Geoff Lambert discusses players to target for owners that lost Keenan Allen.
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Unless you were living under a rock this past weekend, you already know that Keenan Allen‘s season ended in Week 1. A lot of experts, myself included, were really high on Allen entering the season. He was on pace for a career year in 2015 before going down in Week 8 with a lacerated kidney, and now his 2016 season comes to an end before it really had a chance to get started with the dreaded torn ACL.
As an Allen owner, it is now time to start looking for his replacement. The only positive spin about him going down in Week 1 is there should be plenty of waiver wire options and a few “buy low” WRs from some panicked owners. Let’s take a look at a few options…
Waiver Wire Options
Tyrell Williams (SD)
The first option will be the guy I think will benefit the most from Allen’s absence. I was high on Williams even before Allen went down, and now I really like him. He is a 6-foot-4 WR that can flat out fly — he ran a 4.42 at the combine in 2015. He had five targets on Sunday, catching only two of them, but turned them into 71 yards. Now that Allen is gone, I expect the Chargers to have him as a bigger part of the gameplan.
Michael Thomas (NO)
There is a good chance this guy was drafted in your league, but according to Yahoo! he is less than 50 percent owned, so I would check your wire and see if he somehow slipped through your draft. He is a big target for Drew Brees at 6-foot-3 and 212 lbs, and he seems to have already gained Brees’ trust catching all six of his targets on Sunday for 58 yards. He may end up being their best red zone threat as the season progresses.
Will Fuller (HOU)
This is another guy I was surprised to see less than 50 percent owned across all Yahoo! leagues, but if he is somehow still available in your league, scoop him up. The rookie WR had a huge game on Sunday with five rec 107 yds and one TD. I can pretty much guarantee you he won’t see a lot of double teams this season with DeAndre Hopkins lined up across from him.
Tajae Sharpe (TEN)
Sharpe flew a little under the radar as a rookie WR this year going into fantasy drafts, being owned in only 46 percent of Yahoo! leagues. With guys like Sterling Shepard, Will Fuller, and Corey Coleman grabbing all the attention and hype this off-season, Sharpe did something that none of those others guys did — he secured the No. 1 WR position on his team. Despite the Titans being a run-first team, Sharpe was still heavily peppered with 11 targets on Sunday and ended the game with seven catches for 76 yards.
Phillip Dorsett (IND)
It’s safe to say Andrew Luck is back! When Luck is playing the way he did on Sunday, even the No. 3 WR on his team will have fantasy value. He may not be as consistent week to week as some of the other guys I’ve mentioned, but on a team with a bad defense and a mediocre running game, the Colts will have to pass the ball a ton this year, which will only boost Dorsett’s value.
Eli Rogers (PIT)
I wrote an article in the preseason about this guy, and he did not disappoint on Monday night. He climbed the depth chart in Pittsburg and has gone from a relative unknown to starting for one of the best offenses in the league. His Monday stat line of six receptions for 56 yards and one TD means he will be a hot commodity on the wire.
Brandon Marshall (NYJ)
Marshall is one of the guys that you might be able to get as a buy-low trade. He had only three receptions for 32 yards on Sunday and had a critical drop that could have changed the result of the game. If you have any trade bait at running back, you might find an over-reacting owner willing to part with what should be a top 10 WR.
Dez Bryant (DAL)
Bryant is an even better buy-low candidate than Marshall because of his quarterback situation. You can sell hard on the fact that they have a rookie at QB and will continue to run a very conservative, run-heavy offense. The fact is, Bryant will have better days ahead and if you can dangle a player that had a big Week 1 game, you might be able to pry Bryant away.