Studs & Streaming in 2016 2QB Leagues

Salvatore Stefanile provides a refresher on the Studs and Streaming approach to drafting in 2QB leagues for 2016 and highlights his dream QB2 streaming duo. …

When it comes to draft strategies for 2QB or Superflex leagues the one approach I have relied on the past few years is Studs and Streaming. In simple terms, Studs and Streaming is a strategy where you take your QB1 early (sometime within the first four rounds) and fill out the QB2 slot with two mid-to-late round options you stream weekly based on matchups.

The first part of equation doesn’t take a whole lot of strategy to execute. I find most quarterbacks to be interchangeable and the QB1 tier of signal callers especially so. If you look at our 2QB ADP, the first 12 quarterbacks are going off the board between the 1.07 and 7.03 pick.

Re-familiarizing Yourself With Studs and Streaming for 2016

Drafters are waiting longer than usual to select quarterbacks this year so the studs aspect of this strategy can go a number of ways. You can either take one of the elite QB1s in Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, or Drew Brees within the first three rounds, or wait a few rounds to grab someone like Carson Palmer (5.06) or Eli Manning (6.07). The longer you wait to grab your QB1 “stud” the better your other non-QB position players will be.

Whichever route you take with the studs portion of this draft strategy will result in a top-10 or top-12 QB, based on your league size. Once you’ve locked up the QB1 slot you can focus on the QB2 position.

Quarterback streaming isn’t for inactive owners. You need to be up-to-date on quarterback depth charts and movement, know how to work the waiver wire, and put in the research needed to determine which quarterbacks to stream on a weekly basis.

The Importance of Strength of Schedule

For the latter part of that equation I look to my good friend Pat Thorman and his Strength of Schedule (SoS) bible each offseason. Pat puts in the work to determine the strength of each quarterback’s schedule for the 2016 season, which in turn helps me and drafters determine which quarterbacks to pair.

Luckily for us, Pat visualizes QB SoS for us with a color-coded chart, with dark green being the easiest matchup and red being the hardest. Anything green or white is easy/neutral, while yellow/orange join red on the difficult end of the matchup spectrum. You can view the entire chart and read Pat’s QB SoS series on Pro Football Focus Fantasy.

Tony Romo+Matthew Stafford: QB2 Streaming League-Winners

When researching QB2 streaming pairs I look for a winning combo of easy matchups and draft cost affordability. That led me to the QB2 streaming duo of Tony Romo and Matthew Stafford this year. Only a year ago Romo and Stafford were two of the first 12 quarterbacks drafted within the first five rounds of 2QB drafts. Their ADPs have fallen drastically this year.

Romo’s 2QB ADP is 81.1 (QB16) and Stafford is right on his tail at 83.2 (QB17). They’re going roughly four rounds later than last year. They both have histories of being high-end scoring QB1s, but the 36-year-old Romo is coming off of collarbone surgery, while Stafford will be without Calvin Johnson. The depth of the position and those respective concerns have led to their draft stock falling. However, their schedules pair up nicely for a couple of ninth round picks.

Thanks to Pat and PFF Fantasy, I can share their SoS schedule in chart form:

Not a single week where both Stafford and Romo have a difficult matchup. Plus their bye weeks also pair nicely.

Just because they have ninth-round ADPs it doesn’t mean they will last that long in every draft. I went into a recent mock draft with the intention of utilizing a Studs and Streaming approach, targeting Romo/Stafford as my streaming combo.

The first part of the strategy wasn’t difficult to pull off, drafting Eli Manning in round four as my QB1. Unfortunately, Stafford and Romo went two rounds later, and three rounds higher than their ADPs. You can see how the draft unfolded below…

With a QB1 rostered and my starting RB/WR slots filled, I felt comfortable continuing with the studs and streaming approach in this draft. Consulting Pat’s SoS chart I needed to identify which available quarterbacks matched up well. From a value standpoint, I targeted Marcus Mariota, but his best streaming combo partner was either Romo or Stafford. After some improvisation and studying Pat’s chart, I added Ryan Fitzpatrick and Robert Griffin III to pair with Mariota.

Normally I don’t leave drafts with four quarterbacks, especially if it’s a shallow bench league, as that means using a roster spot on a QB4 who will barely see my starting roster over a potential WR or RB who might start in a pinch. However, the trio of Mariota, Fitzpatrick, and Griffin makes for an ideal QB2 streaming combination. Just like Romo and Stafford, this trio does not have a difficult matchup between the three of them in 2016.

Streaming Isn’t the End Goal

With Mariota and Fitzpatrick on the roster there’s a possibility either one or both could break out as a dependable, every week starter, leaving you in a position of strength at quarterback. One of the goals with streaming quarterbacks is to end up owning a quarterback you can start each week, leaving you to not have to rely on streaming.

If Studs and Streaming appeals to you, but Mariota/Fitzpatrick/RG3 does not, you can play around with Pat’s SoS chart and our ADP data to find your QB2 streaming dream team.

*Stats used in this article courtesy of FantasyData and Pat’s SoS chart was used with permission from PFF Fantasy

Salvatore Stefanile

Salvatore Stefanile is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) and has been playing fantasy football since his high school days. He is a proponent of 2QB fantasy football leagues and his work has been featured on XN Sports, RotoViz, and Rotoworld. His writing on 2QB fantasy football leagues earned him the FSWA award for 'Best Fantasy Football On-Going Series' in 2013. He earned a second FSWA nomination in 2015. You can follow him on Twitter @2QBFFB

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