- Keenan Allen is the new favorite to lead the NFL in receiving yards
- Allen has 404 receiving yards this season, 93 more than anyone else
- Is Allen a good bet at his price, or does someone else offer better value?
Keenan Allen has been virtually unstoppable through the first three weeks of the NFL campaign. The Chargers stud receiver is fresh off a 13-catch, 183-yard performance and is now the favorite to lead the league in receiving yards in 2019.
Odds to Lead 2019 NFL Season in Receiving Yards
|Receiver||2019 Receiving Yards||Odds|
|Odell Beckham Jr||288||+800|
*Odds taken on 09/25/19.
Allen’s odds were nearly twice as long just a week ago, when our own Bryan Thiel tipped him as strong value, and they’ll likely be even shorter next week after he roasts the Dolphins’ secondary.
Allen’s Excellence Is Sustainable
Week 3 marked the fourth time Allen has caught at least 13 passes in a single game. His 404 receiving yards are the 15th-most all time after three weeks, and 93 more than anyone else in the league.
He now has 11 career games with over 130 receiving yards and that number is bound to grow given his 38% team target share.
Keenan Allen’s 16-game pace through 3 games:
God mode activated pic.twitter.com/HDbMRlAb0c
— Michael Zingone (@FFzinger) September 22, 2019
It’s easy to say that his stats aren’t sustainable, but he has two very important factors working in his favor. First, the Chargers are severely deprived of weapons even if Melvin Gordon returns.
Allen and RB Austin Ekeler have combined to touch the ball on 60% of LA’s offensive plays; with Mike Williams banged up and Hunter Henry out indefinitely, those numbers aren’t about to change.
Keenan Allen put his defender on skates, then hit’em with the LT celebration after scoring ??
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 22, 2019
Second, Allen runs the overwhelming majority of his routes from the slot, the most receiver-friendly position on the field. It’s an area most elite defensive backs never venture into, often leaving Allen matched up against nickel corners, or better yet, linebackers or safeties. Good luck trying to defend this.
This was a sick route run by Keenan Allen. Few separate like he does. pic.twitter.com/vNBICv4cis
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) December 3, 2018
The Chargers pass at the eighth-highest rate in the league, virtually guaranteeing Allen’s volume moving forward. If he continues to see 10-14 targets a game he’ll run away with the receiving yards crown.
Julio Is Always a Threat to Erupt
After a disappointing Week 1, Julio Jones has rebounded with back-to-back 100-yard games and is always a threat to hang 200+ on an opponent. He’s won the receiving title in two of the past four years and is one of only nine receivers to average 10 targets a game so far this season.
Julio Jones is the best wide receiver in the NFL. You cannot change my mind. pic.twitter.com/cXfTAfm9Fk
— Hotlanta Highlights (@HotlantaHlights) September 17, 2019
He’s faced an unfavorable schedule to start the season, but that all changes in Week 4. Five of his next six opponents boast weak secondaries that he should be able to feast on, and with games of 256 and 300 receiving yards on his resume since 2016, he could close the gap on Allen in a hurry.
Full Fade on Beckham
As long as Baker Mayfield continues to underachieve, Odell Beckham Jr. cannot be counted on to produce at a level that rivals Allen or even Jones. Mayfield has failed miserably to hit on deep throws this year, which disproportionately impacts Beckham due to the type of routes he’s being asked to run.
They only need 10 yards.
Their line is getting worked.
One route well short of the sticks.
The other are 3 just off & running, but…
They only need 10 yards. pic.twitter.com/URWRN0seq8
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 23, 2019
Mayfield’s passer rating on throws 20+ yards downfield is a putrid 47.9, and while his decision making at times has been questionable, he’s also faced an enormous amount of pressure. He’s been under siege an average of 15.3 times per game and when he’s left the pocket his accuracy has abandoned him.
The @RamsNFL pass rush was too much for Baker Mayfield and the Browns OL (46% pressure rate). Mayfield struggled when throwing from outside the tackle box:
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) September 23, 2019
Of course, OBJ can take a slant to the house on any play, but until we see the Browns’ offensive efficiency improve, it’s best to avoid him in this race and stick with Allen or Jones.