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Fantasy news & notes: A world without Keenan Allen

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Sports can be cruel sometimes. Just ask Keenan Allen.

Dude missed the last half of last year with a freak injury to his kidney, worked himself back and was putting in work against the Kansas City secondary.

You could see his confidence building as the first half wore on; jawing and becoming more demonstrative. His rapport with Rivers was palpable. Six catches, 63 yards all in the first half.

Then as the half was coming to a close, Allen crumpled to the turf as he was cutting to his left. Non contact. The cart. Tears from Allen. A tear to his right ACL. Done for the season.


Allen, being the chain mover he is, helped the Chargers build a nice rhythm on offense to the tune of 21 first half points. The San Diego offense scored six points after the injury.

They'll be better as the coaching staff will game plan around the injury but make no mistake Allen's injury hurts Phillip Rivers and that will have a trickle down effect. Travis Benjamin is still the deep threat but there won't be as many opportunities as coverages will play him more evenly sans Allen.

Antonio Gates and the running backs, Danny Woodhead and Melvin Gordon, become more interesting. Without Allen those three will be asked to work more underneath routes. Gordon in particular looked awesome early but didn't record a catch. Expect that to change.

If you're chasing a Charger wide receiver, I actually don't hate Tyrell Williams as a prospect. He's a long, lanky and fast receiver out of Western Oregon. His measureables are promising as a 6-foot-3, 205 pound wideout with 4.43 40 speed. Williams had five targets, two catches for 71 yards including a 38-yard deep shot.

More news and notes:


NEWS: Robert Griffin III was placed on injured reserve with a broken bone in his non-throwing shoulder, the team announced Monday. As the team noted on Twitter, "A player placed on injured reserve is eligible to return to practice in six weeks and must miss a minimum of eight weeks." He will be re-evaluated in three to four weeks according to the team.

- Fantasy spin: It's not necessarily a season-ending injury as the team made abundantly clear but the tenor of the offense changes considerably. With RG3 in there this was an offense that relied almost exclusively on big plays to move the ball. The Browns had just 288 total yards of offense with nearly 50 percent of it (142 yards) coming on plays of 20 yards or more.

With Josh McCown expect more Gary Barndige (can't get worse for goodness sakes). Duke Johnson and Corey Coleman should see expanded roles as well. It's a huge blow to the 0.1 percent of you who were starting Terrelle Pryor.

- Bottom line: If you had RG3 as a backup quarterback, feel free to drop him. Don't hit panic button quite yet on Barnidge, better days are assuredly coming.

NEWS: Sammy Watkins is dealing with "severe" pain in his surgically repaired foot and underwent X-rays after the Bills' Week 1 loss according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. It becomes a pain management issue for Watkins moving forward although there was a legitimate fear that the star wideout could miss the entire season.

Watkins himself says he will play Thursday according to Bills beat reporter Sal Capaccio.

- Fantasy spin: Watkins is coming off of a poor showing (4 rec, 43 yards) and becomes an extremely dicey play considering it's a short week for the Bills as they take on a good Jets defense. The counter-argument is that A.J. Green just went off on Gang Green/Revis Island and that Watkins could theoretically do similar damage.

If Watkins is hampered, you have to think this will have a pretty significant impact on Tyrod Taylor.

- Bottom line: It's not lining up to be a good statistical week for Watkins who could be extremely touchdown dependent to be fantasy relevant. If you're cool with the risk, go with him. If you're a bit more risk averse and have another solid option, go there.

NEWS: Jamaal Charles' status for week 2 is still unclear according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star. Paylor added that Charles was still taking scout team reps last week.

- Fantasy spin: Practice reports will be huge this week but don't be surprised if the Chiefs take it slow with Charles especially considering Spencer Ware was the truth against the Chargers. Ware compiled nearly 200 total yards and added a touchdown to boot. Keeping in line with his strong end-of-year line last year, Ware averaged an astronomical 6.36 yards per carry in Week 1.

If Ware for some reason is still out there on the waiver wire, go get him, he's worth burning your waiver priority on.

- Bottom line: Even if Charles plays, it sounds like it will be in a limited role. Play Ware with confidence as he was able to do damage on just 18 total touches.

NEWS: Russell Wilson sprained his ankle in the third quarter versus the Dophins Sunday. The elusive quarterback says he's okay and coach Pete Carroll said Wilson's work in practice will be limited this week.

- Fantasy spin: Wilson's fantasy value in Week 1 was saved by a late, game-winning touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin. Wilson finished with 258 passing yards, a touchdown and two turnovers. It was ugly on both sides and largely disappointing stat line for Wilson considering he was playing at home versus a Miami defense that was not projected to be very good this season. There are some long-term concerns as well considering the offensive line was graded as possibly the worst in the NFL. Remember that last year Wilson started the season extremely slowly as the line took time to gel before going berserk in the second half.

- Bottom line: Part of what makes Wilson special, both in real life and in fantasy, is his rushing ability. If the ankle injury inhibits him Wilson should be a considered a match-up based quarterback versus a talented Rams defensive line in Week 2.

Top fantasy scorers:


Top RBs from Week 1:
- DeAngelo Williams: 171 scrimmage yards, 2 TDs
- C.J. Anderson: 139 scrimmage yards, 2 TDs
- Spencer Ware: 199 scrimmage yards, 1 TD
- Theo Riddick: 108 scrimmage yards, 2 TDs
- Carlos Hyde: 93 scrimmage yards, 2 TDs
- David Johnson: 132 scrimmage yards, TD
- Danny Woodhead: 120 scrimmage yards, TD

Top WRs from Week 1:
- Brandin Cooks: 143 receiving yards, 2 TDs
- Antonio Brown: 126 receiving yards, 2 TDs
- A.J. Green: 180 receiving yards, 1 TD
- Willie Snead: 172 receiving yards, TD
- Larry Fitzerald, 81 receiving yards, 2 TDs

Top QBs from Week 1:
- Andrew Luck: 385 passing yards, 4 TD
- Drew Brees: 423 passing yards, 4 TD
- Alex Smith: 363 passing yards, 2 TDs, INT
- Matthew Stafford: 340 passing yards, 3 TDs

"Top" TEs from Week 1:
- Jack Doyle: 35 receiving yards, 2 TDs
- Dwayne Allen: 53 receiving yards, TD
- Julius Thomas: 64 receiving yards, TD
- Eric Ebron, 46 receiving yards, TD

Shameless Cross-promotion:


My guy Marcas Grant has some more Week 1 takeaways here.

Who are the top waiver wire targets going in to Week 1? Alex Gelhar has the answers here. He tells you why you should believe in the speedy Notre Dame rookie Will Fuller in Houston.

If you play fantasy semi- (too) seriously, you know that targets and touches are the life blood of production. And our Matts, Franciscovich and Harmon have you totally covered here with a total breakdown of targets and touches for running backs and wide receivers.

Want more fantasy news and notes? Follow James Koh on Twitter: @JamesDKoh

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