Dynasty SuperFlex Rankings & the Strategy Behind Them (Fantasy Football)
We get asked this question all the time: why don’t you talk about SuperFlex more? Apart from our discussion on the podcast, I thought it might be helpful to frame that question with a bit of humor, context, and questions just to give you a bigger picture of the format.
First off, it is quite hard to rightly quantify Superflex leagues. Is it on the rise? Certainly. If you were to ask me if I play SuperFlex, I would reply, “Yes!” I also play in 1QB dynasty leagues and thus creating a “double counting” phenomenon. There are so many degenerates in 20+ dynasty leagues that getting a proper gauge on the format isn’t always possible. Feel free to contact Sleeper, ESPN, or MyFantasyLeague but getting hard data on league formatting is hard.
As with any league format, you will have people clamor and claim “this is the only way to play fantasy!” If it’s TE-premium, it’s their 32-team contract league, or the people stuck on their standard scoring, TD-only “this is the way fantasy was meant to be played” ways. Regardless, we care about giving equitable advice that can be applied anywhere while also equipping people to make the best decisions in their format-specific league.
Much of the elitism in fantasy football league preference can be likened to the water bottle industry. In college, everybody had a Nalgene, at least at my granola college. Hyrdoflasks became a thing, YETI cornered the market on making sure you had an insulated cup, and now my wife and all her friends have way too many Stanley cups (#NotaSponsor). You might have a preference for what you use and what is normal around your friends but let’s be honest… these things are essentially the same. They are water bottles! For fantasy football, no shame in hating on any format that people play in.
Keep in mind that SuperFlex is trending in a way to become the norm in Dynasty Startups. For the majority of people who play fantasy football and don’t come in until August, they’ve never heard of the term. In terms of DFS & Best Ball content, I write and give advice on the DFS & Betting podcast almost exclusively with a single QB in mind.
Approaching SuperFlex Scoring
In professional sports, there is no argument from me about that. Finding a top-tier QB is the biggest advantage in professional sports. In this game we call fantasy football, it is not always the most important position.
Yes, technically Aaron Rodgers finished with more fantasy points and ended the year as the QB13… aka the highest-ranked QB2 you could find. But did he actually help your team? He failed to score 20 fantasy points in ANY WEEK! Ceedee Lamb, on the other hand, was QB-proof despite Dak Prescott going down and down the stretch, he was a true difference-maker for teams. The point isn’t to do an apples-to-oranges comparison but more to point out some of the fallacy of QB scoring, QB importance, and why SuperFlex doesn’t always accurately portray. I love SuperFlex but I also don’t mind pointing out some of the failed logic used when people claim it is the only way to play fantasy football.
We personally do not recommend that people draft in SuperFlex leagues with a top-200 list. Tier-based drafting is our company-wide approach and why we’ve held off on giving SuperFlex rankings for a while. The real questions people are asking: “Where should I take QBs in SuperFlex? How should I value them rightly?” These are valid questions worth discussing compared to claiming a format is supreme and all others are somehow elementary or weak.
SuperFlex is a lens to assess dynasty rosters but it does not change everything. Like buying a new car, 90% of what matters for a car is transferrable regardless if you’re buying a Prius or a Tesla. (Don’t ask Jason about a Prius. He will get angry.) Our QB Point Projections don’t change based on 1QB or 2QB leagues. Patrick Mahomes scores the same in both formats in the Ultimate Draft Kit. Elite RBs like CMC still are game-changers. Your evaluation of any RB/WR/TE (ex: Terry McLaurin) is separate from your SuperFlex league. What kind of player is he? Do you think he projects to be better than Jahan Dotson on his own team? The majority of fantasy football evaluation is not league-specific; rather, the league you play in offers the context for inserting your opinions.
Positional Scarcity isn’t the same as Positional Supremacy.
As many people state, what does change in a SuperFlex league is the SUPPLY & DEMAND. 75% of the NFL QBs will be starting in a SuperFlex league. You’ll hear everyone and their mama discuss how SuperFlex leagues create positional scarcity for the QB position. Effective rosters in Superflex dynasty leagues not only recognize the value of QBs but also the opportunity cost of not having one. This makes trading for QBs even harder. With the scarcity mentality, everyone is in the business of hoarding and playing it safe.
I recently did a study on SuperFlex Dynasty Rookie Drafts and found that we tend to overvalue the QB position in terms of upside.
- Since 2012, 13 of the 24 QBs (who started in Year 1) hit a top-12 scoring mark within the first two years, that’s a 54 percent hit rate.
- Only 37.5 percent (nine QBs) had a top-6 season within the first three years.
Fantasy football, in general, is a market that fluctuates based on the players actually participating in the sport. In other words, based on the league and the talent pool at certain positions things change how we approach every position. Kenny Pickett “led” a weak QB class the year before and thrust fringe QBs like Malik Willis up the board despite what the NFL thought of him. Check out the landscape for dynasty RBs right now. The old guard is transitioning out as players that were longtime stalwarts such as Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, and Ezekiel Elliott are now aged out of being incredibly valuable dynasty assets. RBs can also be a scarce position depending on the talent pool. Honestly, look at the RBs beyond RB5 in our dynasty ranks and tell me if they feel like elite dynasty options moving forward. Think about TEs and how rare is it to find ones that are difference-makers. This is a market for every position and depending on the year, those positions outperform expectation or some underperform like Aaron Rodgers.
Keep in mind that everyone in a SuperFlex league feels this crunch. You can win in dynasty leagues with so many different combinations. I’m in a league where the champ won with an elite combo of Patrick Mahomes + Justin Herbert. Another league was won solely on the back of a Tom Brady/Mike Evans stack after their QB1 (Jalen Hurts) missed the championship game. I’ll never forget winning a championship with Drew Brees + Blake Bortles years ago.
QB Tiers in SuperFlex
Looking our dynasty rankings, you can see where QBs fall in clusters. For example, in Round 1 Jason has seven QBs in his dynasty startup rankings but then there is a clear break before Justin Fields shows up. In Dynasty, QBs generally carry a long shelf life. Per RotoViz, 2/3rds of QBs ranked in the top-12 of startups remain there in two years. The strategy employed by most drafters is to grab one of the elite but keep in mind everyone carries this into a draft. For more on the subject, check out on Tier-Based Drafting & the Thinking Behind It.
The real question is where do you go with the next tier? In Rounds 3 & 4, there is pressure to take QBs here to check off the 2QB spot on your list. All of the QBs in this spot outside of the top-10 of Jason’s rankings are in stable situations and guaranteed to be their team’s starting QB next year.
However, this tier is overvalued in dynasty startups when you consider the other important positional players that can be contributors to win-now teams.
The biggest eye-opening part of our dynasty episode was quantifying how much QB turnover there was year-to-year in the NFL. I wanted to get a better feel of the league and see if people were overvaluing low-end QB2s and QB3s in SuperFlex leagues. Over the last five years, at least 10 QBs (who were the Week 1 starters) were NOT that team’s starter a year later. In fact, the average was 11.6 QB situations changing from year-to-year. That is a staggering number in a format where people draft for safety behind their elite QBs. While being caught without a viable QB2 is detrimental, the reality is the entire league likely will be turning over their QB2 position more often than you might think in a dynasty format. A player you think is a strong QB2 right now isn’t a guarantee to be his team’s starter next year. We ended the podcast by naming Jared Goff, Mac Jones, and Matthew Stafford as three candidates to potentially be out of a starting job in 2024.