After we saw Keenan Allen leave the field last week with a hamstring injury, his status for Week 2 has been up in the air. As we head into Thursday Night Football in Week 2, is Allen playing tonight, and how should fantasy football managers approach the options on the field for the Los Angeles Chargers?
Is Keenan Allen playing tonight?
It was always going to be tough for Allen to suit up for the Thursday Night Football game against the Kansas City Chiefs. He was unable to suit up for practice during the week, and the Chargers ruled Allen out when they released their final injury report on Wednesday afternoon. However, the fact there was even discussion about whether he would be able to suit up is a positive looking ahead to the long run.
The good news is that the Chargers now have a 10-day break before their Week 3 game, so there is optimism he will have a shot to play in Week 3. With Allen out, what does that leave in terms of fantasy football options in the Chargers’ WR group?
Can fantasy managers replace Keenan Allen with another Chargers WR?
Based on what we saw in Week 1, there is a clear contingency plan in place for the Chargers. With the short week, it would be a surprise if anything looked majorly different from what we saw in terms of snap counts and usage in their Week 1 game.
Following Allen’s departure, Joshua Palmer moved from the WR3 role — behind Allen and Mike Williams — to play in 2WR sets alongside Williams. Meanwhile, DeAndre Carter stepped up to take the WR3 role in the offense. Carter and Palmer moved around the lineup, both out wide and in the slot. However, they may have more defined roles this week, so it will be intriguing to see.
What is also intriguing is that Palmer had an average depth of target of just 2.5 yards in Week 1. Meanwhile, Carter came in and immediately reeled off three big plays. He finished with an average depth of target of more than 19 yards. That is a big discrepancy to consider regarding the potential upside each of those two has.
If Palmer continues running routes near the line of scrimmage, he will need to at least double his snap count to have any serious relevance. Meanwhile, Carter’s ability to make the big play could mean he can be effective on just four or five targets. Carter would be the more boom-or-bust of the two, but that ceiling is intriguing in deeper leagues. Palmer would appear to have the better floor, but based on what we saw in Week 1, he is only viable in PPR formats.
The only other receiver on the 53-man roster is Jalen Guyton. He played just five snaps and appears to be the straight backup to Mike Williams. Therefore, with Williams healthy, Guyton does not seem to figure in for fantasy managers this week.