Austin Collie signed by the Patriots; worth watching for fantasy value

Andy Lyons

The veteran wide receiver could be New England's newest project. We break down the fantasy implications.

The New England Patriots have signed wide receiver Austin Collie, according to ESPN Boston reporter Field Yates. Collie practiced with the team Thursday.

The Patriots have had trouble getting healthy production out of pass-catchers this season, with tight end Rob Gronkowski yet to play, and free-agent addition wide receiver Danny Amendola out since Week 1. The team has six wide receivers on its roster, and only Julian Edelman and Josh Boyce were not listed on the injury report this week.

Collie had 1,845 receiving yards and 16 touchdowns in 42 games played with the Indianapolis Colts over four years. He was in training camp with the San Francisco 49ers, but was cut before the season started.

Fantasy impact: Until we see Collie out on the field, it's hard to know what role, if any, he'll have in the Patriots offense. Collie's career has been dogged by concussions and other injuries, with three concussions and a torn patellar tendon limiting him through much of his career.

That said, when healthy, Collie has been productive. If he is in fact healthy - and the Patriots appear to think he is, since they signed him - there is reason to believe Collie can be a value for New England, in the sort of role Deion Branch played for the team during his several stints there. For now, this is a wait-and-see situation, but it's easy to imagine Collie actually has relevance sooner rather than later.

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