When seeking buy-low targets in dynasty, I focus on players I don’t expect to use in my starting lineup the upcoming season.
In a perfect dynasty, your immediate future is in place before your summer draft even begins, so super deep, low-risk-high-reward types that I’m happy to let wait on the bench until an opportunity arises are much more my flavor. Currently, no one is piquing my interest more than Seahawks back Alex Collins.
Opportunity, or Immediate Lack There Of
Let’s start with the negatives, which certainly do exist, as they should for anyone with a positional ADP in the 90s. Seattle averaged 99 rush yards per game last season, with the twice-departed Christine Michael being the lone rusher to average over 40 yards per game.
With Collins, Thomas Rawls, and C.J. Prosise already rostered, Seattle decided that more running backs were the answer this offseason, adding Eddie Lacy, the now maligned but once coveted Mike Davis in free agency, and Chris Carson in the draft. Here’s how their dynasty ADP stands:1
Ranking below Lacy, Rawls, and Prosise is certainly justified, but you can also see from the volume of plot points that Collins is being outright forgotten regularly in dynasty startups, making him often literally free.
So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance
It was only a year ago that Jon Moore had Collins in his second tier of rookie running backs and he scored well in that group too:
Collins will turn 23 during the upcoming preseason, so even if he stays in Seattle for his entire rookie deal, he’ll be a free agent at just 25 years old. Given the logjam at the position, it is possible Collins could end up elsewhere with a much clearer path to touches.2
Collins hasn’t been widely regarded as a pass-catching back, but it is worth noting he caught 100 percent of his 11 targets last season. This early sign of sure-handedness could open the door for increased opportunity in the receiving game as he ascends a depth chart. Though that may not happen in 2017, his similarity score does have some encouraging names if the opportunity does present itself.
Let’s say you’re in a dynasty that’s been running for a while and Collins was drafted last season and is currently rostered. Second-year players who didn’t break out as rookies almost always see a dip in value after their rookie season, even if their expectation for production was low to begin with.
As a hypothetical, say your league does a six round rookie draft. It’s not unreasonable that the current Collins owner would sell now for a last-round pick. Here’s Collins vs. the top two rookie running backs with rookie draft ADP in the sixth round.
Collins’ college production and pedigree are superior to that of the running back alternatives available for the pick you’d have to give up. He’s worth that exchange in my opinion. But say the owner holds out for a fifth round pick. Collins still has the edge there.
The obstacles are certainly there, but Collins has the profile and comps that show success is within reach if you’re willing to wait for it,3 combined with a current cost to acquire that really can’t be beaten. I’m buying.
- Note Mike Davis doesn’t even make the list. (back)
- Most would agree there are durability questions about all three RBs ahead of Collins currently. However, I hate using injury potential as an argument so I’ll confine injury talk to this lone note of acknowledgement. (back)
- Just ignore the Bishop Sankey precedent. (back)