Elite Rushing Numbers Point to Potential Fantasy Upside for Josh Allen

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 02: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills rushes for yardage during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on December 2, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

To say Josh Allen was a controversial prospect heading into the 2018 NFL Draft would be an understatement. The Buffalo Bills rolled the dice on an unproven passer though, and they got some interesting returns in Allen's first NFL season.

The anti-Allen crowd got some justification with the way he moved the ball through the air as a rookie, completing only 52.8 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. His 6.5 yards per attempt were the second-fewest among qualifying quarterbacks.

He showed off an interesting wrinkle in his game though, rushing the ball 89 times for 631 yards (7.1 per attempt) and eight touchdowns. It's no secret that rushing quarterbacks offer great fantasy football upside, so that's a great sign for Allen, who had one of the most productive rushing fantasy seasons we've ever seen at the position.

Despite the results, the way Allen threw the ball as a rookie lends itself to some interesting upside as well. His average depth of target was the highest among all quarterbacks who attempt even 25 passes in 2018.

The Bills look like they're going to want him to keep slinging the ball too, as they added another deep threat to their receiving corps in former Baltimore Raven John Brown.

Of course, these kinds of boom or bust throws don't exactly make Josh Allen a safe fantasy play on a weekly basis, and we saw how ugly his passing numbers can be when the targets fall on the bust side. At his current average draft position (ADP) of QB22, though, you're not looking for safety.

At that cost you're not exactly sinking significant draft capital into Allen, and if he flops then you lose nothing by dropping him and adding someone else to the end of your bench. But he just had one of the most productive rushing seasons we've ever seen from a quarterback, so the upside if you're right could be worth rolling the dice for.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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