Henry Ruggs III: Fantasy implications of starting out in the slot

Fantasy Football, Oakland Raiders
Could Henry Ruggs III do some damage as a rookie playing in the slot?

Las Vegas Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson mentioned one of the Silver and Black’s two first-round picks in wide receiver Henry Ruggs III might begin his tenure with the team playing in the slot. When the Raiders drafted the speedster out of the University of Alabama, many expected he’d play outside the numbers in the hopes they can stretch the field with Derek Carr for once.

The Fantasy Footballers were fascinated by Olson’s news of Ruggs, as they too thought he was for sure playing outside the numbers as a rookie. However, he might actually grow and evolve as a player faster in the slot with veteran tight end Tyrell Williams and fellow draft classmate Bryan Edwards playing outside. What are the fantasy football implications from this news anyway?

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For Ruggs, this is great news, as he’ll have a bigger part of the offense than we initially expected. He’ll garner more targets playing in the slot than outside the numbers. It’s a great way for him to quickly build a rapport with Carr in the passing game. However, Ruggs beginning the season in the slot massively impacts one Hunter Renfrow‘s overall viability.

How does Henry Ruggs III playing some in the slot impact the Raiders?

Renfrow thrives in the slot, as that’s what he did seemingly forever playing for Dabo Swinney at Clemson University. For him to be even worth a very late-round selection in fantasy football, Renfrow needs as much target share as possible. By putting Ruggs in the slot to start out, this will keep Renfrow on the bench in three wide receiver sets. Edwards and Williams will still get theirs.

In two offseasons, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock has completely revamped the team’s receiving corps. Williams isn’t a No. 1 but can be a solid No. 2 in a strong offense. Ruggs was a track star playing for Alabama. Edwards was a dominant receiver while with the South Carolina Gamecocks. And we’re not even talking about their tight ends and receivers out of the backfield.

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Ultimately, Ruggs’ fantasy football stock is trending up, while Renfrow’s is trending down. That’s not to say Renfrow won’t have a role in the Raiders’ passing game, but he may not be used as much as he was in his rookie season out of Clemson. Either way, it seems that the Raiders have more receivers than they even know what to do with. We can’t wait to see what Ruggs becomes.

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