Although it was unknown who would emerge for the Oakland Raiders following the team’s decision to trade wide receiver Amari Cooper, most assumed it would be Martavis Bryant. But that wasn’t even remotely close to being the case, and fantasy football players who rolled out Bryant last week found that out the hard way.
Bryant failed to receive a single target in the team’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts, and it was instead Brandon LaFell and Seth Roberts who stepped up in place of Cooper. Although Roberts had just two catches, they went for 42 yards with one touchdown and he tied for the third-most targets on the team with four. Now, Roberts enters an intriguing Week 9 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football, and fantasy players may be considering him as a bye-week filler.
Let’s take a look at whether the Raiders slot receiver is worth starting this week in fantasy football or if you’re better off leaving him on the bench.
Should You Start or Sit Seth Roberts?
Although Roberts saw four targets in a game where the Raiders were up for much of the time, there’s still quite a bit of risk involved. His upside is certainly limited and doesn’t have the highest floor, partially due to the fact that he doesn’t see a ton of snaps. Last week, Roberts was third among Raiders wideouts, playing 60 percent of the snaps, per Football Outsiders. This placed him behind Brandon LaFell (92 percent) and Jordy Nelson (90 percent).
One big positive that jumps out is how confident Carr is when throwing Roberts the ball. The two have a strong rapport and even prior to last week, the 27-year-old receiver caught 9-of-13 targets in two games leading up to it. In those two games, Roberts totaled just 72 yards with no touchdowns.
The matchup is appealing for Roberts in Week 9, as the 49ers have allowed 97 receptions for 1,419 yards and 11 touchdowns this season to opposing wideouts. To make it even better on paper, slot receivers have torched the 49ers in recent weeks.
I wouldn’t bump Roberts up to 10 or 12-team league consideration, but I think he’s a fine flex play in 14-team leagues or above. This comes largely due to the six teams who have byes this week, as many will need to find replacements.