Are you one of those fantasy football owners who usually hovers around .500? On occasion, you finish in the top half when you draft a breakout player or finish the lower half when injuries cripple your team?
You might want to consider The Oklahoman’s fantasy league strategy. It’s risky but it might help you contend for this year’s title.
The strategy? Wait until Rounds 6 or 7 to select a quarterback.
Three quarterbacks — Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers — are worthy of first-round picks and at worst should go somewhere in the top 15 to 20 picks, but you will take a RB or WR. Same thing with Matthew Stafford, who is worthy of coming off the board in the fourth round.
After that it’s like splitting hairs and reading crystal balls. This is why you wait to take your quarterback.
Some owners will believe in last year’s breakout players (Nick Foles and Philip Rivers). Some owners will take a chance and hope Robert Griffin III doesn’t show up on the weekly injury report.
The wait-on-a-QB strategy allows you to concentrate in other areas regardless of which quarterbacks are selected because the strategy is based on the theory that there are at least 18 NFL quarterbacks with “starter” potential.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Jay Cutler drop because of his injury history and sulky reputation, but Cutler would be a tremendous value in Rounds 6 or lower.
If Cutler doesn’t drop, you might get Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Rivers or Ben Roethlisberger. Someone has to slip.
While other owners start to panic in Rounds 4 and 5 and select quarterbacks like Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick, you’ll be selecting two running backs in the first three rounds and a third in the next two rounds. The other two spots will be filled by wide receivers, possibly an elite tight end.
Sometimes a rival owner will detect your strategy and select a backup quarterback early to stick it to you. No worries. He’s the one with roster holes that remained unfilled. Still, it is mandatory to select the highest remaining quarterback on your board in Round 6, no later than Round 7.
The safe play is to take a second quarterback in the seventh or eighth rounds to double your chances of finding the quarterback who ends up producing starter-worthy stats. That should make you a contender in your league since you should have an edge at running back and wide receiver.
It’s a simple question. Are you willing to roll the dice and be patient until Rounds 6 or 7, to fill your quarterback vacancy?
Maybe this tidbit from the 2013 season will boost your confidence:
Last year, Rivers finished fifth in the final fantasy QB ratings, Dalton sixth and Roethlisberger 12th. Meanwhile, Brady ended 13th, Ryan 15th and RGIII 18th.