In continuing my recent series of 2QB articles, I took part in a 2QB mock draft to test my strategies as well as my rankings. This was a 12-team mock that lasted 15 rounds and used PPR scoring. Each team would have to start two quarterbacks, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, and one Flex spot. I randomized the draft position and was awarded the sixth spot. The first thing I wanted to do before taking part in this draft was to revisit my rankings and, more specifically, my projections. It is always best to make sure your rankings and projections are solid. While I’ve received some accolades in recent years due to my rankings, I would highly suggest using projections of some kind before heading into the draft. I will illustrate why that is important during my breakdown of the draft.
Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 2QB
The pick: Cooper Kupp
Josh Allen was the first player off the board. It is hard for me to argue that since I ranked him first overall two weeks ago. My updated projections have him scoring 34 more points than the next highest player. The next four players off the board were running backs. In my updated projections, 14 of the 18 players I expect to score 300 or more points are quarterbacks. Two of the four non-QBs are off the board. I decide to make a play for one of the other two rather than grab a quarterback. I project the next 12 quarterbacks to score within 50 points of one another. For comparison, I have seven running backs within 50 points of my next-highest target. I only have one wide receiver and one tight end within that range at their respective positions.
The pick: Mark Andrews
Four more quarterbacks are off the board. This is where things get interesting. Jalen Hurts is my QB4, and he is still on the board. I have him projected to score 355 points this season. As much as I want him, I have to decide if it is worth missing out on my top targets at other positions. D’Andre Swift, Davante Adams, and Mark Andrews are currently on the board. The difference between Hurts and my QB11 is 32 points, less than two points per game. Meanwhile, there are only five backs and wideouts within Swift and Adams, respectively. And there are no tight ends who I have within 32 points of Andrews. I know if I pass on Hurts, there is a good chance I will have to address QB in Round 3 and quite possibly again in either Round 4 or Round 5.
People will say I reached for Andrews here. I don’t care about ADP. I care about production, particularly as it relates to the position itself. My latest projections have Andrews scoring 258 PPR points this season. Dawson Knox is my TE10, and I have him projected for 156 points. As I mentioned in last week’s strategy piece, I have Tyler Boyd projected for more points than Zach Ertz. So while I think it is fine if my overall QB9 or QB10 is my starting quarterback, I do not want that situation at the tight end position.
The pick: Saquon Barkley
Jalen went 3.5. That… hurts. Bad pun aside, landing him at 3.6 would have made my day. Saquon Barkley, David Montgomery, and Javonte Williams are my favorite running backs left. Barkley and Williams have tantalizing upside in my opinion. I do believe there is a bit of a drop-off after that. There is a cluster of quarterbacks together for me in the QB8-QB13 range. I’m quickly approaching that in-between area where, if I don’t address the position now, I’m locked into a QB in Round 4 and possibly again in Round 5. Decisions, decisions.
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Yes, I advocated taking a quarterback early in 2QB leagues, and I just addressed other positions with my first three picks. Let me be clear – I think it is more important to grab your QB2 “early” in a 2QB league than your QB1 unless that QB is Josh Allen. Again, this is where you have to trust your projections. I will double back to this point in a second.
The pick: Matthew Stafford
At this point, I have Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson as my three highest quarterback scorers. So this pick is relatively easy for me given my selection of Kupp in Round 1.
OK, back to beating you all over the head about projections. If I went by my rankings alone, I would have selected Patrick Mahomes in the first round over Cooper Kupp. My second-round selection would have likely been Davante Adams given the other options on the board. Or, had I stuck with Kupp in Round 1, my rankings would have had me land on Jalen Hurts in Round 2. I do not hate either scenario. However, I don’t think either scenario would have given me a decided advantage over the field:
Mahomes plus Adams (per my projections): 650 total points
Hurts plus Kupp: 705 total points
Stafford plus Kupp: 675 total points
“Um, Mick… I hate to tell you, but 705 is more than 675.”
Good point, dear reader! Except I have Andrews scoring 45 more points than George Kittle, who is my TE3. Therefore, in my estimation, it was worth securing those extra points at the expense of my theoretical QB1-WR1 stack. Let’s take a look at the numbers with Andrews added versus Kittle:
Mahomes plus Adams plus Kittle: 863 points
Hurts plus Kupp plus Kittle: 918 points
Stafford plus Kupp plus Andrews: 933 points
Now we’re talking!
