NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Raiders WR Henry Ruggs is "a long shot" to play Sunday against the Bills. He's dealing with the hamstring injury that knocked him out of Week 3. That would leave Vegas without both rookie wideouts, as Bryan Edwards is also expected to sit. Those injuries certainly boost the upside for the Bills' defense in fantasy, while lowering the ceiling for Raiders QB Derek Carr. WR Hunter Renfrow should be in for nice target volume in a matchup that has proved favorable to slot WRs.
The Raiders added South Carolina WR Bryan Edwards in the 3rd round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He joins Henry Ruggs in Oakland’s remade WR corps. Edwards’ college production profile is as impressive as any WR in this class. He posted a 44-590-4 line as a 17-year-old true freshman and then led the Gamecocks with 64 catches, 793 yards and 5 scores as a sophomore. Edwards set new career highs with 846 yards and 7 TDs in 2018. And he turned in a 71-816-6 line this past year, despite missing 2 games. He led the SEC with 7.1 catches per game and ranked 4th with 81.6 receiving yards per game. Edwards is a 6’3, 212-pounder who plays to that size. He’s a tackle-breaker after the catch and is comfortable in contested situations. The big concern is Edwards’ injury history. He tore the meniscus in his right knee as a high school senior, strained a hamstring in 2016, hurt his left knee in 2019 and fractured his left foot while training for the Combine in February. Edwards figures to compete with Tyrell Williams for snaps in 2020.
The Raiders selected Alabama WR Henry Ruggs with the 12th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. Ahead of CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy. Wow. Ruggs has field-tilting speed. He averaged 17.5 yards per catch over 3 college seasons and blazed a 4.27-second 40 time at the Combine. The 5’11, 188-pounder also crushed the vertical and broad jumps to earn a 99th percentile SPARQ score. Ruggs’ college production is lacking, though. He never topped 46 catches or 746 receiving yards in a season, despite catching passes from QB Tua Tagovailoa for much of that time. Ruggs feasted on weaker competition, averaging 100 yards and 1.2 TDs per game vs. Non-Power 5 schools over the last 2 seasons but just 47 yards and .6 TDs vs. Power 5 opponents. And, despite that elite speed, he made just 4 receptions 20+ yards downfield in 2019. Ruggs also dealt with a rib injury, a lower-body injury and a 3rd undisclosed injury this past season. “He was really a specialist in their offense where they designed certain plays for him,” an anonymous scout told The Athletic’s Bob McGinn. “He is fast, but when people get on him you don’t see the same speed and route running. When he gets the ball, if he has a clear path, he can go. But he’s not a make-you-miss player.” It’ll be a disappointment if Ruggs doesn’t immediately carve out a significant role as a rookie, although we don’t like this fit with the conservative Derek Carr.
The forecast for today's Raiders-Chiefs game calls for winds of 20-30 mph and gusts of 40+. That's more than enough to impact the passing and kicking games. We wouldn't bench your usual Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Travis Kelce), but their ceilings might be capped a bit in the wind. Raiders QB Derek Carr and WR Tyrell Williams are shaky fantasy plays today. Ditto for Ks Harrison Butker and Daniel Carlson.
Raiders QB Derek Carr was replaced by QB Mike Glennon late in the 3rd quarter of Sunday's game against the Jets. There's been no injury announced for Carr, so this looks like HC Jon Gruden just getting his starting QB out of a 34-3 game. We'll update Carr's status if we hear otherwise.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Raiders are "now planning to suspend" WR Antonio Brown after he and GM Mike Mayock "got into it" Wednesday. We'll see exactly what the plan is here, but fantasy football owners apparently need to be ready to hit Week 1 without Brown in lineups. That leaves more targets available for WR Tyrell Williams, TE Darren Waller and the RBs. It also hurts the already-unattractive fantasy outlook for QB Derek Carr.
"We're not sure how much we're going to play our starters ... some of the frontline guys will be very limited the next two weeks," Raiders HC Jon Gruden said Saturday, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. Bair's story includes that said frontline group "might be done playing in the preseason." That's not a huge deal for Carr overall, but it would mean no game action with Antonio Brown before the regular season. We'll be interested to see who sits vs. who plays, as those who play more figure to be those still fighting for jobs.
The Raiders have agreed to a deal with former Chargers WR Tyrell Williams, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Williams' playing time dipped by a few percentage points each of the past 2 years. And he went from 119 targets with Keenan Allen out in 2016 to just 69 and 65 the past 2 years. Oakland gives him the chance to settle in as the 2nd target behind WR Antonio Brown, though Williams will need to fend off WR Jordy Nelson for that role. TE Jared Cook led the 2018 Raiders in targets but will hit unrestricted free agency this afternoon. Williams adds upside to Raiders QB Derek Carr, giving Carr a pass-catcher with the ability to win deep and create yards after the catch.
Update: Schefter reports it's a 4-year, $44 million deal with $22 million guaranteed and a max value of $47 million. That certainly points to Williams serving as the team's #2 target.
The Raiders and OT Trent Brown have agreed to a 4-year, $66 million contract. The deal will make Brown the league's highest-paid OT. San Francisco's 1st-round pick back in 2015, Brown was mediocre over his first 2 seasons but has received positive grades from Pro Football Focus in each of the last 2 (1 with the 'Niners, 1 with the Patriots). He ranked 44th among 80 OTs in PFF's 2018 pass-blocking grades and 30th in run blocking. Between Trent Brown and Antonio Brown, QB Derek Carr's supporting cast has gotten a big boost over the past couple of days.
The Steelers traded WR Antonio Brown to the Raiders in exchange for 3rd- and 5th-round picks. Oakland also gave Brown a new 3-year, $50.1 million deal that makes him the league's highest-paid WR. The move ends Brown's 9-year tenure in Pittsburgh that saw him top 1,100 yards 7 times. The future Hall-of-Famer turns 31 in July and remained a stat-piling machine last season, leading the league with 15 receiving scores and finishing top 10 in catches (104) and yards (1,297). But it's worth noting that he posted his lowest yards-per-target average (7.72) since 2012. And Pro Football Focus graded him 26th among 117 WRs. Even if he's past his peak, though, Brown is still 1 of the game's best. We'll see how he gels with HC Jon Gruden and QB Derek Carr, but he'll obviously be fed a boatload of targets in Oakland. Brown figures to land safely inside our top 10 WRs when the rankings come out this spring. In Pittsburgh, meanwhile, JuJu Smith-Schuster takes over as the #1 WR and James Washington gets a big opportunity to step in as the #2.
Raiders QB Derek Carr is practicing in full and isn't listed on the Week 8 injury report. He injured his left arm prior to the bye week but is ready for Sunday's game against the Colts. Carr hasn't been great this season and is now without WR Amari Cooper. But he's a low-end spot-start option in this weekend's plus matchup.
Raiders QB Derek Carr injured his left (non-throwing) arm in the 4th quarter of Sunday's game against the Seahawks. We'll look for more info. QB A.J. McCarron is Oakland's backup.
The Steelers have traded WR Martavis Bryant to the Raiders in exchange for a 3rd-round pick, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Bryant struggled in his return last season from nearly 2-year absence, hauling in 50 of 84 targets for 603 yards and 3 scores. He's still just 26, though, and racked up 14 TDs with a 17.3 yards-per-catch average over his first 2 NFL campaigns. Bryant joins a remade Oakland WR corps with Jordy Nelson alongside Amari Cooper. Bryant figures to open the season as the #3 WR but could push for #2 if Nelson's decline continues.
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