Crush or Flush: Alex Collins
Crush or Flush is a measure of how much I like a player compared to conventional wisdom and/or his current ADP. Either I’m crushing on him, or I’m flushing him. Keep in mind, if I I’m crushing on a late round QB, it doesn’t mean I like him more than Tom Brady; it means I would bump him up the draft board and target him.
Remember that silly debate about whether Joe Flacco was “elite” or not? (The answer was and always be “No.”) The Ravens simply reminded us that a great defense could allow a middle-of the-road quarterback — that is a “game manager” – to win a Super Bowl ring.
Flacco, somehow, is the 4th highest paid QB in the game, with $25 million coming to him this year. (I’ll pause while you swallow that…… Twenty. Five. Million.) But the Ravens know the score, having drafted Louisville QB Lamar Jackson at the end of the first round this spring. Jackson will provide a spark and plenty of energy behind center for the Ravens whenever he takes over the QB position, which should be sooner than later. This is not the Joe Flacco FLUSH column, however. Let’s just say by almost any measure the Ravens pass attack was severely below average last year while facing soft pass defenses.
As discouraged as we are by the QB, we are highly encouraged by the Ravens feature back, Alex Collins. Collins, as you might recall, was cast aside by the Seahawks just prior to Week 1 last season because they had, ahem, Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, Chris Carson, and CJ Prosise on their roster. The Ravens took a flyer on Collins.
Collins collected 973 yards on 212 rushes (4.6 yards per carry), and that included a 3.7 YPC through the first seven weeks. Collins’s “Rushing Success Rate” (a measure of NFL analyst Warren Sharp to evaluate a player’s ability to get a certain amount of yards based on down and distance) was fourth among RBs with at least 150 carries, behind only Todd Gurley, Ezekiel Elliott and Dion Lewis. His 4.6 YPC was fifth in theNFL and was even more impressive considering he faced the seventh toughest run defense schedule Week 8 on, and his O-line and TEs were consistently hurt.
Javorius “Buck” Allen did average 3.9 YPC and logged almost 600 yards, many in 3rd down situations and he yielded to Collins as the starting back in mid-season. If Allen continues to take 3rd down carries, Collins’s production and TDs might be capped and may keep him from achieving Top 10 running back status. Allen is a nice option in PPR leagues as well.
But we think Collins will excel as the bell cow again for the Ravens. His current ADP is late 3rd round/early 4th round and we think that is a steal. If he ends up as your 3rd RB on your roster, Collins is pure gravy and can carry your team a long way.
Alex Collins, I have a CRUSH on you.