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Shaky real-life QB … strong fantasy option.
That was Allen’s story in 2019, as he rushed his way to a QB9 finish. He ranked 3rd among QBs in rush attempts (109), 2nd in rush yards (510) and 1st in TDs (9). The 233-pounder popped in 8 of his 9 TDs inside the 10-yard line, as he handled 11 rushes from that area.
As a passer, Allen ranked 5th in air yards per attempt — proof of his fantasy-friendly aggressiveness. He was strong in the red zone with 12 TDs and 0 picks, too. But beyond that, he remained an inefficient thrower with a 71.7% adjusted completion rate — 32nd among 44 QBs with 100 dropbacks — and only 6.7 yards per attempt. Even after getting the best from John Brown, Allen’s adjusted rate on deep throws was just 30.9% —39th among 46 QBs with 10+ deep attempts.
The kid’s still young — but you get the picture. Allen’s been a much better QB in fantasy than in reality.
The Bills shipped a Round 1 pick to Minnesota for Stefon Diggs, He provides a needed upgrade for a Bills WR corps that had Isaiah McKenzie (39), Duke Williams (19), Robert Foster (18) and Zay Jones (18) rank behind Brown and Cole Beasley in targets.
Allen has worked out with Diggs — and the rest of Buffalo’s key skill guys — as early as May. Diggs has yet to play a full season but is proven as one of the league’s top route runners.
Brown returns to provide the deep threat after nearly reaching 15.0 yards per catch in his 1st season as a Bill. Beasley supplies the chain-moving skill set out of the slot and completes a diverse unit.
TE Dawson Knox, RB Devin Singletary and RB Zack Moss each provide pass-catching upside at their respective positions. The Singletary-Moss duo is particularly enticing, as both guys have a receiving skill set to keep defenses honest.
Buffalo retained the same O-line, HC and OC, helping set Allen up for success. Their approach through 2 years is quite clear, though: run the ball and play defense. Buffalo ranked 7th in run rate in 2019; 4th in 2018. Last year, Allen tossed it only 28.8 times per game.
Perhaps that grows in year 3 with his best cast to date. But it’s clear that huge rushing numbers are required for a high-end QB1 season.
Allen cracked the top-10 fantasy QBs last year with help from 510 rushing yards and 9 scores. It’d scream outlier had he not posted an 89-631-8 rushing line in 12 games as a rookie.
Adding Stefon Diggs while keeping key 2019 pieces intact, Buffalo’s front office has given Allen a legit shot at finishing as a top-5 fantasy QB in 2020. He’s worth considering after Mahomes, Jackson, Prescott, Murray and Wilson are off the board.