Round-by-Round ADP QB Targets

When asked which QBs to target in a LRQB strategy in 2QB drafts my automatic response is anyone in the QB14-QB25 tier of our ADP*. …

QB17.41.07Newton, Cam
QB210.11.1Rodgers, Aaron
QB316.42.06Wilson, Russell
QB417.52.07Luck, Andrew
QB523.73.03Brees, Drew
QB639.24.09Roethlisberger, Ben
QB746.85.06Palmer, Carson
QB848.75.08Brady, Tom
QB954.56.04Bortles, Blake
QB1057.86.07Manning, Eli
QB1159.46.09Rivers, Philip
QB1263.27.03Carr, Derek
QB13667.06Winston, Jameis
QB14778.07Taylor, Tyrod
QB15798.09Cousins, Kirk
QB1681.19.01Romo, Tony
QB1783.29.03Stafford, Matthew
QB1884.29.04Dalton, Andy
QB1985.89.05Mariota, Marcus
QB2099.210.09Ryan, Matt
QB2199.510.09Tannehill, Ryan
QB22106.211.06Fitzpatrick, Ryan
QB23106.311.06Flacco, Joe
QB24113.512.03Smith, Alex
QB25123.213.03Cutler, Jay
QB26128.313.08Osweiler, Brock
QB2712913.09Bridgewater, Teddy
QB28139.114.09Griffin III, Robert
QB29141.315.01Bradford, Sam
QB30143.315.03Goff, Jared
QB31144.315.04Kessler, Cody
QB32146.315.06Gabbert, Blaine
QB33146.715.06Kaepernick, Colin
QB34149.715.09Garoppolo, Jimmy

*Our 2QB ADP is based on 10-team leagues and I have thus focused my analysis to that format. If you play in a 12-team or larger 2QB league just adjust the pick ADP to suit your needs.

Recommending a slew of similarly drafted QBs isn’t all that in depth though, so I wanted to break down our current 2QB ADP data round-by-round and highlight quarterback targets based on cost. Everyone is a value at a certain point and I thought this might be a helpful exercise when it comes to 2QB draft preparation.

Round 1 and Round 2

Cam Newton - 7.4 ADP - Pick 1.07 (QB1)
Aaron Rodgers - 10.1 ADP - Pick 1.10 (QB2)
Russell Wilson - 16.4 ADP - Pick 2.06 (QB3)
Andrew Luck - 17.5 ADP - Pick 2.07 (QB4)

Unless I’m in a 2QB league that is 14 teams or larger I won’t go QB-early and use a first or second round pick on the position. There are some instances I would consider it though, such as in leagues that award scoring bonuses for attempts and completions, but for the most part I’m anti quarterback this early. While each of the above four have cases to finish the season as the overall fantasy QB1 I wouldn’t consider them until round 3/4 at the earliest, which means I’ve priced myself out of this tier.

The opportunity cost of selecting a quarterback this early is too great, as you’re bypassing elite WRs or high-end RBs. For example, if you hold the 1.01 pick and go with Cam Newton, that means when you’re on the clock in round three your top WR and RB targets are Amari Cooper/Brandon Marshall and Devonta Freema/Eddie Lacy. However, if you skip out on QB at 1.01 you could draft Antonio Brown or David Johnson and still wind up with a quarterback like…

Round 3

Drew Brees - 23.7 ADP - Pick 3.03 (QB5)

One argument to be made against going quarterback early, especially super early in the first two rounds, is the availability of Drew Brees at the top of round three. By not drafting a quarterback in the first two rounds you could theoretically kick your draft off of with an Antonio Brown/Dez Bryant/Drew Brees start at 1.01. Would you rather have that or Cam Newton/Dez Bryant/Amari Cooper? I’ve also seen Brees slip to the fourth and fifth rounds of 2QB drafts, making him an even greater value.

Round 4

Ben Roethlisberger - 39.2 ADP - Pick 4.09 (QB6)

No Le’Veon Bell for three games and no Martavis Bryant for the whole season makes this ADP a head-scratcher. Anthony Amico pointed out Roethlisberger scores 5.6 points less/game without Bryant in the lineup. If paying up for quarterback early, you’re better off taking Brees a round earlier than Big Ben at his current cost. The preferable move would be to skip out on quarterback in this round, unless one of the top-five guys slip, and draft someone from the available RB/WR tier. That tier includes the likes of Sammy Watkins, Mark Ingram, Demaryius Thomas and LeSean McCoy, according to our ADP.

