3 Tips for Drafting a Fantasy QB

It’s not impossible to have a good team without a good quarterback, but it’s not super likely to happen.

Most teams with great defenses and mediocre quarterbacks are living on borrowed time. One ranking called the quarterback position isn’t just the most important in football, but the most important position in sports, period.

While your fantasy football team doesn’t work quite the same way as a real football team, you’re still going to need a reliable quarterback. Here are three tips for drafting a QB who can help your team to the league championship this fall.

Don’t draft too high

If you get first pick in this year’s draft, then you should automatically draft a quarterback, right? Not exactly. If you were a real general manager in a real war room and you needed a QB, then sure. But you have to play by different strategy when it comes to fantasy football.

Drafting a QB with your first pick is just as likely to pay off as drafting a QB with your last pick. That’s thanks to something called replacement value. When it comes to drafting a running back or wide receiver, you’re more likely to get a higher value in the first few rounds. But that same disproportionately high value doesn’t exist when it comes to QBs.

Any fantasy football fan must also consider the waiver wire. In real life, halfway decent QBs aren’t cut nearly as often as they are in fantasy football. You may not find Aaron Rodgers on the waiver wire, but you might find someone like Andy Dalton.

It’s even better if the Bengals are playing a team with a bad pass defense that week. In that case, a guy like Dalton is more likely to put up gaudier numbers that can lead your team to victory that week.

Read through the rankings

Reputation counts for a lot in the NFL, but a good QB reputation isn’t enough to help your team to the title. You have to take a look at things like QB statistics and QB rankings before you draft, not after. Don’t assume a QB is still doing well without checking the numbers first.

For example, maybe a previously elite QB has actually been struggling since an injury last year. Sure, his team is still winning, but he’s not doing a lot to help the cause. Rankings can help you cut through the noise.

Then there are quarterbacks like Carson Wentz. Sure, the guy just signed $128 million extension. That’s a lot of cheesesteak money, and both Wentz and the Eagles are understandably happy about the deal. But he’s also still got to prove he can stay healthy.

Looking at a variety of rankings will give you a clearer idea of the big picture when it comes to NFL QBs.

Don’t outsmart yourself

Let’s say you’re drafting in the middle rounds and see a QB who is so good that you drop your phone. First, pick up your phone (and maybe look into screen repair). Then hit the draft button. If a guy like Patrick Mahomes falls into your lap, don’t question it.

Fantasy football is all about strategy, but your strategy should not be “Ponder a decision until you talk yourself out of it.” You need high-value players, sure, but you also need guys who can flat-out play. It’s very unlikely that you’re going to find a QB like Mahomes on the waiver wire.

Think of it like wide open pass coverage. If there’s a guy in the end zone with no one around him, you should throw to him. Don’t hesitate and lose your chance at easy points.

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