AFC West

Who To Draft: Adam Thielen vs. Keenan Allen – D. Glasser

In this new series of articles our writers have to pick between two players with similar ADPs.

by Daniel Glasser

When draft day comes and the clock is ticking on your pick, you need to be able to make the tough decisions. Picture this scenario:

You are the 4th pick in a ten-team draft and you get Alvin Kamara in the first, swing back around and grab Todd Gurley in the second, and now you are on your third pick and need a receiver and see two names sitting in front of you…Keenan Allen and Adam Thielen. Allen and Thielen currently have back to back ADPs at 23 and 24 (Allen 23/Thielen 24) and are two solid receiver options, but which one is better for your team?

In this article, I will be taking a look at these two top 15 receivers to find out the better option. Thielen had one of the hottest starts to a fantasy season last year, averaging 25.9 PPR points per week from weeks 1-8 but dropped off after his bye week, averaging only 14.3 PPR points per week. Allen, on the other hand, had a more consistent season, averaging 14.3 PPR points before his bye week and 18.5 PPR points after his bye week, as we can see Allen was the better receiver in the second half of the season.

When looking for a number one receiver you need someone dependable but still has upside, Thielen busted on 12.5% of games last season(12 PPR points or less) while Allen busted on 18.8%. Allen Boomed on 18.8% of his games(22 PPR points or more) while Thielen boomed on 50% of his games.

Injuries are a very important part of fantasy and if your number one gets injured, you could be screwed, Allen has a history of injury and sportsinjuryprojector.com gives him a 50.4% chance of getting re-injured this season while Thielen has a 40.4% chance. When looking for the more dependable player Thielen takes the edge.

Two other big factors for a receiver is the offense they play in and the QB they play with, Allen has a great report with Phillip Rivers and plays in a top ten offense in football while Thielen is still developing his report with Kirk Cousins. Thielen had a lot of success last season in the slot receiver focused passing game from offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, where Thielen played 50% of his snaps from. New OC Kevin Stefanski (former QB coach) plans to have a balanced offensive attack. His first game as interim OC went very well, winning 41-17. However, even with that insane offensive performance, through his last three games with Stefanski as OC, Thielen had his worst three games of the season getting 3.9,13.3, and 6.7 points in PPR.

While Thielen is just learning with his new OC, Allen has a good understanding of Ken Whisenhunt’s offensive scheme and can thrive in his current situation. The Chargers offense might be without their star RB in Melvin Gordon, but this may only help Allen’s value averaging 22.6 PPR points per game when Gordon wasn’t on the field. Keenan Allen plays in the better offense, has less competition receiving, has a better report with not only his QB but his OC, and averaged more points than Thielen in the back half of the season. He has a higher chance of getting injured but is the better receiving option, so when draft day comes and you’re staring at these two names you can confidently draft Keenan Allen as a solid receiving option.

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