Jared Cook, Derek Carr, More Fantasy Outlook After Jordy Nelson's Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 16, 2018

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) passes against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of an NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/John Hefti)
John Hefti/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders are going to need some of their other pass-catchers to carry more of the load after they ruled out wide receiver Jordy Nelson for Week 11's contest against the Arizona Cardinals because of a knee injury.

Nelson's absence will have fantasy implications as well. Derek Carr will be short one of his targets and will look elsewhere on a more consistent basis. With that in mind, here is a fantasy reaction for some of his other playmakers following Nelson's setback.


Derek Carr

Carr is running out of receivers. 

The Raiders already traded Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys last month. What's more, Martavis Bryant suffered a knee injury in Week 10 that forced him to the sideline. That spells trouble on the field and for fantasy players relying on Carr to put up impressive numbers. 

A quarterback can usually go as far as his playmakers take him, and Carr is on short supply. 

It is worth noting he has been a consistent force of fantasy production throughout his career, throwing for more than 3,200 yards in each of his first four seasons and reaching three Pro Bowls. He isn't Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady, but he is a solid secondary option for those who didn't use a high draft pick on a quarterback. 

While Carr's production will likely take something of a dip without Nelson (and Bryant), his track record and the fact that the Raiders often find themselves trailing and throwing more in comeback mode means those fantasy players who already have him in their lineup can avoid taking him out with the understanding his ceiling is quite low at this point.


Jared Cook

Even when Nelson struggled at times last year, he was a threat to score with six touchdown catches and is capable of serving as a possession receiver on underneath routes in the red zone when others draw additional attention.

Carr will need to look elsewhere now, and tight end Jared Cook provides him with a potential target. Cook had just two touchdown catches last year, but his 54 receptions for 688 yards were solid totals at a position lacking fantasy depth.

What's more, he led the Raiders with 546 receiving yards through Week 10, when Bryant suffered his injury. Most tight ends aren't the primary option in the aerial attack, making Cook all the more valuable.

The one thing missing for Cook was touchdown receptions, and no Nelson means Carr has additional opportunities to spread around those scoring throws. Cook is a reliable starting option at tight end and now has a higher ceiling while Nelson is sidelined.


Seth Roberts

Injuries often send fantasy players to the waiver wire in a search for backups, and Seth Roberts is a potential candidate to see more targets with Nelson and Bryant dealing with health issues.

The problem is, he has never been a dominant fantasy producer. 

He flashed potential in 2015 (his first year of action) with 480 receiving yards and five touchdown catches. He was someone who could beat defenses over the top and stretch the field. Unfortunately, he is yet to top either of those totals since and has often been an afterthought in the Oakland passing game.

Roberts is at least worth monitoring as a possible waiver-wire addition for fantasy players desperate for receiver help because of injuries or a lack of depth. He could thrive while elevated on the depth chart; however, like many other Raiders playmakers on a struggling team, his low ceiling suggests he shouldn't be inserted into any starting lineups.