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. It has been increasing in popularity for a few years now, but superflex is not going anywhere! For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the term, a superflex league is one in which it 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 league, 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 give 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. 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 RB/WR/TE a little more valuable by adding points for first downs. Just something to make the quarterback slightly less important than they already are.
This is where the fun of superflex leagues comes 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 2020, 15 of the top 20-point scorers were quarterbacks. Cam Newton scored more points than Travis Kelce for crying out loud! Philip Rivers, who everyone knew was done, outscored David Montgomery, Calvin Ridley, and Justin Jefferson! 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. Some will go right away and nab their two quarterbacks with their first two picks. Unless you have an absolute gem falling to you, I usually don’t subscribe to this theory. The position is generally deep enough that there will be a fairly quality option fall to you somewhere between rounds four and six. The top ten quarterbacks in 2020 all averaged between 22-25 fantasy points. Obviously, getting any of those guys gave you a distinct advantage. From QB11 (Kirk Cousins) to QB22 (Carson Wentz) the average was only about four points a week with Cousins averaging nearly 20 per week and Mayfield averaging nearly 16. For the difference of four 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 four or five rounds later on. 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 to 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
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 Drew Lock was the 27th highest scoring quarterback with 15.1 per contest. Lock was tough to watch last year, and his fantasy work was less than desirable. Well, his 15.1 points per game was higher than every single receiver not named Davante Adams or Tyreek Hill. Drew Lock! He was so good that the Broncos went out and got Teddy Bridgewater (whether that is an upgrade remains to be seen). Of the running backs who played regularly only Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, and Nick Chubb scored more per game. 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, especially the way that running backs are being hoarded this year in drafts. You don’t want to leave yourself with David Johnson and James Conner as your starting running backs, imagine what your bench options would be! 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. All of these guys are outside the top 12 at the position by ADP according to FantasyPros.
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
He finally gets out of Detroit and has a chance to run a real offense with the Rams. We will see if Sean McVay was being held back by Jared Goff’s average play or if McVay isn’t the offensive genius he was made out to be. Stafford has the arm strength to make any throw on the field and his toughness could never be questioned. After having his top receiver being Marvin Jones last season, Stafford will have a much better chance at success this season with Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp with a good pass catching back in Cam Akers. Stafford only has two 30 touchdown seasons to his career, but he definitely has a chance to do it again with an upgraded offensive line and weapons.
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
I am not going to lie, this one comes with some risk. However, the longer that time goes by with nothing coming down about these lawsuits makes me think that Watson is going to be fine. And don’t even think of listening to the team saying “we will make a decision on Watson soon.” They have no real backup plan at quarterback and if Watson is not suspended, he will be under center for the Texans. And while they lost Will Fuller, they still have Brandin Cooks and even Randall Cobb isn’t bad. Either way, Watson has elite talent both with his arm and his legs and will be a top ten fantasy quarterback assuming he plays. His ADP is understandably pretty low, but man if things break right, you get yourself one hell of a bargain.
Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
He is dealing with a hamstring injury, but Lawrence is one of the more ballyhooed rookies (not sure I ever wrote ballyhooed before) in a number of years. He has a great arm and can also run to score points too. Jacksonville has a number of good weapons with Laviska Shenault, D.J. Chark, and the very reliable hands of Marvin Jones. The run game should be better, and the addition of rookie Travis Etienne makes the offense even more exciting. Lawrence has a great football IQ and I expect him to have great success in Year 1.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
I know, gross. Hear me out though. He has two top-20 wide receivers, one of the best pass catching backs in football, and a hopefully up and coming tight end. Sure, they drafted Kellen Mond, but Cousins is coming off a 4,265-yard, 35 touchdown season. Justin Jefferson is absolutely dynamic and Adam Thielen is still very effective. If we like the receiving weapons around him, we have to like the quarterback, no? He finished the season with two or more touchdowns in eight of his last nine games. Cousins isn’t a great real NFL quarterback, but for 2021 you can do way worse from a fantasy perspective for a second quarterback than Cousins.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
This is the same argument as I had with Cousins. If we are drafting three Steelers wide receivers inside the top 30 pass catchers how can we NOT like the guy throwing them the ball????? I know he is old, and he had a rough injury in 2019 but Big Ben still had 13 games with multiple touchdowns in 2020 and averaged 40 pass attempts per game. He is 39-years old, but still has it and has great weapons around him. Many are figuring that Roethlisberger is on the decline, but his stats say otherwise.
Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins
I know he wasn’t overly impressive in his rookie season outside of a few games, but you have to remember that many quarterbacks come in a little rocky in their first year and Tagovailoa was coming off a really serious hip injury. Let’s face it he fell a few picks in the draft that he did because of it. He proved that he is very careful with the ball and mostly made good decisions. He is now another year away from the injury and at least says he feels great. Miami also went out and drafted his former college teammate Jaylen Waddle and brought in big play threat Will Fuller in the offseason. That puts less pressure on DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki. Tua is loaded with talent and now has great weapons around him, and I see a big step forward in Year 2.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington Football Team
Obviously, if your league gives out points for your quarterback for being a cool guy, Fitzpatrick would be a QB1 and maybe THE QB1. But he also is still a pretty decent quarterback too. He does have some games where he is really off, but Fitzpatrick has a world of confidence and isn’t afraid to make any throw. He now has one of the better receivers that he has had in his career in Terry McLaurin and a very reliable tight end in Logan Thomas. The team also brought a dynamic weapon in Curtis Samuel and drafted Dyami Brown in the third round. Antonio Gibson not only keeps the defense healthy with a good run game, but Washington also has J.D. McKissic who proved to be an elite pass catching option out of the backfield. There really isn’t anyone to challenge him for the job so Fitzmagic should play all 16 games assuming he is healthy.
Carson Wentz, Indianapolis Colts
Many completely gave up on Wentz last year, and I can’t argue that his decision making is not always great. However, he still had seven games of multiple passing touchdowns in 12 games on a team where basically no receivers were healthy for much of the year. He also can run as he had 276 rush yards with five touchdowns last season giving him extra value. He now goes to Indianapolis who has one of the best offensive lines and run games in the league. And a washed-up Philip Rivers still threw for 4,169 yards and 24 touchdowns. Wentz is 11 years younger, much more mobile, and more talented at this point than Rivers was. If Parris Campbell can stay healthy and T.Y. Hilton can turn back the clock a little, Wentz can have good weapons with Michael Pittman improving in his second year. Considering his ADP, Wentz is still a strong option for a second quarterback.
Superflex leagues are among my favorites, 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. And remember we always win together as a #FAmily