2020 NFL Draft Guide: Superflex League Set-Up, Rules & Draft Strategy
Ryan Hallam offers up his steps to being successful in your fantasy football SuperFlex drafts.
The purpose of the Fantasy Alarm Draft Guide is to be sure that you are ready for your draft, no matter what kind of draft that might be. Fantasy football has evolved into all different kinds of leagues now as people look for more ways to enjoy the game we love. Few types of leagues are increasing in popularity and in frequency as Superflex leagues. For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the term, a Superflex league is one in which that allows you to start a quarterback in your flex position. While traditional leagues allow just running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends in your flex, this added position to the flex spot brings in a world of new strategy to the game. In this article we will go over how to set up a Superflex leagues, as well as some unique rules, and will finish it up with some draft strategies.
The Setup and Rules
This part isn’t too complicated. The only real change here from the traditional league is that, as stated before, quarterbacks can be started in the flex spot. This is a little different from a two-quarterback league where you are required to have two quarterbacks in your starting lineup. Superflex leagues gives you the option to do so, it is not required. Other than that, the setup is the same as any other league. However, if you are setting up a new Superflex league, allow me to make a suggestion and that is to add another flex spot, and one that doesn’t allow for a quarterback to go there. Where a lot of traditional fantasy football leagues have one flex spot, have two in your Superflex league. One that allows for the quarterback, and one that does not. That makes your starting rosters a little bit bigger and adds more strategy to the roster. Most people are going to start a quarterback in a flex if they are allowed, so adding that second flex spot keeps starting rosters sizes comparable to traditional leagues. The more that fantasy football evolves, the more strategy and a depth of knowledge comes into play. Have the Superflex spot but have another traditional flex spot to give the advantage to those who do their homework and know how to find the gems later in drafts.
Another suggestion would be to alter the point system for quarterbacks slightly. They are the position that scores the most points, so you don’t want someone to have a huge advantage in your league by just selecting the two best quarterbacks. Don’t make it something huge, just a small change. For example, be sure that quarterbacks only get four points per passing touchdown. Some leagues use six points for any touchdown regardless of position, and this would put quarterbacks as incredibly important. Perhaps make the penalty for interceptions three points instead of two, or maybe make other positions a little more valuable by adding points for first downs. Just something to make the quarterback slightly less valuable than they already are.
This is where the fun of Superflex leagues come in. While for years those in the fantasy football industry have been telling you to wait on quarterbacks, Superflex leagues certainly call that into question. It is clear that quarterbacks traditionally score the most points in fantasy football. In half point PPR leagues in 2019, 20 of the top 30-point scorers were quarterbacks. Gardner Minshew, who didn’t even start every game and could be best described as average, scored more fantasy points than Chris Godwin who had a breakout season at wide receiver. Mitch Trubisky, who can’t even be described as average, scored more fantasy points than Alvin Kamara , DeVante Parker , Amari Cooper , and Joe Mixon . After that little exercise, I hope that you understand how important quarterbacks are. So, while in traditional one quarterback leagues you can wait to choose your signal caller and still get a good guy, Superflex leagues you should act pretty quickly on your first quarterback, and then you can usually wait a little while to get your second. While some people do subscribe to this, I don’t think that it is important, nor wise to take quarterbacks in each of the first two rounds. I mean if you were somehow able to get Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson that might be different, but Superflex leagues don’t mean to draft both quarterbacks right away. In 2019, the top five quarterbacks were Jackson, Dak Prescott , Jameis Winston , Russell Wilson , and Deshaun Watson . Obviously, getting any of those guys gave you a distinct advantage. After that, from QB6 (Josh Allen ) to QB19 (Baker Mayfield ), the difference in points was 297.56 for Allen to 250.18 for Mayfield. That is a difference of 47.38 points for the season, or just under three points a week. For the difference of three points a week, I am not going to rush to draft my second quarterback. I’m going to load up on running backs and receivers and get my second quarterback somewhere after Round 6. Now, some Superflex drafts will be really loaded up on quarterbacks, and sometimes you have to make the move for your second one earlier than you’d like but read your draft room and act accordingly. But the important strategy of Superflex is when you make the move for your quarterback so that you don’t get stuck holding the bag with a bum in your starting lineup.
Carrying a Third QB
How important is having a quarterback in that Superflex spot? Well, I think my rundown of the points scored in 2019 lays it out pretty clearly. However, is it worth carrying a third quarterback on your roster for bye weeks? In my opinion, yes. Based on points per game Jacoby Brissett was the 28th highest scoring quarterback with 14.85 per contest. I think we would all agree, while Brissett isn’t a bad quarterback, he isn’t great for fantasy. Well, his 14.85 points per game was higher than every single receiver, and that includes Michael Thomas and his record-breaking year. For running backs, only Christian McCaffrey , Derrick Henry , Dalvin Cook , Aaron Jones , and Ezekiel Elliott averaged more than Brissett on a per game basis. Jacoby Brissett ! The guy who was only named the Colts starter a couple weeks before the season started because Andrew Luck retired unexpectedly. So, a quarterback who was towards the bottom of the position at points per game was still better than every receiver and almost every running back. So yeah, it is important to have a third quarterback on your roster for bye weeks, or even worse potential injury.
