By M. Britt Hayes
Why is no one talking about Dwayne Allen? Quite possibly the largest injustice within the fantasy community is the lack of faith being shown in the Colts tight end. Playing a position as thin with talent as TE is should have him flying up fantasy owners’ draft cheat sheets. Yet there the former Clemson stand out sits, a likely 12th round pick or later. Your start up drafts should be ashamed of themselves. Allowing far from proven talent to be taken rounds before him. The likes of possible draft bust, Eric Ebron, Jordan “blame it on the Browns” Cameron, and Tyler Eifert who has a whopping 42 catches in 2 seasons. If you’re drafting these guys before Allen, you’re doing yourselves a massive disservice. Instead of being considered a dark horse, we should all be hailing him a stud. Let me tell you why.
Part of the reason Allen gets over looked is the product of being on an offense with so many weapons. Colts QB, Andrew Luck has a host of big names at his disposal now that Indianapolis brought in Frank Gore and Andre Johnson to go along with TY Hilton and Donte Moncrief, as well as newly drafted Phillip Dorsett. However, this should be of no concern as Andrew Luck has 40 TD’s to go around. Its like he’s tossing out candy at a parade. Last season Allen caught 8 of those. The only TE’s to catch more in 2015? Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates, Julius Thomas, and Jimmy Graham. Allen has a nose for the red zone, and Luck has a knack of finding him there. This trend should continue, no matter how many aging vets they bring in.
Allen detractors will say, “he’s just too touch down dependent.” Isn’t that true of every tight end not named, Graham, Gronk or Olson? Quick, tell me how many tight ends had more than 70 catches last season. Yep, the three that I just mentioned and Martellus Bennett, and only 3 of those had over 900 yards. Basically touch downs are where the value comes from, in the land of the tight end.
Then there’s the whole Coby Fleener thing. Yes, Fleener did produce well last season, and yes Andrew Luck has a major bro crush on his former college roommate. But let’s face it. He is just not a very good football player, see?
Allen, is the better blocking and all-around tight end. See?
That blocking thing goes a long way, too. Protecting the most valuable QB in the league is a big factor in snaps for 2015 and beyond. Fleener should be worried about being lowered on the passing pecking order, being that Allen is a very capable receiver. The better blocker just figures to be on the field more, and especially in the red zone to maintain a strong run/pass option. You may point out that Fleener had more yards last year, with 774 while Allen only amassed 395. Coby also reeled in an equal amount of TD’s. What if I told you that 291 of those yards came in the 5 games that Allen missed with an injury. As well as 4 of Fleener’s 8 TD’s. These were the only games where Fleener saw any significant playing time. Yes, you just read that right, Allen only played 11 games and still had the 14th most fantasy points among tight ends.
So, there’s the injury concern then, right? Allen has lost 13 pounds since last season to become healthier. He’s now leaner standing 6’3” hovering around 255 pounds. He’s hoping to stay healthy and become even more of an offensive weapon. In his own words, “From last year to this year, I’ve lost just over 13 pounds to get to a very comfortable playing weight. I can still handle the in-line blocking stuff but can also get down and stretch the field a bit more.”Going forward Allen should have top level TE1 production, as long as he stays healthy.
In 2011, Dwayne won the John Mackey Award. That means he was the most outstanding TE in college football, but 2015 will be his year. This upcoming season will be the breakout that not very many saw coming, like Julius Thomas bursting onto the scene 2 years ago. So, if you want tickets on this hype train, now is the time to buy, because they are going cheap. I’ll be the one driving it. All aboard!