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FANTASY FOOTBALL

In fantasy play, two quarterbacks are better than one

Having both Philip Rivers and Pat Mahomes in your lineup would be fun, wouldn’t it?
Having both Philip Rivers and Pat Mahomes in your lineup would be fun, wouldn’t it?(harry how/Getty)

I would be thrilled to say I changed one of my season-long fantasy football leagues to a two-quarterback league because I thought of the idea on my own, just as I would be thrilled to say I’m the person who came up with the idea for daily fantasy sports.

Neither is the case, but at least I’m not averse to piggybacking good ideas. The move to a two-quarterback league was a winner. A stale league became a fun league.

Eliminating the kicker from rosters was a big part of this decision’s success. Kickers are increasingly useless in fantasy football because there’s barely any strategy involved. With a second quarterback in your lineup, though, you’re forcing owners to think more about matchups and you’re increasing scoring. More scoring means more fun, and isn’t that the point?

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One drawback: Starting two quarterbacks works in a 10-team league (or less), but the math is difficult in a 12-team league. Each week the NFL has 32 starting quarterbacks, but bye weeks are also a factor. Commissioners in 12-team leagues would have to limit rosters so team owners could start two quarterbacks, but you couldn’t have any quarterbacks on your bench.

In that scenario, if you owned Drew Brees, and the Saints were on a bye, you would have to drop Brees from your roster and pick up another signal-caller. Brees, then, would become fair game on the waiver wire.

If you can sell that idea to members of your league, you’re at least guaranteed to create chaos. I think that would be fun, too.

Bust of the weekend: Spencer Ware, RB, Kansas City. With season-long fantasy playoffs beginning, beware of the notion that Ware can step in and replace Kareem Hunt’s production. Baltimore’s defense will make sure that does not happen.

Why I’m retiring from fantasy football: I’m not, but I wanted to after watching Arizona’s backup running back, Chase Edmonds, score two touchdowns inside the 10-yard line while starter David Johnson stood on the sidelines. If you own Johnson and you’ve made the playoffs, congratulations, because he has not met expectations.

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Waiver pickup of the week: Dante Pettis, WR, San Francisco. Pettis has nine catches for 206 yards and three touchdowns in the 49ers’ last two games. Somehow, he’s available in one of my leagues.

You’re desperate at wide receiver. Try this: Zay Jones, WR, Buffalo. Jones has sandwiched two solid games in Weeks 11 and 13 around a catch-less Week 12 game. But with upcoming home matchups versus the Jets and Lions, Jones is worth a look.

Sneaky play: Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay. Winston has looked good since re-emerging as the Bucs’ starter and he’s essentially playing for his job in 2019. A high-scoring matchup looms at home against New Orleans.

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Ed Ryan’s daily fantasy lineup, Week 14

(based on DraftKings model of a $50,000 budget)

QB — Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay, $6,200. Winston’s comeback tour quietly continues.

RB — Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas, $8,600. Should produce huge numbers against a decimated Philadelphia defense.

RB — LeSean McCoy, Buffalo, $5,000. Has been useful lately, and that trend will continue versus the Jets.

WR — Julio Jones, Atlanta, $7,900. I’m paying for the expectation of at least 25 fantasy points.

WR — Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay, $4,900. Inexpensive price for consistent production.

WR — Zay Jones, Buffalo, $4,200. Using two Bills in any fantasy lineup is probably not wise, but I’m betting on upside.

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TE — Trey Burton, Chicago, $3,400. Price tag is appropriate; he’s been invisible. Another upside play.

FLEX — Aaron Jones, Green Bay, $7,200. Here’s your MVP of the weekend. Former coach Mike McCarthy had a bizarre grip on Jones’s touches.

DST — Dallas, $2,600. I don’t expect much from Philadelphia’s offense on the road.


Ed Ryan can be reached at edward.ryaniii@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @EdzoRyan.