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Bears Make a Splash: Keenan Allen to Chicago

The Chargers are tearing it down and the Bears are kicking their rebuild into high gear. @CoachStevenP breaks down the Keenan Allen trade.

The 2024 offseason has been a crazy one. It’s getting crazier with longtime Charger Keenan Allen being traded to the Chicago Bears. The Bears sent a fourth-round pick to the Chargers for Allen’s service. We need to break down how this impacts the Bears offense and what we should expect from the Chargers offense.

Keenan Allen’s History

INGLEWOOD, CA – OCTOBER 3: Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen #13 makes a first down catch in the second half during the Cleveland Browns versus the Los Angeles Chargers game on October 10, 2021, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)

Keenan Allen has been a consistent stud in fantasy football over the last seven seasons. However, in the last few seasons, Allen has dealt with injuries. He has missed 11 games over the last two seasons despite saying he could have played if he had to. Allen will be 32 years old for the 2024 season. Sadly, very few receivers have produced over the age of 31 in the NFL for fantasy football. Allen is a special type of receiver, for sure, so there is a chance for him to defy the odds.

Allen has been a stud with 130 targets in six of the last sevens, which could be concerning with his move to Chicago. Overall, Allen, in the previous seven seasons, has averaged 98 receptions, 1130 yards, and six touchdowns. He has been a consistent slot receiver who has dominated in targets, ranking in the top 10. He ranks #14 YAC and #16 in air yards in 2023. Allen was fantastic this past year, as he was WR3 through Week 13 before his injury. He would have double-digit fantasy points in ten of his 13 games played.

Bears Offense

Allen is going to a Bears team that has not been known for their passing offense. The Bears were the sixth-worst passing offense in the league last year. Allen has always been a target hog. That may not be the case for the veteran, as he isn’t coming in as the WR1 for this team. The team does have prime DJ Moore, who had 136 targets last season. The next was Cole Kmet, who had 90 targets, then Darnell Mooney with 60. The Bears have a quarterback situation– they can stay with Justin Fields, who hasn’t been a high-volume thrower, or draft superstar rookie Caleb Williams and go with a rookie. This could be a concern for Allen, who has been used to a high volume of targets from his quarterback. There is a clear downgrade from Justin Herbert to one of these quarterbacks.

TAMPA, FL – SEPTEMBER 17: Chicago Bears wide receiver DJ Moore (2) breaks the tackle and runs for a big gain during the NFL Football match between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Chicago Bears on September 17, 2023 at TIAA Bank Field Stadium, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire)

In dynasty, Allen has serious concerns moving forward as a member of the Bears. It’s a great trade for the Bears, but for Allen’s value, it’s taking a swift drop in rankings. I’m not sure if Fields or Williams can support two top 20 receivers in 2024. Allen is getting up there in age and heading to a new team in a cold outside environment. I don’t think he gets over 110 targets in 2024, and his future beyond that could be concerning. Allen is a good sell right now following this trade. If I could get an early second-round pick for Allen, I would make that trade. The lack of passing attempts in this offense has concerns that Allen won’t get consistent fantasy play.

Quarterback questions

Whoever plays quarterback for the Bears will receive a boost from Allen. Allen is a safety blanket for a quarterback, which will help build their confidence as a passer. It’s an upgrade over Darnell Mooney, who ranked 94th in QB rating per target, while Allen ranked 26th. The Bears will likely select Williams with the 1.01, so you should be thrilled to get him in rookie drafts with your 1.01. This could be the ultimate buy low on Fields, especially if the Bears get blown away with an offer for the 1.01 and can’t refuse. His value is all over the place, but getting him for a second and fourth-round pick is still worth the risk. As of mid-March, there is still no confirmation that the Bears 100% will draft a quarterback.

Many may expect Allen joining the Bears to lower Moore’s targets. I don’t see much change in his dynasty value. Though you could argue both ways, whether he loses targets or gets less double coverage with a player like Allen on the field, his situation is stable. One player who could lose value is Cole Kmet with the addition of Allen. Kmet is a solid young tight end who is coming off a career season with yards. Allen could lower Kmet’s target share in the offense. I am looking to buy Kmet in dynasty. In the long term, Kmet has a chance to stay as the number two pass catcher; if not, he should still be a reliable option.

Chargers Offense

Allen’s trade has left a massive hole in the Chargers receiver group. It’s even worse with Mike Williams being released as well. These two have averaged well over 100 targets over the last four to five years. The one who gets hurt in this situation has to be Justin Herbert. You lose two all-pro receivers to move to young, unproven receivers on a team that may be looking like a run the first time. This may be a perfect time to go out and buy Justin Herbert. A dynasty owner could be nervous about the situation in Los Angeles, so you should try to buy low if you can. There have been rumors that the team could look to trade Herbert, so it will be interesting if that happens.

INGLEWOOD, CA – DECEMBER 12: Los Angeles Chargers Quarterback Justin Herbert (10) looks on during the NFL game between the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Chargers on December 12, 2021, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

The winners from this trade are Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston. They get bumped up to starters as Herbert’s top two weapons. When Josh Palmer was put in as the team’s WR2 when Williams went down, he played well. In six of eight games, Palmer had eight-plus fantasy points. Palmer could be in for over 100 targets if he can stay healthy on the field.

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