November 8, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen (83) catches the ball during the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Indianapolis Colts defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Dwayne Allen was the John Mackey award winner as the nation’s top tight end in the 2011-12 season before being selected in the third round by the Indianapolis Colts.
Allen set the franchise record for Colts rookie tight ends last year with 45 catches, and wound up with a grand total of 521 yards and three touchdowns, emerging as the Colts’ top target at the position despite Coby Fleener being drafted ahead of him.
Allen has excellent versatility, and is an outstanding blocker. The Colts can’t wait to use him in a variety of ways, and new offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton believes he can be a “tremendous weapon”.
“If you just look at the versatility of Dwayne Allen,” said Hamilton, “and his ability to line up in the backfield and lead block, or detach and line up in the slot and win the one-on-one matchup, that’s a tremendous weapon.”
Allen possesses a lot of unique tools for the tight end possession, and while he’s not near as fast as Fleener is, he has the ability to play all over the field and pick up tough yardage. The Colts–as Hamilton noted–also plan on using Allen some out of the backfield.
Due to his unique ability to stay on the field in almost all situations, I really like Allen’s fantasy upside this year, but you will want to take a wait and see approach with him. The Colts expect Coby Fleener to see a significant increase in touches, so we’re going to want to wait and see how that affects Allen in the passing game as well.
There are only so many balls to go around, we just need to know which way they’ll be going. Here’s a look at Allen’s 2012 stats:
Allen has high upside as a backup fantasy TE. You will be able to get him late in your drafts, and he could pay huge dividends and become one of the Colts’ more reliable red zone threats.
The biggest problem with Allen is how spread out his stats were last year. He had just one game over 70 yards and only one touchdown after the month of October. We’re certainly going to see Allen make huge contributions to the Colts’ offense in 2013, but can he be effective for a fantasy team? Here are my projected stats for Allen this season.
Projected stats: 50 receptions, 540 yards, 4 TD