The Oakland Raiders made the call to trade Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys, immediately leading to the question of who would be the team’s new No. 1. One thing that’s certain is that whoever it is could see a heavy workload, as the Raiders have taken a step back this season and are playing from behind often.
In the eyes of many fantasy football players, it’d be an easy call to just slate Jordy Nelson into the mix, and understandably so. Nelson has shown a solid rapport with Derek Carr and looks like the most talented receiver on the team. But that doesn’t necessarily make him a must-start in fantasy for Week 8.
While Nelson is already averaging 86.9 percent of the team’s offensive snaps this season, per Football Outsiders, it’s likely the increase in snaps will go elsewhere. But the actual workload itself should go to the veteran pass-catcher. Let’s take a look at whether fantasy owners should start or sit the 33-year-old in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Should You Start or Sit Jordy Nelson?
On the season, the Colts numbers land fairly near the middle of the league against opposing wideouts. They’ve allowed 95 receptions for 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns, according to ESPN. With the Raiders still having Martavis Bryant and Seth Roberts, along with talented tight end Jared Cook, it’s tough to gauge where the ball will go from Carr this week, though.
Over the past two games, Nelson saw just seven targets, but in the two weeks prior received 16 targets. It’s hard to envision his workload not remaining around the 5-7 targets per game at a minimum without Cooper, and likely more than that. Nelson has scored a touchdown in three of the last four games and I love the idea of Carr having to air it out while the Raiders play catch up.
I’d put Nelson in play in most 12-team leagues and above. In 12-teamers, he’s more of a flex play until we get an idea of what type of upside he has in the offense moving forward. Regardless, he’s a fine play and should have a safe floor.