Round 5

Carson Palmer - 46.8 ADP - Pick 5.06 (QB7)
Tom Brady - 48.7 ADP - Pick 5.08 (QB8)

Drafting a quarterback out for four games of the season places a heavy emphasis on drafting later round options to fill the early season gap. I discussed Brady replacement options earlier in the offseason, with RG3 being a cost-effective one. If you don’t mind the four game loss of Brady and are taking a more forward-looking approach, he’s an even bigger discount than Brees and will most likely play at a top-six points per game level upon return.

Carson Palmer went from late-round gem (72.6 ADP/QB18) to fantasy QB1 status in 2015, and his draft cost has risen immensely as a result. The Cardinals offense is comprised of high-end talent at WR and RB and our own James Simpson feels Palmer can match or exceed his draft day cost. Palmer was as consistent as they came last year, finishing with eight QB1 (top-12) and 15 QB2 (top-24) finishes. However, he tailed off near the end of the season thanks to a finger injury. In his first 14 games, Palmer scored 17 or more fantasy points in 11 games. He didn’t reach that mark in his final three games (was pulled at halftime of Week 17). His age and the injury from last year are concerning and if I have avoided QBs to this point I’ll keep waiting.

Round 6 and Round 7

Blake Bortles - 54.5 ADP - Pick 6.04 (QB9)
Eli Manning - 57.8 ADP - Pick 6.07 (QB10)
Philip Rivers - 59.4 ADP - Pick 6.08 (QB11)
Derek Carr - 63.2 ADP - Pick 7.03 (QB12)
Jameis Winston - 66 ADP - Pick 7.06 (QB13)

Eli ends the QB1 tier in 10-team leagues, while Carr polishes it off in 12-team formats. Winston’s ADP is similar to Carr’s so it made sense to add him to this tier. Eli and Rivers have become darlings of the late-round community. They were both top-12 fantasy QBs in 2015 and finished on the high-end of the spectrum in terms of weekly QB1 (top-12) finishes. Offensive stability and another season with Odell Beckham to throw to, and a returning Keenan Allen for Rivers, puts both of these veteran quarterbacks on my target list. Joshua Lake has banged the drum all offseason for Rivers, while Ben Cummins has made the case as to why you should draft Eli.

This marks a good spot for both the QB-early contingent to draft their QB2 and the late-round QB believers to consider a QB1. The consistency and longevity of the vets has me leaning in their direction over the trio of Bortles, Carr, and Winston. Keep your eye on this tier and round in your 2QB draft, as it might be the sweet spot for an early-round QB2 run.

Round 8

Tyrod Taylor - 77 ADP - Pick 8.07 (QB14)
Kirk Cousins - 79 ADP - Pick 8.09 (QB15)

Round eight marks the perfect spot for the LRQBers to pounce in the form of Tyrod Taylor and Kirk Cousins. If your draft matches up with our ADP you will have loaded up on WRs and RBs and can afford to pivot to the quarterback position. We’ve made it known how much we love Tyrod around these parts and feel his QB7 PPG pace from a year ago is within his range of outcomes. As for Cousins, he’s in a pass happy offense that added Josh Doctson to an already crowded stable of pass-catching weapons. If you’re at the turn and both are on the board it wouldn’t be out of line to settle your QB1 and QB2 slots by double-dipping with this duo. You can also draft just one and wait even longer to settle on your QB2.

Round 9

Tony Romo - 81.1 ADP - Pick 9.01 (QB16)
Matthew Stafford - 83.2 ADP - Pick 9.03 (QB17)
Andy Dalton - 84.2 ADP - Pick 9.04 (QB18)
Marcus Mariota - 85.8 ADP - Pick 9.05 (QB19)

Romo and Stafford were crowned my top QB2 streaming combination for 2016, as their schedules pair up perfectly, and make for an ideal QB2 duo if you plan to go the studs and streaming route.

If you’re still on the LRQB train by this point you have your pick of four solid selections here. Prior to his 2015 injured season, Romo was a top-12 fantasy QB in his previous four seasons. Stafford bounced back from a 2014 season that saw him finish outside the top-12 for the first time since becoming a full-time starter in 2011 to record a QB9 finish in 2015. Dalton was on a tear last season, finishing as the QB11 in PPG and he had nine QB1 (top-12) performances before an injury cut short his season. If coachspeak of more designed Mariota runs comes to fruition his 17.5 PPG (QB18) stats from a year ago could see him leapfrog into low-end QB1 status.

If you haven’t noticed, we’re in round nine and the QB well is still plentiful.

