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Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Optimal approach for picking QBs in 2022

1. Cardinals (1): Don't believe in the league's only unbeaten team? Arizona also boasts the NFL's largest point differential (+111), is the toughest team to score on (16.3 points allowed per game), is getting defensive reinforcements off the COVID-19 list -- including OLB Chandler Jones -- and is already effectively integrating new TE Zach Ertz, the first player to catch a TD pass in successive weeks ... for different teams. Oh yeah ... and Kyler Murray. Syndication Usa Today

Depending on league size, rules and scoring format, there are several roster construction strategies that can lead to a successful fantasy football draft.

Today, we will examine the 2022 fantasy football quarterback landscape, along with when — and why — we should draft certain players at specific points in the draft.

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STRATEGY OVERVIEW

I have placed highly in major season-long redraft tournaments using them all: zero RB, anchor RB, hyper-fragile, taking an early quarterback, waiting on a quarterback, taking a premature tight end, waiting on tight end… the list goes on and on.

Every season is different, and every draft is a dynamic, living organism. The sooner we trap ourselves into one strategy, the quicker we expose ourselves when other drafters have the same idea and foil our plans.

This article is about creating flexibility by identifying market inefficiencies — think of it as solving a puzzle backward. We can formulate an adaptable if-then strategy by understanding which positions provide value based on average draft position (ADP).

Whether you start RB-RB, RB-WR or WR-WR, you will know who your targets are round-by-round, so you know when to wait for value and when to get aggressive.

Definitions:

  • ESPN ADP = redraft, point per reception (PPR) leagues
  • Yahoo! ADP = redraft, half-point per reception (0.5 PPR) leagues
  • FFPC ADP = redraft, tight end premium leagues per Fantasy Mojo
  • Underdog = best ball, half-point per reception (0.5 PPR) leagues

ESPN and Yahoo! offer the most realistic ADP expectations for redraft leagues against our friends while FFPC and Underdog offer a look at large-field national contests. Tight ends go higher in at the FFPC, and quarterbacks go sooner on Underdog because everyone drafts at least two in best ball.


EARLY-ROUND QBS

ESPN Yahoo! FFPC Underdog
Picks: Top 75 Top 65 Top 100 Top 70
12 Team – Rounds: 2 to 6 2 to 6 4 to 8 2 to 6
10 Team – Rounds: 3 to 7 2 to 7 5 to 9 2 to 7
8 Team – Rounds: 3 to 9 3 to 8 6 to 12 3 to 8

Quarterbacks going in this range: Josh AllenJustin HerbertPatrick MahomesLamar JacksonKyler MurrayJalen HurtsJoe Burrow

Centerpieces: Murray, Jackson and Hurts

ESPN ADP Yahoo! ADP FFPC ADP Underdog ADP
Kyler Murray 69 59 78 62
Lamar Jackson 49 44 69 49
Jalen Hurts 67 63 78 62

When other managers are battling to take questionable skill positions in flat tiers, these three quarterbacks make ideal pivot plays, offering league-crushing potential at or around their ADPs. To see where to start considering these quarterbacks versus other positions, check out my top 150.

Murray is in my top QB tier along with Allen but goes three to four rounds later, making him my most rostered quarterback in the early rounds. He is one of only a handful of players who has the upside to pass for 4,500 and rush for 750 yards. The Arizona Cardinals’ schedule is full of shootout opportunities, and Murray has multiple stacking options.

Jackson is my QB3 overall. No other quarterback projects more safely for 1,000 yards rushing. He doesn’t have the same passing upside as Murray, and his price is slightly higher, making the opportunity costs just a bit more. He is also tougher to stack than Murray if fantasy managers don’t already have Mark Andrews.

Hurts sports the latest ADP of the three options but offers the same dual-threat upside. His offense got a serious upgrade with the A.J. Brown addition.


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Opportunistic buys: Allen, Herbert, Mahomes and Burrow

This is an excellent group of quarterbacks, but the combination of opportunity costs and peers with similar expectations that go rounds later makes them tough to draft. They become viable options when they slide 12-plus picks, especially in large-field entries.

However, if a fantasy manager's primary goal is to stack them with their primary passing-game options, this is the price of admission. The uncertainty around the Kansas City Chiefs’ offense provides Mahomes with the most stacking options past his ADP.

Stacking these quarterbacks isn’t a must, even if you gain exposure to their weapons in the early rounds.

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