Josh Allen has been hated on by the Internet and ridiculed by many since the Bills took him seventh overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. His accuracy percentages throughout high school and college were the punchline of many jokes and most thought his game wouldn’t translate to the NFL level. So far from a real-life football standpoint, those jokes haven’t been far off. In two seasons he has a 30:21 TD:INT ratio and has completed only 56.3 percent of his throws.
However, from a fantasy standpoint, Josh Allen is a baller and a 2020 fantasy league winner due to his running ability and ever-improving surrounding cast, highlighted by the addition of Stefon Diggs this offseason.
People won’t confuse Allen’s rushing style with Lamar Jackson’s any time soon, but he is fantasy’s next great ‘Konami Code’ QB, as evidence by his 17(!) rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons.
In 2019, Allen finished as the QB6 overall, and it was mostly due to his rushing ability.
Not only did he rank first in rushing touchdowns by a QB, but he trailed only Jackson in carries (109) and redzone carries (22), and ranked third in rushing yards (510) at his position. After leading all QBs in rushing touchdowns in back-to-back seasons, don’t plan on that going anywhere in 2020. He is the Bills de-facto goal line back and produces rushing touchdowns like a high-volume running back.
When talking about his weapons cabinet, he already had the likes of John Brown, Cole Beasley, Devin Singletary, and Dawson Knox around him. Now the Bills added Stefon Diggs, one of the league’s premiere route running technicians and deep ball trackers in the league, to his arsenal.
In particular, Diggs can help Allen improve on his deep ball passing. On passes 20-plus yards downfield, Kirk Cousins had a 126 passer rating when targeting the whiny wideout. Diggs also led the league in deep ball yardage (20-plus yard attempts) with 635 yards and all six of his touchdowns came on such throws, which also led the league.
To properly utilize Diggs’ and Brown’s deep speed and down field talents, Allen must improve the accuracy on his deep ball. He ranked in the bottom 20 of all Pro Football Focus deep passing metrics and in his career, he’s a pathetic 6-of-50 (12 percent) on throws over 30 yards, going for three touchdowns and three interceptions. On throws between 20-and-29 yards, he’s 21-of-71 (29.6 percent), with six touchdowns and six interceptions. Gross.
“This guy was one of the league’s five worst deep ball quarterbacks last year, but threw deep balls the sixth highest rate,” said Rotoworld’s Ian Hartitz on The Fantasy Fullback Dive. “It’s like Russell Westbrook refusing to stop shooting threes, even though he can’t make any to save his life.”
“I don’t think it’s [Diggs] going to elevate any of these wide receivers,” he continued. “People are ranking Diggs in the low-20s and I think people are being optimistic, that’s probably his ceiling. But for Josh Allen? It’s great. He improves across the board. But adding someone like Diggs could take him from a pretty bad passer to an average passer. As a rusher, we already know he’s there.”
From Week 7 on, when the Bills switched over to lead the league in snaps in 11 personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB), Allen was QB2 in fantasy points, trailing only Jackson. Looking forward, it’s likely they’ll be near the top of the league again in 11 personnel snaps with Diggs, Brown, Beasley, Knox, and Singletary. That’s a scary group for opposing defenses to defend.
Although fans of the league will continue to make jokes about Allen’s accuracy and he’ll continue to do dumb Josh Allen things, such as attempting a no-look lateral in a playoff game, his fantasy upside is enormous in 2020. With Tom Brady no longer in the division, the AFC East is up for grabs, and the team did its part to surround their franchise quarterback with weapons.
Due to his surrounding cast and high rushing touchdown upside, he currently checks in at our QB9 overall and is fantasy’s next ‘Konami Code’ QB.