It’s still pretty early but where should some of the Las Vegas Raiders be valued when fantasy football season rolls by?
Many fans love to participate in fantasy football. There are several Raiders that will be useful and others that will be riskier. We’ll be going over where the following players should be taken and why. The season is still far away but there’s no harm in planning ahead to edge out other fantasy enthusiasts.
Raiders QB Derek Carr had his best fantasy year in 2020…
Despite Carr having his best year in 2020 for fantasy and in general, he was still outside the top ten amongst quarterbacks and this year doesn’t promise to be much better. With Jon Gruden loading up the backfield and assembling an o-line that has shown to be better in the run than the pass, it won’t be surprising if Carr is in more of a game manager role. Based on these conclusions, Carr should only be picked in the late rounds as a backup or on the waiver wire.
Now if Carr were to be benched or injured, then Marcus Mariota certainly deserves attention on the waiver wire. While he’s a decent passer, the more important factor for Mariota is that he will often call his own number. Being able to get yards and touchdowns with your legs should always garner some consideration in fantasy.
As mentioned before, there is little doubt that Gruden will want to run the ball like crazy. The signing of Kenyan Drake cemented this idea. While this means that Josh Jacobs will not have to worry as much about being a workhorse, his production will certainly decrease to some degree to split the ball. The same goes for Drake but his upside is that he can be more involved in the passing game.
Either way, this means that they shouldn’t be drafted as high as they used to be but don’t let that worry you too much. Jacobs and Drake can still be a deadly duo similar to what Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt were last year and get plenty of opportunities to score some points on game day. After round three would be an appropriate place to draft Jacobs. Drake should be considered after round seven and early in that round if you’re in a PPR league.
There is no doubt that Darren Waller is a top-three tight end in the NFL. He’s got freaky athleticism and skill that helps make him the best player on the Raiders in fantasy. Waller finished 2020 with 1,196 yards, nine touchdowns, and 107 catches. The surplus amount of receptions make him even more valuable in PPR leagues.
Most fantasy enthusiasts should already know that there are big gaps between the tight end class year after year. This makes Waller worth acquiring in the first three rounds. Even with an offense that looks more geared to the run, Waller is someone that can be a game-changer for your fantasy team especially if Kelce and Kittle are already taken.
It is pretty difficult to feel much excitement for the wide receiver corps. While Ruggs, Brown, and Edwards can be decent contributors with the younger ones being breakout sleepers and Brown possibly being the new Agholor, you shouldn’t really expect much from them in fantasy. Ruggs only had two games with 10+ fantasy points which aren’t pretty. He also never caught more than three passes in a game which is more deterring. Edwards also hasn’t been involved enough to really make a prediction. The biggest problem is that we don’t know who in this group will have the best season. With that said, Ruggs and Brown should only be taken in the late rounds on the bench and if you’re willing to gamble on their production.
Daniel Carlson was top five in scoring among fantasy kickers in 2020. While that spoke upon the Raiders’ inefficiency in the red zone that year, fantasy managers were happy. While kicker isn’t much of a big deal to most during draft night, some matchups come down to how the kicker performs. If you think the kicker position is important, then Carlson should be on your radar after you’ve assembled your starters.
We already know how dreadful the defense was last year. They allowed 29.9 points per game last year which was a franchise-worst. However, the addition of Gus Bradley can certainly clean things up. He’s got a positive track record with creating the “Legion of Boom” and coaching several star defenders. Newly signed Yannick Ngakoue can be a game wrecker and help force turnovers.
Despite the positives, this should not be a team to draft at all. They will have to play against some intimidating offenses in the first 4-5 weeks (depending on if Justin Fields starts for Chicago by Week 5) such as the Ravens and Chargers. The earliest that they can be considered on the waiver wire is in Week 6 against the Broncos. By then, we should have a decent idea of what kind of defense this will be for 2021. For special teams, one bright spot is Renfrow who was one of the better punt returners last year. He was also really close on multiple occasions of going the distance so make sure to keep that in mind.
Some Raiders were left off of this list such as Foster Moreau and Hunter Renfrow (in the receiver category). While they will be solid contributors, they will not likely have explosive stats for fantasy unless starters are dealt with lengthy injuries. Since it would take extreme scenarios for them to be worth drafting, it’s best to leave them alone for the time being.
You May Also Like: Fans Worldwide Await 2021 Raiders Training Camp
*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal