We all love a good success story, and Chargers receiver Keenan Allen had just that in his rookie season in 2013. He wasn't expected to have a prominent role, but injuries forced him into the mix sooner than expected.
And he responded in amazing fashion.
Allen had 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns last year, and Fantasy owners want to see him do even better in 2014. It's going to be hard, especially after Chargers coach Mike McCoy said teams will be game-planning to stop Allen now that he's flashed his skills.
"When you're a young player and had the success he did, now he's got a bulls-eye on his back," McCoy told me at the NFL owners meetings Tuesday. "Everybody is going to know where he is every play. The success he had, that comes with the territory. And that's a good problem to have. Then again, now you have to get in that much better shape. Now you're going to see a double team here and there. You're going to see the best corner on you. You have to work that much harder now. Now it's all the little fine details that we've been talking about that you might have gotten away with in the past. Now when you get matched up with the best corners in the league you have to be at your best every week because they're going to know where you are."
Allen should continue to post quality stats as a sophomore, but don't expect him to leap into the upper-echelon tier of receivers like Calvin Johnson, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas just yet. If you go into the season with Allen as a high-end No. 2 Fantasy receiver then you'll be OK.
He should remain a weekly Fantasy starter, and hopefully he doesn't take a step back. But now that the rest of the league knows he can play, just be prepared for a few down moments. As McCoy said, he has a target on his back, and that will just make things a little tougher based on his outstanding rookie year.