Raiders WR has value alongside Hunter Renfrow
Over the past few weeks, the Raiders wide receiver situation has changed a bit. With Zay Jones coming in strong, could he be bootable WR3 fantasy football Should managers grab the week 18 waiver thread?
The Growing Fantastic Value of Zay Jones
In the first seven weeks of the season, Jones barely played. His highest snap share during that time was 27%. Following the Raiders’ Week 8 recess, which coincided with the tragic Henry Ruggs incident, Jones became a starter.
At this point, Jones did not immediately become a relevant part of the Las Vegas offense. DeSean Jackson arrived in Week 10, but he didn’t threaten Jones’ role. Over the past three weeks, Jones has increased in terms of usage.
Jones has averaged 14.5 PPR fantasy points per game since Week 15. He’s actually been slightly better than Hunter Renfrow (13.3 PPR ppg).
Jones has seen at least 7 targets in five of his last six games. He’s clearly developed a relationship with Derek Carr, and Carr trusts him. Jones has been a weak WR2 for three straight weeks.
The Raiders have something to play
The most difficult challenge surrounding week 18 is motivation. With only one game remaining, eliminated teams often go through motions and teams stuck in the playoffs position themselves as starters.
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Fortunately, the Raiders remain very motivated with a win-win scenario Sunday night against the Chargers. For most teams, the playoffs begin in week 19. The Raiders have a de facto playoff game this week.
Should fantasy managers add Jones to the week 18 waiver thread?
I’m obviously not in your league and I don’t know what the stakes are this week. With only one week in the season, only the players you use that week count. If you don’t need Jones this week, you don’t need him.
The game is not great. Heading into Week 17, the Chargers were allowing wide receivers the fifth fewest fantastic points.
When these teams last met in Week 4, Jones was not yet an integral part of the Raiders offense. Carr had a horrible game, throwing just 196 yards (although he did find Darren Waller and Renfrow for a touchdown each). Jones only caught one pass for 5 yards and played 8 snaps in total.
This time around Jones is locked in a starting role and the Raiders are home. There’s a big chance for a much stronger performance from the team, and I expect Las Vegas to win this game. Jones should have a reliable target floor and register as a safe WR3 / 4. If it’s something you could use this week, come and get it.