Nico Collins

Nico Collins

WR - HOU
Height:
Weight: lbs
Age: --
College: Michigan
Houston Texans

2023 Season Outlooks

Collins' draft stock caught a little bit of helium last summer, but he was unable to live up to it in season. Collins hauled in just 57.8% of his 64 targets and only scored twice while aligning as an outside wide receiver on more than 90% of his snaps. He finished as a WR2 or better in PPR in just one game before his season ended short with injury in Week 13. Collins will once again have an opportunity to earn a massive snap share as the likely starting X receiver, but earning a target share will be more difficult with John Metchie, rookie Tank Dell and Robert Woods factoring into the mix. Rookie quarterbacks tend to lean on one receiver, so if an early training camp rapport is developed with C.J. Stroud, and if that rapport carries over to the preseason, Collins could return value if you draft him in the double-digit rounds.

Collins presents upside in both target opportunity and production efficiency. No returning Texans player drew more targets last year, and he led that team in average target depth. The arrival of rookie QB C.J. Stroud improves Houston’s downfield passing ability.

Collins and his situation would still make for a risky bet in fantasy starting lineups, but he hasn’t been going anywhere near that range. His ADP has sat outside the top 60 at WR throughout best ball drafting, a format that should be even friendlier to Collins than lineup-setting leagues will be.

At that price and our significantly higher projection, Collins has qualified as one of our top sleepers ever since our rankings came out.

What We Learned Last YearCollins increased his role in Year 2. He went from a 13.4% target share over 13 healthy games as a 2021 rookie to 20.1% over nine healthy games last season.His 19.1% target share overall ranked 46th among WRs (adjusted for games missed).Collins’ yards per catch decreased, from 13.5 to 13.0. But there was no decline in catch rate. And his average depth of target actually increased. Collins tied for 27th in that category among 97 WRs with 40+ targets, according to Pro Football Focus.He also improved his yards per route (from 1.24 to 1.68), tying for 36th among that group. His PFF receiving grade also improved vs. 2021, tying for 40th.That all came despite Houston’s QBs performing even worse than in 2021 and the pass offense ranking among the worst in the league across categories.Collins lost time to groin and foot injuries in 2022. The foot issue landed him on IR but doesn’t look like a problem for 2023. He took the field for May OTAs.
What to Expect in 2023Despite catching just 37 passes in his second season, Collins leads all returning Texans in that category. Houston traded WR Brandin Cooks and let WR Chris Moore leave. They were the only two 2022 Texans with more receptions.Houston signed WR Robert Woods for two years, with $10 million guaranteed. The team drafted WR Tank Dell (Round 3) and WR Xavier Hutchinson (Round 6). TE Dalton Schultz also arrived in free agency, on a one-year deal.Collins easily led last year’s squad in aDOT and stands as the clear leader for downfield duties heading into this season.C.J. Stroud’s arrival can only help the wideout’s production. Among 148 FBS QBs with 20+ deep attempts (throws 20+ yards downfield), Stroud ranked 14th in passer rating and 10th in adjusted completion rate, according to PFF.We’ll watch training camp and preseason to confirm, but Collins should be a lock for one of the top two WR spots in Houston.

Collins is entering his third NFL season with an opportunity take control of Houston's No. 1 WR job following the offseason trade of Brandin Cooks. The 2021 third-round pick averaged a healthy 6.8 targets per game in nine full games last season, but he dealt with poor QB play (league-high 28% off target rate) and barely cracked the top 50 in fantasy PPG. Collins has missed 10 games in two seasons and has struggled to find the end zone (three career TDs), but he has shown good hands (one drop on 125 targets) and his 6-foot-4 frame figures to eventually lead to more goal line work. The 24-year-old is a fine target with your bench and could land on the flex radar if he gels well with rookie QB C.J. Stroud.

2023 Fantasy Football Rankings

Standard

#120

PPR

#117

Half-PPR

#131

Superflex

#146

2023 Fantasy Football Draft Projections

Rush Yds Rush TD Rec Rec Yds Rec TD
54.5 733.0 4.0

2023 Average Draft Position (ADP)

Standard

#148

Pick 13.04

PPR

#143

Pick 12.11

Half-PPR

#140

Pick 12.08

Superflex

#151

Pick 13.07

Injury Risk

Injury Risk:
High

Depth Chart

Strength of Schedule

Average/Easy Season Ahead
1
2
3
4
5
6
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
Fantasy Playoffs
15
16
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18

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