In the Chargers’ 19-9 defeat of the Colts on Monday night, Keenan Allen became just the second Chargers rookie ever to post back-to-back 100-yard receiving games. The No. 76 overall pick in April’s draft, Allen saw a game-high 12 targets. After seeing just four passes come his direction in the first three games – he didn’t even play a single offensive snap in Week 1 – Allen has drawn 26 targets the past three weeks. He’s emerged as Philip Rivers’ new go-to guy in the passing game with defenses starting to key in on stopping Antonio Gates. Allen scored the game’s lone touchdown by beating double-coverage from Vontae Davis and Delano Howell to make a diving 22-yard catch in the back of the end zone.
Rivers has described Allen as a “gamer.” He’s a player who doesn’t shine in practices or in gym shorts but rises to the occasion when the lights come on. Allen had a lackluster pre-draft process, running slow forty times, recovering slowly from a torn PCL, and failing to separate himself in pre-Combine workouts. The thing is that Allen wasn’t a real vertical threat while at Cal-Berkeley. He did his damage by running crisp routes and racking up yards post-catch in college. Allen ran an uninspiring 4.71 forty at his personal Pro Day. He was initially projected as a first-round pick. The long-speed concern certainly contributed to his tumble into the third round. The Chargers got a steal with the pick.
On Monday night, Allen put his yards-after-catch ability on display to a national audience. The Indianapolis defensive backs were constantly pressing him at the line of scrimmage. Allen did a fine job of being aggressive and using his 6-foot-2, 206-pound frame to his advantage. On the touchdown drive, Allen was the man. He caught four passes for 51 yards and capped it off with the 22-yard score. Allen mixed in a big third-and-ten conversion in the process.
Allen has already gained Rivers’ trust and is firmly on the WR3 radar in one of the league’s pass-happiest offenses. (The Chargers pounded the rock on the ground Monday night, but coach Mike McCoy coordinated a Peyton Manning-led offense last season.) Allen is a top Dynasty target, but it’s going to be hard to acquire him now after his past two statistical outputs. Allen has the Jaguars and Redskins next on the schedule. He has a chance to really post more big numbers against the two leaky defenses. Do all that you can to snatch Allen up if he’s on the waiver wire in your fantasy leagues.
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Colts at Chargers Quick Slants
Ryan Mathews rushed for 100 yards in a game for the first time since Week 14 of 2011. The fourth-year pro looked pretty good as he hit the hole hard and fell forward on numerous occasions. However, we’re going to need to see more games like this before moving Mathews out of RB3/flex territory. The Colts were playing backup inside linebackers entire second half. … All five of Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Coby Fleener, and Trent Richardson each dropped a pass. DHB’s would have gone for a 60-yard touchdown, while Fleener’s would have picked up 20-plus yards just before halftime. The Colts had a miserable night in all phases of the game. … The Chargers need to pull the plug on Ronnie Brown and just roll with Mathews and Danny Woodhead in the backfield. Brown looks dunzo. … Trent Richardson posted yet another dud in his fourth game with the Colts. The offensive line is partly to blame, while Richardson appears to still be trying to grasp the offense. … Reggie Wayne became the ninth player in NFL history to catch 1,000 passes. He’s eighth on the all-time list, one catch ahead of Hines Ward and 23 receptions behind Isaac Bruce.
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News Nugget #1
Late Sunday night, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the early words on Randall Cobb’s right knee were “good.” Things took a major turn for the worst as we got into Monday afternoon. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has been informed that Cobb has a fractured right fibula and will be sidelined 6-8 weeks. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen hears the best-case scenario is that Cobb will miss four weeks, while the worst-case scenario is he’ll be on the shelf for eight weeks.
Per the Journal-Sentinel’s Tyler Dunne, Cobb “nearly broke the fibula entirely.” Coach Mike McCarthy confirmed on Monday that his star slot receiver will miss “multiple weeks.” We don’t have a concrete, definitive timetable for Cobb’s return, so fantasy owners need to hang on to Cobb for the time being. If Cobb does indeed need nearly two months to recover, it’s going to be awfully hard to justify holding onto him unless it’s a deeper league. He’d be back for Week 12 or 13 at the earliest. Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley receive major boosts with Cobb sidelined. Nelson is locked in as a borderline WR1/2, while Finley remains a top-eight fantasy tight end play.