Round 10

Matt Ryan - 99.2 ADP - Pick 10.09 (QB20)
Ryan Tannehill - 99.5 ADP - Pick 10.09 (QB21)

The Ryan Bros. are being drafted similarly, but the fantasy community perceives their prospects differently. Ryan was a top-five drafted QB last year with an overall 2QB ADP of 27.5. Now’s he being drafted as a low-end QB2, thanks to his worst fantasy season since 2010. His 21 passing touchdowns were the fewest he threw since 2009, but he should see an uptick in passing touchdowns that will lead to better fantasy results. Ryan is a boring, veteran QB with low-upside drafters may ignore who could provide a steady floor.

Tannehill has been getting a lot of buzz this offseason as a fantasy breakout candidate. Our own TJ Calkins wrote a fantastic breakdown of Tannehill’s potential in Adam Gase’s offense, and he sees QB1 upside. If you’re looking for this year’s Kirk Cousins or Blake Bortles it could be Tannehill, who has a recent top-10 fantasy finish (QB8 in 2014).

Round 11

Ryan Fitzpatrick - 106.2 ADP - Pick 11.06 (QB22)
Joe Flacco - 106.3 ADP - Pick 11.06 (QB23)

Fitzpatrick went from undrafted to QB1 last year and returns to an even better situation. Chan Gailey, Eric Decker, and Brandon Marshall are still around. Chris Ivory is gone, replaced by Matt Forte and more work for Bilal Powell. Denny Carter’s equity score puts Fitzpatrick in the QB1 tier for this season. It’s all systems go for FitzMagic.

It’s easy to forget about Joe Flacco, but he did finish as a top-12 fantasy QB in five of his ten full games last year. With Marc Trestman calling plays again for the Ravens, Flacco is going to walk into a pass heavy offense and weapons galore (if all healthy). According to RotoViz’s 14Team Mocker, Trestman offenses have been in the top-two of pass attempts three times and finished no worse than 16 in his 11 seasons as a head coach or coordinator. Flacco has as good a shot as any LRQB to finish in the top-ten at season’s end.

Round 12

Alex Smith - 113.5 ADP - Pick 12.03 (QB24)

It’s fitting Alex Smith is in a tier all on his own. My Smith profile from earlier this offseason paints a picture of how he can be an integral part of any 2QB team this year. Selecting a quarterback with two top-15 finishes in the last three years and one who had seven QB1 (top-12) performances last year is the definition of value. Not to mention the cupboard is stocked with top-end talent at RB (Jamaal Charles), WR (Jeremy Maclin), and TE (Travis Kelce). In 2QB drafts that count I’m taking Alex Smith every time.

Round 13

Jay Cutler - 123.2 ADP - Pick 13.03 (QB25)
Brock Osweiler - 128.3 ADP - Pick 12.08 (QB26)
Teddy Bridgewater - 129 ADP - Pick 13.09 (QB27)

Cutler and Osweiler each have one thing in common: they’re attached to high-end/early-round wide receiver target hogs in Alshon Jeffery and DeAndre Hopkins, respectively. This gives them a bit of a safety net when it comes to the LRQB tier and they’re both affordable. Jeff Dumont argues Bridgewater is a value pick, and while the price is right, the offense is not suitable for a Bridgewater breakout.

Round 14

Robert Griffin III - 139.1 ADP - Pick 14.09 (QB28)

What a downfall for RG3. From top-five fantasy QB in his rookie season to being benched for Kirk Cousins last year. RG3 lived up to and surpassed the hype right out of the gate, but never lived up to it in subsequent years. A second chance in Cleveland has 2QBers tentative, but his recent preseason play is starting to quell some doubt.

At the price of a QB3, RG3 can easily outproduce his draft day cost, and when healthy has some of the highest upside of any quarterback. Draft him as your QB3 and you could be rewarded immensely. Or he could get injured in Week 1 and replaced by Josh McCown rest of season. Either way it won’t cost you much to find out. However, our ADP does show Devin Funchess has a round 14 round ADP, so it might be an easy decision to fade RG3 for a high upside WR like Funchess or Philip Dorsett.

Round 15

Sam Bradford - 141.3 ADP - Pick 15.01 (QB29)
Jared Goff - 143.3 ADP - Pick 15.03 (QB30)
Cody Kessler 144.3 ADP - Pick 15.04 (QB31)
Blaine Gabbert - 146.3 ADP - Pick 15.06 (QB32)
Colin Kaepernick - 146.7 ADP - Pick 15.06 (QB33)
Jimmy Garoppolo - 149.7 ADP - Pick 15.09 (QB34)

This is a yucky tier of signal callers, but so too is RB and WR for the most part. I would take a shot on whoever starts for the 49ers, which looks to be Blaine Gabbert as of now. He was a QB2 in 7-of-8 games he started last year and averaged nearly 17 PPG, providing a solid floor. Plus Chip Kelly runs the show now and he has had a positive impact on the quarterback position from a fantasy perspective.

