Drafting QBs: Early or Late?


So you’re sitting there on the clock in the second, third, or even fourth round of your draft and you’re staring at Aaron Rodgers name on your draft sheet. Should you take him or should you look elsewhere? You could make a strong argument that having a reliable weekly starter at the QB position is the most logical play. You could also argue that finding that weekly QB streamer and playing the match up game is the right way to go. Let’s take a look at both sides of that coin.


First, let’s examine the stats. During the 2016 season and in 12-team leagues that use standard scoring, quarterbacks who played the majority of the season and were drafted in the first six rounds averaged 21 fantasy points per game. Quarterbacks who played the majority of the season and were drafted in the next seven rounds averaged 18.75 points per game. This means that there is only a 2.25 point per game difference between early-round and late-round quarterbacks. If you’re thinking that this proves that early-round QBs score more than late-round QBs then you’re right. However, you have to consider what you’re missing out on when you draft that early-round QB.


If you look at the same breakdown for running backs from last season, you’ll notice a significantly larger gap. Early-round running backs scored an average of 9.5 fantasy points per game, while late-round running backs only scored an average of 6 fantasy points per game. If you also take into consideration that in most leagues you start two RBs versus one QB then that equates to a 7 fantasy point per game difference for your team! So is it really worth drafting Aaron Rodgers when you could grab DeMarco Murray or maybe even Melvin Gordon?


If you ask me, my answer is a clear and resounding no. I am the biggest proponent of the late-round, QB streaming strategy and will not be drafting an early-round QB. That’s not to say that if a top-tier QB fell to me at the right spot then I wouldn’t draft him, but the chance that a top-tier QB will fall to me in the 6th or 7th round is slim to none.


Let me give you a quick disclaimer. This all boils down to your personal preference. If you just gotta have “your guy” and you’re willing to spend that high draft capital then go for it. Personally, I find better value and like the challenge of finding the right streamer each week to take me to the top. Regardless of what you prefer, you need to make the most educated decision that you possibly can come draft day and hopefully this info will help you do just that.


*ADP stats came from Fantasy Football Calculator, Scoring stats came from our draft software




Jonathan Stone, NFC Lead Writer



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