The era of going heavy on wide receivers is in full swing, and the tight end position has become stronger at the top than it has been in a long time. 

Pair that with a running back slate that has added meaningful depth over the past two seasons and you'll have the makings of several pathways you can take to build your rosters this preseason. 

The macro trends in football at this point are well-known, and they fit right in with what's happening in Fantasy Football. Teams are passing at high rates and using as many different people to catch passes as they can, especially when they don't have that Alpha-type receiver. This doesn't mean teams no longer like to run the ball -- they certainly will, especially if defenses continue to play zone coverage to scare offenses from throwing deep. But more teams than ever subscribe to a committee approach because it makes sense financially and structurally. Now when most teams lose a running back for a game, a month, or the season, the contingency plan is strong. 

Implementing these concepts into Fantasy draft plans is pretty easy, but it's better to break it all down by position and lay out what you should do before you draft as well as what you might do once your draft is underway. 

You'll also find my tiers for each position. I have been using them for almost two decades now as a way to sort not just who to take, but when. The tiers also show when there's a reduction in talent from one group of players to another based on expectations for Fantasy points. If you use these tiers as a baseline and then tweak them based on what you believe in and who you want to draft, you should not only be able to make easy decisions with each pick but also know in advance who you'll take with your next pick. 

That makes drafting a lot less stressful and a lot more fun. 

Quarterback strategy

  • Dave's Tiers: QB RB | WR | TE K/DST


Quarterback remains the deepest and most adaptable position to navigate in Fantasy drafts. Word has gotten around to the home leagues that taking a passer in Round 1 is a bad idea -- something we've preached for like a decade but it took a down season for QB stats to drive the point into people's heads. 

There appears to be a consensus top four in Tier 1. That helps bring the draft cost down for those quarterbacks because at least a third of the league will have one of them. And the drop-off from Tier 1 to Tier 2 isn't that bad, so no one should feel pressure to reach for a quarterback unless there's one you have a good feeling about. Expect the first quarterback to get taken in Round 3, with the others in Tier 1 to follow within the next 12 picks, and Tier 2 to vanish by 70th overall. 

I believe Fantasy managers will have that sweet spot of value and production from the Tier 3 quarterbacks, all of whom will get taken in Round 7 or later. Though there are some warts in this group, three of the quarterbacks have exhibited incredible Fantasy numbers before and a fourth, Anthony Richardson, has a top-five upside. Richardson might be the most popular of these four and could be the most reached-for quarterback this year. I can't get behind it but I understand why. 

Tiers 4 and 5 in one-QB leagues have more risks but the discount for some of these guys is unbeatable and simply a byproduct of too much supply for the demand of quarterbacks in a 10- or 12-team league. There are also three young quarterbacks including two rookies -- they've got appeal as blue-chip bench stashes and shouldn't be drafted as starters. If you take one of them, you should already have another quarterback first (or get a second one soon after). 

Pre-draft homework: 

* Review the QBs in Tiers 4 and 5. The more of those names you'd be willing to start in Week 1, the more willing you should be to wait for a quarterback in your draft. The fewer of those names you'd be willing to start in Week 1, the more focused you should be on taking a top-10 quarterback. 

* If you love Richardson's upside, be primed to take him in Round 6, not Round 7. Otherwise, let someone else draft him at an inflated cost. The same goes for Stroud and the rookies, though obviously at different costs. 

* Remember, the later you take a QB, the more opportunities you give yourself to lock up star players at other positions. If that's a goal for you, waiting on the position is smart. That goes double if you plan to target a difference-making tight end with a top-60 pick. 


Most managers in leagues that can start two quarterbacks don't like to wait long before getting at least one quarterback. Some try to capitalize on the roster requirements and get two with their first two or three picks to differentiate their teams. That's a league-winning concept when it works out.

But at what point in Round 1 should you pass on a quarterback for another position? There are two rules of thumb: One, pay attention to supply and demand and who might be available at quarterback with your next pick if you pass on one. If you don't like the names, be ready to take a quarterback. Two, anytime there's a non-quarterback who has a better statistical ceiling than the best-remaining quarterbacks, take the non-quarterback. 

Example: You're picking 10th. The best available quarterback is Anthony Richardson, the best available running back is Breece Hall and the best available wideout is Justin Jefferson. If you think Richardson has the upside to bury Hall and Jefferson, take Richardson. That's easy. If you don't think he has it, take your pick between Hall and Jefferson and hope one of the remaining Tier 3 quarterbacks makes it back to you. Or, if you're scared that any of the Tier 3 quarterbacks won't make it back, you should just take Richardson (or whoever you like the most). 

Expect a run on quarterbacks in Round 1, but not in Round 2. Maybe a few managers will take two quarterbacks with their first two picks but that's it. You should expect a bunch of Tier 5 quarterbacks to get looked at in Round 3 and maybe even dribble into Round 4. Those would be close to value choices at that time. 

That said, I think this is a safe year to wait a little on drafting that second quarterback, especially if part of Tier 4 is gone by the time you're up in Round 2. Tiers 4 and 5 are deep with quarterbacks who have produced points in the past along with three who could be quite productive this season (Daniels, Williams, Levis). Why not take advantage of the depth?  

Does this mean it's worth waiting on taking two quarterbacks (could we even call it Zero-QB?!)? The risk might be worth the reward if you think you can find the next Brock Purdy or C.J. Stroud, the guys who can outperform ADP. You can make the case for literally every QB in Tier 5 and Two-QB Tier-ritory, but they all have some pretty serious downside too. This one's for the risk-takers because you will fill up on amazing players in Rounds 1 through 3 before scavenging for quarterbacks in Rounds 4 through 6, and if you hit, you'll punch a ticket to the playoffs. If you miss, you'll go home crying to mommy. 

There's one last thing: The order in which quarterbacks come off the board changes a little in a two-QB league compared to a one-QB. You might not be as inclined to draft an injury-prone quarterback, an old quarterback, an unproven quarterback or a quarterback who could lose his job compared to a veteran who is assumed to be locked into 17 games of work. In other words, be cautious with your drafting -- losing a starting passer in two-QB will destroy your chances. 

Pre-draft homework: 

* I guess there's one more thing: Check your scoring system before Draft Day. If quarterback scoring is nerfed (three points per passing touchdown, but it's full PPR with rushing/receiving bonuses) then the position shouldn't be prioritized. Why race for quarterbacks if they're not going to score as much as other positions? 

* Review the QBs in Tiers 5 and 6. The more of those names you'd be willing to start in Week 1, the more comfortable you should be waiting to lock up both starting quarterbacks. The fewer of those names you'd be willing to start in Week 1, the more comfortable you should be reaching for quarterbacks. It is not a death sentence to reach for quarterbacks in a two-QB league, but it'll almost certainly cost you a really good player at another position. This exercise should help you figure out how risky you want to be. 2.

Quarterback tiers

Rounds 5-6
Tier 2

Which sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade, and which QB shocks the NFL with a top-10 performance? Visit SportsLine now to get cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that nailed Deebo Samuel as a bust last year, and find out.