When Antonio Gates was suspended by the league for four games, everyone’s immediate reaction was to invest in Ladarius Green. However, as I said on the latest RotoViz Report, this should be a cue to draft Keenan Allen. I figured it would be good to flesh out the argument I made for him.
Allen is Already a Big Part of the Offense
Instead of investing in a player we think should see a sizable role in the wake of the Gates suspension, why not instead invest in someone who is already a large part of what the Chargers do on offense?
It may surprise some people to learn that Allen actually received a larger market share of targets in 2014 than he did in his rookie campaign. The real issue was a tremendous drop-off in efficiency. However, targets are the lifeblood of fantasy scoring, and while Kevin Cole points out that Allen’s ranking is on point with respect to his target projection, I think we are a tad low on that projection. In fact, his 2014 target pace would put him at 138.24 targets on the season, which is very close to Julian Edelman’s projected rank of 16.5, much better than the projected rank for Allen of 21.8. I’m not saying that Allen will for sure be able to maintain that pace, but the Gates suspension makes it much more feasible, and he could even see another bump in overall usage.
Allen’s Price Has Not Moved Too Much
It is still early in the post-suspension process, but take a look at the early ADP movement for San Diego pass catchers.
As you can see, Green has already seen a huge upward swing, almost equivalent to the downward swing of Gates. Stevie Johnson has also appeared to see a rise in ADP. However, Allen looks to be maintaining value as WR20 off the board. Drafters do not yet seem to be factoring in the Gates suspension as a positive for him, and that makes him a bit of a value for the time being.