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Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes: Fantasy football showdown

We go over the fantasy football outlooks of Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes and pick who we’d draft first.

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Quarterback Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills looks to pass during the 4th quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 23, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

No matter the format in your fantasy football draft, there is always a question about when to take the first quarterback. Whether you believe in taking a quarterback early or punting the position to later in your draft, you should know the various values of the players at the position.

If you are considering making a move on the first quarterback of your draft, you are likely deciding between Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills and Patrick Mahomes from the Kansas City Chiefs. Both players are football studs, so it could be a tough decision. Here is who we think you should draft if considering these two quarterbacks in your draft.

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

The Bills drafted Allen with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. The quarterback out of Wyoming got off to a slow start to his career, but something clicked in 2021. He had a breakout season and followed it up with an equally impressive last year. Allen played in all 17 games and completed 63.3% of his passes for 4,407 yards and 36 touchdowns with 15 interceptions. The dual-threat quarterback showed off the wheels and ran for 763 yards and six touchdowns on 122 attempts.

Allen will be surrounded by the usual suspects that he has come accustomed to with Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Devin Singletary, Isaiah McKenzie and Dawson Knox. Buffalo added veteran tight end O.J. Howard through free agency, and drafted running back James Cook in the second round of the NFL Draft. These weapons around him make it easy to see why he is ranked as the QB1 in FantasyPros’ ADP.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes has done nothing but add to his highlight reel since taking over the mantle of starting quarterback in 2018. Whether it is throwing with his eyes closed or with his non-dominant hand, Mahomes continues to do things we haven’t seen quarterbacks do before. He has been a top quarterback in fantasy football since taking over as a starter, which should continue in 2022.

Last season, Mahomes completed 66.3% of his passes for 4,839 yards and 37 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. He can move on the ground when he needs to but certainly isn’t the pinnacle of a dual-threat with his 381 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The biggest knock against Mahomes is losing his reliable deep threat in Tyreek Hill, who was traded to the Miami Dolphins. Kansas City signed JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling while drafting Skyy Moore to try and replicate him.

Fantasy football verdict

These quarterbacks are going back-to-back in quarterback rankings for a reason. Regarding draft ADP, Allen has the edge going at 2.11 while Mahomes is being selected at 3.10. Allen has the better chance to replicate his numbers from a season ago that saw him finish as the overall QB1 in fantasy.

Mahomes, however, is the one with the better offensive line. PFF ranked all of the offensive lines for the upcoming season, and the Chiefs’ came in at No. 9. Buffalo wasn’t so lucky and came in at No. 20. Still, a worse offensive line may not hurt Allen that much given his prominence using his legs on the ground.

When given the choice between the two, I am going with Allen. His rushing upside makes up for Mahomes having the better passing numbers. I also believe that Hill was a better asset to Mahomes than we gave him credit, which also points this decision to Allen.