After a surprisingly productive rookie season in 2012 (45 receptions for 521 yards and three touchdowns), Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen went down with a hip injury in the 2013 season opener and missed the rest of the season. That opened the door for fellow second-year tight end Coby Fleener to emerge as a solid option for fantasy football owners, with 52 receptions for 608 yards and four touchdowns, but all indications are Allen will be ready to take back a prominent role in the Colts’ offense next season. What should fantasy owners expect from him going forward?
Allen recently acknowledged that his hip surgery was more invasive than originally thought, which will delay his recovery timetable and puts his status for offseason work in doubt. But there is no reason for the Colts to rush him back if there is any doubt about his health, and as long as he is ready go for training camp Allen will be back on the radar of fantasy owners when draft season gets going.
Assuming he avoids any major setbacks in his recovery, Allen will be worth a look as a TE2 with upside in 12 and 14-team leagues. Fleener finished this season as the 13th-highest scoring tight end in ESPN standard leagues (81 fantasy points) and he was targeted 88 times (tied for 10th-most among tight ends), so from a fantasy perspective Allen’s return may be felt most with the negative impact it has on Fleener’s value for 2014. It really comes down to scoring format for which Indianapolis tight end has the most appeal to an individual fantasy owner heading toward next season, with Fleener carrying better potential in PPR leagues and Allen a better option with less downside in standard or touchdown-heavy formats.