Alex Collins Start/Sit Week 6: Why the Seahawks’ new starting RB is a huge risk

Last week, I urged caution on Alex Collins in fantasy, despite the hype. Heading into Week 6, I'm urging even more caution. Here's why.

When Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll drew up the game plan for 2021, he could not have anticipated starting Geno Smith and Alex Collins for a large chunk of the season. Seattle has to deal with this on the field. We fantasy football managers get to deal with it in our living rooms, on trains, and sometimes in outer space (surely some astronauts play fantasy football). So, what do we think of Collins for fantasy this week? Should he be in your starting lineup?

What Alex Collins brings to the fantasy table

The 27-year-old Collins turned heads in Week 4 with a surprisingly robust 12 touches next to Chris Carson’s 14. Collins ran well, scored, and reminded fantasy managers why he was a former bell cow with the Ravens.

But I cautioned Pro Football Network readers not to take the bait in Week 5 against a tough Rams run defense: “It’s quite possible that Travis Homer and/or DeeJay Dallas could cut into Alex Collins’ fantasy upside. So be cautious with Collins. Know that his ceiling is lower than the hype suggests.”

Sure enough, Collins eked out only 47 rushing yards on 15 carries, plus 2 catches for 25 yards. It didn’t help that after Smith replaced Russell Wilson near the start of the fourth quarter, Collins earned only 2 carries for 4 yards. While this could be blamed on Seattle playing from behind, the scoreboard didn’t stop Dallas and Homer from joining the action. In fact, the backup duo combined for a solid 8 touches.

Is it safe to start Collins in Week 6?

Collins finds himself in a worse situation than he was in last week, as Smith will be Seattle’s starting QB for the foreseeable future. Lacking the kind of defense that can take over a game, the Seahawks will be relying on Smith and Collins to move the chains in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers have been pretty good against the run, yielding 4.0 yards per carry and only 1 rushing touchdown. While their pass defense has been sub-par, three of the five QBs they’ve faced — including Josh Allen — didn’t finish in the top 14. Smith arguably has the lowest ceiling of any Pittsburgh opponent this year. If it’s tough sledding for him, it’s likely to be tough sledding for Collins.

I’m anticipating about 14 touches for 50-60 yards for Collins. Additionally, a touchdown doesn’t seem likely in a game Pittsburgh should win. If you can plug in a more reliable RB3+, start him over Collins.

BJ Rudell is the Fantasy Football Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here, listen to him on PFN’s Fantasy Football podcast, and check out his contributions in PFN’s free fantasy newsletter. Give him a follow on Twitter: @BJRudell.