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Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: Optimal approach for picking QBs in 2021

Jan 3, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Multiple roster construction strategies can lead to a successful fantasy football draft depending on your league size, rules and scoring format. I have placed highly in major season-long re-draft tournaments using them all: zero RB, anchor RB, hyper-fragile, taking an early quarterback, waiting on a quarterback, taking an early tight end, waiting on tight end… the list goes on and on.

The critical thing to remember is every season is different, and every draft is a dynamic and living organism. The sooner you trap yourself into one strategy, the quicker you expose yourself when other drafters all have the same idea and foil your plans. Of course, jamming those strategies in national tournaments to try to create different player mixes across multiple entries can bear fruit, but that isn’t the focus of this article.

More of PFF's 2021 Fantasy Football tools here: 
Fantasy Football Draft Kit | Rankings & Tiers | Draft Guide | Cheat Sheets
Projections | Strength of Schedule | Expected Points Weekly Finishes

This article is about going back to the basics. It is about creating flexibility by maximizing market inefficiencies across all the positions and compiling that into a draft plan.

Think of it as solving a puzzle backward. First, we must determine the cornerstone players we have high confidence in at cheaper ADPs. Answering this question helps us consider how we approach earlier rounds. Then, once we have set these critical puzzle pieces in place, we can fit the rest of our draft strategy pieces into one picture.

Deploying this approach will keep you adaptable and always thinking multiple steps ahead. You will be playing chess, not checkers — knowing when to play it aggressively and when to hold back and allow your opponents to self-destruct while you patiently wait for value.

Definitions:
Fantasy Pros = PPR ADP from ESPN, Yahoo, My Fantasy League (MFL), Fantrax, FFC
Underdog = Half-PPR best ball
FPC (Football Guys Players Championship) = PPR TE premium per fantasymojo

Early-round QBs – Fantasy Pros: first 75 picks | Underdog: first 105 picks | FPC: first 110 picks

12 Team = Rounds 2 to 6
10 Team = Rounds 2 to 8
8 Team = Rounds 2 to 9

Quarterbacks going in this range: Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Justin Herbert, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady

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