To get a full understanding of Keenan’s value as a player we need a quick breakdown of how he got to where he is. I will be using the MFL mock draft data collected here as my source for ADP:
2013 – Keenan Allen burst onto the scene with a 71/1046/8 season on 105 targets. He finished the season as WR38 overall and WR32 in PPG.
ADP startup change – June 2013 = 8th round > June 2014 = early 2nd (13th overall)
2014 – A complete mess. The Chargers as a whole fell apart and Keenan – while upping his target total to 121 – regressed to a 77-784-4 campaign on 121 targets. He suffered a season ending injury in week in week 14 with a sprained ankle and a broken collarbone.
ADP startup change – June 2014 = early 2nd (13th overall) < June 2015 = early 3rd (33rd overall)
2015 – Through the first 8 weeks Keenan was on pace for a 134/1450/8 season, which would’ve been the 3rd highest single season reception total ever. Through 8 weeks he was the WR4 overall in PPR. Then his season ended in week 8 with a lacerated kidney. This is when his ADP value really solidified itself.
ADP startup change – June 2015 late 3rd (33rd) > June 2016 = Mid 2nd (19th)
2016 – Season ending torn ACL in week 1. Tyrell Williams and Hunter Henry emerged, and Mike Williams was drafted 7th overall in the NFL draft.
ADP startup change – June 2016 = Mid 2nd (19th) < June 2017 = late 2nd (25th)
2017 current startup status – late 2nd (25th overall)
Why did his ADP rise?
A solid rookie year and ½ of a really, really amazing season where he was on a record setting pace for receptions and catch percentage. A very good talent that can work all levels of the field, but tends to work more in the short-mid range given his 11.8 career YPC.
Why did his ADP fall?
Injuries and change in situation. The first 8 games of the 2015 Chargers receiving corps around KA consisted of a 30 year old Stevie Johnson, 34 year old Malcolm Floyd, and 5 starts from Ladarius Green. Today, the Chargers receiving corps surrounding KA consists of Tyrell Williams, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry, Antonio Gates, and maybe even a sprinkle of Travis Benjamin.
The big questions
Why are we only moving Keenan down 6 total spots (19th to 25th) in ADP since 2015 given his injury history and all of the changes surrounding his current situation?
What is a reasonable projection for a player with an 11.8 career YPC, three straight season ending injuries, and a quality surrounding receiving corps?
Well, i’ll let Mike Clay take a stab at it:
2017 Los Angeles Chargers game-by-game predictions, player projections and unit grades: pic.twitter.com/ob2ayiWPcX
— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) June 2, 2017
Listen, this isn’t a knock on Keenan’s talent as a player. This is a knock on the fact that the market hasn’t yet adjusted correctly to a player’s value, and you need to sell him to anyone who hasn’t caught onto that yet.
At his current early 3rd round startup price and a current projection of a fringe WR2, you’re better off looking elsewhere.