Notable Undrafted Quarterbacks

Geno Smith, Josh McCown, Mark Sanchez/Trevor Siemian, Dak Prescott, Chase Daniel, Case Keenum

Experienced 2QBers know how valuable backup quarterbacks are. Last year saw 53 different quarterbacks start at least one game so we know preseason backups will start. The above list features at least one starter (Denver Broncos) and backups you could be running to pick up off the wavier wire. While you might not have to use a draft pick on the above tier, don’t forget about them once the draft has ended.

Putting the QB Jigsaw Puzzle Together

Owners drafting out of the 1.01 slot have the hardest time determining if they should take a quarterback early or wait. Using our ADP, I have highlighted an early-QB team and a LRQB team drafting from the 1.01 slot to give you a visual of how each team could look.

 1.01 Early1.01 Late
Round 1Aaron RodgersAntonio Brown
Round 2Dez BryantDez Bryant
Round 3Drew BreesBrandon Marshall
Round 4Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Round 5Jeremy MaclinJeremy Maclin
Round 6Larry FitzgeraldDuke Johnson
Round 7Duke JohnsonJohn Brown
Round 8Emmanuel SandersTyrod Taylor
Round 9Melvin GordonMelvin Gordon
Round 10Tyler EifertTyler Eifert
Round 11DeSean JacksonTJ Yeldon
Round 12Alex SmithAlex Smith
Round 13Antonio GatesAntonio Gates
Round 14Devin FunchessBilal Powell
Round 15Darren SprolesBlaine Gabbert
QB1Aaron RodgersTyrod Taylor
QB2Drew BreesAlex Smith
RB1Duke JohnsonDuke Johnson
RB2Melvin GordonMelvin Gordon
WR1Dez BryantAntonio Brown
WR2Sammy WatkinsDez Bryant
WR3Jeremy MaclinBrandon Marshall
TE1Tyler EifertTyler Eifert
BenchLarry FitzgeraldSammy Watkins
Emmanuel SandersJeremy Maclin
DeSean JacksonJohn Brown
Alex SmithTJ Yeldon
Antonio GatesAntonio Gates
Devin FunchessBilal Powell
Darren SprolesBlaine Gabbert

2QB ADP QB Targets TL;DR

And here is a cheat sheet of quarterbacks I would be comfortable taking at their draft day cost that could fit into early-QB, LRQB, and studs and streaming draft strategies.

QB523.73.03Brees, Drew
QB1057.86.07Manning, Eli
QB1159.46.09Rivers, Philip
QB14778.07Taylor, Tyrod
QB15798.09Cousins, Kirk
QB1681.19.01Romo, Tony
QB1783.29.03Stafford, Matthew
QB1884.29.04Dalton, Andy
QB1985.89.05Mariota, Marcus
QB2099.210.09Ryan, Matt
QB2199.510.09Tannehill, Ryan
QB22106.211.06Fitzpatrick, Ryan
QB23106.311.06Flacco, Joe
QB24113.512.03Smith, Alex
QB25123.213.03Cutler, Jay
QB28139.114.09Griffin III, Robert

I told you that QB14-QB25 tier was stacked.

*Stats used in this article courtesy of FantasyData and RotoViz

***Our 2QB ADP is updated continuously throughout the offseason so the data cited above could differ from what you’re reading depending on the date.

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 for 'Humor Article of the Year'. You can follow him on Twitter @2QBFFB

8 thoughts on “Round-by-Round ADP QB Targets

  1. The articles entire premise is based off of inaccurate adp data. You can’t get brees in the 3rd or Ben in the 4th or Palmer Brady in the 5th and 6th. In competitive 2qb leagues, these guys don’t last that long. I’ve been doing 2 qb longer than most (10+ years). So to say you can grab Antonio Brown and still end up with Drew Brees is just false. More likely that you might get Palmer but realistically Eli. So no, you can’t get qb4 by waiting until the 3rd round. Wilson Luck Cam Rodgers are all first and early 2nd. That basically sets the tone for the draft.

    1. First, you are wrong. The ADP data is based on more than 50 2QB drafts all filled by real drafters, not bots. You may not like it, but the data is accurate.

      Second, many of our writers-including me-have been playing the 2QB format for over a decade as well. The length of time you’ve played does nothing to establish that your anecdotal evidence is better than ADP data based on 50+ drafts this season. My anecdotal evidence from those 10+ years is the opposite from yours: QBs go later as owners get more experience in the 2QB format. Is your claim that your anecdotal evidence is somehow better or more reliable?

