Has Keenan Allen’s injury opened the door for a breakout performance?
The fastest way to fall behind in fantasy football league is to become complacent and rely on the team you drafted, neglecting the all-important waiver thread. With managers making numerous waiver requests for Week 2, hoping to bolster their roster, should Los Angeles Chargers WR Joshua Palmer be a priority addition to the waiver feed for your fantasy team?
Keenan Allen injury opens door for Joshua Palmer to be one of the top waiver claims in Week 2
After a relatively healthy offseason, the NFL wasted no time filling our injury plates. One of them is the perennial Chargers WR1, Keenan Allen.
According to NFL Networks insider Tom Pelissero, Allen appears to be missing Thursday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Allen suffered a hamstring injury in the first half of Sunday’s win over the Raiders and did not return to the game, ultimately being ruled out.
At the time of the injury, Allen had played 22 offensive snaps, running a course on just over half of his games (54.5%). Allen was likely on his way to a busy day, recording a target on 33% of his runs (4), catching all four passes for 66 yards.
Justin Herbert spilled the ball, likely due to the Chargers game plan and after losing Allen. A total of nine different Chargers players have recorded at least one reception. One of them being Joshua Palmer.
A breakout contender and many’s favorite sleeper heading into the draft, Palmer was all over the court, even if his stat line doesn’t suggest it. On the face of it, catching three of four targets for a laughable five yards won’t cause many fantastic managers to give him a second look.
However, Palmer was second on the team in snaps (51 – 76%), behind Mike Williams (92.5). Additionally, Palmer was second on the team in routes flown with 26, but tied Williams in route percentage at 50%.
Although DeAndre Carter had Justin Herbert’s touchdown, which isn’t the most stable way to determine value, he saw less than half the number of snaps (25) and routes (14) as Palmer.
Given the short week of the game plan for Allen’s absence, Palmer’s past production should give him a leg up as the No. 2 option; something that fantasy football managers should find appealing when browsing the waiver feed for week 2.
Palmer is expected to be a popular fantasy waiver wire claim in Week 2
When given an increased opportunity, Palmer delivered. And if we know it, you can be sure the coaches know it too. Selected in the third round last year, Palmer battled Jaylen Guyton to be able to be the next man when the time came. When he did, he capitalized.
Palmer averaged over seven targets per game as a rookie and scored one touchdown in his three games with a 60% snap share, averaging 15.8 PPR/game. Palmer was also effective when it mattered, making three of his five total goals in the end zone for scoring. Touchdowns no doubt helped his advantage, because efficiency-wise, Palmer’s 1.2 YPRR shows plenty of room for improvement in Year Two.
It’s expected that if Allen misses on Thursday, which seems to be the direction we’re headed in, Palmer would line up with Williams in two sets of wide receivers. It’s a huge deal as the Chargers once again prove themselves to be a potential offensive juggernaut, coming out of Week 1 with the third highest EPA/Dropback.
Chances are it could be a shootout. Kansas City is showing that as long as they have Patrick Mahomes, anything is possible, beating the Arizona Cardinals 44-21 with Mahomes throwing five causal touchdowns in the season opener. The current match total is hovering around the 54.5 mark, the highest in Week 2.
If you wanted a piece of that Chargers offense but missed out on draft day, Palmer is your best bet, and if you’re floating on the waiver wire in about 65% of the leagues. He doesn’t come with the same fantastic value as Allen by any means, but Palmer is a flexible/WR4 option that should be added to the Week 2 waiver thread, even if you don’t need him right now. . If Allen’s hamstring injury lingers for a few more games, you’ll be glad you did.