RICHMOND, Va. — If you have read my recent Fantasy Football Chief columns, you should know this, but I need to emphasize that quarterbacks should be selected later in your draft.
While it is true quarterbacks score the most points in essentially all fantasy scoring formats, the obvious depth at the position means there will be minimal point differential on a per game basis between the top quarterback in the league and the 17th highest scorer.
Why do I say 17th?
There are 17 quarterbacks worthy of a starting spot on your roster.
Most fantasy leagues have somewhere between eight and 16 teams, so even if you are the last person to draft a quarterback, you are still getting a viable option.
If you draft a quarterback too early, you will find yourself too light at wide receiver, running back, and tight end.
A majority of leagues require you to start a minimum of two running backs, three wide receivers, and possibly a flex position for a running back, wide receiver, or tight end. Simple math dictates you need to acquire depth at wide receiver and running back.
I suggest you draft three running backs and three wide receivers in the first six rounds. Draft a tight end in the seventh round and when you reach the eighth round, open your eyes to a quarterback.
Let’s look at the 17 quarterbacks worthy of being drafted as your starter. I have noted the round they would need to be drafted if you wish to select them. In addition, I provided players at other positions who would be available around the same round as the specified quarterback.
You will notice the deeper in your draft, the quarterback talent is still quite high, but the talent at the other positions drops off quickly. The following list is based on a 12-team point-per-reception league.
Aaron Rodgers (early-third round)
WR Stefon Diggs or WR TY Hilton
Deshaun Watson (early-fourth round)
RB Kenyan Drake or WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
Tom Brady (mid-fourth round)
RB Royce Freeman or WR Chris Hogan
Russell Wilson (early-fifth round)
RB Dion Lewis or WR Brandin Cooks
Drew Brees (early-sixth round)
WR Marvin Jones or RB Rex Burkhead
Cam Newton (early-seventh round)
TE Trey Burton or TE Kyle Rudolph
Carson Wentz (early-eighth round)
WR Cooper Kupp or RB Isaiah Crowell
Andrew Luck (mid-eight round)
RB Duke Johnson or RB Sony Michel
Kirk Cousins (late-eight round)
WR Devin Funchess or RB James White
Jimmy Garoppolo (early-ninth round)
WR Nelson Agholor or TE David Njoku
Matthew Stafford (early-tenth round)
WR Sterling Shepard or WR Mike Williams
Philip Rivers (mid-tenth round)
RB Adrian Peterson or WR Kenny Golladay
Matt Ryan (mid-tenth round)
RB Corey Clement or RB Ty Montgomery
Ben Roethlisberger (early-11th round)
RB Nick Chubb or WR Anthony Miller
Pat Mahomes (early-11th round)
RB Bilal Powell or WR Chris Godwin
Jared Goff (late-11th round)
WR Dede Westbrook or RB Giovani Bernard
Marcus Mariota (mid-12th round)
RB Theo Riddick or RB Jordan Wilkins
While this method would not be relevant in two quarterback or super flex leagues, it is a must in the other formats that are more typically played.
Last year, I drafted Matthew Stafford in my top league in the tenth round. Stafford wound up finishing with the seventh most fantasy points in my league and that was enough to bring home a Fantasy Championship. I won because I had depth at the wide receiver and running back positions.
This year, in that same league, I just drafted Stafford again, this time getting him in the 12th round. My league mates tend to be savvy to the waiting on quarterbacks method so you should still target Stafford in the 10th, as listed above.
I also need to caution that you should be aware of trends within your draft. If your league mates are drafting quarterbacks early and often, you may need to adjust the rounds one or two higher then the list above.
Brad Wilson is the Chief Photojournalist at CBS 6 News. He has a decorated career, winning 10 Emmy awards for his work.
But, that’s not the only hardware that sits atop his mantle.
Wilson has been an avid fantasy football player for 12 years, winning numerous fantasy championships.
In the past three years, Wilson competed in eight leagues winning four of them, finishing in the top three in six and making the playoffs in all.
WTVR.com has called upon Wilson to bring its fans some unique insight into fantasy football. Look for his Fantasy Football Chief columns to drop every Tuesday through the football season. Click here to ask him your fantasy football questions.