My 2023 fantasy dynasty team had a great year. I had the highest total fantasy points in the league, and it went to the championship game. I attribute this mostly to my pre-draft planning and overall trading and team strategy.

Ahead of my 2023 dynasty draft, I wanted to learn the relationship between average dynasty fantasy league draft position (ADP) and the long term success of the player being drafted. I learned a lot from my study which I shared with our subscribers in this article, How To Add A QB1 To Your FF Dynasty Team.

Specifically, I learned that in the modern NFL, QBs are not lasting as long as the Peyton Mannings and Tom Bradys of yesteryears. I also learned that there is a strange correlation between ADP and long term performance. Yes, QBs drafted in the 1st round had a good correlation to being top performers, but so did QBs right around the end of the 2nd round and the top of the 3rd round. Last year, that pattern repeated itself with C.J. Stroud rising to the top of all 2023 rookie QBs. Anthony Richardson was the highly-touted 1st-round QB, and was off to an excellent start before his injury.

So with 2023 behind us, and another year of experience I have created this update as the 2024 dynasty rookie drafts get underway.

The Importance of having a Top-6 QB

I have always considered having a top-6 QB the most important priority for my dynasty fantasy football team. QB is the highest scoring position and there is a significant fantasy point drop off from the 1st to the 12th QB in any season.

Starting the 12th best QB is a last-place anchor for any fantasy team. In order to have a fantasy playoff-caliber team, a top-6 QB is a top priority. I consider a top-7 to top-12 QB as a good backup for by-weeks and injuries.

Furthermore, until last year I had always been under the mistaken belief I could lock down a Tom-Brady-or-Peyton-Manning-esque QB for a decade as the cornerstone of my dynasty team.

Last year's study showed a different reality. The statics over the last ten years tell us that QB is a much more fluid position in the modern NFL, with a 2nd-year performance peak, and an almost linear drop off from there. QBs, as a group, lose half their fantasy value from their 2nd year to their 5th year.

Finally, it is impossible for everyone in the league to have a top-6 QB, let alone a top-6 QB and a top-12 QB, right? Yep, exactly - and not everyone can win the championship. This is called winning. Not everyone can win. My strategy cannot be possible for all other team managers to accomplish. But to accomplish my goal I need an advanced strategy - more than just throwing darts for the players that might hit. I need something more powerful than NFL consensus prospect knowledge - I need the power of math and statistics on my side.

Going into the 2024 season, I have Jalen Hurts, Anthony Richardson, and Gardner Minshew.  Hurts showed signs of decline towards the  end of last year. Richardson showed all the signs of being an elite QB, but he has already had a serious injury and we don't know if that will be a pattern. Minshew filled in last year in Week 10 when Hurts was on a bye-week and as my handcuff to Richardson. He might be a starter for the Raiders this year, something I believe Minshew deserves. However, for fantasy purposes, I project him as a QB2.

Every year the QB injuries pile up early in the season. In 2022, I described the reality of the high QB injury rate in my article, Quarterback Carousel & Handcuffs, which is about managing for a QB injury. In 2022, 1/4th of the NFL’s starting quarterbacks were injured in the first six weeks of the season.

So at first blush, it seems my QB room is pretty well stacked for 2024, but with deeper consideration, I need to be thinking that Hurts is near the end of his fantasy football career, and while Richardson looks poised to take the reigns of my fantasy team, his health for the season is hardly assured. Minshew is no longer a handcuff, and adds little value.

So I need to be thinking about finding another QB that will rise by the end of 2024 or for the 2025 season to maintain my advantage.

Evaluation Method

This year, based on my strategy for stock piling draft picks, I have the 1.06, 1.09, 2.02, 2.04, 2.11, 3.02, 3.04, 3.07 and 3.12 pick in my draft (after coming in 2nd last year). I have my favorite sources for player evaluations and that enters into my draft plan, but first-and-foremost I am a numbers and math guy. I want to crack the code without needing to be or to rely on an expert NFL analyst.

