Patriots Dwayne Allen Fantasy 2017
Rob Gronkowski is arguably the greatest tight end in NFL history. This is the only roadblock (albeit a big one) that stands in the way of Dwayne Allen becoming one of the best fantasy tight ends in the league come 2017. Over the years we have seen Bill Belichick run two tight end sets. He did it, and had success, with names such as the late Aaron Hernandez and Martellus Bennet. Bennett gives us a good measuring stick to see how Allen’s stats could look at the end of 2017.
Bennett finished 10th in fantasy points among tight ends and had the 9th-most receiving yards at the position. It helped Gronk missed half the season, but with the seven-year vet only playing a full 16-game season twice in his career, the odds of him missing time in 2017 are in Allen’s favor. Allen has suffered his own injury woes over the years, but should Gronk go down, Allen will be the man.
The former Colt isn’t known as the best receiving tight end, but has gained relevance in the fantasy community by becoming a red zone threat. In 2016 he posted top two numbers twice and other than that finished fifth in week five and seventh in week 17. On the other hand, Bennett finished in the top six in fantasy points at the position five out of 16 games. With Allen taking over the TE2 role for the Pats, expect the former Colt to be one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets in the red zone.
Among quarterbacks with at least 20 pass attempts inside the 10-yard line, Brady had the third highest completion percentage at 62.50. Among quarterbacks with over seven pass attempts inside the 20-yard line, Brady ranked first with a completion percentage of 67.19. Bennett had a 14.7 percent share of the Patriots’ looks inside the 10-yard line last season. He was targeted five times and came down with four receptions. By comparison, last season with Indianapolis, Allen had a 13.9 percent share of the targets and came down with three of his five looks inside the 10. Bennett’s target percentage inside the 10 ranked better than A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffrey and Brandin Cooks, while Allen ranked ahead of all the names except Hilton and Green.
Besides Brady’s best friend Julian Edelman, who owned a 26.5 percent target share inside the 10, Bennett was the highest player in terms of target share for New England. Inside of 20 yards, Bennett’s target percentage dipped slightly to 13.9, but was still a good number for the TE2 in New England’s system. By comparison, in Indianapolis, Allen held a 12.7 percent target share from 20 yards or less.
If you look at the past three seasons, tight ends in the Patriots’ offense have combined for nearly 43 percent of all receiving touchdowns and 31 percent of all receiving yards. I don’t see a large difference between Bennett and Allen. Allen has the upper hand with the highest career output in touchdowns with eight, while Bennett has the leg up in receiving yards with 916 yards. The Patriots needed a player to come in and be a serviceable backup to Gronk and they got just that in Allen. Now it’s just a matter of Gronk’s ability to stay on the field or lack thereof, and how much attention the Pats’ main weapon will draw away from Allen as to provide plenty of red zone looks.
Ethan is a lifelong sports fan and has been involved in sports for as long as he can remember. He played football in high school and was a part of two Class 3A State Championship football teams in Illinois at Illini West High School. He is currently the sports editor at the Hancock County Journal-Pilot in Carthage, IL and is trying to get more involved in fantasy and professional sports journalism. Ethan has played fantasy football since he was 14 years old and considers himself an admitted fantasy addict, but sees no problem with this. He competes annually in fantasy football, basketball and baseball leagues with his friends and has even accomplished a three-peat in one of his football leagues, winning three-straight seasons. He nearly had another three-peat in the same span in another league, but got third in 2015. Writing about and covering sports is his passion. After entering the sports journalism field in 2015, Ethan knew covering sports was his calling and will never turn back.