by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
You would think that games against the Denver Broncos are going to be shootouts, given the point totals they are capable of. That should mean big numbers for the wide receivers on the other team…
It’s a good theory, but it hasn’t been the case in 2014. Denver’s defense has allowed the fifth fewest receiving yards to opposing wide outs, at 890 yards. That alone is a knock against any player on the outside, and it definitely clouds the usability of Kennan Allen for tonight’s game.
It’s not like Allen hasn’t been getting opportunities, as he leads San Diego in receptions (34) and targets (52). However he has yet to find the end zone and he’s barely third on the team in receiving yards:
- Malcolm Floyd – 412
- Antonio Gates – 363
- Keenan Allen – 354
- Eddie Royal – 345
His 93 yards after the catch tie him for 88th in the league. Considering that he hasn’t had a pass thrown to him over 20 yards (17 of his completions have been thrown between 1 and 10 yards), that type of number makes it impossible for him to post big numbers regardless of the opportunities.
Not only is Allen not making big plays, he also isn’t getting significant opportunities in the red zone. Allen has been targeted 5 times, with 2 receptions for 14 yards (and obviously no TD). Not surprising it’s been Gates (9 targets) leading the way, with everyone else mixing fairly equally.
You also have to factor in Allen’s relative “mediocre-ness” throughout the season. While he did produce a 10 catch, 135 yard performance against Jacksonville a few weeks back, that’s been the only highlight. It’s the only game he’s been above 6 catches or 58 yards all season. In the three games since, despite favorable matchups, he’s done very little:
- vs. New York Jets – 3 receptions for 25 yards
- at Oakland – 3 receptions for 27 yards
- vs. Kansas City – 6 receptions for 58 yards
While it’s tough to call Allen a must sit player, he also is hardly a must start. Consider him a borderline WR3, depending on your alternatives. He simply isn’t making big plays, nor is he getting significant chances to score (which becomes even more glaring when he can’t break a big play to find the end zone). Throw in a difficult matchup and he’s simply hard to trust.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com, CBS Sports
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: