The Raiders have better wide receiver depth now, but Nelson Agholor might turn into a bane of fantasy owners’ existence.
Give the Las Vegas Raiders some credit. They needed help a wide receiver, so they used the 12th overall pick on Henry Ruggs and followed that by drafting two more wide receivers (Lynn Bowden, Bryan Edwards). They supplemented their depth before that by signing Nelson Agholor to a one-year deal in free agency.
Bowden is in line to be used as a multi-faceted weapon. If you strictly wrote out the wide receiver depth chart for the Raiders, without an obvious No. 1, it might look something like this then.
In five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, Agholor topped 40 catches in a season twice. In 2017 he had 62 receptions for 768 yards and eight touchdowns, and in 2018 he had 64 catches for 736 yards and four scores. In standard fantasy scoring he was WR22 (2017) and WR40 (2018). In the other three seasons he was a non-entity, in fantasy and real life.
Nelson Agholor could be an incredibly annoying fantasy vulture
Vic Tafur of The Athletic has offered this nugget from early in camp.
Talk of fantasy vultures usually centers on touchdowns and more precisely the running game, with running backs and quarterbacks. There might be a tight end touchdown vulture who takes a notable chunk of scores away from his teammates on occasion.
But Agholor is being suggested as a fantasy vulture at wide receiver for the Raiders, doing just enough to diminish Ruggs, Williams and Renfrow specifically. It’s easy to go a little further and see some negative impact on tight ends Darren Waller and Jason Witten as well as the passing game chances for running back Josh Jacobs.
Let’s say all the Raiders wide receivers stay healthy, but Agholor gets to 50 targets this year (a shade over three per game) and ends up with 30 catches and a few scores. Anything that goes to him is an opportunity Ruggs, Williams, Waller, Jacobs, Renfrow or even Edwards won’t get, and those Agholor plays will naturally be minimized in impact. And that leaves aside having a milquetoast quarterback like Derek Carr, who reduces the ceiling for every Raiders pass catcher.
Fantasy-wise, Agholor could be to Vegas’ passing game what Carlos Hyde is lined up to be to Chris Carson in the Seattle Seahawks’ backfield — not productive enough to provide fantasy value on his own, yet doing enough to siphon meaningful chances from others. Agholor may next be seen on the segment of NFL Network’s weekday fantasy show “That Helps No One,” but anyone who drafts Ruggs, Williams etc. will be hoping he’s not a regular.