So this is the motivation behind this study to find the success rate of drafting QBs versus average draft position (ADP). And whether you are desperate for a QB or, like me, just trying to maintain a solid QB room in a fluid NFL environment, I believe this study can help anyone use their draft picks most efficiently for building their QB position. Notice I used the word “building”, not “filling” – anyone can fill a position – but we are building a position – improving it – making it stronger – we aren’t looking for one player, but we are looking for the overall strength of the position on our roster, which can never be assured by the acquisition of a single player.

So what are my options to beef up my QB room for 2024?

First, I could trade for an under-the-radar sophomore QB. C.J. Stroud is not under-the-radar and will command too high of a price compared with my current QB needs. If the price is right I might try trade for Bryce Young or Will Levis.

Bryce had one of the worst rookie QB seasons in NFL history. But new Panthers head coach, Dave Canales, fortified the Panthers front line, jettisoned some veteran defense (meaning higher scoring games and shootout potential), and has a history of improving struggling offenses and QBs (.e.g. Baker Mayfield, Geno Smith).

Levis has a new offensive-minded head coach in Brian Callahan, who was also the offensive coordinator for the Bengals in Joe Burrows early years. Furthermore, the Titans have added offensive left tackle, JC Latham, with the their overall 7th pick - a serious commitment to protecting the quarterback and buying more time for him to throw.

I don't think I can justify the draft capital it would take to get Caleb Williams, and I am not as high on him as the consensus. I could see possibly taking Jayden Daniels with my 9th overall pick, but I have a lot of competing needs at RB and WR, so instead I might see who falls to me at 2.11, 3.02 and 3.04. Michael Penix, Bo Nix and Drake Maye are all worthy of consideration if they fall that far down in the draft.

Penix might have to wait before he can be the starter, sitting behind an aging Kirk Cousins, but I estimate there is a 25% chance alone that Cousins will be injured on top of the chance that he might start to decline. These are events that can spring a rookie QB into the starting job a little sooner than anticipated and if he is good, which I suspect Penix is, take the starting job for good.

I don't think Nix is special talent, but he landed in a decent situation. And this is exactly the scenario that plays out with a lot of QBs drafted at the bottom of the 2nd or top of the 3rd round that turn out to be unexpected studs, such as Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Deshaun Watson, Jared Goff, Jordan Love, and now C.J. Stroud. (Not to mention Jalen Hurts and Dak Prescott whose ADPs weren't even in the first three rounds.)

And what about Drake Maye??? Will he be the next Tom Brady in New England? I seriously doubt it. The era of Tom Bradys and Payton Mannings is over and the Patriots is a franchise in turmoil having been pummeled back into the stone age (the1960s, 70s and 80s). Perhaps new defensive-minded head coach Jerod Mayo, a former pro-Bowl Patriot Linebacker, with the help of Offensive Coordinator and former NFL journeyman QB, Alex Van Pelt and quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney can find a way to revitalize the team and position average prospects into winning situations and Maye into becoming a top-12 QB.

Nah - I can't swallow this progression of 'might', 'if' and 'could' as anything more than wild fantasy.

55% Discount – 1-year DFS Optimizer: Cutting edge features, multiple projections sources

Historical ADP Information

Now for the data. First, based on historical ADP information, this is where quarterbacks were drafted over the last 10 years:

Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Dak Prescott and Jalen Hurts are the steals of the last decade, as they were drafted in the bottom of the 2nd or later. Now the question is who will be the steals of this decade?

Success Rate vs Years of Experience

Now we take a look to see how these QBs panned out for fantasy purposes. For every year they were a top-6 QB I gave them 1 point, and for every year they were a top-7 to top-12 QB I gave them 0.5 points. Then I took the integral of all their results, which produced this chart:

It's an ugly chart, but I show it so you can understand how I am getting these numbers. The last row is where the valuable information pops out. It shows success rate versus years of experiences. Here I am showing these final numbers in the graph below:

Quarterbacks have rarely been a top-6 or top-12 quarterback their first year. Collectively, their best year is their 2nd year, and they drop off after that, falling close to half their value at their 5th or 6th year.

I attribute this to the rise of the dual-threat QB style that NFL teams (and our fantasy teams) have begun to relish. Back in the day, Michael Vick and Cam Newton were rare talents, but this is becoming the status quo requirement for QBs entering the NFL. If a QB can't double as an accurate pocket passer and a bulldozer running back, they aren't worth squat any more. (Okay, I exaggerate, but this is the trend, and that means they won't last as long as in today's NFL as Tom Brady.)