Is it possible Andrews could have fallen to me in Round 3? I suppose. But it wasn’t worth it to me to find out. As much as I like Hurts, there are nine other quarterbacks who I expect to come within 45 points of him. So, as Round 4 concludes, here is how each team has drafted and where my projections have us:
Team 1: QB-WR-WR-QB: 1277
Team 2: RB-RB-RB-TE: 1027
Team 3: RB-QB-RB-WR: 1137
Team 4: RB-RB-WR-WR: 1014
Team 5: RB-QB-QB-TE: 1180
Team 6 (Me): WR-TE-RB-QB: 1178
Team 7: QB-WR-WR-RB: 1143
Team 8: RB-TE-WR-WR: 1053
Team 9: RB-RB-WR-WR: 1057
Team 10: QB-WR-RB-QB: 1217
Team 11: QB-QB-WR-WR: 1188
Team 12: RB-RB-WR-RB: 824
I am more than fine with this. The only teams ahead of me are those that have already drafted two quarterbacks. We know that quarterbacks score more points than players at other positions, especially once we get past the first few skill players. So I expect to make up those points with my QB2 and the values I can find at other positions. I did not intentionally draft one player at each position, but I like the way it worked out.
The pick: David Montgomery
I was a bit bummed (but not surprised) to see Rodgers, Wilson, and Trey Lance off the board at 5.6. Kirk Cousins is my next-highest projected quarterback. But I also have six other signal-callers within 20 points of him. Plus he’s Kirk Cousins. For now, I’ll play a game of QB2 Chicken with the rest of my league-mates. This is where drafting in the middle of the field can be problematic. If a positional run hits, you’re usually left out in the cold. Anyway, my best running back available is David Montgomery and my best wide receiver is D.J. Moore. But I believe that finding a productive wide receiver in the middle rounds is way more likely than doing so at running back.
The pick: Breece Hall
Cousins, Derek Carr, and Ryan Tannehill are all gone. The best options available are several talented but unproven players and Matt Ryan. Ryan is not my favorite pick, but he’s a decent fallback option if all else fails. OK, one more round of QB Chicken. I gotta go get my boy.
I don’t think you’re getting Breece Hall in the sixth round of any draft, even a 2QB draft. So I consider myself lucky in that regard. Of course, I will get lucky in a mock and get sniped relentlessly in real drafts. Oh well. I’ll gladly take Hall here and give myself three running backs who could very easily finish inside the top-20 at the position.
The pick: Tua Tagovailoa
Darren Waller went 6.12, which has me reevaluating my Andrews pick a bit. The team who took Waller took Davante Adams in Round 2. I project his second and sixth-round picks (Adams and Waller) to score more total points than mine (Andrews and Hall). I realize that is not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison considering Hall is a running back and Adams is a wide receiver, but these are the kinds of scenarios you should think about before drafting. And in case you are wondering, no, I do not object to drafting teammates. Justin Fields went 7.4, so my game of QB Chicken will officially come to an end here.
The pick: Adam Thielen
Guess it’s time to take wide receivers, especially since there was quite the run after I selected Hall in Round 6. There have been 15 wideouts selected within the last two rounds. Again, this is the reason mock drafts are so helpful. Of course, there is no guarantee that your real drafts will play out as your mocks do, but analyzing these trends can help you avoid positional runs and maximize value with each pick.
I’ve been fading Thielen for two years now, so he owes me. Despite my dig on Cousins earlier, I expect Minnesota’s passing attack to be quite productive now that Kevin O’Connell has taken over as head coach. Thielen is my overall WR31, so it may not seem ideal that he’s my WR2. But again, you have to consider the sum of your parts. I have Kupp and Thielen projected for 542 total points. That is more than I project for my WR6 (CeeDee Lamb) and WR7 (Deebo Samuel) combined. It’s all relative.
The pick: Russell Gage
I am not solely going to pick another wideout here to round out my “starting lineup”. Trying to draft “starters” ahead of “bench players” is folly, plain and simple. There are so many variables and circumstances and conditions are constantly changing. Having said that, it just so happens that my BPA is a WR, so it’s more of a happy accident than anything else.
The pick: Kareem Hunt
There were several low-QB2s drafted as well as some intriguing running backs selected in this range. The quarterbacks included Matt Ryan, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield. The running backs included Devin Singletary, Damien Harris, Tony Pollard, Rashaad Penny, J.D. McKissic, and Cordarrelle Patterson. There is one running back that is still in that tier that I am going to grab here while I still can.
