StrategyAugust 25, 2010

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QB Combos - 1 comments

By Tom Docherty

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 21: Ben Roethlisberger  of the Pittsburgh Steelers passes against the New York Giants during their preseason game at New Meadowlands Stadium on August 21, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

August 19, 2010: Matt Ryan ( ) of Atlanta drops back to pass during the New England Patriots' pre-season game with the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. The Patriots defeated Atlanta, 28-10.

One of the biggest mistakes casual fantasy owners make is reaching too early in their draft for their starting quarterback, particularly in leagues that start only one. However, a skilled fantasy football owner understands that a patient and focused approach to the the QB position can sow the seeds that will lead his (or her) team to fantasy glory in 2010.

With running backs carrying the load less and less, the QB position has become more important. But, don’t convince yourself that you must have a ‘stud’ QB to field a winning roster. The best thing to do is to develop a plan for how to address the QB position and then stick to it. Never allow a “QB run” to scare you into reaching too early for the QB you are targeting. Ultimately, this will hurt your team and you will miss out on skill players at other important positions. If another owner grabs the QB you covet, just move on and take the RBs and WRs he passed on.

Another approach that has worked for me in many drafts is to simply pass on the top QBs, and target two good QBs in the middle rounds with schedules that compliment each other. By compliment, I mean that when one QB is on bye week or has a poor matchup, the other has a favorable matchup. If you can find and then draft two QBs that fit this mold, you will have a lethal combo.

Following this strategy requires you to avoid what I’ll call the Big 7 – Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Matt Schaub, Tom Brady, and Tony Romo. The order in which these QBs should be drafted is debatable, but most owners agree that there is likely to be a big dropoff in skill and in ADP. Rest assured however, there will be QBs drafted after the Big 7 who will statistically top them. Pair one of those diamonds in the rough with a steady bye-week replacement and you have a recipe for success. Which ones? Here is my recommendation:

Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger

With ‘Big Ben’s’ 6-game suspension reduced to four games, this turns out to be a great combo. While Roethlisberger serves his supension, Ryan and the Falcons have an easy schedule. You should actually start Ryan for the first five weeks: at PIT, vs. Arz, at NO, vs. SF, and at CLE. When the Steelers come off their week 5 bye, start Roethlisberger vs. Cleveland. Week 7 provides the toughest decision with the Steelers at Miami and the Falcons hosting Cincinnati – if Roethlisberger does well in his return I’d roll with him. Go with Ben again in week 8 at the Saints while Ryan takes his bye week. Go back to Ryan in week 9 vs. TB while Ben travels to Cincy; then back to Ben in week 10 when the Steelers host New England. Week 11 sees Ben hosting Oakland and Ryan traveling to S. Louis – both look like great options. Start Ben as he travels to Buffalo in week 12 and Ryan versus the Bucs in week 13.

At this point hopefully you’re in your fantasy playoffs and Ryan is the guy to ride throughout. His matchups at Carolina, at Seattle and at home versus New Orleans (expect a shootout!) are better than Roethlisberger’s three home games versus Cincinnati, the Jets, and Carolina.

Tom is from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and attended Ryerson University's Journalism School. After two years working for Hockey Night in Canada after graduation, he decided to go into the private sector for employment. He still has a passion for sports, and he's completely hooked on Fantasy Football.
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One Response to “QB Combos”

  1. rhbcub says:

    Drafting with matchups in mind is one of the biggest mistakes any fantasy owner can make. We may think, for example, that StL, CLE, DET, TB are easy matchups, but one of them is going to surprise us by not being that bad. By the same token, a *difficult* matchup may well turn out to be a good one (see PIT, NYG last year). Fact is, right now we don’t know what the good matchups are. Draft for talent, not for matchups.

    Similarly, drafting with bye weeks in mind is a huge mistake — at least until the very last few rounds. If you’re going for a bye week QB in rd 14 fine. If you’re trying to make sure you have two good ones, just get two good ones. This is especially important with your WRs and RBs. The ideal situation would be to have ALL of your good players on the same bye week (yeah, I know, ain’t gonna happen) but then, you’d be shorthanded one week instead of 5 or 6 or so. I’d happily trade on huge blowout loss for 13 wins.


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