How To Play Superflex TE Premium Leagues

What are Superflex TE premium leagues? How do they differ from traditional formats, and what impact do they have on player values?

There are countless different versions of fantasy football leagues to play. The creativity and innovation of the fantasy community seemingly has no bounds, and one such variation that is relatively new is the Superflex TE premium league.

For those new to this format or looking to add a new wrinkle to their upcoming leagues, how does a Superflex TE premium format differ from a traditional league? How does this format impact player values?

What Is a Superflex TE Premium League?

Even if you haven’t played in this format, most of you know what these terms mean. But in the interest of making sure everyone is on the same page, regardless of experience level, here’s a quick primer.

A Superflex league has a Superflex position. This position functions like your standard Flex that allows any running back, wide receiver, or tight end, except it also allows you to start a quarterback.

For all intents and purposes, a Superflex league is a 2QB league. However, with only 32 quarterbacks available to start each week, having a Superflex position instead of a strict second QB spot prevents managers from having to take a zero if they don’t have a second quarterback to start.

But what about TE premium? As I’m sure you’ve deduced, TE premium affects tight end scoring. In a typical PPR league, every reception is worth one point (or a half-point in a half-PPR league).

TE premium leagues increase the value of tight ends by giving that position (and that position alone) a bonus for a reception. In TE premium formats, a tight end may receive an extra half-point or full point per reception on top of the basic scoring system.

The quarterback and tight end positions are considered “onesie” positions in fantasy football. They are usually the two starting spots where fantasy managers only need to start one player. The demand is low, and the supply is high, resulting in these players being undervalued in traditional fantasy leagues.

The Superflex position drastically increases the value of quarterbacks, while the TE premium aspect seeks to improve the value of tight ends.

Superflex rose in popularity because of the contrast between how important the quarterback position is in the NFL versus how unimportant it was in fantasy football. Why was it that the prevailing draft strategy for the most important singular position perhaps in all of sports was to wait and take any old guy? It didn’t make sense. Thus, Superflex was born.

Obviously, the tight end position is not as important as the quarterback position in the real NFL. Nevertheless, it’s a starting position in almost all fantasy football leagues. It should matter.

Similar to quarterbacks, many fantasy managers wouldn’t care at all about the tight end position, opting to wait until the very last rounds of fantasy drafts to take one. The goal of TE premium is to incentivize managers to take tight ends earlier, and even, at times, prioritize them for Flex positions over wide receivers or running backs.

How Does the Superflex Position Increase QB Fantasy Value?

Many out there will swear by Superflex leagues, calling it the only real way to play. I respect that position but don’t share it.

Superflex leagues appear to be a bit of an overcorrection in terms of player value. I admire the goal — I completely understand why having quarterbacks be overvalued could be better than undervalued. But really, all Superflex formats do is highlight how difficult it is to achieve true positional balance in fantasy football.

The winds of change are upon us in traditional 1QB leagues, though. In 2023, quarterback values were at their highest point since the great QB boom of 2011 produced inflated 2012 average draft positions (ADP).

We will see a slight pullback in 2024, but the overall value of quarterbacks is unlikely to return to the levels of the mid 2010s when it was never really worth it to take one before the double-digit rounds. Nevertheless, the contrast between QB value across league formats remains stark.

In 1QB leagues, we will see Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts go in the second round this year. The latest they will go is in the early third. Lamar Jackson goes shortly thereafter. And I can’t imagine Patrick Mahomes will fall too far because he’s Patrick Mahomes. After those four guys, it’s a bit of a steady dose of about two quarterbacks per round until the starters have all been drafted.

In Superflex leagues, at least 15 quarterbacks will be selected in the first two rounds, with more than half going in Round 1. The position instantly goes from undervalued to more important than anything else.

When I draft Superflex teams, I want to start QB-QB every single time. Of course, draft slot matters, as does your draft room. Sometimes, it’s just not possible because too many quarterbacks are off the board to justify it. But if the opportunity is there, I’m doing it. That’s how valuable QBs are in Superflex.

Looking at 2023, it’s easy to see how quarterback value matters so much. After his breakout 2022 season, Geno Smith was quite the disappointment last year. He averaged 15.7 fantasy points per game, finishing as the overall QB22 amongst QBs with at least eight games played.

Yet, in terms of overall fantasy scoring, compared to every position, Smith was a top-48 player. He outscored high-end starters like Brandon Aiyuk, Jonathan Taylor, and Michael Pittman Jr. A well below-average starter in 1QB leagues suddenly becomes an advantage as your QB2 in Superflex leagues.

How Does the TE Premium Aspect Increase TE Fantasy Value?

While the Superflex position adds a QB to the starting lineup, it doesn’t change the way quarterbacks accumulate fantasy points — TE premium does that for tight ends.

Historically, the tight end position hasn’t really changed much. Whether it’s Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Rob Gronkowski, Jimmy Graham, or Travis Kelce, there’s usually a small batch of elite tight ends worth early-round selections, and the rest are just bad values at their ADPs.

Of course, a middle-round TE breaks through here and there. There’s usually at least one every year, but they’re nearly impossible to predict. The only sure things are the elites and the replaceability of the late-round guys.

The primary issue with tight ends is that there may only be a handful each season that average as many fantasy points per game as the worst WR3. TE premium attempts to increase fantasy scoring, making tight ends more valuable.

