Links to similar discussions on other positions:
Selecting quarterbacks late in fantasy football is far from revolutionary. And even though savvy fantasy managers are catching on and drafting high-upside quarterbacks earlier than in the past, there is still equity to be found in the middle and late rounds in 2022.
Consider this article a reminder that the late-round quarterback strategy is built on years of data and can still work. Last year's version of this article had mixed results. Joe Burrow was highlighted, and he broke out. But Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence were hampered by poor situations. And Trey Lance's season could be graded as an "incomplete" more than an "F" because he didn't see the field much. And when he did, he showed us that he's the kind of run-heavy quarterback that can make fantasy football dreams come true.
These are the reasons why the late-round quarterback strategy works:
- Positional Scarcity
- Flat Scoring Distribution at Quarterback
- Quarterback is a Predictable Position
- Quarterback is a Replaceable Position
Please note that all assumptions in this article are based on typical league setups (i.e., one-quarterback leagues with 18 or fewer roster spots).
Here are the starting players in a 12-team fantasy league vs. how many available NFL starters are at each position.
- Quarterbacks: 12 fantasy starters, 24 NFL starters
- Running Backs: 24-36 fantasy starters, 48 NFL starters
- Wide Receivers: 36-48 fantasy starters, 52 NFL starters
* The "NFL Starters" figures assume that certain passing offenses aren't palatable in typical leagues (hence the reduction from 32 at quarterback and 64 at receiver) and make assumptions that committee/third-down running backs are fantasy relevant (thus, a number greater than 32).
At the risk of over-simplifying things, which position seems least important? Here are the same numbers presented in a non-football way. Let's say you're hosting a cookout, and your grocery list consists of 12 sides and 30 hamburgers. Your local grocery store is running out of stock as you and 11 other people enter the store. Which of the following are you going to pick up first?
- 12 sides when 30 are available
- 30 burgers when 48 are available
Apologies to any vegetarians out there, but even a non-meat eater should understand the supply and demand here. Get the meat first and figure out the sides later.
Takeaway: fantasy leagues require fewer quarterback starters while more are available, making it a position with high supply and low demand.
Flat Scoring Distribution
Below is a chart of quarterback scoring over the past three seasons from QB1 to QB20.
Note: the QB8, QB12, and QB16 data points have been enlarged for emphasis.
And here is the difference between a middling starter and a low-end starter at various positions.
- QB4 to QB12: 3.9 fantasy points per game
- RB8 to RB36: 6.7 fantasy points per game
- WR8 to WR36: 5.4 fantasy points per game
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