The idea of a Superflex league is still relatively new in the fantasy community. As new and innovative dynasty fantasy football formats continue to emerge, managers need to be ready to learn and adapt in order to succeed. How can you go about finding the right QB draft strategy for dynasty Superflex leagues?
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What is Superflex?
For most of you reading this, you can skip this section. If you already know what Superflex means, then jump down to the good stuff. For those first getting into Superflex leagues of any format, here’s a quick primer.
The Superflex position is the fantasy football community’s answer to how to make quarterbacks as important in fantasy as they are in real life. Two-quarterback leagues aren’t feasible because it’s not realistic to mandate every team start two QBs each week when there are a maximum of 32 at any given time. In a 12-team league, there will always be four teams without three quarterbacks. And that’s assuming no team rosters four them.
Enter the Superflex. The Superflex position is just like your usual flex position, except you can also start a QB. Given the way they score, you should almost always start two quarterbacks. The purpose of it being a Superflex as opposed to just a second QB is to give teams the flexibility of starting a running back, wide receiver, or tight end in that spot in the event their second quarterback is hurt, on bye, or just really, really bad.
How does the addition of a Superflex position impact fantasy football drafts?
The prevailing strategy in any fantasy football draft has been to wait on a quarterback. Of course, there will always be teams that take an elite QB early. But the majority of quarterbacks will go toward the middle to later rounds of a draft.
In Superflex leagues, quarterbacks go early…very early. The biggest mental adjustment fantasy managers need to make when joining a Superflex league is accepting that taking middling QB2s over elite RB1s or WR1s is not only okay but sometimes necessary.
Supply and demand
Superflex creates a new supply and demand issue. On a typical NFL week, you’ll see at least 64 running backs and 96 wide receivers have some level of involvement in their offense. At quarterback, that number is always 32.
The finite supply naturally increases demand. If you want two trustworthy starting quarterbacks, you have to take them early.
Quarterbacks score more than any other position
Quarterback is the highest scoring position in fantasy football. Even the worst starting QBs in the NFL average around 13 fantasy points per game. That is roughly the cutoff for WR3 production and why starting two quarterbacks is so valuable.
A typical starting lineup might look like this: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, Flex, Superflex. In 2021, 18 quarterbacks averaged at least 15 ppg. Those mid-to-high QB2s that often go undrafted in 1QB leagues are significantly better than the WR4 or RB3 you typically start in your flex. It’s very difficult to win a Superflex league without two good quarterbacks and even more difficult if you don’t even have one.
For me, the hardest concept to grasp was the opportunity cost. Taking a QB I would normally take in the 10th round in the second round just felt wrong. How could I pass on a locked-in WR1 or high RB2 for this mediocre starting QB?
That’s where opportunity cost comes in. The opportunity cost is actually not nearly as much as it seems. Although you may be passing on an elite asset at WR or RB, so is everyone else. In dynasty Superflex startup drafts, you can see anywhere from 12-16 quarterbacks go in the first two rounds.
Those great wide receivers and running backs you passed on in Round 2 to take a quarterback will be there in the third and even the fourth. The value of quarterbacks drafted inevitably pushes down the ADPs over other positions.
So what is the optimal strategy for drafting quarterbacks in dynasty Superflex leagues?
In dynasty Superflex leagues, quarterbacks are the most valuable commodity. Even if you have a bad starting QB, he’s worth something because of the limited amount. There will always be a team that just needs a warm body to put at the position.
With this in mind, I’m taking quarterbacks early and often. I will never (barring extreme circumstances) leave the first two rounds of a Superflex draft without at least one QB. Ideally, I double-bang QB to start and then don’t think about it until the double-digit rounds.
There are exceptions, of course. If a truly elite RB or WR is falling farther than he should, there are scenarios where it makes sense to grab that player and take your QB2 in either Round 3 or just punt it and take two low-end starters later.
However, I don’t prefer that approach. It’s a lot easier to justify taking a 16-18 ppg QB over elite RB1s and WR1s than taking a 13-14 ppg QB that you know isn’t good over legitimate WR3s and RB2s. At least it is for me. Perhaps you feel differently.
Don’t leave a dynasty Superflex startup draft without four quarterbacks. Yes, four. After you take two quarterbacks early and a third bottom-of-the-barrel starter a little later, you want one more. That fourth QB is not going to be a starter. You want to look for one of three types of quarterbacks:
- A high-end backup behind a weak starter.
- A rookie you know will be sitting his first year.
- A veteran backup that may get another shot at a starting gig the following season.
This quarterback doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be anyone you plan on needing to use. He’s just a dart throw at a potentially useful asset down the line. If you ever find yourself with four of the 32 starting quarterbacks in the NFL, rest assured you’ll be able to trade one. That’s because you know, with absolute certainty, there are multiple teams out there with only two. There might even be a team down to one starting QB.
I’m not a believer in ever drafting to trade, but this is not drafting to trade. This is drafting to maximize potential value. And if you hit, you can be more confident in a trade in a dynasty Superflex league than a typical 1QB league due to the limited supply and high demand for quarterbacks.
How to prepare for a dynasty Superflex startup draft?
This is one aspect where the Superflex position changes nothing. The best way to prepare remains practice, practice, and more practice.
Regardless of format, the best way to prepare for your fantasy football draft is to get as many reps in as possible. The more potential variations you see, the better equipped you’ll be to deal with the unexpected when it inevitably pops up during the real thing.
Mock draft as many times as you can. By the time you’re done, there will be nothing that can surprise you. Now get out there and crush your dynasty Superflex startup draft.