Fantasy Focus: Draft strategy with an eye on quarterbacks

Dec 24, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) warms up prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

You, me, anyone that plays fantasy football needs certain things. A love of the sport, an understanding wife, (or husband) that allows us to do things like yell “Blitz, Blitz, Blitz!” at the television so players that are often hundreds of miles away can maybe just sense that a blitz is coming.

The third thing we need is a quarterback. I have that love for football, I have an understanding spouse. Quarterbacks though might seem to be in short supply. Let’s look at three of my favorite mid round quarterback picks you can fit in with your team

In standard fantasy football, there are two strategies I use a lot for my drafts. The first one is a running back “heavy” approach. Draft as many high reward, big workload runners as possible. Running backs that will dominate their team’s touches. This is a very viable strategy because if there is one thing almost all running backs do, that’s end up hurt and unable to play, at least for a few games. If you have a handful that all play a lot, those injuries won’t impact your team.


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Another popular method is the zero-running back strategy. Leave the ball carriers be and draft the target machines, receivers that hog any football flying near them. The guys that don’t care if a defensive back is trying to get in their uniform to stop the play.They are coming down with the football.

Wide outs can have huge days for you. Especially in point per reception leagues. If you get solid production from your team and one of your receivers “goes off” and scores a ton of points then victory that week will normally be yours.

Both these methods have a glaring problem. No quarterback. We’ve got to have a quarterback.“But Dean, you said to draft running backs and wide receivers first.”Yes, I did but fear not. There is still a lot of value to be had at the quarterback position after the tier of guys is drafted. Here are some of my favorites.

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay.

Winston’s current average draft position is the 1st pick of the 7th round. Last year he averaged 15.9 fantasy points a game, throwing a touchdown every 22 passes. The Buccaneers have added weapons for Winston and he doesn’t face a defense ranked in the top six after game four against the Giants this year. Winston is going to have a big season. Just have some patience early on.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Tennessee

Mariota’s average draft position right now is the second pick of the 8th round. He averaged 17.3 points of fantasy goodness and threw a touchdown every 18.2 times he released the ball. I’m not as solidly on the Mariota band wagon because he faces six stud defenses against quarterbacks. (Houston twice, Jacksonville twice, Seattle and Pittsburgh) He will score points for you but it won’t always be easy.

Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington.

Cousins average draft position is the 5th pick of the 8th round. He scored 18.8 fantasy points a game and threw a touchdown every 24.4 times he dropped back. Cousins also faces some top defenses including the Broncos and the Giants the last two weeks of the season. You are faced with potentially replacing him for the finals but Cousins could easily help get you there. It will be a nice decision to make.

– Dean Williams covers Fantasy Football for cover32. Like and follow on


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