6 Ideal Late-Round QB Pairings for 2016 (and Where to Draft Them)

Jul 12, 2016
6 Ideal Late-Round QB Pairings for 2016 (and Where to Draft Them)

If you plan to draft a late-round QB team, you need to plan ahead. You need to pair QBs such that you have a QB in a good matchup every week. This article will offer you six ideal QB Pairings for 2016.

To that end, I want to offer a few suggestions with what we call a streaming matrix. This will show you a picture of how various streaming pairings would look on your roster so that you see when they will have good matchups. These graphics and stats come from our Hot Spots: Team Level SOS by Position page (a great reference tool that I recommend you bookmark).

For this study, I chose only QBs outside the top-12, to highlight some possibilities for those of you looking to wait several rounds before drafting a QB. All ADP data is drawn from our ADP page, which displays an average of CBS, ESPN, MFL, NFL, and Yahoo! ADPs. When you see suggested draft rounds below, tailor those suggestions to your own league and keep in mind that the suggestions are based on community-wide averages.

I only reviewed the first eight weeks of the NFL schedule for two reasons:

  1. Defenses are notoriously difficult to predict before the season, and by midseason we will have more than enough data to reliably reevaluate matchups.
  2. A streamer is comfortable with the idea of swapping QBs on and off their roster. History tells us there is a fair chance you will not have your same drafted QBs by midseason if you are taking a streaming approach. Your QB streaming pairs should be built upon the first half of the season, not the second half when everything becomes far more speculative.

Without further ado, let’s dig into the ideal QB pairings for 2016:

Derek Carr/Kirk Cousins with Joe Flacco/Jay Cutler

For both Derek Carr and Kirk Cousins, Week 2 is the biggest flaw in their early season schedules. I have matched Carr and Cousins up with Joe Flacco and Jay Cutler, both of whom have fantastic Week 2 matchups against defenses that gave up a ton of fantasy points to QBs last year.

In our standard QB rankings, Carr and Cousins come in back-to-back at QB12 and QB13, so we see plenty of upside in these QBs you can draft late. The benefit of these pairings is that you should be able to quickly drop the second QB if you are in need of an extra roster spot. The idea here is that your first QB should be good enough in 2016 to become an every-week starter for you, so you could quickly jettison your QB2 after Week 2.

In this scenario, here is where you would target your QBs, based on current ADP:

  • 10-Team League: Carr/Cousins (12th Round), Cutler (19th Round) or Flacco (21st Round)
  • 12-Team League: Carr/Cousins (10th Round), Cutler (16th Round) or Flacco (18th Round)

Matthew Stafford with Marcus Mariota

Our rankings have Matthew Stafford and Marcus Mariota at QB15 and QB16, so both look like values at their current draft prices (QB17 and QB21). This pairing allows you to take two high-upside, risky QBs with favorable early schedules, so that you can wait and see if either turns into an every-week starter. If not, their schedules pair well to let you play Stafford in Week 4 and Mariota in Weeks 7 and 8. Outside those weeks, both have good to great matchups, allowing you to ride the hot hand.

Here is where you would need to target these two, based on current ADP:

  • 10-Team League: Stafford (13th Round), Mariota (17th Round)
  • 12-Team League: Stafford (11th Round), Mariota (14th Round)

Tyrod Taylor with Matt Ryan

We love us some Tyrod Taylor, ranking him QB11 in our standard projections, but streamers will notice he has two daunting matchups in the first three weeks. To mitigate that downside, you should target Matt Ryan, who will face the Raiders and the dreadful Saints defense in those two weeks. Ryan’s schedule quickly turns ugly in Weeks 4-6, but he has soft matchups and a reliable fantasy floor in the first three weeks -- perfect to set you up before you begin rolling out Tyrod every week.

Here is your draft plan for this combination, based on current ADP:

  • 10-Team League: Taylor (13th Round), Ryan (14th Round)
  • 12-Team League: Taylor (11th Round), Ryan (12th Round)

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