Over the past weeks, I have written about mocks and actual drafts along with playing different varations of fantasy games. Nothing gives us a better feel for the player pool and respect--or lack thereof--players receive, and varying the formats often gives insight to tactics in all fantasy formats than does participating in mocks.
Since I have been playing Fantasy Football, I have played in a number of two-QB leagues where at best one can play a Quarterback at Flex, and at worst where we have to start a pair of signal callers each week.
This is a tougher challenge than it might seem, for in a 12-team league, when we consider bye weeks, it means that 36 Quarterbacks are required for every team to have the slot filled every week to maximum efficiency.
Similarly, the closer we get to the actual 2016 draft season, the less comfortable I am becoming with loading up on Wide Receivers in the first few rounds. Although I do want to grab a couple of good pass catchers as soon as I can, I am still happy to grab a top Quarterback or Running Back amidst the first four rounds, depending upon who I can nab and my position in the draft.
In just a regular league, with 12 teams, grabbing Aaron Rodgers or Cam Newton by the third round simply makes sense, as suggested before. Last year, for example, Newton logged 373 fantasy points while Rodgers bagged 286 according to ESPN's scoring system. By the same token, #1 ranked Antonio Brown scored 243 and Odell Beckham Jr.'s 242 make him the #2 draft selection. All four players are projected to put up a similar number of points this coming season, yet Newton is ranked #35 while Rodgers is #49.
Let me make sure I get this: The guys who touch the ball virtually every down, and who generally land 75-100 more points a season are ranked that many slots lower? This, I do not get.
To me, drafting Newton in the first round is like drafting David Johnson in football, or perhaps Clayton Kershaw in baseball in that you are simply looking at the best possible producer period, irrespective of position. In other words, the hell with scarcity.
But, in a league where we can use--or more strictly must play--a second signal caller, if points are the name of the game, it makes total sense to draft two top players at the spot as soon as is reasonable, for in such a league, a combination of Alex Smith and Russell Wilson can be deadly and in general more predictive than Antonio Brown and Tyler Lockett.
To further the equation, if you are indeed drafting in a format where you must play a pair of Quarterbacks weekly, grab a top one right away, a second within the fourth round, a third by the sixth, and if you can, a fourth.
This might sound insane, but I can promise you even three in the wake of injuries and byes can leave your team thin.
But, more important, the faster you empty that pool (remember that there is an actual scarcity at the position when you play two with 12 teams), suddenly in the middle of the draft your opponents will be scrambling for a QB and you can pick over receivers and running backs while your leaguemates are settling for Josh McCown.
Additionally, once the season begins, those teams either without a third QB, or worse, a squad suffering an injury at the helm, will be happy to swap for your surplus.
Finally, you might need the fourth arm in the event of an injury to your squad.
Draft day is big fun, and it also sets the tone for your season. It is also a time to be deliberate in our moves and selections, and simply going by ADP or fashion does not always bring a championship. And, well, if I can get Cam in the first round, and Lockett in the fifth, what I stick in between those rounds should be good enough to make me competitive, and out of the draft, that is all I can hope for.
By the way, if you are in a deep Dynasty format, grabbing the fourth QB there is similarly not a bad idea.