Studs & Streaming

*The article below is from the 2015 2QB Draft Season and is republished from*

**Click here to read the 2016 updated version of the Studs and Streaming strategy**

Studs & Streaming

I tend to preach flexibility when 2QBers ask me about a particular draft strategy to utilize. It’s in your best interest not to lock in on one strategy when drafting, as that could lead to tunnel vision when it comes to certain players and picks.

Flexibility gives you the freedom to play to the draft room, which hopefully leads to you drafting a league-winning 2QB squad. Locking yourself into one set strategy will blind you from certain value plays and you could wind up drafting a team you’re unhappy with.

However, having that said, there is one 2QB draft strategy that I tend to use more than any other, and that’s the ‘Studs+Streaming’ approach.

For those of you unfamiliar with how ‘Studs+Streaming’ works I’ve put virtual pen to virtual ink on the subject for XN Sports the past two years. The simple way to describe the strategy is that you draft a QB1 (the ‘Stud‘) early in your draft (usually within in the first four rounds) and then take two or three (the ‘Streaming‘) quarterbacks in the mid-to-late rounds to stream each week based on matchups.

I will say off the bat that ‘Studs+Streaming’ isn’t for owners that don’t plan to be active on the waiver wire. Since you’re in the mindset to stream your QB2 each week you’re also going to keep an eye on the waiver wire in your league to snatch up any new starting quarterback. Unlike 1-QB fantasy leagues that are littered with attractive quarterbacks on the waiver wire you won’t have such a luxury in your 2QB league.

Rather, you’re going to be waiting for the next backup-turned starter to pop up, and pounce as fast as you can. The Josh McCowns, Scott Tolziens, and Austin Davises are who you’ll be adding. With such a shallow free agency pool at the quarterback position, the ‘Streaming’ equation of the ‘Studs+Streaming’ draft strategy requires more of your focus.

There’s not a whole of strategy involved in drafting a QB1. If you take a look at the quarterback rankings on our site you could make a case for any of the top-23 ranked signal callers to be your QB1. Your rankings might not be that deep, but I’m sure you can list at least 12 quarterbacks you could start each week at QB1.

Whether you’re drafting Andrew Luck first overall or Eli Manning in round two you should be able to land a ‘Stud’ quarterback in your 2QB draft. It’s the streaming aspect where you have to spend time researching what rounds to target your streaming pairs, and which quarterback duos you want to target.

The greatest resource over the past few years in that regard is Patrick Thorman‘s Strength of Schedule analysis. The PFF Fantasy scribe takes a look at the strength of defenses versus opposing quarterbacks and gives you a guide as to which quarterbacks to target against which defenses.

Pat’s chart gives us a sort of blueprint as to which quarterbacks we can pair for a QB2 streaming duo. Here’s how he describes the color-coding of his chart: “But if a team is labeled as red or orange there’s an actionable probability that it will be a tougher matchup than one colored dark or light green.

During the past two weeks I’ve taken to the 2QB mock draft lobby over at Fantasy Football Calculator to take part in as many 2QB mocks as possible. I did so in order to test out different strategies, with ‘Studs+Streaming’ being one of them. Below is a screenshot of me utilizing the strategy in a 10-team 2QB mock draft…

Studs+Streaming at 1.01 in a 10-team 2QB draft

Knowing I was going to stream my QB2 I decided to play it safe with Aaron Rodgers, as it’s hard to find more of a stud player at the quarterback position, even though I generally do not draft a quarterback this early. This year it’s him and Andrew Luck. When drafting first overall you’re not always sure which quarterbacks will make it back to you when you’re on the clock in round two. After seeing the draft unfold, another option could have been to take Le’Veon Bell or Eddie Lacy at 1.01, and Tony Romo at 3.01. That road not taken looks more attractive on paper.

It wasn’t until the 10th round where I selected Jameis Winston as my QB2 that I began to attack the QB2 spot. Following Pat’s recommendations, I paired the rookie Bucs signal caller with current Jets starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and tacked on potential Bills starter, Tyrod Taylor.

There’s no guarantee Fitzpatrick will still be slinging passes to Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker when Geno Smith returns healthy, but even if he loses the job it shouldn’t take much to acquire Smith off the waiver wire.

Taylor is no guarantee to start either, but at his draft cost, it’s a safe bet to roll the dice. If Matt Cassel or EJ Manuel start Week 1 for the Bills it costs you very little to draft Taylor. If he does end up the Week 1 starter you just landed yourself a potentially very valuable fantasy asset, who can rack up cheap fantasy points via the #KonamiCode.

The upside to ‘Studs+Streaming’ is all about the talent you can load up on while the rest of your league-mates focus on drafting early round quarterbacks. By the time Winston was off the board at 10.01, 20 signal callers in total (including Rodgers) were drafted. In most 1-QB leagues you’d be hard-pressed to land both CJ Anderson and Rob Gronkowski on the same team, but by bypassing a QB2 early I was able to build depth everywhere else. With quarterbacks pushed up the draft boards because of a required second starting quarterback elite talent at other skill positions fall.

Jody Nelson may be injured now, but the team drafting out of the 1.07 slot had a wide receiver depth chart fantasy dreams are made of consisting of Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, and Nelson. He also was able to land Eli Manning in the fourth round. That gives you one other example of how waiting on the quarterback position can turn into drafting a very formidable squad.

The downside to waiting on quarterback and streaming the position in 2QB leagues is that the combination of quarterbacks you wind up with tank and you’re left scrambling all year-long trying to keep up with the rest of your league.

It’s a risk that can happen, and one you have to be willing to take. Streaming isn’t easy. It takes time and effort. You have to be on top of matchups in order to determine which QB2 to start. You always have to be active on the waiver wire and ready to strike when a potential starting quarterback becomes available due to injury or ineffective play.

Another benefit of streaming is that you end up with a dependable, every week starting QB2 option you don’t have to stream. That’s one of the goals of ‘Studs+Streaming’. The flipside is being able to trade one of your running backs or wideouts you stocked up on for QB2 help to end your streaming experiment if it turns into a nightmare.

Strength of schedule analysis during the preseason will never be 100% accurate. Defenses change and become more cohesive during the season. Others have to deal with major injuries that turn them into matchups fantasy owners salivate over. Pat’s chart should be seen as a visual guide to streaming quarterback combinations you can utilize towards creating a streaming Frankenstein that will lead you to a championship. I recommend you play around with it to find a quarterback streaming pair to your liking.

Like any draft strategy, ‘Studs+Streaming’ has its advantages and disadvantages, but if you play your draft cards correctly there’s a possibility you end up with a dominant 2QB squad.