The Los Angeles Chargers are loading up for the race in the AFC West and wide receiver Keenan Allen is one of many weapons in their offense. The Chargers finished the 2021 season with a 9-8 record led by the leap from second-year quarterback Justin Herbert. Los Angeles was a field goal away from punching their ticket to the postseason but fell 35-32 to the Las Vegas Raiders in the season finale. Despite finishing the year above .500 the Chargers finished third in the AFC West.
Looking ahead to 2022 the Chargers are expected to be competitive once again with Allen headlining as a threat on the outside. He finished first among Chargers receivers in targets and receptions while finishing second in receiving yards and third in touchdowns. Allen solidified himself as a go-to option for Herbert and will look towards another efficient season heading into 2022.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Receiving: Allen caught 106 passes for 1,138 receiving yards and six touchdowns. He averaged 71.1 receiving yards per game and 6.6 receptions per game.
Fantasy: He finished 11th among fantasy receivers in points-per-reception scoring with 257.8 points and 16.1 fantasy points per game. In standard scoring leagues, Allen finished with 151.8 fantasy points and averaged 9.5 points per game.
Chargers offseason moves
Los Angeles extended wide receiver Mike Williams to a three-year $60 million deal, solidifying Allen’s partner in the passing attack. With defense in mind, the Chargers bolstered their secondary by giving J.C. Jackson a five-year $82 million deal. In one of the early moves that made noise in the offseason, they also traded with the Chicago Bears for pass-rusher Khalil Mack, bringing him back to the AFC West and lining him up opposite Joey Bosa on the defensive line.
2022 best-case scenario
Allen ranked third in receiving touchdowns last season behind Williams and running back Austin Ekeler. He’s never had an issue in getting receptions or yardage, but Allen has generally left more to be desired in regards to receiving touchdowns. Herbert has more than enough options at his disposal and will likely throw share targets accordingly. But if Allen can finish as the team leader in receiving touchdowns and possibly finish with double-digit figures, then that’s a dream scenario for fantasy managers.
2022 worst-case scenario
Williams commands attention as the deep threat and Ekeler is a favorite for goal-line touchdown opportunities. For these reasons Allen is often left as the odd man out in regards to end zone opportunities, and more of this trend in 2022 would be frustrating for fantasy managers. Allen will get his targets and receptions, but a lack of yards as well as endzone opportunities could make him limited on fantasy rosters in this nightmare scenario.
Allen is clearly a favorite for Herbert to throw to given him leading the team in targets and receptions in 2021. He’s an excellent route runner and as such should easily finish among or close to the top-10 in PPR scoring. A possible lack of touchdowns could hamper his production in standard scoring leagues, where I predict he finishes closer to the top-20 range.