Fantasy 101: The Canons of Superflex Draft Strategy

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When I first started seriously playing in Superflex fantasy football leagues many, many years ago, I was perusing Twitter, and I saw that Evan Silva had posted his famous Top-200 Rankings Post. Of course, this set of rankings was tailored to single quarterback leagues, so I sent him a direct message. I asked him, “How would your rankings change for a two-QB league?” He replied with a single word:

That exchange ought to tell you everything you need to know about how different maneuvering within a Superflex league will be. It will be dramatically different.

Canons of Superflex Leagues

Canon 1: The Superflex Roster Spot Should be Considered a 2nd QB Position, Unless in an Emergency

A Superflex league allows you to start a player at any offensive position (RB, WR, QB, TE) in the Superflex roster spot, but, for all intents and purposes, this roster spot is dedicated to a second quarterback. If you aren’t starting a second quarterback in your Superflex position, your roster is suboptimal.

The logic is pretty simple here, but let me “show my work.” Consider 2022’s QB24 (among “regular starters”), Aaron Rodgers, who represented the “worst” startable QB in a 2-QB league. He averaged 14.8 fantasy points per game (ppg) in a four-points-per-TD league. In 2022, there were only 27 positional players who averaged more than 14.8 ppg, and these players are the best at their positions. That list includes basically the top 13 RBs (i.e. RB1s), the top 13 WRs (WR1s), and Travis Kelce (TE1). These players would never be in consideration for a flex spot in your lineup. Instead, you’d actually be deciding between a QB and someone like A.J. Dillon (9.9 ppg), or worse. Given these choices, the choice is pretty clear.

Or, consider it this way, in 2022, 28 of the top 50 players in ppg were QBs. So, you have a better than 50-50 chance of starting a top 50 fantasy point scorer in your Superflex position if you dedicate that spot to a QB. The choice is clear – your Superflex roster spot should be filled by a second quarterback every week.

Of course, emergencies do happen. You may have multiple injuries, or you might have two QBs on bye week at the same time, so you may need to pivot to a positional player, but these situations should be few and far between. Hopefully, you avoid these emergencies by following Canon #2.

Canon 2: Always Strive to Roster Three Starting Quarterbacks

Unlike a single quarterback “standard” league, a replacement-level quarterback will not exist on the waiver wire. Instead, you should assume that all 32 starting quarterbacks will be rostered from draft day to the fantasy playoffs. In fact, many backup quarterbacks will likely be drafted. For example, the Titans will probably name Ryan Tannehill the Week 1 starter, but we all know that Will Levis wasn’t drafted to hold a clipboard all season. That means savvy Superflex drafters will probably take a shot on the young gun. In a one-QB league, drafting Will Levis would be a fool’s errand; in a Superflex league, it’s a solid late-round gamble.

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Given that all 32 QBs will be drafted, you cannot stream the position using the waiver wire. You cannot assume, week-to-week, that you can grab a QB off the waiver wire because there may not be a starting QB available on the waiver wire. Even if there is, that eligible quarterback may have a horrible matchup, he may be a first-time starter, or he may play for an awful team.

So, to avoid the emergency situation discussed in Canon 1, you need to always have at least three starting quarterbacks on your roster. This policy should start at the draft and persist throughout the entire year (with the sole exception being the fantasy championship, perhaps). Even if you have two strong options and three QBs on your roster, when a starting QB becomes available, efforts should be made to roster that QB, if possible. Take Brock Purdy for example; he played well at the end of 2022 and was worth a Superflex pickup in retrospect, even if just to keep him away from your opponents.

Moreover, having multiple rostered QBs allows for limited streaming opportunities, which could prove useful. In one of my Superflex leagues last year, my QB stable consisted of Josh Allen, Jared Goff, and Aaron Rodgers. Allen was locked in, of course, but I generally played the matchups between Goff and Rodgers, particularly because Rodgers wasn’t very good in 2022. But having that third QB ready to fill in allowed me the flexibility to “stream” the position in a limited manner. Even better in this situation, Goff turned into an every-week starter at a limited cost.

Rostering at least three QBs gives you flexibility, provides protection during bye weeks and injuries, and gives you upside.

Canon 3: Try, but Don’t Assume You Are Drafting a QB Early

QBs unsurprisingly rise up the draft board in any Superflex league, but that doesn’t mean you draft a QB in the first two rounds de facto. It would likely be wise to grab at least one QB in those rounds but don’t force it. I will get into the QB drafting strategy a bit later on, and any strong Superflex player will be familiar with the draft strategies outlined below. But more importantly, a virtuoso Superflex player can pivot from one strategy to another depending on how the draft falls.

