The move was hinted by head coach Ron Rivera, and on Wednesday morning he did it. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins has been benched for Kyle Allen for Week 5 against the Los Angeles Rams, and perhaps well beyond. That sound you hear is fantasy owners who have Terry McLaurin in any league (raising my hand) screaming in horror.
It’s not that Haskins has been great…but Allen has been worse.
Allen started 12 games for the Carolina Panthers in 2019. Rivera and Washington offensive coordinator Scott Turner were of course there with him, which drove the move to trade for him this offseason.
It’s worth noting that Allen did not crush the fantasy value of Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore last year (WR21 in standard scoring, WR16-full PPR). But it could have been so much more… for Moore.
Allen probably didn’t account for every one of those uncatchable 15-plus targets, but I’m going to credit him with the lion’s share.
Kyle Allen Will Crush Terry McLaurin’s Fantasy Value
Through four games, McLaurin has a 27.1 percent target share from Haskins (ninth-most among wide receivers and tight ends, via Sports Info Solutions-minimum 20 targets). In Week 4 against the Baltimore Ravens, he had 14 targets on Haskins’ 45 pass attempts (a 31.1 percent share) on his way to 10 catches for 118 yards. A 39-yard gain late in the fourth quarterback is worth noting, but fantasy owners don’t have to apologize for production.
In Week 2, McLaurin got another 30-plus percent target share (10 targets-33 attempts for Haskins). He had seven receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown.
Catching passes from Case Keenum and Haskins last year, McLaurin was WR29 in full PPR (WR24 in standard scoring). Allen is sure to feed the running backs out of the backfield (Antonio Gibson alert), ala Christian McCaffrey last year. But he misfired so much production on deeper passes for Moore and Curtis Samuel in 2019 that McLaurin now has more boom-or-bust to him than he might have with Haskins.
McLaurin is WR10 in full PPR and WR11 in standard fantasy scoring through Week 4. In Week 3-15 last year, Allen’s run of starts, Moore was WR8 in full PPR and WR10 in standard. Then two Will Grier starts came, though Allen played a lot in Week 17, and Moore fell to WR16 in full PPR from Week 3-17.
The big Week 4 game against Baltimore possibly opened a sell-high window on McLaurin. The move to start Allen now confirms it, though that might be gone now.
McLaurin will be hard to bench in fantasy, and also hard to rely on now. That lack of faith is all about Allen though. So fellow fantasy managers who have McLaurin can join in me in hoping Haskins eventually gets another shot this year.