Why Josh Allen didn’t draft himself in fantasy, and the QB’s special connection with Stefon Diggs | Ekeler’s Edge

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler and Yahoo Sports’ Fantasy Analyst Matt Harmon are joined by the Bills superstar quarterback. Allen explains why his poor decisions during his fantasy draft have led to a rough season, and why he has such a strong bond with Stefon Diggs. Catch fresh episodes of Ekeler’s Edge every Wednesday on Yahoo Sports and your favorite social media platforms. Listen to this entire episode of Ekeler’s Edge on the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast wherever you get podcasts.

Video Transcript

[THEME SOUND]

MATT HARMON: What has that connection been like from the moment that Diggs got there to now, because I feel like you guys have taken it to a whole other level this year.

JOSH ALLEN: I tell him he's got to rules. He's got to get open and catch the ball, and that's it. And he loves that when it's one-on-one coverage outside. Like, I know where I'm going here and he's going to win for me. And he does that constantly.

[UPBEAT MUSIC]

AUSTIN EKELER: Have you had any interest, any connection in the Fantasy Football space?

JOSH ALLEN: Yeah. So I mean I play-- we play for pride here in Buffalo. There's a few of us that have played every year since I've been here. I've typically had some success. This year, not so much.

AUSTIN EKELER: Uh.

MATT HARMON: Oh, no.

JOSH ALLEN: Yeah. I think I'm 2 and 9 at this point, just a tough year for the boy. You know, I had some guys go down with injuries, which again, part of the game. I had the first pick overall. I messed up by not drafting Austin here.

AUSTIN EKELER: You drafted yourself

JOSH ALLEN: You know what, I tried to play like-- I tried to play smart. I was doing a lot of mock drafts. I was listening to what all these insiders had. Like, Oh, Josh is being like the second or third, which is fine. They draft quarterbacks that high. Understand that who I'm playing with. Like, I'm playing with teammates, couple of guys were training staff, a couple of training staff guys. Like, someone wasn't going to pick me in the first round. I should have known that. And understood that. Stupid me I just did it.

AUSTIN EKELER: Now you know. When you have an opportunity, you always take yourself first, hey. That's the only thing you can bet on as far as-- that's the only thing that you're out there, you can control.

JOSH ALLEN: That's that. Now, I know.

AUSTIN EKELER: Now, you know. Now, you know.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, that's got to be pretty frustrating, when you're losing to yourself, right? Because I know we've had-- we obviously, we have Austin on the show. Aaron Jones has been on the show and said like his only rule when playing fantasy football is like, "I have to be able to take myself." So that's got to be pretty frustrating, Josh.

But listen, shout out to you, obviously. I've said this multiple times throughout the course of the show. My only good teams this year are my Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs stacked teams. And that's a combination that you got to work hard to pull off, but you can pull it off. I actually kind of want to talk to you a little about Stef, man because he and I go back a few years. I do a series called Reception Perception where I chart the routes for everybody, and how often everybody gets open verse, man-press zone coverage.

You know, I've been saying since 2017, before you even got to Buffalo, like this guy is an elite receiver who is able to get open at all levels, like among the best in the NFL. What has that connection been like from the moment that Diggs got there to now, because I feel like you guys have taken it to a whole other level this year where you're just completely simpatico?

JOSH ALLEN: Yeah, I think we complement each other so well, and I think it started Day 1 when he got to our organization here. The level of trust that we have with each other, the way that we're able to talk and communicate. He's three balls a little bit when he's on the field, but so do I. So the connection that we have is just like, all right, I'm not going to give you a depth on this route. Like, I don't care if you're at 7, I don't care if you're 12. I'm going to look your way, you go get open. Like that's what it is.

So I tell him he's got two rules. He's got to get open and catch the ball in that's it. And he loves that, it's freed him up. It's made him very flexible in how to run routes, when to run them. But again, the dude just constantly gets open. He makes it easy for me to trust somebody when it's one-on-one coverage outside. Like, I know where I'm down here and he's going to win for me. And he does that constantly.

AUSTIN EKELER: Speaking on that, Coach Lombardi, our offensive coordinator calls that, he's like we got guideline guys, where it's like, you got to get to that-- get that thing. And then we have these other guys that if you have the chemistry and the quarterback's OK with it, we're OK with it. And it takes time to build that up, and you've got to have some trust in one another. So it's hard to get. But when you get it, like we've seen, man, it's a thing of beauty.

JOSH ALLEN: Yeah. And sometimes it's subtle. It's body language. It's like an eye nod, like a head nod, or it's a quick signal that he's looking at. And then it makes it fun. And like you said, there's some quarterbacks that don't function that way. It's like, I need you on my fifth step, you need to be at 12 yards, and I'm putting the ball here where-- I've never really played football that way. I've just kind of been a very reactionary type player, or just, like, figure it out on the go. It's how I live my life. So I just kind of wake up and figure out what I'm doing today.

AUSTIN EKELER: [LAUGHS] Love it there.