Fantasy Football Report Card: Keenan Allen

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Veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen is a widely recognized name in fantasy football.  After missing half of the 2015 season and all of 2016 due to injury, Allen finished as the WR3, WR11, and WR12 from 2017 through 2019, respectively.  As the leading wide receiver on the Chargers’ depth chart with a veteran QB in Philip Rivers, his overall fantasy finishes aren’t all that surprising.  However, as we know in fantasy football, there is more to the story than just where players finish at the end of the season. Let’s take a look at Allen’s 2019 performance and see just how much he helped or hurt your team.

All fantasy points are based on half-PPR, the Ballers’ preferred method of scoring.

The Good
  • Finished in the WR1 tier as the WR12 with an average of 12.7 points per game.
  • Targeted 139 out of 276 times out of the Chargers’ attempts to WRs (50.36% share), 6th highest in the league among pass catchers, and 2nd highest among WRs (tied with DeAndre Hopkins).
  • Boasts a 69.8% catch rate with only seven drops out of 149 targets.
  • 5th highest in receiving yards among WRs with 1,199.
  • Finished seven games as top-24 WR.
The Bad
  • Had seven weeks where he saw six or fewer targets.
  • Saw a 7-week stretch with zero TDs.
  • Played five games where he was not targeted in the red zone and eight total games where he saw three or fewer red zone attempts.
  • Only six receiving touchdowns – tied at 20th with names such as Courtland Sutton, John Brown, and Mecole Hardman.
  • 50% contested catch rate.
  • Only finished as a top-10 WR twice and had eight games as the WR36 or worse, which included a 6-week stretch during Weeks 4 through 9.
2019 Resume

2019: Final Grade B-

While Allen did finish as the WR12, I expected much more from him on a week to week basis.  His few extreme highs in fantasy points were outweighed by serviceable to downright awful performances.  It was difficult to find a player in a better situation than Allen as a veteran on the team with experience and chemistry with his QB while staying healthy for a full 16 games.  Yet, Allen was underwhelming when you look at his weekly fantasy finishes especially considering he was drafted as a WR1. I certainly expected Allen to finish better than Allen Robinson (WR10), Cooper Kupp (WR6), and Kenny Golladay (WR5).

I couldn’t bring myself to give him an “A grade” because of the whiplash of weekly fantasy points.  I likewise didn’t feel it was fair to give him a “C” considering he did finish as a Top-12 WR and finished in the “green” (WR24 or better) four out of the last six weeks of the 2019 season. This may have been the difference in making the playoffs, but he hurt you badly in your championship, finishing as the WR40 in Week 16.

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2020 Fantasy Outlook

Unfortunately, the 2020 season does not get me excited about Allen’s future production.  He has been falling in fantasy finishes since 2017 and I expect this trend to continue.  Rivers is no longer with the Chargers and there are too many questions regarding the quarterback position.  Tyrod Taylor under center further dampens any notions that Allen can eclipse his 2019 performance or become a consistent WR1.  An ADP in the middle of the third round may be too expensive for a WR with question marks surrounding the QB combined with inconsistent fantasy production.  If you notice in Allen’s 2019 resumè, he relies on high target volume in order to be productive.  Faith in the arm of the quarterback is key and I am not convinced that Taylor can get the job done.

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