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Best Superflex Draft Strategy for 2023 | Fantasy Football

By Jared Smola | April 2023

You’ll be way ahead if you don’t overrate the QB value boost

Playing superflex fantasy football gives a big value boost to the quarterback (QB). Which, of course, is kinda the point.

But if you lean too much into that boost in value, you could make a very common mistake.

Loading up QBs too early can actually hurt your chances of winning. 

It seems counterintuitive, but let us make the case:

3 Steps to Winning Your Superflex Draft

These battle-tested superflex draft strategy tips will give you the upper hand

1. Grab Your Starting QB Early …

… But “early” doesn’t necessarily mean first round

Won’t just about every team grab a QB in the first round?

Yes. And here’s the obvious reason:

QBs will far outpace other positions in scoring. And since QBs can be used at the superflex spot, you already know that QBs will leave the board earlier in superflex drafts than in any other fantasy football drafts.

That makes sense, right?

QBs who can produce passing and rushing numbers are optimal for fantasy football.

So QBs such as Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts will go super early. And Patrick Mahomes – whose running stats are underrated – will also be a first-round pick in superflex.

But when should you pick your first QB? Is it really as simple as picking the highest-ranked remaining QB in the first round when your time comes?

Is Drafting QBs Early The Best Superflex Strategy?

Don’t wait too long or you’ll pay for it all season

We suggest taking your first QB early. Here’s the “but” ...

When mapping out your best superflex draft strategy, “early” doesn’t mean you NEED to grab a QB with your first pick.

Feeling like you NEED to do any particular thing is a good way to let your emotions ruin your draft.

Let’s say your QB-hungry league has already drafted eight QBs by your turn in the first round.

Unless that ninth QB is your sleeper pick, you’re probably better off starting with a stud WR or RB.

TIP

Make sure to take a look at our superflex rankings

Don’t leave Round 4 without a QB

The early flow of QBs off the board will differ by superflex draft.

You should take your first QB with one of your first four picks.

But here’s a superflex draft strategy that could really pay off for you:

Wait until Round 3 or 4 to grab your first QB. And before that – open your draft with top-shelf picks at RB and/or WR.

You’ll still be able to get a top-18 QB in Round 3 or 4.

A top-18 QB doesn’t sound exciting for a superflex, we know. But check out this chart of QB scoring …

QB scoring flattens quickly

As it says, each line in that graph represents the top 24 QB scorers for a season from 2017 through 2022.

You see some variations between years. You can see a few spots where the scoring steeply dropped.

But you can also see by the flattening of the lines that the scoring differences shrink as you move through the position.

That’s important because it means the scoring difference among QBs gets marginal as the draft progresses. So it makes more sense to load up on a top-tier RB and WR … then go after your starting QB. 

You’ll be counting on your stud RBs, WRs, and some above-average QBs, to smash your competition.

That doesn’t mean avoiding a QB in the early rounds. It means being patient and strategic while the rest of your league goes QB crazy. You’re still going to draft a QB early. But you’re going to time your pick strategically.

Keep that in mind, and you’ll avoid the next mistake …

2. Don’t Get Caught Up in QB Runs

You want the best value not just the next QB on the list

Positional scarcity. That’s what superflex injects at QB. You can’t ignore that fact. But you can overrate it. And that’s when you’ll get caught up in a QB “run.”

A “run” is when several guys at the same position get drafted in close succession.

If a QB run starts in a superflex draft, it can become a stampede. You begin to feel like you need to get one before they’re gone.

That’s a mistake. 

QB goes deeper than you realize

Remember that graph above? Take a look again if you need to. There’s not usually much scoring difference between, say, QB16 and QB24.

And you know what? The QBs aren’t going to finish in the same order they’re drafted.

The truth of it is … low-drafted QBs will rise. And high-drafted QBs will fall. The reasons are numerous including injuries, coaching changes, surrounding talent, etc.

Take last year as a quick example. 

Here are the QBs who rose to finish as top-10 fantasy QBs:

  • Jalen Hurts
  • Geno Smith
  • Trevor Lawrence
  • Jared Goff
  • Justin Fields

Here are the preseason darlings who dropped out of the top-10:

  • Tom Brady
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Dak Prescott
  • Aaron Rodgers
  • Kyler Murray
The lesson is simple:

If you can grab a top 2 or 3 QB like Allen, Mahomes, or Hurts – go for it. If not, you’re better off taking the top RB or WR.

So don’t panic and grab the next QB amid a run … when the better pick sits at another position.

TIP

Waiting to draft your QB can be a powerful superflex draft strategy. Want to discover how you find a QB value in rounds 3 and 4?  Check it out in our Draft War Room.

3. Beat Your League to Backups

QBs become the high-value handcuffs in superflex

You know how valuable backup RBs can be in a traditional league when starters go down, right?

