Via Training camp report: Another big practice for Collie, Gray

SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me during Thursday evening’s light, non-padded practice…Austin Collie – He caught a team-high seven passes for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Austin Collie is reportedly looking good in training camp. And A.J. Jenkins continues to not look good. Could the oft-concussed Collie beat out former top pick Jenkins for playing time? And should we care? Let’s take a quick look.

Austin Collie (Was) Productive

First, check out this quick analysis of Collie from our own inimitable Staff writer. If healthy, Collie can produce. In fact, for two years in Indianapolis, he and Peyton Manning formed the Colts’ most efficient QB/Receiver pairing.

Peyton ManningReggie WayneWR324210259715156.86
Peyton ManningPierre GarconWR21011515811047.62
Peyton ManningDallas ClarkTE18513714531328.77
Peyton ManningAustin CollieWR15611612871519.88
Peyton ManningJacob TammeTE9769645445.62

There’s Not Much “There” There

Collie averaged over 11 fantasy points/game in his first three seasons. So you should target Collie as a late round/waiver player with some upside, right? Nah. The 49ers ranked second to last in pass attempts last year (436). With a presumably stout defense, the loss of Crabtree, and a successful running game, there’s not an obvious reason to expect a huge increase in pass attempts.  To get those 11 points/game, Collie needed an average of 5.7 targets/game. From week 9 through week 17 last year, Colin Kaepernick averaged 26 pass attempts/game. So Collie would have to garner over 21% of the 49ers total pass targets – and that’s assuming he could be as efficient with Kaepernick as he was with Manning – in order to get to 11 points/game. Last season only Michael Crabtree garnered a higher percentage of targets; it seems unlikely that Collie would lead the team in targets this year.

Conclusion? Leave Collie on the waiver wire.

Here, Try One of These Instead

According to Fantasy Pros, Collie is the 83rd WR selected in PPR formats. Nothing special, so if you want to spend a waiver wire or last-round pick on him, the cost is minimal. But check out these other players available in the same range (i..e. waivers) as Collie.

281Jeremy Kerley (NYJ)
277Nate Burleson (DET)
298Donnie Avery (KC)
293Austin Collie (SF)
291Jon Baldwin (KC)
313Jarius Wright (MIN)

All of these players cost nothing to acquire, and come without Collie’s concussion history. They also offer at least as much, or more, upside. Our WR Sim App projects all of them to score in the 10+ points/game range.


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