Keenan Allen Injury Update: Chargers Star Progressing Toward Return vs. Texans

Dealing with a hamstring injury this week, will Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen see the field in Week 4 vs. the Texans?

As exciting as the start of the NFL season is for fantasy football managers, it can also be a stressful time. Injury reports can be misleading or at least lack clarity on whether your star playmaker will be available to play or not. We’re diving into Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen’s injury update to see if he’s worth starting on your fantasy roster.

Keenan Allen Injury Update

After suffering a hamstring strain in Week 1 of Los Angeles’ impressive 24-19 win against the Las Vegas Raiders, Allen found himself once again in a familiar spot of battling injuries.

For as impressive as Allen’s career has been as one of the league’s premier possession receivers, the 30-year-old battled nagging soft tissue ailments for stretches of time. He rarely misses many games but has already missed as many contests as he has since 2016.

He was a limited participant on practice Wednesday, which is generally a promising sign of trending in the right direction. But he also practiced last week before being declared out in Week 3. With another week of rest, it’s logical to believe the star will be made available for Week 4 against the Houston Texans.

If Allen is active, he’s a no-brainer start for fantasy managers. He’s WR19 and No. 63 overall in our expert PPR fantasy rankings for Week 4. I’d argue that might be even a tad low if Allen plays the majority of snaps and gets his usual workload.

Allen has only played the Texans twice throughout his career but has dominated this matchup, averaging 11.5 targets, 8.5 receptions, 109 yards, and one touchdown.

However, his most recent 2021 performance only led to four catches for 35 yards. We’d be happy with a production line between his average and his low as long as we get a touchdown.

If Allen Doesn’t Play, What is Josh Palmer’s Fantasy Value?

If the Chargers rule out Allen and your fantasy roster doesn’t have a quality flex ready to step into your lineup (or you’re now lacking at the flex spot), consider picking up Palmer as a replacement. Palmer is rostered in 27 percent of leagues on Yahoo and 36 percent on ESPN, but he’s in an ideal position to earn a larger workload without Allen.

Most wouldn’t guess that Palmer leads the Chargers receivers in targets, but he’s earned one more target than Mike Williams. With Jalen Guyton suffering a torn ACL last week, expect Palmer to continue growing into a larger role. He becomes the defacto possession threat next to Williams’ big-play presence if Allen is out or rotating in on a reduced snap count.

After a slow start to the year, Palmer has shown some promise. He’s earned 17 targets over the last two weeks, catching 10 passes for 129 yards and one score. He’s played 91 and 93 percent of the total snaps over that span.

If Allen is out, Palmer absolutely has flex value for fantasy managers if you’re needing a last-minute waiver wire starter. The Texans have a decent pass defense that has seen their numbers bloated by playing three bad passing attacks, but Justin Herbert and company can quickly eviscerate the young unit.

Look for Week 4 to be a bounce-back game for the Chargers and for whoever starts at the receiver position to flourish in this matchup.

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