Las Vegas Raiders 2021 Fantasy Preview

Las Vegas Raiders

2020 Record: 8-8

2021 Over/Under: o/u 7.5

2021 Divison Odds : +1400

2021 Super Bowl Odds: +8000

As you prepare for the fantasy season, whether it be your home league, a big money squad or with us at Champions Round, we want you to be as prepared as possible heading into the season. And most of all we want to see you win! 

The Las Vegas Raiders are one of the oddest teams in football. The offense should once again be relatively productive overall, but will continue to struggle against some of the better defenses in the NFL. Meanwhile, the defense is an absolute train wreck that will have a hard time keeping up in the AFC West, which features two of the best QBs in the NFL. 

The biggest questions for the Raiders in regards to fantasy are who is the top wide receiver and how much volume does Kenyan Drake take away from Josh Jacobs. Let’s answer those questions and more!

Champions Round “JUICE” Projections

2021 Expected Record: 9-8

2021 Expected Points Per Game: 24.9

2021 Expected Points Allowed Per Game: 24.1

QB

Derek Carr - Rank: QB13

JUICE Projections: 412-624 Passing, 66% Completion, 4571 Passing Yds., 29 TD, 11 INT; 140 Rushing Yds, 2 Rush TD

Carr is one top receiver away from having top 10 fantasy upside. He’s always been a productive QB and should be considered a solid QB2 in SuperFlex leagues. But his lack of a true top receiver limits his upside. I wouldn’t take him in re-draft leagues unless you decide to punt on QB and take a combination of, say, Kirk Cousins and Carr. 

RB

Josh Jacobs - Rank: RB19

JUICE Projections: 241 carries, 964 Rushing Yds, 11 Rush TD; 27 receptions, 194 Receiving Yds, 2 Rec. TD

Jacobs is certainly a good running back. There’s no denying his talent. However, his utilization in the passing game limits his fantasy upside. Now factor in that the Raiders signed Kenyan Drake, an elite pass catching back. That leaves Jacobs as a RB2. Sure, he’s going to score touchdowns. Sure, he still has value. But in your home leagues people will still value Jacobs as a RB1. He’s not. At least not this year. Unless you’re in a super sharp league, I wouldn’t consider taking Jacobs. Now, if he somehow slips into the fourth round, go snatch him up.

Kenyan Drake - Rank: RB31

JUICE Projections: 123 carries, 517 Rushing Yds, 4 Rush TD; 45 receptions, 334 Receiving Yds, 3 Rec. TD

If you’re going with the Zero RB, or even Hero RB, strategy this season, Drake is the perfect mid round selection. If Jacobs goes down, Drake has low end RB1 upside. If Jacobs is healthy, Drake has standalone value as a pass catcher in any PPR league. 

WR

John Brown - Rank: WR48

JUICE Projections: 62 receptions, 730 Receiving Yds, 4 Rec. TD

Henry Ruggs - Rank: WR41

JUICE Projections: 42 receptions, 687 Receiving Yds, 6 Rec. TD

Bryan Edwards - Rank: WR91

JUICE Projections: 35 receptions, 385 Receiving Yds, 3 Rec. TD

Willie Snead - Rank: WR98

JUICE Projections: 28 receptions, 371 Receiving Yds, 2 Rec. TD

Who’s going to break out for the Raiders at receiver this season? Someone is going to have to catch passes other than Darren Waller. John Brown is the most accomplished of this group and has produced at every stop during his career. I would bank on him being very involved in the Raiders offense. Las Vegas also has two second-year receivers who are primed for more volume: Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards. Ruggs is a speedster with DeSean Jackson type upside. Does the Nelson Agholor role fit Ruggs’ skill set? We’ll see. Meanwhile, Edwards is a big bodied receiver that can win at the point of attack. He had a lackluster 2020 season but looks like he’s in line for a starting role this year. If I had to bet on a breakout, I would bet on Edwards.

TE

Darren Waller - Rank: TE2

JUICE Projections: 96 receptions, 1074 Receiving Yds, 8 Rec. TD

Waller should once again dominate the target share for the Raiders, which makes him easily one of the top 2 tight ends in fantasy. While I have Kelce as the TE1, if Waller is able to find the end zone a bit more in 2021 he could easily surpass Kelce. You could do worse than getting Waller at the end of the second round.

Foster Moreau - Rank: TE54

JUICE Projections: 17 receptions, 185 Receiving Yds, 1 Rec. TD

Moreau is a bit of an unknown, but Jon Gruden will not stop talking about him this preseason. We’ll see what happens when the season starts, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Moreau has a real role for the Raiders this year. He’s worth keeping an eye on in very deep fantasy leagues.

TL;DR 2021 Las Vegas Raiders

  • Derek Carr is a great QB2 in SuperFlex
  • Sell Josh Jacobs stock
  • Bryan Edwards could be the breakout star at WR
  • Get ready for another big year from Darren Waller

Thanks for reading and good luck in your drafts! Next Up: the Los Angeles Rams!