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The 1.01 in 2-QB Rookie Drafts: Sammy Watkins vs. Johnny Manziel
image via wikimedia commons
image via wikimedia commons

One of the biggest questions in 2-QB fantasy football redraft leagues last year revolved around whether or not to take Adrian Peterson or an elite quarterback like Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers first overall. Turns out the “right” answer was Peyton Manning. Or Jamaal Charles (especially in PPR leagues).

With most 2-QB dynasty leagues in the midst of rookie draft season, the one question I’ve received the most so far this off-season is what to do with the 1.01 pick in 2-QB rookie drafts?

2-QBers are wondering if they should go with one of the top rookie signal callers like Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater, or if they should take whichever wide receiver they deem to be the best between Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans (which is a whole debate unto itself that will kill your Twitter timeline).

On the surface, it’s not easy answering a question like wide receiver or quarterback at 1.01 in 2-QB rookie drafts. There are a lot of variables that go into the equation, like scoring rules (PPR or no?, 6pt vs 4pt/passing TD?), league size, and starting roster requirements/roster limits.

The answer tends to usually boil down to team need. If you’re desperate at quarterback and secure at WR, Manziel or Bridgewater would most likely be the answer. And if you’re set at quarterback but need wide receiver help then, grabbing yourself a Watkins or Evans share is the way to go.

But what if you’re fine at both positions? For example, it’s kind of easy to take Evans or Watkins if you have Cam Newton and Nick Foles on your 2-QB dynasty team.

The reason this is a doozy of a debate is because you’re looking to add a potentially elite talent to your dynasty team. You don’t want to mess it up, as this is a decision that will impact your team for years. If you choose wrong in redraft you’ve made a one-time mistake with no long-term consequences. That’s not the case with dynasty teams.

When envisioning fantasy football tiers years from now, you’re hoping to see Evans or Watkins included in the upper echelon of fantasy wide receivers; same with Manziel and Bridgewater when it comes to fantasy QBs.

If you’re having a difficult time debating between the two positions at 1.01, you need to ask yourself where you see these players drafted next year or the year after that, and what is the best value pick now?

We hope that whoever we draft at 1.01 will become a perennial starter on our roster for years, but it might not – most likely will not – happen right away. If we’re using the pick on Watkins or Evans, will we see them reach that WR1/WR2/WR3 tier? Will Bridgewater or Manziel reach QB1 status?

Looking at RotoViz comparables will help you visualize the futures of each player.

Is Mike Evans the next Maurice Stovall or the next Brandon Marshall?
Is Sammy Watkins the next Devin Thomas or Torrey Smith?
Is Teddy Bridgewater the next John Beck or the next Ben Roethlisberger?
Is Johnny Manziel “one of the best prospects of all time”?

Letting your brain take over and trying to figure out where to place these prospects can give you an edge on how to properly rank them, and whether or not they’re worth taking at 1.01. Seeing how others rank them doesn’t hurt either and RotoViz has you covered there, too . . .

Evans has gotten a lot of love on RotoViz and he’s the number one ranked rookie in the composite rankings. Watkins is right behind him in second, with Shawn Siegele and Fantasy Douche (good company) both ranking him first. In terms of quarterbacks, Manziel is ranked highest at tenth overall. Bridgewater is all the way at 22 (keep in mind these rankings are slanted towards 1-QB leagues).

The 1.01 pick is never an easy decision, regardless of league format, but when it comes to 2-QB leagues, all of a sudden quarterbacks like Manziel and Bridgewater enter the fray and provide you with even more options (and second-guessing). Eventually all the resources at hand will give you an idea of what to do with the 1.01. Then you just hope it pans out. Or you can always trade the pick to a desperate owner wanting to make a splash, washing your hands clean of the decision.

Once you’ve finished your research it’ll be time to make a final decision. Like I mentioned earlier, I want the player who I think will become an elite every week fantasy starter. The hard part about choosing between this foursome is they all have that potential and you can make a case for each one. It may be a cop out answer, but you can’t go wrong with either of the four when dealing with a balanced 2-QB team.

As for who I’d pick? It’d be Johnny Manziel. Quarterback is still the most important position in 2-QB leagues. Being able to draft a player who might start right away in the NFL and provide you with bonus fantasy points because of the #KonamiCode is hard to pass up. C.D. Carter of XN Sports tells us the average fantasy points per drop back of the top-five rushing quarterbacks over the past four seasons is .54 and runs through a number of scenarios where Manziel can be a fantasy QB1 his rookie season. Having built-in security blankets like Josh Gordon (when not suspended) and Jordan Cameron doesn’t hurt either (Manziel might hurt their fantasy values though). Even if Manziel is your QB3 and you pass up the chance to own Evans or Watkins it’ll be worth it in terms of trade value, as top-tier fantasy quarterbacks in 2-QB leagues have the most trade value of any position – a factor that cannot be ignored in the 1.01 decision making process.

Those of you in 2-QB dynasty rookie drafts debating between the top wide receiver versus the top quarterback will be glad to know you’re not alone. There are others like you pondering the exact same question. However, you probably won’t be glad to find you will all reach different conclusions, as there are many more draft strategies in 2-QB leagues than your standard 1-QB league.

If you’ve never played in a 2-QB league of any sort before and are amazed that taking a quarterback so high is a routine procedure, then why not give a 2-QB league shot? Going back and forth between Watkins or Evans gets pretty boring eventually. Throwing a Manziel or Bridgewater into the mix will spice things up a bit and might even make your league more enjoyable.

Let us know in the comments section if you’d go wide receiver or quarterback with the 1.01 pick in your 2-QB rookie draft.

Salvatore Stefanile writes about 2-QB fantasy football leagues for XNSports.com and is the content manager for Sportable — an interactive source for bite-sized football news and fantasy football resources. He’s also a friendly chap on the tweetbot @2QBFFB

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