Last season was a much better one for tight end production. We had 11 of them average at least 10 points per game. But by way of comparison, the threshold for WR3 production was about 12 points per game. Just seven tight ends reached that threshold.

MORE: Superflex/2QB Strategy for Dynasty Fantasy Football Drafts

If you were to increase TE scoring to 1.5 PPR, 15 tight ends would’ve reached 10 points per game. It makes far more tight ends worth rostering and increases the value of middle-round players at the position by propelling them ahead of the WR3s.

The primary criticism against TE premium is that it actually widens the gap between the “haves” and the “have-nots” at the position. For this, we are going to use 2022 scoring, as there was no dominant option in 2023.

The biggest edge in fantasy football in 2022 was Travis Kelce, who averaged 5.2 points per game more than the TE2. In TE premium, Kelce would’ve averaged 21.8 ppg, increasing his edge over the TE2 to 6.4 ppg.

That goes to show the difficulties in achieving scoring balance in fantasy football. There’s no way to make the lower tight ends more valuable without increasing the value of the already-elite guys.

Drafting in a Superflex TE Premium League

I mentioned above how I want to double-tap QB in every Superflex league. I also mentioned that this isn’t always possible. If you’ve been playing fantasy football long enough, you’ve undoubtedly experienced not being able to do exactly what you want in a fantasy draft.

If the draft room forces me in a different direction, I am still trying to get my second quarterback by the end of the fifth round. Few things are absolute in fantasy drafts, but under no circumstances will I ever leave the first two rounds without at least one quarterback in a Superflex league.

The biggest adjustment fantasy managers have to make in Superflex is looking down at the caliber of players available in Rounds 3 and 4. You’ll see players that your brain associates with the first two rounds in traditional drafts, and it will be very tempting to draft them.

I’ve always found it difficult to pass on elite RBs and WRs in favor of seemingly mediocre quarterbacks. An example of this for 2024 might be taking Jared Goff over Chris Olave or Mike Evans. It feels wrong, but it’s necessary and possibly correct due to positional values.

If you’re new to Superflex, I implore you to mock. During mock drafts, intentionally pass on a QB in one of the first two rounds — it’s important for you to see firsthand how it plays out.

Regardless of format, my goal in mock drafts is to implement as many different strategies as I can. I want to see what my teams look like when I do certain things to figure out if I like them or not.

There’s a personal preference element to this as well. Just because I don’t like how my teams look when I have a weak QB2, doesn’t mean you feel the same way. If you can obtain a big enough edge at WR and RB, there’s certainly merit to that strategy.

MORE: Intro to Superflex and 2QB Fantasy Football Leagues

This year may be a bit different in the early rounds because the QB position looks to be quite deep. Guys like Aaron Rodgers and Baker Mayfield are passable QB2s, and they typically go among the last of the 24 quarterbacks off the board.

The challenge when you don’t take two in the first two rounds is figuring out the right time to strike for that second quarterback. In some drafts, you will easily be able to grab one in the fifth or sixth round. In others, you may pass in the fifth and see all of them fly off the board before your next pick.

My guess is you will find that the QB disadvantage is too much to overcome. It’s a good way to teach yourself the value of going QB early in Superflex.

Always Draft at Least 3 Quarterbacks

In 12-team formats, every team can’t walk away with three starting quarterbacks. Even if we assume no team drafts more than three quarterbacks (which you shouldn’t), that leaves at least four teams that will only have two.

Of course, you can and should be willing to draft backups that are likely to make starts during the season. After Week 1, there will have been exactly 32 quarterbacks to start a game. But we know by the end of the year, that number will almost double. Last year, there were 67 different QBs to make at least one start.

While that fact creates opportunities to add QBs throughout the season, there are still only 32 at a time. When a new guy starts, it means someone else is not. At least four teams are only going to roster two starting quarterbacks — don’t let one of them be you.

Tight Ends Increase in Value, But Not to the Extent of QBs

Unlike the QB position, where you are literally starting an extra one compared to traditional leagues, even in TE premium, you’re still only starting one tight end. Given that the increase in TE value is across the board, the value proposition doesn’t change much.

TE premium will prop up the elite tight ends because of the value they already provide. However, if you wait on tight end, the biggest change will be that it might be more worth it to take a TE over a WR4 because the premium aspect will make tight ends more valuable than some replacement-level wide receivers.

It’s also important to note that just because the tight end position is a onesie positon like quarterback, doesn’t mean it’s the same in terms of supply and demand. There will never be more than 32 options at quarterback each week. At tight end, you can start an NFL team’s TE2 and still get a few points.

On average, you’re probably looking at a one-to-two-round increase among the middle-to-later-round tight ends. For the guys that go after the early rounders, they end up being more worth it than the medley of WR2s and WR3s that typically go ahead of them. But otherwise, if you usually wait on a tight end, you’re probably still waiting.

MORE: Kyle Pitts, Isaiah Likely Among Top Dynasty TE Trade Targets

Given the limited nature of startable positions, there’s only so much you can do to try to equalize value. Ultimately, some positions will always be more valuable than others, and that’s okay.

The key is to understand your league’s settings and how they impact the way you should draft. Once you master that, you’re on the path to being a very successful fantasy manager.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast!

Listen to the PFN Inside Access Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Fantasy Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms.  Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review!

Join the Conversation!

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related Articles

0
Share your thoughts!x