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Fantasy Football QB Draft Strategy

Corey, Matt, and Jake discuss the passing attempt leaders heading into the 2017 NFL season. Including: Drew Brees, Joe Flacco, Blake Bortles, Aaron Rodgers, Carson Wentz, and Kirk Cousins

The quarterback position scores more points than any other position in fantasy football. Common sense would tell you that quarterbacks are among the first players off the board in live drafts. However, that isn't the case at all. In fact, the RB1, WR1, and even TE1 are off the board before the QB1. Considering there were only about 2 PPG between QB6 and QB16, it's a smart move to wait on your quarterback and solidify other areas of your roster first. There are certain situations, though, where it makes sense to draft one of the Big 3 (Rodgers, Brady, and Brees).

2017 Fantasy Football QB Rankings

Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees are in a league of their own. You have to go back to 2004 to find a year when one of them weren't in the top 3 scorers. Discounting some off years, they're typically always in the top 5 of fantasy scoring. They don't come with a heavy price tag overall, but do in terms of quarterbacks. Rodgers's ADP is 2.10, Brady's is 3.04, and Brees's is 4.06. Aaron Rodgers will often slip in drafts, though. As for whether or not to draft them, it depends on the situation. If I've already went RB-RB/WR-WR or are planning to, I wouldn't take Rodgers. That's essentially waiting for Mike Gillislee/Davante Adams to be the best player at their position on your roster. If I went with, say, Antonio Brown and then Lamar Miller, assuming Rodgers falls, I'd be fine with taking Rodgers. That's the same logic I use with Tom Brady.
As for Drew Brees, a guy like him should be drafted any chance you can get. You're guaranteed QB1 production. By the fourth round, you could grab an RB early, then a WR, then an RB again, and be in the perfect position to take Brees. He doesn't fall in drafts too often, but it doesn't matter because Brees is already in a great position at his current ADP.

I'm not such huge fans of the guys in the middle rounds. Many of them, such as Cam Newton and Andrew Luck, have top-3 upside but also are huge risks. That's just not something I want out of my quarterback. A quarterback can ruin your season, and there are too many consistent options to take that risk. Other guys like Derek Carr have never performed to where they are drafted and most likely will not this year. There are a few good options in the middle rounds, but I don't like the risk that comes with a lot of them.

It's never going to be a bad decision to wait on a quarterback. 8 of last year's QB1's are going in round 7 or later, including 5 past round 10. That's really good value. Many guys, including Phillip Rivers and Matt Stafford, are consistent QB1's. They don't present the upside of a Rodgers or Brady, but are certainly good options. A lot of 2016 QB1's, including Kirk Cousins, Marcus MariotaJameis Winston, have yet to hit their peak. Most of these guys can produce just like the rest of your starters, but you can find them after you have filled out your entire starting lineup and a good bit of your bench. You will always be happy looking back on your year after waiting on a QB. 

Overall, drafting a quarterback is only a complicated process if you make it a complicated process. There are more good options than bad options. You're going to get week-winning games and elite production if you draft a quarterback early. Waiting for a QB late may not be a sexy choice, but the position will never be an issue if you do and it allows you to focus on different positions. My advice is to draft a no-risk QB which will lead to no stress during the season.
Fantasy Football QB Draft Strategy