Currently, the Ultimate Draft Kit ranks seven QBs in the top 10 – the top seven draft picks, to be precise. However, other outlets are less QB-heavy at the top, listing only three QBs in the top 10 (although those three are in the top four). QBs will score a lot of points, but we still cannot forget value-based drafting. Generally, you can expect somewhere between five to seven QBs drafted in the first round of a 12-person league, but you also need to know your league. I have two Superflex redraft leagues that I’ve been a part of for over a decade each. In one of those leagues, I know that 10-12 QBs will be drafted in the first two rounds, but in the other, it’s probably only six or seven, and I change my draft strategies accordingly. Know your league, know your league mates, and know your settings.

Having the number one pick doesn’t mean it’s a no-brainer Mahomes pick this year. Nor should you fall into the trap of drafting a QB just because there is a crazy run on QBs going on in the early rounds. Having one or more late-round QB targets is important no matter what happens early. For me last year, I was targeting Hurts in the mid-rounds and Goff in the late rounds. That worked out extremely well. I could have drafted McCaffrey in the first, grabbed Hurts in the second or third, and grabbed Goff late; the result would have been two QB1s and the best running back in fantasy. You have to be nimble, especially when seven QB names enter into the first-round conversation.

Canon 4: Use Standard Redraft Knowledge for Other Positions but Recalculate Draft Capital Value

As I alluded to in Canon 3, starting two quarterbacks doesn’t mean those are the only two positions that matter. It’s easy to get excited by quarterbacks in a Superflex league; they score the most points. But, even if you draft the QB1 and the QB2 on the year, you aren’t guaranteed a #FootclanChampionship. You need a good team.

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Luckily, you probably know a thing or two about standard leagues and drafting. Use those same principles and knowledge throughout the draft to fill out your RB, TE, and WR positions. However, the quarterback position gets a Superflex boost everywhere – even names like Derek Carr and Kenny Pickett are going to be mid-round picks (as opposed to likely undrafted in a standard league). That means that draft capital needs to be recalibrated. Stefon Diggs is a third-round pick in a Superflex league (at least according to the UDK), while he’s a first-round pick in standard. Map out your draft, like Jason Moore likes to say, but do so knowing how QB value affects ADP.

Superflex League Draft Strategy

When it comes to draft strategy in a Superflex league, everything hinges on QB strategy. TE-early, zero-RB, etc. can all fit in with these strategies, and you are likely aware of all of them, or some better writer than me explained them better than I could now. Let’s focus on how to fill our two QB roster spots and follow the Canons above.


The QB-heavy strategy in Superflex leagues attacks the QB position hard in the early rounds. Usually, this involves two QBs drafted in the first three rounds. That’s a lot of draft capital to give up for the QB position, but it could be a major advantage for your team.

If we follow the current Superflex ADP while drafting from, say, the 3rd spot, this may involve drafting Jalen Hurts at 1.03 and Tua Tagovailoa at 3.03. That’s a pretty solid pairing of QBs, but it came at a hefty cost. In this example, I would not be looking at Tua in Round 3 as my second QB. That is, I do not recommend this strategy for drafts that follow Superflex ADP closely.

Rather, this strategy is great when your league mates draft following standard league ADP, and the top QBs fall. For example, I had the 5th pick in a two-QB league last year. By some miracle, Josh Allen fell to me at five – a player I would have taken at one were I to have had that pick. A lot of RBs and WRs flew off the board, and I saw Jalen Hurts staring at me in the second round. I didn’t hesitate. I was able to secure two of my top five QBs with my first two picks, and I still was able to land Saquon Barkley in the 3rd.

This strategy was not how I expected the draft to go, but I pivoted to it because the value was so good. Plus, both Hurts and Allen added fantasy value with rushing. My anecdote is probably a major outlier, but still an example of how you need to pivot from an expected draft strategy to another if the right players fall into your lap.

So, QB-heavy is a strategy that works, but only in certain circumstances. If 12 QBs went off the board before my 2.06 pick, there is no way I would have drafted a QB in the second. But, when two players in the top five at the most important position are available in the first two rounds, it’s a strong strategy.