The pick: Tyler Boyd
I do want to grab a third starting quarterback, but I think I can wait for another round. In the meantime, I’m going to grab the best player available. As was the case with Gage, I want pieces of high-powered offenses.
The pick: Daniel Jones
Well, Jameis Winston, Zach Wilson, and Mac Jones all went during this round. I think it’s time to suck it up and grab another QB here. Hopefully, I’ll only have to play him during the two weeks my other quarterbacks have byes.
Ironically, I only have Jones projected for five fewer points than Tagovailoa. But my trust level in Tua is infinitely higher. Time will tell if I am right about that. But overall I feel confident in my QB room.
The pick: Marquez Valdes-Scantling
I have several wide receivers grouped here, and I project them all to score more points than any running backs or tight ends available.
The pick: Rachaad White
Two picks left. Generally, I go for BPA, but sometimes the draft dictates otherwise. Case in point – most teams just took running back flyers around the 13-14 turn. A couple of my personal favorites include Tyler Allgeier and Gus Edwards. I believe there is a clear best available running back at this spot, whereas I do not feel that way at wideout or tight end. I’m usually not one to buy too much into the hype (good or bad) before we see action on the field, but this feels like a very plus-EV pick given the price.
The pick: D.J. Chark
Since I have Andrews, I am not necessarily looking for a backup tight end. I would never bench Andrews for a tight end in the 15-18 range anyway. The tight ends that are available here are going to be the same ones that are available on the waiver wire should I need one in a pinch.
Granted, this is only a 15-round draft with one traditional Flex spot. But there are still a ton of good wide receiver options available. Marvin Jones, Robbie Anderson, Corey Davis, and Jamison Crowder have all done it before and can do it again in 2022. Van Jefferson, Mecole Hardman, and Nico Collins could see increases in their productivity as well. I’m going with a player who has done it before and is still young enough where he has upside. Health is a question mark but again, it’s the last round, so let’s take a flyer.
Summary and Observations
Here is the final roster:
QBs – Matthew Stafford, Tua Tagovailoa, Daniel Jones
RBs – Saquon Barkley, David Montgomery, Breece Hall, Kareem Hunt, Rachaad White
WRs – Cooper Kupp, Adam Thielen, Russell Gage, Tyler Boyd, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, D.J. Chark
TE – Mark Andrews
I tend not to rely too heavily on projected standings. (For the record, I am projected to finish fourth according to the site’s analysis.) Instead, I choose to evaluate based on projections of what I call “Starters Plus 1’. Meaning that in this league, we start 2QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, and 1Flex. Since Flex spots are almost always going to be reserved for a running back or wide receiver, I take each team’s top three running backs and top four wide receivers (in addition to their top two quarterbacks and top tight end) into account. Here is where each team projects at the nine starting spots plus the additional rover/bench spot:
Team 1: 2375
Team 2: 2350
Team 3: 2278
Team 4: 2287
Team 5: 2270
Team 6 (Me): 2442
Team 7: 2446
Team 8: 2360
Team 9: 2413
Team 10: 2374
Team 11: 2248
Team 12: 2077
I cannot say for sure that my projections will be proven correct. However, based on your projections, you should always be top-3 (at worst). If not, then your draft strategy is extremely flawed. My projections have me second, and I am very comfortable with that. Truth be told, I had Cordarrelle Patterson projected for more points than Breece Hall. Had I gone that route, I would have more projected points than Team 7. However, when it came time to make that particular decision, I went with Hall over Patterson. I also initially had Jamaal Williams projected for more points than Rachaad White, though that did not ultimately factor into my “Starters Plus 1” totals.
Overall I think I did pretty well here. I think it is interesting that I was all about the Mark Andrews pick when I made it, but as the draft played out, I liked it a lot less. I now wonder if I should have gone down a different path. There are several scenarios in which I could have “mathed up” differently. Had I known Dallas Goedert would be available in Round 11, it would have made more sense to take Adams and Goedert over Andrews and Tyler Boyd. Based on my projections, that is about 29 points I am potentially leaving on the table there. Of course, you could “Butterfly Effect” the entire draft if you wanted to. Waiting on a tight end would have also likely meant drafting a second towards the end of the draft.
Participating in mock drafts like this one is a helpful exercise that will prepare you for the real thing. They enable you to manage the inevitable pitfalls your real-life drafts will throw your way. Join your own mock draft here and get in the game!
If you liked Mick’s mock draft and analysis for 2QB leagues, make sure to check out our full 2022 Fantasy Football Draft Kit!