Overdraft Alert: Is Keenan Allen Worth The 3rd Round Price Tag?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s easy to get excited about the pace Keenan Allen was performing at prior to having his season end due to a lacerated kidney. After 8 games as he had 67 catches for 725 yards and 4 TD and if you extrapolate those numbers for 16 games your jaw is likely to drop:

134 catches, 1,450 yards, 8 TD

Obviously those are elite numbers, though is it possible for him to come even remotely close to maintaining that type of pace?  Over his first 29 games he totaled 148 catches, good for roughly 5 catches per game.  Seeing any player average over 8 catches a game is going to be difficult to imagine, especially someone like Allen given the other talent around him.

The team brought in Travis Benjamin this offseason, saw Dontrelle Inman develop in the second half and still have Antonio Gates in the mix.  You also can’t ignore the running backs, with Danny Woodhead operating as a receiving monster and all signs are pointing to a significantly better season for sophomore Melvin Gordon.

Allen was averaging just over 11 targets per game last season, though you could easily argue that was based on necessity.  That’s likely going to regress in ’16, and with it will come his overall upside.

Despite averaging 14.7 yards per reception in his rookie season the numbers have been down significantly the past two:

  • 2014 – 10.2
  • 2015 – 10.8

That makes him volume dependent, and volume is not something we’d be willing to bank on.

At 6’2” and 211 lbs. you would expect him to be one of the featured players in the red zone, so the TD could be there.  Of course last season there were 19 players with at least 9 TD (exceeding Allen’s pace) and nine more who had 7 or 8 TD.  That’s not a “special” number, more like a solid one, and doesn’t differentiate him from the field.

Allen currently holds an ADP of 31, making him the 16th wide receiver coming off the board.  Is that a price tag we are really willing to pay for a player who is likely going to see his volume regress (and with it his overall appeal)?  Randall Cobb is going a round later, for instance, and has a similar (or likely higher) upside.

It’s easy to get excited about the numbers Allen posted prior to getting injured, but don’t pay for it.  We can’t count on the same number of opportunities that he had a year ago and without those the value will diminish greatly.

Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros

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