Studs and Streamers

This is probably my most common Superflex draft strategy for drafts that follow Superflex ADP closely. In any Superflex draft, I want to walk away with one rockstar at the QB position. Typically, a rockstar at the QB position is someone who also provides value with his legs. In 2021, I joined a dynasty Superflex league, and I had the first pick. To everyone’s surprise, I went with Josh Allen instead of Patrick Mahomes. Allen went on to be the QB1 for 2021. He may not have the longevity that Mahomes has, but for now, he has far more mobility. That gave him the edge for me. This doesn’t always work out, of course. In another redraft Superflex league in 2022, I drafted Lamar Jackson over Patrick Mahomes. Hindsight says this was a terrible pick, especially given Lamar’s injury. I justified it, at the time, saying Lamar was on a contract year and offered so much with his legs. Still, the point is, I want to walk away from at least the first round or two with a rockstar at QB, which typically means someone who provides value on the ground and through the air. Someone outside the obvious who I am really excited about in 2023 is Justin Fields.

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Once you have that rockstar QB, you can let the draft come to you. Take value anywhere. That might mean waiting for several rounds before drafting your second QB (or it might mean drafting another stud QB early, as described above in the QB-heavy strategy). The goal is not to try and make sure you get a QB ranked QB20 or higher. If the draft doesn’t work out that way, you shouldn’t force it because you should view your Superflex roster spot as a streamable position between two or more lower-ranked QBs. That might mean drafting, for example, based on 2023 ADP, Matthew Stafford and Mac Jones. Maybe it means throwing a dart at Sam Howell, Trey Lance, and Jimmy Garoppolo. The point is, you won’t love the player who you slot into your Superflex roster spot, but hopefully, with enough options, you can play the matchups and piece together a Frankenstein QB2. Or, you may stumble upon this year’s Jared Goff or Geno Smith – a guy everybody leaves for dead but turns out great.

Depending on how large your bench is, you should draft more streamer QBs if you feel more uneasy about the players drafted. Stafford and Jones aren’t a pretty pair at the moment. In this situation, I might throw a dart at a 4th QB in a smaller league size to hedge my bets. This may not be possible in a 12 or 14-team league, where some teams may not even have the ability to roster three starting QBs, but in leagues this size, Matthew Stafford becomes a much cleaner-looking option. Again, know your league.

One special tip, drafting your QB2 (or any QB really) during the RB dead zone is a great strategy and may prevent you from drafting a dud.

Late-Round QB

Just because Superflex leagues start a second quarterback doesn’t mean the late-round QB draft principals are useless. Quite the contrary, many Superflex experts swear by this method in Superflex leagues, arguing it works even better because while your league mates all fight for scraps among the top 15-20 QBs, late-round QB drafters in Superflex leagues happily snatch up difference makers at RB, WR, and TE and still find usable options at QB later.

If I am drafting late in the first round, and six or seven QBs go in the first nine picks or so, I might pivot to this method. Justin Jefferson looks really good when you compare him to someone like Dak Prescott, even though Prescott is likely to score more fantasy points. But Prescott is not the difference maker at his position that Jefferson will be. Just like in any draft, you need to know each player’s value, and if a massive QB run happens in front of you, you don’t want to be caught at the end of that run holding the bag.

So, late-round QB is still a viable strategy, even in a Superflex league. But, the caveat is that “late” is relative, and “late” might mean the 5th round in a Superflex league instead of the 11th round in a redraft league. Almost all the QBs will see an inflated ADP in a Superflex league, so if you want to snatch up a couple of studs at the WR/RB/TE position before addressing QB, that’s fine, just realize that there is a limit here. You still need to follow Canon 2 above, which means you need to think about a QB way earlier than in a standard league. Again, this depends on the draft. If QB10 isn’t off the Board until the third round, then ADP goes out the window and you need to follow value where you can and also know your league.

I truly hope this helps you in your Superflex leagues in 2023, or it gets you interested in the format. Superflex is my absolute favorite format, and I hope you enjoy it as well.


Jason says:

Great breakdown, I’ll be using this in a week in my superflex league. This is only my 2nd year playing in a superflex league and I can already see how I could have drafted better last year and will adjust accordingly.

Eric Wakeling says:

Please keep the 2 QB or superflex content coming!

Stuart Jackson says:

Feel free to take down the article. So my league mates don’t stumble upon it! Love the show. Love you guys! First time superflexer and super pumped to try it.

Albert Huizing V says:

Mike don’t take the article down I read it! This article is good and informative.

It’d be awesome to have a 2 QB league article based around auction draft. Auction draft is so much better! I’d love to hop on a zoom and chat about giving my 10 years of auction draft experience – maybe we can do an spin off episodes like the dynasty podcast 😂

Karl says:

3rd pick superflex. Alen went first then CMC, I took Mahomes and Justin Fields was there in the second round. Four picks later Saquon was still on the board. Sitting pretty after 3 rounds with two top 5 QB and a top 5 RB whereas some of my league mates have yet to draft a QB and Justin Herbert is the best on the board.

bhart says:

Superflex leagues are the best. Love the breakdown, Nate!

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