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Fantasy football draft strategy: Should you wait to draft a quarterback?

Take A-A-Ron Rodgers way too early or be the last person in your league to draft a QB.

Getty Images/Peter Rogers Illustrations

Waiting on quarterback is the strategy-de-jour (de la décennie?) and for good reason. No position is less important in fantasy football than the most important position in real football. There are simply too many quarterbacks who will score too many points too consistently to worry about spending valuable draft capital on your QB.

The only exception to waiting on QB, I contend, is spending up to draft Aaron Rodgers.

From 2013 through 2017, the top scoring QB has outscored the number 6 QB by an average of just under 4.4 points per week (ESPN scoring: 4 pts per passing TD, -2pts per INT, minimum of 12 games played). Now, this 4.4 point difference pales in comparison to the difference between the #1 and #6 running back or wide receiver, but running back and wider receiver are so volatile. Don’t believe me? Take a minute to look at your draft last year… Remember how excited we were for David Johnson, how Todd Gurley was falling in to the 3rd round and everyone who picked him was mocked for picking such a huge bust? It is just REALLY hard to pick who’s going to finish in even the top 10 at WR and RB.

With the volatility of running back, wide receiver, and even tight end after GRONKSMASH and Travis Kelce and the relative stability of quarterback, there is something to be said for locking in the player most likely to be the highest scoring player in fantasy at whatever position.

Where I agree with the ‘wait on QB’ crowd, though, is born out in a similar comparison. With the same rules (points per game, at least 12 games played, ESPN scoring), the QB 6 only outperforms the QB 12 by 1.5 points. To me, this paints a clear picture that there is no reason, ever, to spend a 6th, 7th, 8th round pick on a guy like Ben Roethlisberger or Matt Ryan.

So, I posit to you, when you’re sitting there at the end of the 2nd, start of the 3rd round in that sharp fantasy football home-town league, take A-A-Ron over Golden Tate, TY Hilton, Derrick Henry and the like.