They called him washed and they said he would have to fall off at some point. But a 31 year-old Keenan Allen proved the doubters wrong and is one of the biggest values in fantasy football this season. After being drafted in the 4th round of drafts (WR19), Allen had been the WR3 (PPR) through Week 14.
But it wouldn’t be fantasy football in 2023 without an injury to another critical player.
The veteran receiver is dealing with a heel injury and will be held out tonight. Considering the Chargers’ record and the injury to Justin Herbert, this move isn’t entirely shocking.
This news is unfortunate, but fantasy football involves a lot of adapting when things don’t go as planned. If you are looking for someone to fill in for Week 15, let’s look at some options.
JOSHUA PALMER WEEK 15 OUTLOOK
The most obvious options to replace Allen in your fantasy lineups are Allen’s replacements in real life. Just as Allen is leaving with an injury, Joshua Palmer is coming back from IR.
In a handful of games following the season-ending injury to Mike Williams, Palmer saw good usage. In four games, Palmer played nearly every snap, had over a 20 percent target share three times, and even finished as the WR10 in Week 7.
Week 15 will look a lot different for Palmer. Palmer won’t have the benefit of playing with Justin Herbert and he won’t have Keenan Allen in front of him.
The offensive environment in Los Angeles is certainly a concern and will limit Palmer’s ceiling. However, it would not be shocking if Palmer acts as the WR1 ahead of rookie Quentin Johnston. Given that there are few other options in Los Angeles, Palmer is a flex-level WR this week.
QUENTIN JOHNSTON WEEK 15 OUTLOOK
The other most obvious candidate for opportunities in the Chargers’ offense is rookie receiver Quentin Johnston. With all of the injuries piling up, Johnston is now the WR2 on the depth chart.
Johnston has struggled to get going in his first season. These issues have bubbled over with the coaching staff at times. Johnston was benched as recently as Week 12 due to poor play on the field.
Things have been better for Johnston in recent weeks. He was consistently on the field in Weeks 13 and 14 and saw a career-high seven targets in Week 13.
Even with these improvements and an opportunity to earn more targets, I don’t think there’s a case for starting Johnston this week. These are the playoffs for just about every league, so making the correct decision is critical. In my opinion, Johnston hasn’t shown enough to be worth the risk in this spot. At this point, Johnston has yet to score 15 PPR points, has not been better than the WR26 (only two games as the WR30 or better), and has not eclipsed a 20 percent target share in a game.
Given this lack of production and the question marks surrounding QB Easton Stick, hoping for a breakout game from Quentin Johnston in the fantasy playoffs does not seem like a good bet.
ZAY JONES WEEK 15 OUTLOOK
While the other options in Los Angeles might be the most obvious replacements, looking to the waiver wire is also a great option. Somehow, Jaguars’ receiver Zay Jones is owned in just 30 percent of Yahoo and ESPN leagues.
Since returning from injury, Jones has quickly found himself in a great position to produce in fantasy. Just as Jones was making his return, receiver Christian Kirk was placed on IR with a groin injury.
After assuming a full-time role in Week 13, Jones has been peppered with opportunities. In two weeks, Jones has seen 22 targets for a 25 percent target share. Unfortunately, these targets haven’t led to the biggest production, as shown by his expected fantasy point numbers.
Even though the production isn’t there, the 14 targets that Jones had last week are hard to find on the waiver wire.
Jacksonville takes on a tough Baltimore offense this week but given the expanded role in this offense, Jones is worthy of a start at the flex this week.
OTHER WAIVER WIRE TARGETS
Noah Brown @ Tennessee Titans
Noah Brown will be operating as Houston’s WR1 against a Tennessee secondary that has proven to be vulnerable. Brown could be without starter CJ Stroud due to a concussion. If Stroud can’t go, Brown is best left on benches in Week 15
Wan’Dale Robinson @ New Orleans Saints
Elijah Moore vs. Chicago Bears
The Elijah Moore and Joe Flacco connection seems to be blossoming once again. Moore has 18 targets in the last two weeks. Moore is available in over half of ESPN and Yahoo leagues and can be started if you’re in a pinch.