Karabell: I was wrong about Josh Allen, plus other lessons learned from the 2020 fantasy football season

AP Photo/John Munson

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen certainly made strides in 2019, in his second NFL season, but his main value to fantasy football managers was, as it was in his rookie campaign, what he did with his legs. Allen rushed for more than 1,100 yards combined in his first two NFL seasons and added 17 touchdowns. We love that, of course, but as a pure passer, eh, Allen was below average in completion percentage, yards per attempt, essentially all relevant categories. Sure, Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson figured out how to pass better in his second season, but there was little reason to think Allen would follow the same path.

Then he did. Boy, did Josh Allen improve. He finished first in fantasy points for the 2020 season!

Look, one should never treat all athletes of a certain skill set the same and assume they will progress and/or regress at a similar rate, but whenever I see a running quarterback with already significant value, I will also no longer presume gains cannot be made with his arm. The similar narrative on Jackson and Allen was that they were incapable of becoming great enough passers to challenge defenses, and the former won the 2019 MVP award and the latter should absolutely be in the 2020 MVP conversation for the 13-3 Bills. The Bills presented Allen a serious, motivated wide receiver weapon in Stefon Diggs, and look what happened. Nobody caught more passes. Nobody had more receiving yards.

In fact, take things a step further here.