April 13, 2024

Keenan Allen Traded to the Bears: 3 Fantasy Questions

5 min read
Veteran wide receiver Keenan Allen was traded to the Chicago Bears. How this shocking trade impacts fantasy football gets broken down.

Keenan Allen traded to the Chicago Bears: 3 Fantasy Questions

 

*Breaking News: Keenan Allen is traded to the Chicago Bears for a 4th-round pick *

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Even with the highest salary cap in the NFL era, teams are looking to maximize every dollar, that includes the Los Angeles Chargers. First, the team asked Mike Williams to restructure his contract, and when he refused, he was released. After Khalil Mack was asked to do the same after seeing the writing on the wall, he complied. Keenan Allen was asked the same question, and when he refused, like Mike Williams, he was escorted out of Los Angeles. This trade has HUGE fantasy implications. Let's answer 3 Fantasy Questions about the Keenan Allen trade by the Los Angeles Chargers to the Chicago Bears.

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How does being traded from the Chargers to the Bears impact Keenan Allen?

Going from Justin Herbert to Justin Fields (more on that later) is a downgrade. Ignoring the injury-plagued 2023 for Herbert, he has averaged 4,768 yards per season, highlighted by his 2021 season, where he totaled over 5,014 yards. In his first three seasons, Justin Fields has passed for 6,674 yards. Nobody is confusing Fields for Herbert. They are not in the same class as quarterbacks when throwing the ball. Fields is a world-class quarterback running the ball in the same mold as Jalen Hurts and Lamar Jackson.

Allen has failed to complete an entire season in the last two years. However, even in only 13 games this past season, Allen was WR # 8. Alongside DJ Moore, Cole Kmet, and D'Andre Swift, the Chicago Bears are not adding Keenan Allen just because he was at a discount. Instead, it indicates to me that the Bears are LOADING UP.

The only question is how many targets Keenan Allen can get in this offense. The Bears hope Justin Fields can top 3,800 while giving him a receiving core to make Fields look better. It's reasonable to believe that Allen gets 85 receptions (on 110 targets) for 1,250 yards and eight touchdowns while pairing with DJM to form a dynamic duo.

 

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What does this mean for the 2024 Draft?

Ok, I am going out on a limb with this, but hear me out, ok? The Bears are not 100% confident that Caleb Williams is the guy. The market was not robust for Justin Fields…maybe even hearing a few whispers that Justin Fields may be better to build around if they want to win now. One of my favorite movies is "Draft Day" starring Kevin Costner.

I love that movie and watch it every year on the draft's first day. It's my ritual; let me have it. In that movie, Costner's character, Sonny Weaver Jr., decides to push all the chips in. He makes a few bold moves, presumably changing the course of a franchise for a decade. I feel that Ryan Poles is starting to get those same vibes. He will make some bold moves and change the Bears for the next decade.

Keep Justin Fields. Answer the Patriots' call and get insane value for the #1 pick. Drop down a few spots and draft Marvin Harrison Jr. Then, start the 2024 season with Justin Fields commanding the offense as he hands the ball to D'Andre Swift and Roschon Johnson. Then, Fields can drop back to pass and choose between DJM, Allen, Kmet, and Harrison. With the extra draft capital obtained by dropping down, the offensive line gets fortified, and this offense can begin to cook.

And, if the Commanders or Patriots aren't strong-armed to move up, the Bears allow the Raiders, Broncos, or Vikings to move up and inherit even more draft capital. Then, they draft an elite offensive lineman (JC Latham? Jackson-Powers?) and continue from there. Either way, the stars are aligning for this to happen, and the Bears will be better if it does. I get it. Eight months ago, Caleb Williams was the unquestioned #1 pick in the draft. A lot can happen in the NFL, and this is unfolding to be a great example of that. The Bears have become the most exciting team in the NFL by doing this, and all eyes are on them.

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What does this mean for the Los Angeles Chargers?

Entering free agency, the Chargers would have to make moves to get under the salary cap; entering free agency, the Chargers were in the worst situation of any team by being 25 million over the cap. They had to do something, and by dropping Williams, restructuring Mack, and trading Allen, the Chargers have given themselves better flexibility moving forward. Allen had a 30-million-dollar cap hit this season and had a 5-million-dollar bonus if he was still a Charger on Sunday. The move makes sense in terms of the financials. Now, the Chargers don't have to rebuild the team altogether. Instead, invest in their younger talent and draft wisely.

Losing Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, and Austin Ekeler does not bode well for Herbert's bounce-back season. How the Chargers approach the rest of free agency will show how new Head Coach Jim Harbaugh wants to mold the franchise to his liking.

By Allen leaving, I am not endorsing Quentin Johnson. I hate seeing wide receivers with a penchant for catching the ball with their body, and I believe the Chargers will make some moves to provide Herbert with more weapons. In the short term, Herbert has dropped outside my top eight quarterbacks until his skill positions are known. I'm getting the feeling that Blake Corum and Roman Wilson would look really good in those powder blues, and it may be the start of how Jim Harbaugh sees the "new look" Chargers.

I love this game! These kinds of moves are precisely why we play fantasy football and get to pretend we are the GMs!

Thank you for reading my 3 Fantasy Questions on Keenan Allen. Please follow me @JGoody77 or the links by @DynastyProsFF in the "X" World. Check out more articles by me at Dynastyprosfootball.com.

 

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