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Pick-a-Player: Adams, Allen, or Green - Footballguys

Footballguys staff and Facebook answer a dilemma at the 2.05 spot

The premise of a Pick-a-Player question is as follows:

  • You need a player at that position and all three are available.
  • The draft is at a stage where these players are usually drafted, and none of their bye weeks are duplicated on your current roster.

We ask two groups of people: the Footballguys staff, and the great people following the Footballguys Facebook page. If you'd like to answer a future Pick-a-Player question, they are being posted daily on our page. Like and Follow us, and you can join the great discussions taking place every day.

In this case, it is a PPR league, and you are up at Pick 2.05. Would you take Davante Adams, Keenan Allen, or A.J. Green? Or would you pass on all three?

The Results

And the winner is -- Allen. He actually won the vote from Facebook and from the Footballguys staff. See the percentages below.

Group
Percentage Picking...
Adams
Allen
Green
None
Footballguys Staff
7.7%
76.9%
15.4%
0%
Footballguys Facebook
10.6%
57.4%
19.1%
12.8%

The Reasons (from the Staff)

Bob Henry: Keenan Allen. I think he's the most likely to haul in 100+ receptions and with Hunter Henry's demise, an even bigger share of red zone targets seems likely for Allen over any other player on the offense outside of Melvin Gordon III.

Jason Wood: All are solidly in the Top 10, but Allen gets the slight edge. Philip Rivers is infinitely better than Andy Dalton, and the loss of Hunter Henry guarantees what would have been a massive target share for Allen becomes enormous.

Daniel Simpkins: I’ll also take Allen. The other options aren’t a bad consolation prize, but the passing success of his offense and heavier target volume for Allen are what persuade me to take him over Adams and Green. Adams has a similar situation, but the frequent concussion problems scare me.

Ryan Hester: At the risk of sounding unoriginal, I'll also take Allen here. The only slight knock I can think of with Allen is a low touchdown upside (his career high is seven; he had six last season). But as the guys pointed out, Hunter Henry's absence leaves a large void on a team whose offense should provide plenty of red zone trips.

Justin Howe: On some days I might go contrarian and say Green. But in general, Allen is the play in PPR leagues. He'll win the volume game between the two, and as Ryan pointed out, he carries untapped touchdown upside. Last year he drew the league's second-most targets (15) from inside the 10-yard line. So, Allen is the PPR play. However, in standard leagues, where Allen's high-volume/medium-impact exploits aren't quite as helpful, I lean toward Green. He's a ball-dominant guy in his own right, and his touchdown potential is already well-demonstrated.

Adams is a notch below both these guys, a bit more of a crapshoot. I like Adams in general, but I wouldn't give up either of the first two to chase his wild touchdown rate - or his first 1,000-yard season. With Adams, I'm more apt to just wait and see who drops among him, Doug Baldwin, and Adam Thielen.

David Dodds: I prefer Keenan Allen as well. If he remains healthy, he should easily out- target and out-catch these other receivers. Both Adams and Green likely offer more touchdown upside, but Keenan Allen is a threat to lead the league in receptions. The injury to tight end Hunter Henry should only cement his catch rate for 2018.

Matt Waldman: If Green gets more help along the offensive line and there's another receiver of note for opponents to respect enough that they'll cheat in that player's direction with extra help, he's capable of a huge year.

Still, I agree that Allen is the best bet. He's a terrific route runner and player after the catch who can play inside and outside. He has enough quality talent around him that the Chargers often create mismatches pre-snap thanks to the strategic ability of Philip Rivers pre-snap and early post-snap.

Chad Parsons: I typically go running back early in Round 2, but there have been scenarios where the position runs dry by this juncture and getting a WR1 is the play. Allen is the best blend of ceiling, floor, offensive (and quarterback) strength, and age. The Hunter Henry injury is big for Allen's floor projection and Allen's glut of targets would be unlikely to produce anything outside the top-12 receivers for fantasy. Adams relies on touchdowns a little too much to trust over Allen and A.J. Green has the weakest quarterback of the trio to lose the tiebreaker.

Justin Howe: Indeed, Chad, this is only a question when we're late in Round 2 and all of Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, and Devonta Freeman are off the board.

Even then, I'll often mini-reach for Mixon or Jordan Howard and just scoop which of Allen, Green, Adams, Baldwin, Evans, and Thielen fall a few picks.

Will Grant: I agree with Chad. In a typical draft, I'd probably pass on both and go for a running back to pair with my first round selection. In a PPR league, if I feel like I landed a solid RB in Round 1, I might consider Allen for most of the reasons listed here.

Phil Alexander: This thread is begging for a contrarian take, so allow me to make the case for Adams in three bullets:

  • He is Aaron Rodgers' WR1. This role has produced five top-4 wide receiver finishes in Rodgers' eight healthy seasons.
  • Targets abound. Adams led the Packers with a 26% target share last season despite missing two games. With Jordy Nelson now in Oakland, Adams is poised to command about 30% of Rodgers' well-aimed throws - think DeAndre Hopkins-type volume but with an elite quarterback.
  • Touchdown maker. Adams led Green Bay in red zone targets last year en route to scoring double-digit touchdowns for the second straight season. Before Rodgers got hurt in Week 5, Adams had 10 red zone looks to Nelson's eight. Maybe Jimmy Graham inherits the entirety of Nelson's 2017 red zone role. Or, maybe Rodgers leans harder on the guy he trusts most when six points are on the line.

Green and Allen are fine picks at their current ADPs, but when you draft a wide receiver early, it's because you're a believer in either his volume or his offense. Adams is the only one of these three that checks both boxes.

Devin Knotts: If I have to take a wide receiver in the second round, I am avoiding Keenan Allen and taking A.J. Green.

The reason against Allen is simple, I don't want my second-round pick to have a significant injury risk. While injuries are almost impossible to predict, I'm of the belief that certain players are more prone to injuries than others and Keenan Allen is one of those guys for me as he has only played 16 games in his career once out of five years which was last season and had injuries dating back to college.

Davante Adams just has not proven that he can take the step up to be the elite receiver a lot of us think he can be and while I like the player, it is a significant step needed in order to pass the consistency of Green who has had over 1,000 yards in six of his seven seasons and will continue to be a high target player in the Bengals offense.

Andy Hicks: A.J. Green, Davante Adams, or Keenan Allen would be interesting choices. All have upside, with relatively high floors. Keenan Allen has a lengthy injury history but demonstrated in 2017 that when he is fit he is a top-five fantasy wide receiver. A.J. Green is clearly the number one wide receiver in Cincinnati with a consistent record over seven years, while Davante Adams has a whole bunch of touchdowns over the last two years. This pick will dictate the rest of my draft, assuming I have taken a running back in the first round. If we take Keenan Allen, his upside is high, but the injury risk would force us back to the wide receiver position quickly. If we take A.J. Green, he is reliable and allows us to plug in a WR1 and have the freedom to take the best player available in the third. With Davante Adams I would be concerned about the possibility of touchdowns dropping, especially with the investment Green Bay have made at wide receiver in the draft. Ultimately the choice comes down to Allen and Green and in most cases, Green would be my preference.