Besides the longevity of QB success, now we break down QB success rate by ADP round:

1st round: 11.9%

2nd round: 19.0%

3rd round: 16.0%

Also because of what I was seeing, I broke the success vs ADP data into 4 bands of 9 draft positions each - which is the reason for the four bands of color in my first two charts. This is the success rate by those four bands of ADP range:

1.01-1.09: 16.0%

1.10-2.06: 8.0%

2.07-3.03: 21.1%

3.05-3.12: 16.1%

How is it possible that the results are almost the reverse of expectation. Last year fit the pattern again with C.J. Stroud's early success and Anthony Richardson's early (but hopefully temporary) failure.

There is a long history of very successful lower pick QBs: Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Daniel Jones, Derek Carr, Jared Goff, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Dak Prescott and C.J. Stroud.

Compare this with the long history of 1st round pick QB failures: Johnny Manziel, Trey Lance, Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Zach Wilson, Dwyane Haskins, Tau Tagovailoa, Mac Jones, and Anthony Richardson.

Breaking it down more, there seems to be a large band of failure between the 1.10 and 2.06 draft picks. And then a second band of success in the 2.07-3.03 range.

So in reality the top of the 1st round has a decent success rate, which makes sense, but what is going on with the 2nd band of success between the 2.07 and 3.03 range?

My speculation is that consensus valuation of prospect QBs is not very good. QBs are the most hyped position because of how much their college play factors into the success or failure at the NFL level. As such, the hype around prospect QBs has much more to do with their college stats, the college they came from, where they were drafted by the NFL and their combine scores, than their actual ability to play quarterback in the NFL. The highlight reels focus on their successes against poor college defenses, and hide, or push to the back, their failures against the best defenses. Many dynasty leagues have email drafts where the tail end of the draft is during or deeper into the pre-season games than the start of the draft.  Perhaps it is right in the 2.07 to 3.03 range when we start to learn who the QBs are that are actually going to succeed, and they start to come off the board in dynasty drafts then, but by the end of the 3rd round that very limited stock of unexpected, but real QB talent is mostly all discovered, and there is a 2nd drop off from the middle of the 3rd round on.


It is said that history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes. And it is also said that numbers don't lie. Are you going to manage your team by the hype or by the numbers?

I am going to stick with managing my team by the numbers - I am not going to focus on a 1st round QB like Caleb Williams or Jayden Daniels. I like Daniels and if he falls to 1.09 and depending on who else is on the board, it is possible I will draft him, but more likely I will try to snipe a sophomore that I think has 2024 potential on draft day. I have already identified Bryce Young and Will Levis as potential targets. Or if I can't move my 2.11 pick to a higher future 2nd round pick, or my 3.02 or 3.04 picks to future low 2nd round picks, I might give Michael Penix or Bo Nix the nod if they are still available that deep in our draft.

No matter what your situation is with your own dynasty team, rebuilding or already solid for 2024, keeping your QB corps strong is an important priority. If you already have a top-6 QB, then you still should try to fill in behind him with a top-12 QB. And if you have both a top-6 and a top-12 QB, it's good to bring in a developing QB and/or reinforce for injury. But you also need to use your picks more efficiently than the other managers in the league, so in those situations you can act conservatively by trying to get a good deal on a sophomore QB or by hitting the 3rd round sweet spot in the draft.

However, if you don't have a top-6 QB, then you need to be more aggressive, and can justify spending a 1st round pick on your favorite QB.

I plan to cover RB, WR and TE in a similar manner over the next few weeks as I build my own draft strategy for 2024. I hope this analysis is helpful for you also, as you finalize your draft plan.

If you found this article helpful, here are some other articles I have written that you might also find helpful:

Dynasty NFL: Who To Drop And How To Sell

How I Got My RB1

Dynasty Draft Strategy: A Tale of Ten Trades

The Ultimate Dynasty Draft Strategy

How to Win Your Dynasty League

Dynasty Rookie Draft Picks - Value Analysis

Quarterback Carousel & Handcuffs