How to Think About Superflex Rankings (Fantasy Football)
Once upon a time in the magical land of fantasy football, there lived a league where quarterbacks were the most important players on your roster. The league was different than all the other leagues, and when people would come and visit, they would be confused about why these people were all so happy. Yet the league was growing faster and faster year after year. People were joining the community and had no idea what they were doing, but it seemed like the cool thing to do, and they didn’t want to be left out. The league was called Superflex, and if you are one of the many who have joined this style of play and have no clue what makes it so unique, don’t worry; the Fantasy Footballers are here to help.
Fantasy draft season is quickly approaching, so it is time to start preparing your strategy. The good news is the Ultimate Draft Kit is here! As of June 1st, you can get all the rankings and analyses the Ballers offer. Of course, the question is, how do you best sort through the rankings and build your strategy for a Superflex league?
The most basic thought for Superflex is that QBs matter more. Because you can play multiple QBs, having a top-tier performer in your roster becomes increasingly essential. In a 12-team league, there is a chance 24 QBs play weekly. Only 32 QBs will play every week typically; that is serious positional scarcity. However, as Kyle said on the Dynasty Podcast last week, “Scarcity doesn’t mean superiority.” Just because there are fewer options doesn’t mean QBs are more valuable than WRs or RBs. You don’t have to double-stack them to start your draft. Don’t give up positional advantage at receiver and running back or even tight end just because everyone else is going QB.
Comparing SuperFlex Rankings
When you compare QB rankings in standard redraft vs. Superflex, the average difference in the UDK ranking is 52.7 spots, just for the top ten guys. That difference can mess up your thought process for your draft plan.
Let’s look at the history of the QB position. We know that we in the fantasy community are getting better at figuring out which quarterbacks will have a good year or are on the rise at the position, at least when it comes to the top talent. If we look at the last three years, the top five quarterbacks in ADP have finished an average of 3.7 places different at the end of the season. So, you are more likely to get a quarterback meeting your expectations early than later in the draft. So, maybe you should address that QB position early since those are the guys who tend to hit. Except that isn’t wholly true outside of averages. When you go by a player-by-player analysis, the ADP compared to the finish is less consistent than the average.
At this point, the draft strategy gets tricky. Last year we had four truly top-tier quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, and Joe Burrow all produced high-ceiling seasons for your roster, except Hurts wasn’t a top-five draft pick. His ADP was seventh, so he climbed into the upper tier. Then players like Justin Fields, Lamar Jackson, and Justin Herbert all had games or even stretches where they were elite producers, but injury or lack of weapons kept them from being as consistent as the top tier. However, Herbert and Lamar were both top-five QB draft picks and finished outside the top ten. At the same time, Fields was another riser coming from 17th and finishing in seventh. Then you have the players who have shown promise but have many questions. That would include quarterbacks like Trevor Lawrence or Deshaun Watson. They were not anywhere in the discussion last year regarding ADP, but we know there is talent if the offense clicks. Do you see the problem yet?
After four picks, the top tier of quarterbacks is gone. After eight selections, you start to feel questionable and get into the weeds after ten picks.
I know what you’re saying: “But it’s Superflex, I have to get a quarterback early.” I understand that is what everyone in your league is thinking. Let me ask, is it better at just the eleventh pick in the draft to take Dak Prescott or Justin Jefferson?
Andy, Mike, and Jason always say it on the podcast: put names to the picks, and sit with the thought of that player on your team. The ADP game still matters in Superflex so don’t get so desperate for a QB in the first round that you take a player who cannot consistently provide you with first-round points.
Fantasy football aims to score the most points in your league every week. That doesn’t magically change because you have a second QB on your starting roster. If, in a standard redraft league, you wanted to get an RB in the first round, but all the good ones who should be first-rounders are gone, you wouldn’t just take a lower running back just cause that is what you planned. You would pivot and take a receiver. Same idea, just different letters.
This positional analysis is another reason why the tier-based ranking system that the UDK+ uses is so important. If a tier of players is gone in the position you wanted, but there are players left in the same tier at a different position, you can quickly know where to shift your focus.
You don’t want to forget the QB position. Remember, there are 32 usual starters, and 24 can be in play each week. You don’t want to be stuck with the dregs of the position. If you don’t get one of the top guys, pivot to those positions like RB and WR to start your team. Then you want QBs who give you consistent scoring with some possible upside. Again, let me point you to the UDK+. This year, we have added the Upside Meter. One of the rules I have in Superflex is that if I don’t get a QB first, I want to ensure I get three QBs by the end of the draft. I want to get someone I know I can depend on and then swing for the fences. This year that could look like getting Geno Smith with Anthony Richardson and Kyler Murray. Geno, you know you can trust, and while the other two have high-risk meter scores, they also have much higher upside opportunities. Getting a combination like this while having an advantage at WR and RB is a way to be just as competitive without having one of the upper-tier QBs.
If you can get a difference-maker at the QB position, all this goes out the window. If you have the first pick and can take Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen, you should take Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen.
If you get an elite QB, the next question is, when do you take your second QB? I bring it back to this point – it is a superFLEX position. Meaning you have to make that spot into a standard flex mentality. If you start off your draft with an elite WR and have a chance to put another good one in your flex spot, that would be a no-brainer. So, the same story is in Superflex. Grab the guy who will help you the most. If that is a QB, outstanding! If it is a WR or RB, then go in that direction. Of course, it is a dream that you could put Justin Fields last year into that position and have two top ten QBs on your team. The good news is that it happens almost every year. Last year it was Fields, two years ago it was Burrow, and three years ago, it was Allen. There will be risers you can get late, but you must target the right guys.
What makes an excellent back-end QB to grab? Look at Fields, Burrow, and Allen. They were going into their second year in the league, shown promise and talent, and had an offense that finally let them do what they do best. For Allen and Fields, that was running the ball. For Burrow, it was opening up the passing game and going downfield. You want to find those guys and get them on your roster. Second-year QBs or guys finally getting an opportunity after being in the league for a bit are prime candidates for breakouts.
Rankings are great, but tier-based ranking systems will keep you out of trouble and out of the tilt of doom when people start drafting in weird ways. Plenty of tools help you build your tiers or use the tiered rankings in the UDK+, but straight-up top 200 rankings are not the best way to prepare for your drafts, especially regarding Superflex.
If I were to boil it down to one point in which to carry into your preparation for your upcoming Superflex draft, it is this – having a combination of two great QBs is fantastic, but you need the rest of your roster to be good to win a championship. Don’t miss out on elite talent for mediocre QB play just because you can play two of them.