Fantasy Football 2013: Keenan Allen Is a Top-25 WR

Keenan Allen has not only established himself as the San Diego Chargers’ No. 1 wide receiver, but he has also shown to be a bona fide must-own fantasy football player for the 2013 season.

This rookie has been the fourth-highest-scoring fantasy wide receiver in standard fantasy scoring since Week 4, and his productivity has been on an upward trend all season. Considering the scant production and injuries of many premier wide receivers thus far, it’s likely Allen will be a top-25 fantasy wide receiver for the remainder of the season.

Allen’s talent was spotlighted during prime time on Monday Night Football in Week 6 when he racked up nine receptions on 12 targets for 107 yards and a touchdown against the now 4-2 Indianapolis Colts.

His display of veteran-level route running and reliable hands during the game were good enough to evoke praise from quarterback Philip Rivers, via Nick Toney of Chargers.com:

You earn that (confidence from a quarterback) as a receiver…You develop that as a quarterback with a receiver over time. He was awesome. I don’t know how many catches he ended up with tonight, but he was really good because they came in the game and they said they were trying to take (Antonio) Gates away. Gradually each week, he’s becoming more and more involved.

Allen’s performance on Monday night was not a fluke.

Since Michael Floyd was placed on the injury reserve on October 1, Allen has been the most targeted (21) and productive wide receiver for the pass-heavy Chargers offense. In that time, Allen has had 15 receptions for 222 yards, two touchdowns and no drops.

Additionally, the only player who has had more targets than Allen among wide receivers in the past two weeks is Justin Blackmon (28), according to Pro Football Focus statistics (subscription required).

If Allen maintains his fantasy points per opportunity of 0.26 points, according to Pro Football Focus metrics (subscription required), for the rest of the season, he’ll likely outscore many big-name fantasy wide receivers for the season: Marques Colston (0.18 points), Greg Jennings (0.23 points), Hakeem Nicks (0.19 points), et al.

Despite the small sample size of his game performances, it’s clear Allen will continue getting a plethora of targets in the foreseeable future. If he continues to capitalize on those targets, he is a surefire top-25 fantasy wide receiver for the rest of the season.

In spite of his recent fantasy successes, Allen is still widely available in most leagues. He is owned in only 29.8 percent of ESPN leagues, 48.9 percent of NFL.com leagues and 72 percent of Yahoo leagues. His top-25 wide receiver production makes him a must-own player in all fantasy leagues.

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