Well, your superflex draft strategy should include treating QB the same way. See a flimsy starter? Draft his backup late. See a guy with injury risk? Same deal.

The exclusive Draft Sharks Injury Guide projects each player’s chance of injury this season.

It can help clue you in to which QBs have the best chance of missing games.

Stashing backups can even carry over into your regular-season strategy.

Grab backup QBs fitting those scenarios off waivers when you have a roster spot to play with.

Should You Draft Differently in a Superflex Tournament?

Your superflex draft strategy will shift when competing against thousands

Yes. You should certainly draft differently in a tournament vs. how you approach a single league.

There are two basic reasons for the shift in draft strategy:

  1. Superflex tournaments are nearly always “best ball” formats.
  2. These tournaments include thousands – if not tens of thousands – of teams competing against each other. 

So how do those two huge factors change your superflex draft strategy?

To begin, you can find much more on overarching differences to best ball strategy.

But because we’re talking superflex here (but competing against thousands) let’s stay focused on the QBs.

Target elite scoring upside

We’re obviously looking for elite scoring upside in every format, at every position.

But it’s easier to get by with just solid QB scoring in a standalone superflex league. That’s the strategy we recommended at the top of this article. 

Trying to beat a whole (best ball) tournament field, however? You’ll need ultimate upside from your QB(s).

Upside can come later in your draft

Look at Bears QB Justin Fields in 2022. He lingered in QB2 ADP territory through most of July and August… then started the year pretty poorly.

But by year’s end, he had racked up the second-most rushing yards ever by a QB – and finished sixth in fantasy points per game at the position.

Look beyond the “bust” risk and chase the “upside” in these drafts. That’s what we mean by “target elite scoring upside.” 

You’ll find guys outscoring later ADPs by a wide margin every year. The key is to identify them – then work them into your draft strategy.

TIP

Superflex best ball tournaments actually give you some flexibility in your QB draft strategy. You want late-round QBs with high upside. Guys whose bust potential is outweighed by their potential to place your team in the money. You can find these late-round QBs in our “upside mode” while using our Draft War Room.

Different is good

You should always look for sensible ways to be different from your competition in a draft.

The benefit can be even greater when you’re drafting in a 10,000-team tournament.

So don’t be afraid to try something like a “zero-QB” approach, where you wait more than four rounds to take your first QB.

Last year you can have done that and still sported this QB trio:

  • Geno Smith
  • Jared Goff
  • Marcus Mariota

(All delivered top-20 per-game production.)

Don’t make that the only way you draft. But you can mix in a few if you’re drafting a lot of teams in a single superflex best ball tournament.

‘Anchor’ QB adds flexibility

Drafting a high-round “anchor” QB can allow you to gamble more on later-round QB picks. 

It works like this:

Grab a QB with one of your first two picks. He’ll anchor the position for you. And you can avoid getting caught up in the rush to secure two early QBs.

Sometimes another worthwhile QB target will come to you before the end of Round 3. If that happens – grab him, too.

Other times, when the additional QB value isn’t there in early rounds – you can pick up studs at different positions while the rest of the drafters get breathless over passers.

You’ll know what they don’t: That QB scoring runs deeper than the masses realize.

But having that anchor QB will give you more flexibility without reaching for additional QBs.

And in the best ball format, you don’t need to decide who to start every week. So just collect enough QBs (at least four total) with the potential to give you some good games.

Dynasty Superflex Draft Strategy

Understand QB longevity. Add some veterans

You can find much more of our overall dynasty strategy.

Regarding QBs in superflex, you can use a lot of what you read above.

But another key factor is understanding just how long QBs last.

QBs stay good longer

Aging Performance Data powers the long-term projections in Draft Sharks dynasty rankings.

That data says something you probably already know:

QBs perform close to their peak longer than any other position in fantasy football.

The obvious takeaway is that getting Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, or Joe Burrow in his rookie draft sets you up nicely at a key position.

Look for value veterans

But combine these extended careers with what we discussed earlier: QB scoring flattens out as you move down the rankings.

Those mid-level QBs with job security are likely to help your team longer than similar players at other positions, too.

But no one’s excited to keep Kirk Cousins or Derek Carr in the youth-hungry world of dynasty fantasy football.

Take advantage of that in trades that include draft picks or enhance your roster at other positions.

Still don’t overrate QBs

As we discussed in previous sections of this article, the key is to not overrate QBs just because of superflex.

It holds for your dynasty roster for the same reasons as in redraft and best ball.

Apply the proper superflex draft strategy. Manage appropriately throughout the season. And you’ll be taking advantage of those making panicked moves.

Final Word

No matter what superflex draft strategy you adopt, it always comes down to rightly valuing QBs at different rounds in your draft. And finding good potential in the mid- to later-rounds. Do those two things right, and you’ll be way ahead of your competition. To learn how our Draft War Room can create your superflex draft strategy, check out this video.  

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