No bigger disconnect exists between real-life football and the digital realm of fantasy football than at the quarterback position. For this reason, two-quarterback and superflex fantasy formats have taken over as preferred approaches for fantasy football roster structures.
This has a significant impact on the value of quarterbacks in fantasy football. My PPR ranking tiers focused on positional value by comparing the top, starter and replacement-level fantasy outputs at each position. Quarterbacks typically don’t have the top-end fantasy finishes that we see from running backs, but their starter and replacement-level outputs have a significantly higher mean outcome than any other position.
This makes selecting a high-end quarterback for fantasy not worth the opportunity cost of bypassing a different position. Superflex or two-quarterback leagues flip this narrative, however, as the replacement value at the signal-caller position drops off quickly in a 12-team league that starts two quarterbacks.
Given the higher floor offered by quarterbacks, it is a necessity to start two if participating in such a league. Traditional fantasy rankings simply don’t take this replacement-level value into account. Two-quarterback rankings should look drastically different from rankings based on other formats.
Let’s dive into my personal rankings for two-quarterback leagues and place players into specific tiers to highlight when talent drops off in fantasy drafts.
TIER 1: STRAIGHTEST PATH TO THE TOP
The first tier belongs to the players who should be expected to finish at the top of their respective positions in fantasy scoring. Christian McCaffrey put forth the biggest differentiation season for any player in the past 10 years with his fantasy performance in 2019. If injuries are the only thing that can slow him down, he should be the top fantasy selection in all formats.
In two-quarterback leagues, the real question becomes how quickly one should pounce on a top-end quarterback. Given the uncertainty of any running back outside the top two, selecting Patrick Mahomes with the third overall selection appears to be the safest path to victory. His teammate Travis Kelce offers the most positional value for any fantasy player in 2021, given the scarcity nature of the tight end position. If Kelce averages 20 PPR fantasy points per game throughout the season, he will be a league-winner in all formats.
Each of the three wide receivers in this tier could easily finish as the No. 1 overall option at the position. The question becomes how much that performance will benefit your overall lineup when compared to what wide receivers finishing in the teens, twenties and thirties put forth on a weekly basis. If I miss out on one of the top two running backs, I am solving the most difficult problems next by targeting either tight end or quarterback with my first selection.
TIER 2: POTENTIAL TO FINISH NO. 1 OVERALL AT THEIR POSITION