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Friday 20th Oct 2017

Some time back--around the middle of the NFL season--I wrote that it seemed the shift in scoring power in the NFL and fantasy leagues had shifted radically from the Running Back to Quarterback.

Of course, over the years having a high powered QB--like Brett Favre, or Peyton Manning, or Drew Brees--has been critical, and those guys were always pretty much first rounders, but no self respecting team could hope to succeed in the past without a couple of serious running backs.

I need look no further than the Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) League, where Lord Z and I spent our first three picks on Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew and Stevan Ridley, waiting till the sixth round to grab Matt Ryan as our #1 QB.

Now, you would guess from the preceding paragraph that our team has struggled, but the truth is thanks to a couple of really good basic picks--Vernon Davis, Jordy Nelson and the Seahawks defense--joined with some deadly free agent picks (Rashad Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson, Ryan Fitzpatrick), we are still in the postseason hunt.

All of which has revealed some odd thoughts about what one really needs on a team coming out of the draft?

Surely, having Brees, or Manning (as in Peyton, please) cannot be argued, but the teams that are still duking it out in the FSTA are doing so with the likes of Joique Bell, Giovani Bernard, Alshon Jeffery and the Arizona and Carolina defenses.

Meaning staying on top of the waiver wire has been essential to success.

But, in a year where Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Matt Flynn, Josh McCown, Mike Glennon and Ryan Fitzpatrick have somehow emerged/re-invented themselves when on draft day none of us really thought of any of them as viable (well, maybe Fitzpatrick, but not in Tennessee) roster place holders, let alone weekly starters.

And, as fluid as the QB position--aided and abetted by injury--I cannot remember the role being so topsy turvy in a previous season.

Last year, in the Kathy League Gifford, where we must play a pair of QBs each week, I happily took the safe Alex Smith, Eli Manning and Sam Bradford.

However, in the Utter Genius League, where we may play a second QB at one of the offensive flex spots, I let go of Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, freezing instead Ray Rice and Arian Foster, drafting Smith and Joe Flacco to fill the QB spot.

So, this year in Gifford, I took Smith, Flacco and Ryan Tannerhill as my third/bye option.

The bottom line is that both teams are doing ok, but not good enough to win, for the Gifford team is 11 games back in an All Play set-up, while the Foster injury has relegated my Utter Genius team to the consolation round for the first time in four years.

I guess the bottom line is I can seem to see what really works best, other than as noted, grabbing three or four really strong players irrespective of position in the draft, and then building the rest of your roster out with the best waiver moves possible.

The thing is, I remember coming into this year's draft, the big thought was Quarterback was so deep, you really did not need to worry about that spot the same as Running Back.

Well, in a way that was true, since having a solid RB has been tough to find and keep active this year, but, similarly, if you relied on one of those guys in the deep QB slot, chances are you were eventually fishing in the waiver pool by the time the season was half up.

The question is, did that make a difference?

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