Shawn Siegele breaks down the quarterback position in best ball and looks at the results from Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Josh Allen in three different ADP windows.
Lesson 3 of the Best Ball Workshop focused on the QB position. The takeaway: QB is more important than you think and easy to exploit. Was that the case again in 2019? To answer that question, let’s take a quick look at the key intel from the Roster Construction Explorer.
- QBs drafted in the first five rounds return a win rate of 6.5%
- Drafting two QBs between Rounds 6 and 12 has historically generated a win rate of 9.8%, while selecting three QBs in the window returns a 10.5% win rate.
- Over the last four years almost 105,000 owners have selected their QB2 in Round 13 or later and settled for a 7.4 percent win rate as a result.
Using the Best Ball Win Rate tool, we can investigate whether these trends have held in 2019.
QBs Selected Before Round 6
Average Win Rate: 3.8%
With owners generally understanding the importance of waiting at the QB position, only one signal caller was drafted early.
Patrick Mahomes got out of the blocks quickly and maintained a win rate above 9% over the first month, but then the wheels fell off. He was already underwater when his kneecap dislocated in Week 7. Mahomes returned with a big game in Week 10, but the shootouts dried up thereafter. He faced the sixth-most difficult schedule from Week 11 to Week 15, and the Chiefs defense improved.
Beyond the best-ball format, Mahomes’ 2019 travails are a good reminder of the structural conditions for QBs that make Lamar Jackson a provocative sell in dynasty.
QBs Drafted Between Rounds 6 and 12
Average Win Rate: 9.0%
Eighteen QBs were selected between Rounds 7 and 12, and they’ve averaged a 9.0% win rate despite the presence of Andrew Luck (2.8%), Ben Roethlisberger (4.9%), and Cam Newton (5.2%), who have combined for a total of 38.7 points.
- Five of the 18 QBs are currently above 10%, including Jackson (19.4), Russell Wilson (12.5), Dak Prescott (12.5), Deshaun Watson (11.2), and Kyler Murray (11.1). The majority of the value at the QB position this season was found in this group.
- Seven of the 18 QBs are currently above average, with Matt Ryan (8.6) and Carson Wentz (8.6) joining the group.
Jackson’s ADP was almost identical to that of Mahomes in 2018 when he posted a 21% win rate. I was lucky enough to own Mahomes last year and Jackson this year in the MFL10 of Death, but I’m also targeting a specific type of QB at a specific ADP level. Jackson’s ADP was difficult to square with his finish to last season. In that light, it will be interesting to see where Murray goes in 2020. If he endures the same enthusiasm fatigue, he’ll be a must-own player for his likely secondary breakout.
QBs Drafted Between Rounds 13 and 20
Average Win Rate: 6.8%
Sixteen QBs were drafted after the 12th round, and they again struggled to make an impact. True LRQB hasn’t worked well in best-ball formats, even if you try to take advantage of the optimized lineup with a 3-QB approach.
3-QB with two QBs after Round 12 (2015-2018)
- One of 16 QBs finished with a win rate of 10% or better.
- Two of 16 QBs finished with above-average win rates.
The Late Round Gem
Josh Allen’s passing metrics still leave a lot to be desired in his second season, but his rushing numbers balance out those concerns. In fact, of the six QBs with double-digit win rates, five of them are also the top five in QB rushing yards.
It doesn’t hurt, of course, that Jackson, Murray, Allen, and Watson have also combined for 27 rushing TDs. Yesterday, Blair Andrews gave another reason you might want to chase these QBs, examining the question through the lens of expected points (EP).
What If We Make a Few Adjustments?
Perhaps you’re wondering what the numbers look like if we remove Andrew Luck, since his circumstances were so unusual, and remove any late-round QBs who weren’t drafted in at least 1,000 leagues.
- QBs selected in Rounds 6 through 12: 9.4% win rate
- QBs selected in Rounds 13 through 20: 7.1% win rate
Making those adjustments boosts the win rates for both groups slightly, but it leaves us with the same general picture.
You Can Put Yourself in Position to Dominate Best Ball By Winning the Onesie Positions
That was the takeaway from Lesson 5 of the Best Ball Workshop, and it’s been the case again in 2019. We’ll look at this in more depth after the season, and I’ll also break down the 2019 MFL10 of Death where QB/TE decisions proved decisive in sorting first and second place.
To dive into the win rates for every 2019 QB, jump over to the Best Ball Win Rate tool and check out each passer in detail.