Nico Collins Can Boost Houston’s Offense in 2021 (Fantasy Football)

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There seems to be a list of reasons not to draft Houston Texans players to your fantasy roster, but taking a late flyer on wide receiver Nico Collins looks like a solid move.  Uncertainty can be found at the quarterback position, but Collins will use his size and talent to be relevant on the team, no matter the QB tossing him the rock.

While his collegiate career wasn’t one to write home about, some of that can be attributed to unpredictable and ineffective quarterback play.  Collins can make those big plays and has significant upside. He’s an athletic receiver with great hands and does well when the ball is challenged by an opponent.  In his four years at Michigan, Collins had 1,388 yards on 78 catches while hauling in 13 touchdowns.   Collins did opt-out of the 2020 college season due to Covid concerns.  His last year at Michigan was 2019, where he produced 37 receptions for 729 yards and seven scores in 12 games.

The Michigan wideout was taken in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft.  The Texans moved up 30 spots via the Carolina Panthers to get their guy.   A perfect red-zone target, Collins looks to improve on the wideout situation that includes Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb, Chris Conley, and Keke Coutee.  Cooks is the clear WR1 in this situation, with Cobb and Coutee having hard times staying healthy.  The rookie wide receiver should see plenty of targets in this offense, making him a perfect addition to your fantasy roster.  With Will Fuller now a member of the Miami Dolphins, the Texans’ offense needs that spark at wide receiver Collins can provide.

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With the quarterback situation referenced earlier, it would be ideal if Deshaun Watson was throwing the ball.  Since his status is up in the air, Tyrod Taylor or rookie Davis Mills have the strong possibility of being under center.  Because both of these quarterbacks aren’t knocking anyone’s socks off, Collins will go under the radar.  It would be a different story if he had a solid QB launching the ball his way.

The Texans’ defense has not been good which aids the offense as whoever is starting at quarterback will have to throw the ball.  In turn, the team should see heaps of garbage time points.  Those points that come when a team is playing from behind can be crucial, although terrifying, for your fantasy team.  Collins is a sneaky play that you can get at a bargain, as seen by this Sleeper ADP (10-12 team leagues):

Player Rank Redraft PPR Redraft SF Dynasty PPR Dynasty SF IDP
Antonio Brown WR62 131.8 129.5 153.7 164.9 221.8
Dyami Brown WR63 219.4 195.6 157.0 166.6 228.5
Nelson Agholor WR64 147.0 150.6 156.4 170.0 230.1
Gabriel Davis WR65 181.3 174.8 148.3 171.4 232.7
Christian Kirk WR66 160.8 187.2 162.6 172.4 236.4
Parris Campbell WR67 188.8 184.7 167.8 174.5 292.3
Nico Collins WR68 193.1 194.5 165.1 175 239.5
D’Wayne Eskridge WR69 230.5 214.7 163.0 177.2 253.0
Marvin Jones WR70 144.3 146.6 164.9 181.0 249.5
T.Y. Hilton WR71 124.9 151.1 170.9 184.6 247.0
Josh Palmer WR72 N/A 233.6 194.8 188.2 381.8

In January, the Texans brought in former Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach, wide receivers coach, and passing coordinator David Culley as their new head coach.  Culley may look to use rookies more prominently than ex-head coach Bill O’Brien.

In a May 27th Zoom call with reporters, Cooks noted that Collins did not look like a rookie to him.  He may be biased, but it is good news to hear a clear-cut WR1 talk about another wideout like that.  With a great path to becoming a WR2 in an offense that could sure use it, Collins will be fantasy draft-worthy in 2021.

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