      Third, Brees is QB5, not QB4. Sal wrote what the ADP shows: QB4 goes in the second round, on average. Brees goes around 23rd overall.

    2. Hi Frankie Football,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s kind of hard to say that it’s inaccurate ADP data, as that actually is what the ADP data says. I didn’t make it up, and it’s based on 2QB drafts we’ve been running all summer long. We have seen a shift in QB drafting over the years where QBs are going later than before. I was just in a competitive 2QB draft and actually got Brees in the fourth. It happens. We are seeing a shift in QB drafting early because of how deep the position is and how many viable, every week starting QBs there are available late. Drafters are starting to realize the value in waiting on the position. Of course, not every 2QB league is the same. And this date is skewed to 10-team leagues. In 12-team leagues or large it’s a different story. I know where you are coming from though, as I used to play in a 2QB league that was way too QB-heavy where 11 of the first 12 picks were QBs. In a league like that there is no way on elite QB will fall in the third. This goes back to my point that every 2QB league is different and you have to adapt to your surroundings.

  2. Who are your drafters is my first question? Are you offering this up to anyone off of twitter or just taking volunteers regardless of 2qb experience? Because it matters. Likewise, it matters if youre just drafting amongst yourselves and a select group of rotating individuals that are keen to the ebbs and flows of 2qb drafts, adb, vbd, position scarcity, and zero rb theory. My point here is, 50 mocks is a small data set especially when you consider your pool of candidate drafters and the timing of your drafts (mid summer vs preseason). I shouldn’t have said your data was wrong but it’s unlike anything I have ever seen even in this day and age of a devalued rb and committee approaches as as the relative depth of the qb positon.

    1. Hello again, Frankie Football. Welcome back.

      Our drafters are a mix of Twitter followers and industry analysts, with a mix of newcomers to 2QB leagues and players who have decades of experience. We have been running mocks since May and have seen a shift in QB ADP compared to years past. We are living in a more late-round QB dominated fantasy landscape. We do not discriminate when it comes to people wanting to draft. Are you just comparing our ADP data to your specific league? Or are you a part of 50 drafts every year that has the exact same draft mentality? Every 2QB league is different. You are in one that is QB-heavy. I have been in such a league. Many people draft quarterbacks early in 2QB leagues. But there are also many people that prefer the value of waiting on the quarterback position because of how many startable, productive quarterbacks there are available later in drafts. They prefer to stock up on WRs and RBs early and target the later round QBs or stream the QB2 position. Yes, casual 2QB home leagues tend to skew QB early but just because that is the way of one subset of drafters does not mean it’s THE way. There is no one way to draft a 2QB league. That’s part of the appeal of playing in 2QB leagues. The amount of different ways you can draft in a 2QB league makes it a much more enjoyable format than that of your traditional start-one QB league. That’s why I like 2QB leagues.

  3. That’s fair. I didn’t mean to jump all over anyone. I just see so much new stuff coming on 2qb given its rise in popularity and occasionally I take issue with “industry trends” as some call them. I woildnt say my league is necessarily qb heavy outside of the fact that we start 2 of them. 4 pts per passing the vs 6 pts for all others. 50 yards per point on passing vs 20 for catching and running. But Qbs still dominate the ranks. Now there’s definitely something to be said for value based drafting in that qb6 isn’t going to haul in significantly more aggregate points than qb17. That isn’t lost on me. That being said, qb17 is a valuable commodity and depending on how many of each position you start, it can make a drastic difference in strategy. I def take your points into consideration. I see now that I am trying to apply my experience universally which is shortsighted and most likely going to put me on tunnel vision mode when it comes to my draft. Thanks for the comments.

    1. Hey Frankie Football,

      I understand where you are coming from. When I first started playing 2QB fantasy football it was basically draft two QBs with your first two picks and then build the rest of your roster. I understand that draft mentality is still prevalent in today’s 2QB community. I would never say don’t draft quarterbacks early, as it can still be a worthwhile strategy in some 2QB leagues. I’ve just found myself shifting to the late round value quarterbacks. The beauty is that you can build 2QB rosters in a number of different ways, according to your own drafting philosophy and principles. I have appreciated this back and forth with you as well and whenever you feel you see something you disagree with don’t hesitate to reach out and let your feelings be known. A good ole’ fashioned fantasy football debate that is civil is always welcome around here. If you haven’t held your 2QB draft yet, good luck. If you have, I hope you dominate and win the whole thing.

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