Let me be your fantasy – Keenan Allen
Let Me Be Your Fantasy – Keenan Allen
Looking through July’s Dynasty ADP, I was struck by one name which represented to me, a clear misnomer: that was LA Charger’s returning stud receiver, Keenan Allen. Allen is listed as WR16, with an Overall ADP of 26. This time last year, he was ADP13 Overall.
What has happened in the interim to see his value plummet at the tender age of 25? He did get injured, but this drop is making it seem like the guy is “injury prone”. Yes, he suffered a season ending ACL tear in the last season’s opening game, which ended his 2016 abruptly, and that was after only just returning from another season ending injury the year before: an unrelated kidney laceration.You cannot tell me that a freak kidney laceration, and an ACL tear are true indications that Allen cannot hack it in the hurly burly of the NFL. He only missed a handful of games in the first 2 seasons in San Diego, since he was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2013 Draft, at 76th Overall.
Allen was on record setting pace in 2015 when he was struck down, his 67 receptions in 8 games was 3rd in NFL history, and he was on pace for over 140 catches. 2016 was rightly being billed as the year his promise and potential would come to fruition, but it was disastrously cut to less than a half a game of playing time. 2017 should now be the year of Keenan, if he can stay upright and healthy. It is expected that he will be ready to go for Training Camp. He was running sprints 4 months after his ACL surgery.
Looking at the team as a whole: has there been something to change perception of the Chargers in the past year, to the detriment of Allen? No. Philip Rivers is still one of the finest passers in the game, and the pair have undoubted chemistry enshrined from the last few seasons working together. Danny Woodhead has moved on to Baltimore, taking upwards of 80 receptions per year with him. Mike Williams, the 1st round rookie pick from this year’s draft (7th Overall) is now injured, which may require season ending back surgery. At best, he may not require any surgery, but he will be limited, in some fashion, with little or no fantasy impact to be expected Year 1.
The rest of the supporting cast are exactly that, supporting cast members. Tyrell Williams had 119 targets in 2016 as Allen’s replacement, but he once again be relegated to Deputy duties. Travis Benjamin will no doubt operate out of the slot, and try to stretch the field with his speed, but for Fantasy purposes, he might yield more value for his special teams acumen. At the Tight End position, can you honestly make a case that Hunter Henry will account for more targets than Antonio Gates has done in previous years?
Melvin Gordon had a fantastic year, I’ll give him that, but does that forgive and forget his rookie year debacle. He will regress to the mean in my opinion. The Chargers have a tough schedule this season, given the caliber of teams they face in Division, with the Broncos, Raiders and Chiefs: while they also have the face off against the Eastern divisions of both conferences.
The Chargers and Rivers are likely going to be involved in some shoot outs and shutouts, and will need keep the offence moving through the air to keep pace or force the issue as the case may be. When healthy, there’s virtually no corner in the league that can live with Allen one on one. The floor is solid on Allen’s fantasy production. The ceiling ….. is in the stratosphere!
Projections: 105 Receptions, 1260 Yds, 8 TD
This OTI Piece was written by Eric Flynn. Eric is a San Francisco 49ers fan from Cork, Ireland. Huge fantasy focus on game weekends. He has been playing Fantasy Football for over 6 years in all types of leagues, having started out in IDP leagues. Check him out on Twitter @EricJohnFlynn