As expected, Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen has been ruled out for Thursday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs. He is dealing with a hamstring injury and was unable to recover in time during the short week.
While this is certainly bad news for Allen's fantasy managers, it could be good news for fantasy players with the Chargers' other wide receivers. Let's take a look at how Allen's absence might affect them.
Mike Williams Fantasy Outlook
Mike Williams was a popular WR2 in fantasy drafts this year after racking up 1,146 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns during a productive 2021 campaign. He was quiet during LA's Week 1 win over the Las Vegas Raiders, however, managing just 2 receptions on 4 targets for 10 yards.
Williams has always been a bit boom-or-bust throughout his career, but Allen's absence gives him a higher chance of booming on Thursday. Allen was Justin Herbert's favorite target last year, leading the team in both targets (157) and receptions (106) by a healthy margin.
With Allen out, that opens up a few more targets for Williams, who slots in as the team's WR1. That might also mean more short and intermediate routes for Williams, who's often used as a deep threat when Allen's healthy.
Allen was seeing plenty of attention from Herbert before going down in Week 1, grabbing all four of his targets for 66 yards before exiting. No Allen means Williams should be Herbert's top receiving option in a game with the week's highest projected points total (54.5) on FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds.
Williams may have let you down in Week 1, but his fantasy floor and ceiling are both considerably higher for Week 2. He topped 100 receiving yards four times last year and could be headed for a similar performance this week. Don't be surprised if he finishes with double-digit targets, 100+ yards and a touchdown, making good on his WR14 status in our Week 2 PPR rankings.
Josh Palmer Fantasy Outlook
Whereas Williams was already viewed as a fantasy starter, Josh Palmer was considered more of a bench option in fantasy drafts (if he was taken at all). Palmer struggled to make much of an impact in the Chargers' high-flying offense as a rookie last year, although he showed some promise with 353 receiving yards (10.7 yards per catch) and 4 touchdowns.
While Palmer had to compete with Allen, Williams, Austin Ekeler and Gerald Everett for looks in Week 1, he now has a clearer path to targets in Week 2. Palmer should slot in as the team's WR2 for this game behind Williams, raising his fantasy floor and upside.
Similar to Williams, Palmer was MIA during the season opener, grabbing just 3 catches on 4 targets for a paltry 5 receiving yards. He also rushed once for 4 yards in an otherwise forgettable performance.
Palmer should play a larger role in LA's offense this week with Allen out, especially if the Chargers fall behind and have to air it out. This game should feature plenty of passing and points from both sides, so expect Palmer to get more targets, catches, yards and possibly even a touchdown. He looks like a WR3/4 this week who can be used as a FLEX option in deeper leagues.
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