Equity Score Deep Dive: Dwayne Allen
August 1, 2016 | C.D. Carter
This equity score deep dive is a little shallower than others, but could be as vital as any range-of-outcomes examination we do in the run-up to real, live drafts that set the table for our 2016 seasons.
Probably you already know that Dwayne Allen, whose high equity score would put him among fantasy’s top tight ends this year, has been the Colts’ primary blocking tight end, while the departed Coby Fleener has reaped the benefits of a high-volume passing attack headed by DGAF royalty, Andrew Luck.
A more granular look at Allen’s fantasy production during his time in Indianapolis tells a story of a highly efficient tight end who, at his best, is a potent red zone weapon on a team that throws quite a bit inside the 20 (Luck had 36 pass attempts in the red zone in seven 2015 games).
Just how limited has Allen been in the Colts’ offense over the past four seasons? Check out the pass block/pass route splits between Fleener and Allen (2013 is not included because Allen essentially missed the entire year). One key takeaway: there are plenty of routes to run for a tight end in Indy’s offense.
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And now for the numbers that jumped out to me as yet another reason to grab Allen at his strangely depressed 12th round average draft position. I looked at how Allen produced on a per pass route, per target, and per reception basis in his often minimal role in Luck’s offense.
Allen’s outdoing of Fleener in every measurement might not come as a shock to those who remember Allen’s 2014 season, in which he caught a touchdown (eight in total) on an incredible 16 percent of his targets. That’s, well, something. I hardly think it’s a mistake or coincidence that the bulky tight end has scored touchdowns on 8.9 percent of his targets as a pro. A 6’3″ 257-pound frame can prove useful when the field shrinks near the end zone.
Size matters when it comes to scoring touchdowns, as demonstrated by math.
Entrenched as the starter on a team that threw the ball 617 times the last time Luck played a full season is reason to believe Allen has as much touchdown-drive upside as any tight end (any player?) in the game. Fleener and Allen saw a combined 24 red zone looks in 2014, when Luck was under center. Perhaps Donte Moncrief’s size and expanding role in the Indianapolis attack could siphon some of Allen’s potential red zone opportunity. I still think Allen could (should) be among the tight end league leaders in red zone chances come December.
There’s also this, per the Rotoviz AYA app.
Allen, in short, has been better than good when the Colts have thrown him the ball. We might hear, as the season approaches, that the Colts still value Allen as a superb blocker. He won’t escape that role — he seems to be very good at it, per sources. Don’t let that deter you from taking Luck’s starting tight end in the 10th, 11th, or even 12th round. We want tight ends who stay on the field, who aren’t specialists, who have an unquestioned role in an offense that has and will be a fantasy football gift.
The Colts didn’t give Allen $29 million by accident. The team values him. You should too.