When the Oakland Raiders opted to trade No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper, the immediate question was who would step up and be the new go-to option. We know the Raiders have taken a step back this season and are playing from behind often. In the eyes of many fantasy football players, the attention likely shifted to Jordy Nelson. But it’s an interesting situation and one that may benefit Martavis Bryant more than Nelson.
While Nelson is already averaging 86.9 percent of the team’s offensive snaps this season, per Football Outsiders, Bryant has played 37.4 percent, just slightly behind the 40.7 percent of Seth Roberts. Roberts will likely hold down the slot role, meaning Bryant should become a starter and play opposite of Nelson.
Through six games, the Raiders wideout hasn’t done much, catching just 14 passes for 220 yards on the year. He did have a solid game against the Los Angeles Chargers where his big-play potential was on display, pulling down three passes for 91 yards. The 26-year-old’s upside is unquestionably there, but is he worth the risk of starting in fantasy in Week 8 against the Indianapolis Colts?
Should You Start or Sit Martavis Bryant?
The Colts have been hit-or-miss this season against wideouts, allowing 95 receptions for 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns, according to ESPN. The numbers aren’t overly appealing, but they also aren’t scary in any capacity. A key here is that the Colts defense will likely give quite a bit of attention to Jared Cook and Nelson, potentially leading to a few opportunities to get loose over the top for Bryant.
There is risk when it comes to this play, as his snaps aren’t completely known yet and it’ll take a week or two before we can really gauge that. But based on upside and the targets which were previously directed at Cooper now being up for grabs, Bryant belongs in the conversation.
I don’t believe the former Pittsburgh Steelers speedster is worth the risk in 12-team leagues or smaller, but if you need a flex play in 14-team leagues or above, I’m on board. The risk vs. reward comes into play, and Bryant has the potential to pay off fantasy owners in a big way.