Add skill to your Fantasy Football League: The Joy of Superflex

Scott Pianowski
·5 min read

My Superflex experience goes back so far, we didn’t even call it Superflex in the early days. Jumbo Flex was the name we used.

Today, Superflex is the tag that’s stuck, and I’m fine with that. I’m not married to naming things. I just like good ideas, and I like to spread them around.

And Superflex is a damn good idea, a lovely way to add fun, nuance, strategy, and depth to your 2020 Fantasy League. Let’s see if we can get you on board.

What is Superflex?

A Superflex Fantasy Football league is a league that allows one flex position to be open to any offensive skill player — including quarterbacks. A standard flex spot in a Fantasy Football league allows for a running back, wide receiver, or tight end. In Superflex, the quarterbacks are also added into that mix. You’ll see it abbreviated as such: QB/RB/WR/TE.

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A Superflex format is basically a proxy for a two-quarterback league, but it allows a fantasy manager an alternative if they find themselves short for a second quarterback in an outlier week. Two-quarterback formats can be a mess if you don’t allow for this Superflex quirk; quarterback hoarding becomes a little too powerful, and some weird trades can result. The Superflex format can step in as a nice alternative; they effectively play as two-quarterback formats, but at least you’re not totally screwed in a week where you’re down to just one quarterback.

Why would we want to play in a league with multiple quarterbacks? I’m so glad you asked.

In Superflex, the quarterback position becomes important again

In a standard league where just one quarterback is required, the QB fill becomes the easiest thing in the world. If you want to draft one in the middle of the draft, you still could land a star. Playable options will be waiting for your call at the end of the draft. Heck, if you simply need to stream the position weekly — pick from the unwanted players any week — you can still do well. The supply greatly outweighs the demand.

When we pivot to a Superflex format, the QB position once again is a priority. And late-round and streaming strategies, the cheapest hacks going, no longer are particularly viable. This is a good thing.

(If you’re a Stream Police kinda guy, that’s fine. Do it with your defenses and kickers. The quarterbacks don’t belong in that conversation.)

Drafts have more nuance when more quarterbacks are required

Is anyone else sick of the running-back cattle call that stands for 2020’s first round? Sure, Michael Thomas or Davante Adams get into the mix, and occasionally a third wideout, but otherwise it’s 12 people mostly doing the same thing. What’s fun about that?

When you incorporate Superflex, you change the dynamics of those early rounds. Now, more diversity comes into play, more nuance to team building. You could consider a Patrick Mahomes or a Lamar Jackson in the first round — and the teams that draft them could come back soon thereafter with another quarterback (and will need at least one more to begin with). You present more options to fantasy players, and it makes the draft more dynamic, more nuanced, more interesting.

Flex-heavy leagues are more fun and offer truer outcomes

I’m always going to bang the drum for more starting positions in all of our fantasy leagues, for two simple reasons. One, it offers more players for me to research and root for. More to watch, more to track, more to enjoy. There’s a reason why nobody plays in a fantasy league with three starters.


[2020 Draft Rankings:
Overall | QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | DST | Kickers]

And when you keep adding those flex positions — be it through Superflex or anything else — you’re also reducing the impact of outlier events, notably the bad ones. A first-quarter injury or a season-ending ACL blowout are no longer instant kill shots for your weekly or seasonal chances. The fantasy manager with the better depth gets a boost to his winning chances. Some might say the variance of Fantasy Football is more feature than bug — unlike some other fantasy sports, pretty much anyone can win a Fantasy Football league with a small amount of breaks — but I don’t mind making a tweak or two that will add to the skill of the league.

Superflex leagues are well received by people that try them

Okay, I’m going to close my argument with some unscientific research and observation — my own.

I’ve introduced Superflex leagues to friends and rivals for over a decade. It’s the only format I’ll consider when I run a Fantasy Football league. In my time organizing this stuff, I have never had one complaint about the Superflex format (on the contrary, many satisfied players). It’s been an overwhelming win for the managers in the room.

I can’t guarantee that you’ll have the same results, of course. If you get enough random people in a room, you’ll find someone who dislikes pizza and a weird cat who hates ice cream. But I’m confident most of your competitors will learn to love this format.

Open up that player pool. Say yes to nuance, to depth, to more options at that draft table.

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