’t heard, is a Los Angeles Ram. What does this mean? 

Rams have passed more than 35 times per game on average since the start of 2018.

That would be 560+ pass attempts from Stafford. The last time Stafford attempted 560 was 2017, when he finished as the QB 7, making Marvin Jones the WR10, Golladay was a rookie (WR70), and Golden Tate (WR11), Fells and Ebron combined for 7 TDs as well. Why do I bring this up? Stafford is entering a team with Kupp, Woods, Van Jefferson, Akers, Higbee all under contract until 2024. This is arguably the most complete set of skill players on a team, in an offensive scheme that was able to make Goff the QB6 in 2018… what doors that open for Stafford over the next three years? 

How efficient was Stafford with a sub-par crew of weapons in 2020?

  • 10th in true completion %
  • 14th in deep ball completion %
  • 10th in catchable pass rate
  • 14th in production premium
  • 11th in accuracy rating 
  • 12th in passing yards

He did all of this while his receiving group was:

  • 23rd in separation
  • 41st in YAC/T
  • And had the 5th most drops.

I’ve heard the argument of “LAR defense is 1000x better than the Lion’s defense, he will nott have to play from behind and therefore less pass attempts” or something along those lines. 

First off, the Rams were 13-3 in 2018 and Goff threw 561 attempts. Secondly, they play in a conference with Seattle, Arizona, and San Francisco, which has a chance to be one of the highest scoring conferences in the NFL next season, meaning there’s strong chances Stafford will have many games of at least neutral game script. Ultimately, they can be a great team, and Stafford can have the passing volume to support not only a strong fantasy season, but at least 3 in a row.

Derek Carr 

29y.o (30 before start of 2021)

2020 🡪 QB14 (missed ~1 game)

Passing: 27 TDs, 9 INTs, 4103 yards

Running: 3 TDs

Dynasty SF Value = 1st + 2.08-2.10

Dynasty price tag = 2.01-2.06

There are many reasons why you should buy Derek Carr, and a few reasons why you can get him at a discount. 

Why is he a discount? 

He had an extremely average season, with 3 bust games, which all came when you expected boom games. 

  • Week 10 vs DEN (7.16 fantasy points) who just gave 284yds and 3TDs to Matt Ryan in week 8,
  • Week 12 vs ATL (-2.4 fantasy points) who were giving up the most points to the QB.
  • Week 15 (fantasy playoff semifinals) vs LAC (2.12 fantasy points) where he got hurt.

Three bust in five weeks, all end of season when things mattered most, leaving an extremely sour taste in owner’s mouths. Owners are ready to move him at a cheap price as it will feel as weight has been lifted off their shoulders.

Why he’s a dynasty buy? 

Jon Gruden’s offense is a tricky system to learn, people hate it because it looks like it’s only feeding Waller the ball, but there’s a lot more to it than that, and Carr spoke on this in an off-season interview and how it took 2 years to learn it, which is reflected in his QB finishes over last three seasons: 20, 17, 14. 

Derek Carr just threw for a career high 4103 yards (11th) while missing a game, where if he didn’t miss the one game, he was on pace for QB7 in total yards ahead of Aaron Rodgers.

In 2020, Carr was:

  • 11th in TDs thrown (27), 
  • 5th in Red Zone pass attempts,
  • 8th in money throws 
  • 6th in yards per attempt
  • 8th in deep ball attempts (10th in deep ball completion %)
  • 15th in accuracy rating
  • 13th in true passer rating 

He was very efficient for a QB who had Nelson Agholor as his WR1. Waller is still under contract, Ruggs will be a year older, and it’s no secret that the Raiders are trying to make the cap space to sign a top WR Free Agent (Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Juju Smith-Schuster… Godwin I expect back with Tampa, Fuller is a question mark). If we’re being honest, Las Vegas is appealing for any of those guys:

  • Great city/new arena, 
  • Top 3 TE demanding defensive attention 
  • Absolute field stretcher in Ruggs, under contract for another four years.
  • Young, stud RB that defenses need to respect in Jacobs. 
  • LV can make space to pay 17-19 million which would be about their asking prices.

Derek Carr finished as the QB 14, and odds are looking like their offense will have better pieces, and they’ll play in an extremely competitive division, where they will need to score points to stay in games, AND don’t feel threatened that Derek Carr will be traded or replaced as rumors are multiple teams have inquired and the Raiders have replied with a “hard no”. There’s a reason they’re trying to trade away Mariota, and I believe Carr start for the raiders for the remainder of his contract as a Raider. Derek Carr is a player I would advise to buy if your dynasty team is in a “win now” situation, where you can rely on him for at least two more seasons to bring consistent value. 

Conclusion 

To conclude, I am not saying break your bank, ruin your team, or trade great pieces away for these QBs. Evaluate your team, make sure you’re balanced. The easiest way to lose an SF dynasty league is by not having two reliable starting QBs. Both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady were not considered for this article as they’re more on the side of sell high or holds. Matt Ryan was the next guy on the list, which he split hairs with Derek Carr, the uncertainty and rumors of Matt Ryan being potentially replaced in the draft are what deterred him from making the list. That being said, if the Falcons do not draft a QB, Matt Ryan becomes an instant buy-low QB. The last tip here, instead of trading away a first and a second-round pick for these QBs, try to “sell the age” and package in a Drew Lock or a Sam Darnold to preserve the future of your team, while off-loading their questionable futures. 

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