2017 Fantasy Football Draft Prep: Keenan Allen and John Brown's values rising after healthy, impressive preseason performances
Keenan Allen and John Brown bring plenty of injury risk to the table, but they reminded us that they can be stars with big performances Saturday.
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It's hard to win your Fantasy football league. It's nearly impossible to do without taking any risks.
Sure, you can piece together a playoff team playing it safe. Maybe even make a run in the playoffs. But if you want to build a truly great team, you need to take some big swings.
Allen caught all five of his targets (four from Philip Rivers) for 45 yards in just over a quarter of work. Sure, that average isn't great. What was great was the chemistry he showed with Rivers. Rivers seemed to know exactly where Allen was going to be, throwing the ball before Allen ever got there. Which makes sense, because Allen has long been Rivers' favorite target when he's been healthy.
In the 2015 season Allen was on pace for 134 receptions, 1,450 yards and eight touchdowns before a lacerated kidney ended his year. That was something of a freak injury, though it's not the only one of his ailments you might describe that way. He also suffered a fractured collarbone in 2014. I wouldn't argue that he has the upside he showed in 2014 -- not with Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams around -- but as I wrote in my , he easily has top-ten upside. That's outstanding value at his fourth round ADP.
John Brown shows flashes
Brown's ongoing ailments are more concerning, due to the presence of his sickle cell trait. Any particular injury could prove more difficult to overcome as a result. His ADP is also ridiculously low, in the 12th round, outside of the top 40 receivers. And, man did he look good on Saturday night.
Brown hauled in a pair of touchdown passes, first a 28 yard fade from Carson Palmer that was perfectly placed. The second one showed a bit more of Brown's upside, as a he made a circus catch down the left sideline for a 21 yard score that you've gotta see:
Brown showed once again that he is the most explosive receiver in Arizona (no offense to future HOFer Larry Fitzgerald). It's worth remembering that he posted 65-1,003-7 in his second year in the NFL. It's also worth noting that Brown played very little with the starters in this game.
Was this because Bruce Arians was making a point about Brown's practice time? Maybe. Was it trying to avoid further injury? Maybe. We don't know. What I can't believe is that Arians thinks any of these other guys help his team more than Brown does at full strength. If Brown can avoid injury, he's going to be an asset to the Cardinals and your Fantasy team.
It's fair if you just can't expect 16 games from either of these receivers (especially Brown). But I'll just finish by reminding you that this is a week-to-week game we're playing. Both Allen and Brown looked healthy on Saturday night and ready to start for your Fantasy team. If Brown gives you six weeks of No. 2 WR production and then misses a month, that was an excellent 12th round pick.
After all, we're not trying to be average. We're aiming for greatness.
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