Timing Is Everything
I think enough points have been made that you want to have solid quarterbacks, although not at the expense of the rest of your roster. It is important to know when to pull the trigger on your second quarterback. You could use your first two picks, but you are sure to leave the rest of your starting lineup light at other positions. The best thing to do is to have guys that you are targeting for your second at the position. If you are one who wants to wait as long as possible to maximize your running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends, you can use another approach, which is identify the bottom guy that you would be happy with, and wait. Once you see that player is close to getting picked, then act. This can run you into trouble because it only takes one other draftee to be targeting the same player and you are left light at the position. Timing is everything, but drafts don’t always work out like we hope, and sometimes that is a hard lesson to learn. The better strategy is to have four or five players that you target that are outside of the top 12 at the position and monitor the draft to see the best time to strike.
Second Quarterback Draft Targets
We already laid out how important it is to take a second quarterback, so once you get yourself some running backs and wide receivers, here are a few guys that make perfect candidates to be your QB2.
Matthew Stafford , Detroit Lions. Stafford was having an MVP-type season last year before his fractured back cost him the rest of the year. All indications are that he will be 100% coming into the season. He has a number of good weapons with Kenny Golladay , Marvin Jones , and Danny Amendola at wide receiver and with second year tight end T.J. Hockenson also healthy, there’s no reason to think that Stafford won’t be successful again this year. The back injury is a concern, especially since it came out of nowhere last year, but Stafford is a great bet if you could get him as your number two.
Daniel Jones, New York Giants. This guy’s ADP is starting to rise, so you might not be able to get him as your second, but it would be awesome. Jones showed a lot of promise in his rookie year, although he showed carelessness with the ball too which he needs to clean up. He fumbled like it was part of his job. However, he has good mobility so will get you points running, although not on a level like Josh Allen . He has three solid receivers, a great pass catching running back, and when healthy a dynamite tight end. The Giants offense should be solid this year, and Jones has the looks of a star in this league.
Baker Mayfield , Cleveland Browns. He had a dynamite rookie season before the wheels completely fell off last season. However, Mayfield has talent, and he certainly has the weapons. The Browns went out and got the best tight end in free agency in Austin Hooper to give him even more firepower on offense. They also did their best to protect Mayfield by drafting a lineman early and bringing in one of the best linemen in free agency to Cleveland in Jack Conklin . I am still not 100% bought in on Mayfield, but in theory everything is in place for him to succeed. The risk is lower for you if he is your second quarterback instead of your top guy, and he has the capability to throw 30 touchdowns. The question is if he will.
Jared Goff , Los Angeles Rams. Once on the fast track to superstardom in the NFL, many fantasy players have really backed down on their love of Goff and the Rams offense, except for Robert Woods it seems. The Rams offense certainly wasn’t the second coming of the Greatest Show on Turf in 2019, but Goff found his groove in the second half of the year. In fact, he had two or more passing touchdowns in each of the last five games of the season. While the running situation is a little in flux with the loss of Todd Gurley , the Rams look to replace him with rookie Cam Akers. He still has two dynamite receivers in Cooper Kupp and the aforementioned Woods, and multiple pass catching tight ends. Goff might not be an elite option as your starting quarterback, but if he can throw fewer interceptions in 2020 he will be a top of the line Superflex option.
Ben Roethlisberger , Pittsburgh Steelers. This is another one that is injury fueled as Big Ben is coming back from Tommy John Surgery following an elbow injury last season. There isn’t a lot of history of quarterbacks having this surgery, but we have seen videos of Roethlisberger throwing the ball and all looks well. He might not have Antonio Brown to throw to anymore, but JuJu Smith-Schuster has certainly shown the ability to be a top-flight receiver. The young tandem of Diontae Johnson and James Washington also help make this offense explosive. The Steelers also brought in Eric Ebron , perhaps giving Ben the most athletic tight end he has had in his career. He hasn’t had a fully healthy season with less than 28 touchdown passes since 2012, and while he is getting up there in age, I am fully confident that Roethlisberger still has it, and is a dynamite choice for a second quarterback.
Drew Lock , Denver Broncos. One of the up and coming young quarterbacks in the NFL, everything appears to be in line for Lock. The team brought in Melvin Gordon who is not only a solid back, but a great pass catcher out of the backfield. They also drafted two receivers in this year’s draft, including Jerry Jeudy, who many pegged as the best receiver in the class. Lock showed a great rapport with Courtland Sutton last season, which should go a long way towards his development. Emerging tight end Noah Fant should also take the next step along with Lock, and for the first time in a number of years, it appears that the offense could be explosive in Denver. Lock has a real shot at 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns this season.
Superflex leagues are among my favorite, and I think will continue to grow in popularity. Hopefully, this has you set to get into a league or two like this and dominate your draft and the season. Good luck and stay safe.