Alex Collins Start/Sit Week 11: Collins is a risky play

With Chris Carson out for the year, Alex Collins is the lead back in Seattle. Is Collins a fantasy start in Week 11 against the Cardinals?

The Seattle Seahawks announced that running back Chris Carson is going to have season-ending surgery for the neck injury that has kept him sidelined since Week 5, putting Alex Collins in line to handle a majority of the workload for the remainder of the season. Should the Seahawks’ de facto RB1 be trusted for fantasy football purposes?

Alex Collins is the lead back in Seattle

Seattle is not a team that enjoys deploying multiple running backs. We know what Pete Carroll is at this point — he hasn’t adjusted his philosophy basically ever. He uses one running back until the wheels fall off.

Collins has seen 56 carries in the last four games, with Travis Homer second on the Seahawks in that timeframe with only 13. No matter how inefficient Collins is (3.9 ypc over that timeframe), Carroll won’t change. This will be Collins’ backfield going forward.

Seattle used a first-round pick on Rashaad Penny in the 2018 NFL Draft, but whether because of production or injuries, he hasn’t panned out. They attempted to get him involved in Weeks 8 and 9, but Penny took 13 carries for only 16 yards. He didn’t see a touch in Week 10.

Can Rashaad Penny cut into Collins’ workload?

Carroll is insistent on not giving up on Penny, despite not seeing anything of value on the field lately.

“I’m really looking forward to Rashaad, really looking forward to seeing where he goes and contributes this week,” Carroll said. “He’s got a really good role for us and we’re anxious to see him get going. As we go through the next couple of weeks, you’ll see him continue to be a big part of it.”

This sounds like nothing more than coach speak from a coach that perpetually hypes every player on his roster.

It’s possible that Penny will have a bigger workload, but I won’t believe it until I see it. Trusting that to happen against a tough Arizona Cardinals defense is not a decision that I’ll be making.

Collins’ Week 11 fantasy outlook

Collins’ matchup this week isn’t great. In their last two games, the Seahawks offense has looked disjointed.

In Russell Wilson’s return from injury last week, Seattle was shut out for the first time in the Wilson era. This week, they’ll face off with the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals.

Collins isn’t an efficient back. He will rely on rushing touchdowns to be fantasy viable. The Cardinals are allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing running backs.
If you need an RB2 for your roster in Week 11, Collins is an option available to you, but I wouldn’t expect a high fantasy output. His inefficiency could cost him.

Collins will be a touchdown-dependent RB2 this week. If you’re starting him, you’re hoping that he gets a goal-line carry and falls into the end zone.

Jon Helmkamp is a fantasy football and NFL contributor for Pro Football Network. You can find him on Twitter: @JonHelmkamp and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.