Three QBs with Massive Upside in 2020 (Fantasy Football)
I love sifting through advanced statistics and searching for exciting nuggets of information. In this article, we’re taking a look at Deep Pass Attempts (Attempts of 20+ yards) per Game. Let’s take a look at the top-15 leaderboard from last season for those that started at least eight games.[lptw_table id=”164681″ style=”default”]
Right away, three QBs pop out thanks to what their organizations did for them in the offseason. Let’s dive in:
Wentz is the absolute truth and I will not even entertain the contrary. Last season, Wentz became the first QB in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards while not having a single WR hit 500 receiving yards. Even without legitimate options on the outside, he still ranked ninth in the league in Deep Pass Attempts per Game and 12th in Deep Ball Accuracy.
That’s extremely significant because it shows Wentz is a confident and aggressive downfield passer who can absolutely go nuclear with the correct supporting cast. And after suffering through multiple years of skill position mediocrity, the stars seem to finally be aligning for Wentz.
This offseason, Philadelphia made a concerted effort to surround their franchise QB with more speed on the outside. They drafted Jalen Reagor in the first-round, John Hightower in the fifth-round, and Quez Watkins in the sixth-round. Reagor ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, Hightower ran a 4.43, and Watkins ran a 4.35.
DeSean Jackson is currently healthy and remains a dynamic playmaker, I strongly believe in Jalen Reagor and have made that very apparent this offseason, and John Hightower highly intrigues me. Hightower is a name to watch as I believe the Marquise Goodwin opt-out will open up playing time for him right away. Pro Football Focus’ Draft Guide listed Hightower as the WR Sleeper of the draft and compared him to Kenny Stills.
With the Eagles’ strong nucleus of Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert, Miles Sanders, Boston Scott, and Alshon Jeffery (If he can return to health at any point this year) locked in, Wentz is set up for another solid season. However, with the addition of dynamic playmaking ability and lid lifting upside on the outside, not enough is being made of how high Wentz’s upside can go. Wentz winning the 2020 MVP Award and finishing as the QB1 Overall is within his range of outcomes.
Unlike Carson Wentz, Josh Allen was much less accurate on his Deep Pass Attempts. However, he still threw them, ranking 13th in the league. No surprise here. We know Allen is a YOLO QB that has no problem whatsoever taking risks downfield.
His gunslinger mentality helped John Brown turn in a career year, posting 72 catches for 1,060 yards and six TDs. Helping his cause, Brown ranked 14th in the league in Deep Targets (20+ yards downfield) per Game (1.80) thanks to his downfield skillset correlating with Allen’s style of play.
And with Stefon Diggs now in Buffalo, things get really interesting. Diggs is one of the league’s premier playmakers at the WR position and offers secondary shattering speed in his own right. Diggs ranked seventh in the league in Deep Targets per Game (1.93) last season.
Major props to the Buffalo Bills organization for pairing Allen with teammates that fit his strengths. I still have major questions regarding Josh Allen’s skillset and relevance long term. However, the 2020 season will allow him to aggressively target two of last year’s top 14 WRs in Deep Targets per Game. Diggs and Brown pair well with Allen’s strong-arm, increasing his passing upside and we already know about his upside on the ground (510 rushing yards and nine TDs last season). That’s quite a combination for fantasy.
This is where things get really interesting, considering DeAndre Hopkins is now an Arizona Cardinal. Oddly though, I see there being a chance the collective Houston Texans WR unit can make up for the loss, mainly because Watson is just that good.
Hopkins wasn’t used perfectly last season (says the guy sitting in a recliner and typing, I know I know). However, he only ranked 33rd in Deep Targets per Game (1.33) and tied for 25th in Deep Targets (20) despite Watson ranking sixth in the league in Deep Attempts per Game (4.93). Bill O’Brien left some meat on the bone in terms of downfield upside there and that could be changing in 2020.
Will Fuller now becomes the main focal point of this passing attack and while healthy, that means all sorts of electricity. Fuller ranked second in the league in Deep Targets per Game (2.09), newly acquired Brandin Cooks only saw three fewer Deep Targets than Hopkins while playing in one less game, and Kenny Stills caught nine of his 12 Deep Targets last season. All three offer game-breaking playmaking potential.
If Bill O’Brien embraces an offense where Randall Cobb, the TEs, and the RB Johnsons handle the majority of the short to intermediate routes and targets while dialing up more deep shots for the collective Fuller/Cooks/Stills unit, there’s even more upside to be had for Watson, an already certified baller.