It feels like all we can do is talk about Allen Hurns, but I am going to keep doing so until Toby Gerhart finally lives up to my expectations or Blake Bortles comes off the bench. Ok, if Cecil Shorts puts up 1,000 I’ll dive into that too.
But while we’re talking about Allen Hurns, we need to talk about just how incredibly impressive his first game as an NFL pro was. We also need to talk about just how important it was for your fantasy football team.
Per ESPN, Hurns put together the sixth best WR fantasy debut of all time. It’s the best since Anquan Boldin’s 31 points in 2003 and those two are pretty much the only relevant ones since fantasy football exploded thanks to the internet. Hurns’ 23 points tied him with Mike Siani’s 1972 week one performance. They both are below the aforementioned Boldin (31), Louis Lipps (30), Jim Brim (29), and Bobby Johnson and Rick Upchurch (25 each).
"What makes Hurns stand out among this group was that he went undrafted, putting him in exclusive territory. Among the 10 greatest debuts from wide receivers in fantasy terms, six came from players during the 1987 strike. Only four undrafted wide receivers since that 1987 strike year managed at least 10 fantasy points in their debuts…"
I still believe you should add Hurns to your fantasy football team, but ESPN does provide some notes of caution about the improbability of Hurns replicating Sunday’s feat. The four undrafted players compared to Hurns all turned into mixed bags later in the season. Doug Baldwin finished highest at 38th for the position.
For those of us who have watched Hurns through the preseason, we know that he may be able to keep it up. I believe that because the wide receiver group is so thin (with three rookies and only two veterans), Hurns will continue getting more looks and will have more chances to replicate his success.
ESPN provides a less optimistic take:
"Hurns made the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ roster on the strength of his preseason — in particular his seven catches for 113 yards and a score during their third game — and earned his opening-week start after Cecil Shorts was scratched with a hamstring injury. Whether Hurns’ opportunity will remain as large following Shorts’ return is the question; Week 2 might be the best test. After all, after catching four of his five targets for 110 yards and both of his scores before halftime, Hurns went without a catch on his three targets during the second half."
I agree with them that week two will be more telling. I hope that we’ll see him continue his impressive streak. So far he has yet to disappoint.