It’s the end of summer 2015. You are at your fantasy draft with your buds drinking some buds and smoking some … uh Salmon, and you are feeling the pressure applied through talk of crap from your peers. Every pick is commented on like a sardine being thrown to a great white shark tank, being ripped apart and dissected by the teeth of football draft huberism. You’re going to get it right this year and you need a splash in the mid-early rounds to take you all the way to the championship.
So you loaded up on two strong workhorse RBs early and are ready to get a solid receiving core entering the 3rd or 4th round and want a semi-sleeper WR1, having passed on the Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones, and Demaryius Thomas round one band. Well I’m here to tell you there’s still a chance in San Diego for a stud pass catcher to break through his tier into the top 12 WR category. All you need is ar 4th round pick to get in and shipping and handling. Look over to stage left to see what you’ve won with your 4th round pick. A new car! Er Keenan Allen.
Dive Right In
I was merrily investigating some players on rotoviz.com and happened to do a focus on Keenan Allen and noticed he had decent receiving fantasy points over expectation per target(reFPOEpT) of .36 and I remembered him having a bad season in 2013, not looking good when I watched him, so I wondered why it was so high. I filtered out his abysmal 2014 season(.05 reFPOEPT) and when looking at 2013 the following showed up:
That is insane and is up there with the best there is. He achieved that efficiency with 104 targets — so it’s not a fluke.
As you can see above, his fantasy points over expectation per target were nearly as good as Odell Beckham Jr. and far above notable freak athletes Dez Bryant, Jordy Nelson, Antonio Brown, and Julio Jones. If Keenan Allen can bounce back and repeat his insane efficiency of 2013, he could be a league winner this season. I have reason to believe this is possible. Allen said June 29 he is dropping weight in an attempt to “play faster”. In addition, Philip Rivers says he has seen more “focus and determination” from Keenan Allen this offseason.
He has a good quarter back in Philip Rivers, in a productive offense, and Eddie Royal is gone. Stevie Johnson has entered the picture, but I’m not sure he automatically absorbs all of Royal’s 91 2014 targets. It also may help that Malcom Floyd is no spring chicken, having already proclaimed 2015 would be the 33 year old’s final season. This is also the case for Antonio Gates as he is aging and is expecting reduced snaps. In addition, he has been suspended by the NFL for 4 games for violating the league’s PED rules. Keenan Allen is guaranteed to improve on his 122 targets from last season.
The Number Game
If you put Keenan Allen’s 2013 yard per reception rate of 14.7 yards on that years 67.6% catch rate with last years 122 targets you get 82 reception for 1,205 yards. If you throw in his 8 touchdowns from 2013 as a low ball projection this would have landed Allen as the 13th WR in standard scoring fantasy points in 2014 at 168.5, just 8 points behind Alshon Jefferey at 12th. I strongly believe Keenan Allen will see more targets this year than last because of the preceded reasons mentioned and also will score more touchdowns than 8.
This is all predicated on a Keenan Allen bounce back, so if you think that’s out of the picture, then this proposition is not for you. As for me, I’m drinking the juice and ready to rock n’ roll. I have enough reason to feel confident he will bounce back this season. I feel he is being written off after a horrid 2013 and is very undervalued at his current pick 50 ADP. Keenan Allen is a lock to finish as a top 12 WR this year due to volume, but if he can return to being even half as efficient as he was in 2013, his ceiling is through the stratosphere. Grab Allen in the 4th, hop on board the win train, and ride him to the promised land, fantasy championship goodness.