Fantasy Football

2021 Fantasy Football Best Ball QB Hit Rate

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Welcome back for round two on a journey through positional hit rates for 2021 Fantasy Football Best Ball. This time we are focusing on QB hit rate.

By identifying and quantifying previous scoring data in the form of hit rates, we can determine optimal quarterback drafting strategies.

These strategies include both when, and how often, to take quarterbacks. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of hit rates, I dove a little deeper into the subject in my article on tight ends.

For this article, the data I’ll be analyzing will be applicable to both Underdog and RTSports Best Ball.

If you’re new to Underdog, be sure to use this link, and you’ll get your first draft for free!

2021 Fantasy Football Best Ball QB Hit Rate

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Quarterback Hit Rates

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First things first, let’s identify some hit rates for our quarterbacks. In order to do so, I’ll be using standard quarterback scoring. For this exercise, the three main thresholds I have identified are top-5, top-10, and top-12 weekly production.

Top-10 and top-12 thresholds will be the primary focal points, as they represent QB1-level production for the two main formats we are concerned with. On one end we have the top-10 mark representing the QB1 range for ten team leagues over at RTSports. On the other, we have the top-12 mark representing the QB1 range for 12 team leagues over at Underdog. Additionally, the top-5 hit rate was included as a secondary metric for ceilings.

QB RankPoints
Top-527.42
Top-1022.27
Top-1220.70

Plain and simple. If you’re playing in a 12-man league, a quarterback needs to score 20.70 points on average to finish as a QB1 on the week. Likewise, a quarterback in a 10-man league would need to score 22.27 points.

The Analysis

With our hit rates established, I was then able to compare how often the top-24 quarterbacks reached these marks in 2020. The number of times a quarterback hit the threshold was then divided by the number of games they played. This allows for a more accurate metric to unfold that accounts for missed games. I’ll refer to this as Hit Rate Probability (HRP).

From there I truncated the quarterbacks into four groups, based on their season-long finishes. These groups include: High-End QB1 (QB1-to-QB6), Low-End QB1 (QB7-to-QB12), High-End QB2 (QB13-to-QB18), and Low-End QB2 (QB19-to-QB24).

After these groups were formed, the HRPs were averaged for the group so that combinations could be formed and analyzed. What I mean by combinations is any and all groupings of two or three quarterbacks. These combinations will allow us to evaluate a wide range of scenarios.

For instance, the percent chance that two High-End QB1s hit top-10 production, as opposed to three Low-End QB2s. This is the data we want. The data that can provide information regarding when to take a quarterback, and how many quarterbacks to take in Fantasy Football Best Ball. So without further ado, let’s take a look at these combinations.

Optimal Quarterback Groupings

To preface, the table listed below is sorted by percent chance of a top-12 finish. This results in the top-10 column being essentially sorted as well, except in one occurrence.

I must also note, that I only used combinations for two and three quarterbacks. If you were curious as to how taking only one quarterback would play out, Josh Allen (QB1 overall in 2020) only boasted a top-12 HRP of 56 percent.

GroupingsTop-5 Hit RateTop-10 Hit RateTop-12 Hit Rate
High QB1 + High QB1 + High QB10.700.910.95
High QB1 + High QB1 + Low QB10.650.880.93
High QB1 + High QB1+ High QB20.580.850.91
Low QB1 + Low QB1 + High QB10.610.840.91
High QB1 + High QB1 + Low QB20.570.830.89
High QB1 + Low QB1 + High QB20.520.800.88
Low QB1 + Low QB1 + Low QB10.550.790.88
High QB1 + High QB10.550.790.86
High QB1 + Low QB1 + Low QB20.510.770.86
High QB2 + High QB2 + High QB10.420.760.84
Low QB1 + Low QB1 + High QB20.460.740.83
High QB1 + Low QB10.490.730.82
High QB1 + High QB2 + Low QB20.410.720.81
Low QB1 + Low QB1 + Low QB20.440.700.81
Low QB2 + Low QB2 + High QB10.390.670.78
High QB2 + High QB2 + Low QB10.350.680.78
High QB1 + High QB20.380.670.75
Low QB1 + Low QB10.410.650.75
Low QB1 + High QB2 + Low QB20.330.630.74
High QB1 + Low QB20.360.610.71
High QB2 + High QB2 + High QB20.210.610.70
Low QB2 + Low QB2 + Low QB10.310.570.70
Low QB1 + High QB20.290.570.67
High QB2 + High QB2 + Low QB20.190.550.66
Low QB1 + Low QB20.270.500.61
Low QB2 + Low QB2 + High QB20.170.470.60
High QB2 + High QB20.140.470.56
Low QB2 + Low QB2 + Low QB20.150.390.54
High QB2 + Low QB20.120.380.48
Low QB2 + Low QB20.100.280.40

As one would expect, the highest chance of a top-5 weekly finish, as well as the highest chance of either weekly QB1 finishes, results from taking three High-End QB1s. While this strategy is the best in a vacuum, there are plenty of consequences from essentially taking Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson, back to back to back, in rounds three through five.

One interesting thing I found in analyzing this data is the resultant top-5 hit rates between a roster comprised of one High-End QB1 and two High-End QB2s, as opposed to a roster with one High-End QB1 and one Low-End QB1. Although the three quarterback combination has a slightly higher top-10 and top-12 hit rate, the two quarterback combination has an even higher top-5 hit rate.

This is an important aspect because it demonstrates that ceiling can’t always be made up for with quantity over quality. Additionally, I view taking the two High-End QB2s over the one Low-End QB1 as a draft capital hit. I’d rather take one Low-End QB1 near round 9, rather than take two High-End QB2s in rounds 11 and 12.

Another intriguing circumstance is the difference in hit rates for taking two Low-End QB2s as opposed to three Low-End QB2s. By simply taking the extra QB2, your roster has a 14 percent higher chance of achieving top-12 performance on a weekly basis. Not to mention, this extra pick for a Low-End QB2 would be coming in the mid-to-late double-digit rounds, where you would be sacrificing little to no value.

Final Thoughts

There are many different combinations in terms of roster construction for the quarterback position. Some result in drastically different hit rates, while others hardly differ.

At the end of the day, the biggest factor is draft capital in Fantasy Football Best Ball. The chart listed above should provide a solid starting point as you’re drafting. Although it will be largely situational-based, the optimal groupings chart can provide some weight to your decisions.

As a drafter, you should always be considering the what-if scenarios. For instance, if you wait one more round on a quarterback so that you can take a tight end, how many total quarterbacks will you need? Hopefully, that’s where the optimal groupings chart will come into play, by providing an evaluation tool for those tough decisions.


If you find any additional intriguing differences among quarterback combinations based on the chart, let me know. You can always find me on Twitter @FF_Engineer_ where I’ll be talking all things Fantasy Football and Best Ball.


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About Preston White

Preston is a long time Fantasy Football player, and a big time Best Ball guy. He finds great joy in life's pleasures including data, analytics, IPAs, and #ZeroRB drafting. Feel free to give him a shout on Twitter (@FF_Engineer_) regarding anything Fantasy Football and Best Ball related.

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