10th pitch pass: Potential impact of Josh Allen injury, how to value JuJu Smith-Schuster

10th pitch pass: Potential impact of Josh Allen injury, how to value JuJu Smith-Schuster

Each week during the 2022 NFL season, Field Yates will assist fantasy football managers by providing the precise information they need on the most important fantasy-relevant stories. Field’s Rolodex is huge; he will call whoever he needs. This is a Field Pass.

The best player in fantasy football this season was Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Despite playing in just eight games this season (the Bills already had a bye week), Allen has scored 8.42 more points than any other player in the league (Tyreek Hill is second) and is averaging 26.9 points per game. 1.4 more than the closest player, Patrick Mahomes.

Now, it stands to reason that the quarterback will be the highest scoring player in fantasy, but that shouldn’t diminish the brilliance of Allen’s work.

He is currently day-to-day with an elbow injury he suffered near the end of Buffalo’s Week 9 game, which leaves his status for Sunday’s heavyweight matchup against the Vikings uncertain at this time.

For fantasy purposes, the equation is simple: if he plays, you play him.

But replacing Allen is an impossible task under any circumstances, and given how mediocre quarterback play has been this season in fantasy, it’s especially tricky. We’ve talked about how unspectacular the usual fantasy QB stars have been (think Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Matthew Stafford, etc.), and there really haven’t been that many signal callers who have gone overboard this year, either.

There was a clear and obvious priority for anyone with Allen: Justin Fields, whose ascension to the rocket ship of the past five weeks was the eighth quarterback of the season with 18.3 points per game. More to the point, over the past four weeks, Fields has had more fantasy points than any other player in the league. He was the league’s leading quarterback in Week 9, when he set the NFL record for most yards in a regular season by a quarterback with 178.

He was available in over 52% of leagues when the week started, but that number decreased during the first round of waivers, as he is now available in just 20% of leagues. If you’re in one of the leagues that let him through, grab him now.

For those of you who missed Fields, Daniel Jones and Jimmy Garoppolo are my next two favorite additions specifically for Week 10.

The other side of Allen’s equation is what his health means for the value of his teammates. Wideout Stefon Diggs has been among the best players in all of fantasy this season, ranking second among wide receivers in fantasy points per game at 23.5. Diggs is too alien to ever consider benching him, even if his stock is likely to drop with Allen out. The good news is that Case Keenum — Allen’s replacement — is not only a solid backup but also a quarterback with whom Diggs has chemistry from their season together in Minnesota in 2017 (Diggs had 849 yards and eight touchdowns that season). Diggs remains in the top-10 wide receiver conversation for me.

Aside from Diggs, linemate Gabe Davis loses some of the ceiling that comes with playing with perhaps the strongest quarterback in the entire league, as Davis’ size and speed mesh seamlessly with Allen’s rocket arm. The trouble is that Davis has been up and down in fantasy this season: He has three games with at least 16.4 fantasy points, but four games with 6.7 points or less. He hasn’t had four catches in a game since Week 1. Davis is still a top 30 player, but a game without Allen is less likely.

I’m not sure any other Bills player sees his fantasy dramatically changed with this news. Tight end Dawson Knox has just one game with 10 or more fantasy points this season, and no other wideout or tight end has more than 182 yards for the season besides Diggs, Davis and Knox.

No matter which way you slice it, any missed deadline for Josh Allen would be a big, big bummer. He’s doing well in the NFL right now and hopefully he’ll be on the field this Sunday against Minnesota.

Let’s fly around the NFL for more thoughts on the Week 10 field pass.

The unstoppable Dolphins duo

We’ve written about Tyreek Hill’s season in Miami before in this space, but it seems worth revisiting. Specifically, in conjunction with his teammate and fellow All-Star Jaylen Waddle, as the two are more than halfway through what could be a historic season.

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