News Nugget #2
The Saints are entering their bye week at the perfect time. Jimmy Graham injured his left foot in Sunday’s loss to the Patriots where he was completely shut down by Aqib Talib. Graham underwent an MRI on Monday, but ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports there’s a “sense of optimism” the freakishly athletic tight end will be ready to play in Week 8 against the Bills. Graham appears to have avoided a serious injury. He was cleared to reenter Sunday’s game but was kept out for precautionary reasons. We have little reason to worry about Graham but should find out more Tuesday or Wednesday.
News Nugget #3
Giants running back David Wilson received his second opinion on his injured neck Monday. Dr. Robert Watkins did not recommend season-ending surgery, which is obviously a great sign. The second opinion did confirm that Wilson has a herniated disc and spinal stenosis, however. Spinal stenosis is a potentially season- or career-ending issue, but the Giants don’t believe Wilson is at that point.
Wilson has said that he’s “hoping and praying” to be cleared for Week 7. That’s highly unlikely to happen. We’d conservatively expect Wilson to sit out through the Week 9 bye and return for Week 10 at the earliest. Brandon Jacobs and Michael Cox will carry the load for the Giants in the meantime. The G-Men will also work out free agent running backs Peyton Hillis and D.J. Ware on Tuesday. Andre Brown (broken leg) is eligible to be activated off short-term injured reserve in Week 10. Wilson may not have much fantasy value the rest of the season, but he’s worth holding onto in most leagues.
Quarterback/Running Back Quick Slants
The Vikings plan to settle on a Week 7 starting quarterback Wednesday. Josh Freeman is expected to get the nod against the Giants next Monday night. … Michael Vick says he’ll wait until he’s 100 percent recovered from his hamstring injury before returning. Nick Foles appears to be the favorite to start this week. … E.J. Manuel (knee) is ahead of schedule and will get some on-field work in this week. The Bills signed Matt Flynn on Monday. He shouldn’t see the field. Thad Lewis’ (foot) X-rays and MRI came back negative. He should be good to go for Week 7. … Chad Henne will start at quarterback for the Jaguars again this week. … Brandon Weeden will start under center for the Browns again in Week 7. … The Texans won’t decide whether Matt Schaub (lower right leg) will play in Week 7 until later this week. They’ll prepare both T.J. Yates and Case Keenum to start. Both are significant downgrades. … Coach Mike Smith failed to disclose whether or not Steven Jackson (hamstring) will practice this week. … DeMarco Murray sprained his MCL on Sunday night and will likely miss Week 7. Joseph Randle is expected to get the start. … Jonathan Stewart (ankles) said he still feels “discomfort” and will likely need a “couple weeks” to get in game shape. He’s eligible to be activated this week, but that isn’t going to happen. … Mike Goodson suffered a torn MCL and ACL on Sunday and is done for the season.
Wide Receiver/Tight End Quick Slants
Percy Harvin (hip surgery) will not practice ahead of Thursday night’s game in Arizona this week. … ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Giants will listen to trade offers for Hakeem Nicks. … Mario Manningham (knee, PUP) is expected to resume practicing this week. … Justin Blackmon suffered a groin or hamstring injury Sunday and won’t practice Wednesday. He’s likely just a bit sore after seeing a monster workload. … James Jones reportedly only suffered a sprained PCL and may be able to play Week 7. … Mike Williams (hamstring) is expected to return for Week 7 after he missed Week 6. … The Lions waived Pat Edwards. … Cecil Shorts is dealing with some sort of injury near his shoulder or to his ribs. We should know more Tuesday. … Santonio Holmes (hamstring) is expected to miss at least one more game. … Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring) and Rob Housler (ankle) were limited in Monday’s practice. Both should play on Thursday night versus Seattle. … Marcedes Lewis (calf) is hoping to return this week.