Dwayne Allen received unfortunate injury news that will send the Indianapolis Colts tight end out of commission. As uncomfortable as it is to look ahead with a young man's livelihood taking a hit, the ailment paves the way for fellow tight end Coby Fleener to flourish.
According to Kevin Bowen from Colts.com, Allen will undergo hip surgery that will force him to miss the remainder of the season.
Allen delivered a solid rookie campaign in 2012, catching 45 passes for 521 yards and three touchdowns for the Indianapolis Colts. He turned his only reception of the young 2013 season into a 20-yard touchdown strike in Week 1.
The former third-round pick had ample room for growth during his second year working with fellow 2012 draftee Andrew Luck, but this injury clears the way for another sophomore tight end to collect the fantasy points in Indianapolis.
Fleener, Luck's old Stanford roommate, showed what he can accomplish with regular playing time in Week 2, catching four balls for 69 yards and a 40-yard touchdown. The 6'6", 247-pound tight end was targeted eight times during the Colts' 24-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Bowen added that head coach Chuck Pagano expressed full support in Fleener, praising his all-around performance against Miami.
As more of a move tight end, Fleener caught 26 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns in 2012. Formerly waiver-wire fodder, he now deserves a look in 12-team leagues as a No. 2 TE with upside to catapult into a starting option.
Allen and Fleener received a combined 114 looks last season. With nearly all of them now headed in Fleener's direction, he becomes a key cog in the Colts' passing game.
His inconsistency could befuddle fantasy managers, but what tight end is a safe bet for dependable weekly production outside of the elite options?
Take a chance on Fleener if you have bench spots to tinker with. He's not a safe start this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, but he boasts top-10 upside at an uncertain position moving forward.