The Las Vegas Raiders’ passing attack has flashed brilliance at times this season, a development that has come in large part to the improved receiving corps that head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have put in place.
While that group features more depth than the franchise has had in recent years — Philadelphia Eagles castoff Nelson Agholor has ironed out some issues to become a regular contributor and Hunter Renfrow continues to own the slot — it also includes some potential stars in rookies Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards.
Fantasy Football analysis: Raiders WRs Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, Nelson Agholor, Hunter Renfrow
Ruggs, the first wideout taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, has lived up to his billing as a premier deep threat. The rookie averages 26.5 yards per reception heading into Week 8 and could have done even more damage if not for some misfired passes from quarterback Derek Carr. Ruggs remains raw in several areas, but his speed makes him the primary focus along the boundaries for the Cleveland Browns defense.
As for the Raiders’ other rookie receiver, Edwards has yet to turn the hype generated during training camp into regular-season production. Injuries have slowed him down, and he remains the only member of Las Vegas’ receiving corps to appear on the injury report. Still, assuming he plays, Edwards could see some action in the red zone where his size (6-foot-3, 212 pounds) and ability to win contested catches can most benefit the offense.
A forgotten man in Philly, Agholor has quietly put together the best start of his career. In six games, he has amassed 15 catches for 292 yards and a team-leading four touchdowns. Part of that success appears to derive from the chemistry he has established with Carr, who looks to him as often as any pass catcher down the field.
The Raiders don’t send Renfrow on deep routes as much as other top receivers, but he has a knack for creating yards after the catch which contribute to his 13.5 yards per reception in 2020. Renfrow has also seen more targets than any other wideout on the team, something to keep in mind as the pass rush of Myles Garrett and company could force Las Vegas to lean more heavily into their quick-passing game.
At the same time, some of the targets will go to other positions. Tight end Darren Waller should see a healthy share of Carr’s passes given the Browns’ struggles to cover tight ends and lead running back Josh Jacobs also factors into the passing game.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start Ruggs as a mid-tier flex in all formats.
Start Renfrow as a low-end flex in PPR leagues.
Sit Agholor and Edwards.