Last week after my Fighting Chance best ball superflex draft wrapped up (the one with the crazy scoring), I tweeted I planned to join a couple more leagues to keep me actively drafting into August. I joined a unique format best ball + March Madness knockout tournament league. That draft starts this morning.
I also joined a best ball draft over at FFPC, same format as their main event, except it is superflex. Superflex (hyphen super-flex or no hypen?) means that one of the available flex spots can be used for a quarterback, not only the traditional RB, WR or TE. Since quarterbacks typically score more fantasy points than the other positions, and perhaps are less volatile, every team normally attempts to fill their superflex spot with a QB, starting two each week.
One key rule of FFPC format leagues is they are start 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE and 2 Flex spots. In this case, as mentioned, one flex spot is superflex. The other key rule of note is in the scoring. All positions are 1 point-per-reception (PPR) except TE is 1.5 PPR, really driving up the value of the tight end position. It is not uncommon to see TE fly off the board in FFPC drafts.
Now certainly, quarterbacks will go at a premium in this particular league thanks to the superflex, but wow, I did not expect it to be this QB-heavy through the first six rounds. I (luckily?) drew the number one overall pick. Here is a draft recap of my picks and the QB frenzy that ensued.
Superflex Best Ball Draft Recap
With the number one overall pick in the draft, I followed my own advice, and drafted Todd Gurley. Two quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, were selected with the 7th and 10th overall picks, respectively. That is not unexpected in a superflex draft. Now I have the long wait, 22 picks, until my next turn.
Deshaun Watson, Tom Brady and Cam Newton drafted 2.02 through 2.04. It not a big surprise these guys were taken, but the guy with Wilson took Brady. He is doubling up at QB. That is a little unusual. Note Team 12 didn’t take a QB at all, instead opting for Kareem Hunt and Odell Beckham Jr., a fantastic start.
Wait, we are only at the 2.04 pick at this point. One would normally expect at least one of the usual top six to seven QB by ADP to get back to the Round 2-3 turn so I at least have the option to take a top tier QB. Teams with the 3rd and 2nd overall picks took Drew Brees and Carson Wentz at 2.10 and 2.11. That is seven quarterbacks drafted in the first 23 picks.
Now I have a pair of picks. As we know, QB scoring is high relative to RB and WR, but the differential in fantasy points from one to another through the next dozen or so quarterbacks, give or take, is negligible. Most experienced fantasy players know that and prefer to wait to draft a QB. There are some exceptional players available to me, so I take a player I never expected I could add here in an FFPC draft, Rob Gronkowski.
Following up Gronk, I am still left to choose between Davante Adams and Michael Thomas, WR5 and WR6 on my board. I add Adams, giving me the #1 RB, #1 TE (in a TE premium league) and #5 WR. Another long wait.
Michael Thomas went right after me, a great pick for the team with the second overall pick. Immediately after, three more QB are picked – Kirk Cousins, Ben Roethlisberger and Matthew Stafford. Team 3 has now doubled up at QB, same as Team 10 earlier. No other QB taken but it is still a little surprising to see great players like Christian McCaffrey and A.J. Green fall to the back half of the third round.
Team 12 did not take a QB again, showing that owner and I come from the same school of thought on QB value. Even in a superflex you don’t want to overpay for a QB. The majority of them still score very close to one another over the course of the season. I usually try to get a top QB at an acceptable value, and then a second QB in the bottom half of the middle or lower tier of starters, again, providing acceptable value.
This is where things really go haywire. From picks 4.02 to 4.11 (10 picks), seven of the selections were quarterbacks. At this point only two teams – me and Team 12 – do not own a QB. Five teams have a pair of QB, and one – Team 3 – has three. Three, really? I begin to wonder if these guys realize that only one of the flex spots can be a QB, not both.
I am pretty much forced to take a QB with this pick. This is one of those picks that turns your stomach a bit, but between Alex Smith and Dak Prescott, I opt for Smith. They were the top two choices based on job security, and I tapped Smith over Dak due to better supporting cast and more belief in Jay Gruden’s Redskins offense than the Cowboys.
At this point, with the help of Draft Buddy, I can easily identify there are nine QB that I would consider acceptable QB2. They are Blake Bortles, Prescott, Case Keenum, Andy Dalton, Ryan Tannehill, Eli Manning, Mitch Trubisky, Derek Carr and Tyrod Taylor. Jameis Winston is also still available. I have practically no interest in Winston this season, but this is good because surely someone will draft him before my list of nine is exhausted.
Also with the help of Draft Buddy, I can check each team’s roster and make and educated guess how many QB should get drafted between now and my next pick. Surely the guys who already have two QB will not draft another, leaving a maximum of six to get drafted, maybe another team adds a third QB, so seven total. Maybe I am picking between Dalton and Tannehill next round. Not ideal, but acceptable, as they won’t be remarkably different than any of the rest, depending who ultimately plays the full 16 game schedule.
Again, there are still some incredible players on the board given all of the QB picks. T.Y. Hilton is ranked my #10 WR, and seems to be edging up draft boards as positive reports continue to roll in about Andrew Luck. He is the pick edging out Jay Ajayi.
Six QB get drafted the rest of round five. Team 5 decided to take their third QB. Oh boy.
Team 12 took their first QB in Round 5, and then second at the top of Round 6. That is my predicted max seven to be drafted in the 22 picks since my last turn. Everyone happy now? Can we get back to our regularly scheduled draft?
Would you believe four more after 6.01 took a QB? Six teams now have three QB through six rounds. Even Joe Flacco was taken at 6.11 right in front of me. That is almost a blessing, so I didn’t feel obliged to draft Joe Flacco.
At this point however, I pretty much say to heck with it. It is Alex Smith or bust at QB, so I add Demaryius Thomas as my WR3, and Evan Engram at 7.01 as my TE2. I am a little off on Engram this season but thought he was a decent value my last pick given the 1.5 PPR for TE, so excellent value this late.
Lessons LearnedI don’t remember seeing this many quarterbacks drafted this early in a draft, whether it be must-start 2QB or super-flex. Something to keep in mind when reviewing recaps of fantasy football drafts involving experts is that they very often wait each other out as long as possible at the QB position. It is almost like a game of chicken – fantasy chicken? That draft strategy may not be indicative of more casual drafters you play against online or in your local fantasy league.
Another thing is drafting from the end gave me a lot less flexibility to adjust mid-draft. Even drafting 2-3 spots off either end, which is my preferred draft spot, would shorten up the turns and make it easier to predict positions drafted between my picks. Understanding the lack of flexibility, consider being less concerned with player value at each pick and more strict on roster construction under a potential worst-case scenario (i.e. all of the quarterbacks dry up).
Looking back, maybe I reach for Stafford or Philip Rivers instead of taking Adams in the 3rd, and leave the rest the same so Hilton is my WR1. I love Adams this season, but that may have resulted in the best overall team at this point given the way the rest of this draft played out.