Fantasy Football: Keenan Allen Worth Taking a Chance on if He Plays

Keenan Allen
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 13: Cornerback Kendall Fuller #23 of the Kansas City Chiefs breaks up a pass intended for wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 of the Los Angeles Chargers during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 13, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)

The worst time of the year for fantasy football team owners to deal with injuries is during championship weekend. This is the case with Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen, who is dealing with a hip injury. Allen’s injury makes him a tricky start this week in the most important game of the year. However, if Allen does indeed start, he needs to be in the fantasy lineups.

Take a Chance on Keenan Allen in the Fantasy Football Finals if He Plays

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It was not looking good for Allen after he left Thursday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. Allen laid out trying to catch a touchdown in the second quarter. He just wasn’t able to corral it and came up grabbing his side. He tried to come back into the game, but it was obvious he was in too much pain to push through it.

After the game, he was diagnosed with a hip pointer and called week-to-week. Typically a hip pointer is a two- to four-week recovery, so it looked like Allen would miss time. Even initially there was hope that he would not miss time since the Chargers had a ten-day break between games.

Now, all signs are pointing to Allen suiting up in a pivotal matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. Both teams will be fighting hard in primetime. The Ravens need a win to stay alive in the wild card hunt, and the Chargers are trying to chase the Chiefs for a division title and potential first-round bye.

Tough Matchup, But Can Overcome

Healthy or not, the Ravens are a formidable foe for the Allen and the Chargers. Baltimore is the number-three defense against the pass, allowing just over 220 yards-per-game through the air. They are also just as good against the run, giving up only 87.6 rushing yards-per-game. This means that Los Angeles will have to keep a balanced attack to overcome them, so Allen will still get his opportunities.

Plus, Allen has proved to be almost matchup proof. Not counting the Chiefs game where he made an early exit, Allen only had one game all year under 50 yards receiving. He’s also gone up against a few other top passing defenses and come away with respectable statlines.

Against the number one secondary in the league, the Buffalo Bills, Allen still managed 67 yards. Allen put up 72 yards against both the Arizona Cardinals and the Tennessee Titans, who are ranked five and six against the pass respectively. As long as Allen is able to make it through the entire game, he has established a high enough floor to make owners trust putting him in their lineups this week.

Other Options

The only reason to sit Allen would be if a team is absolutely stacked at wide receiver. As of now, there are already a few top options either done for the season or sitting out this week. A.J. Green was lost for the year weeks ago, and now the next man up, Tyler Boyd is hurt. Odell Beckham Jr. is set to miss this week again for the New York Giants. Josh Gordon’s short-lived career with the New England Patriots is over.

Streaming options are super slim at this point as well. Guys like Robert Foster and Robby Anderson are getting attention, but they are even bigger dart throws than Allen. Sure, they each have their blowup games, but they are unproven and unreliable, especially for the fantasy football finals. It would be smart to grab someone off waivers in case Allen can’t go, but the best thing to do is monitor his status leading up to the game. If he gets the green light, he needs to be in lineups.

Last Word on Starting Keenan Allen in the Fantasy Finals

Prior to his injury, Allen was one of the most reliable fantasy options at wide receiver this season. He started the season slowly, but started heating up before he was hurt against the Chiefs. Allen had caught a touchdown in five straight games after going without one for seven straight games. He will look to get back on track to help Los Angeles lock down the top spot in the AFC West. With other options at the position bleak, Allen needs to be started even in a tough matchup as long as he plays.

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