Aces in Vegas: 5 Standout Las Vegas Raiders

NFL Logo And Raiders Helmet With Players

The Las Vegas Raiders begin a new chapter in the team’s franchise history. 25 seasons after relocating back to Oakland from Los Angeles, the NFL has officially rechristened the Raiders.

Now that the fans in Vegas have an NFL team to call their own, it’s time to meet 5 potential standouts in Vegas if you’re looking to bet on player productivity in 2020. Or, you might be here to assemble prospects for your upcoming fantasy football season.

Whatever your endgame, the Raiders have their own fair share of players to wager some money on, and even a couple you might want to keep away from. There is also a player listed who may be worth a risk.

Here are 5 standout Las Vegas Raiders:

1- Stud: Josh Jacobs, RB

2019 statistics:

  • 242 carries
  • 1,150 yards
  • 4.8 yards per carry
  • 7 touchdowns
  • 20 receptions
  • 166 yards

Many argue Jacobs should’ve been Offensive Rookie of the Year over Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray in 2019 and his numbers justify this. Jacobs averaged 4.8 yards per carry and rushed for over 1,000 yards in his rookie campaign.

Even more impressive is that Jacobs did this all in 13 games.

Give him 16 games, and his numbers average out to 1,415 yards and 8 touchdowns, which would have rivaled Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, the runner-up for the 2019 rushing title.

It shows how impressive Jacobs is and what he can do in 2020. Raiders coach Jon Gruden even stated he wants to get Jacobs even more involved in the offense, meaning more touches for the 2nd-year running back.

Josh Jacobs Raiders RB

Like many backs who play well statistically, Jacobs’ projects less production in 2020, meaning he’s a safe one for you to bet the over if you’re betting lines.

Considering he only played 13 games in 2019, he’ll easily eclipse last season’s production if he’s on the field for all 16 games.

If you play fantasy football, Jacobs is a 1st or 2nd-round pick. If you’re in a smaller league with 8 or fewer teams he’ll go in the 2nd round. If you play in a larger league with over 12 teams, he’s a 1st-rounder.

Here are Jacobs’ projected 2020 statistics per ESPN.com:

  • 253 carries
  • 1,103 yards
  • 4.4 yards per carry
  • 8 touchdowns
  • 36 touchdowns
  • 280 yards
  • 1 touchdown

2- Sleeper: Darren Waller, TE

2019 statistics:

  • 90 receptions
  • 1,145 yards
  • 12.7 yards per carry
  • 3 touchdowns

From 2015 to 2018, Waller had 18 career receptions. Then in 2019, he burst onto the scene with 90 and became the Raiders TE1.

While it’s wise to consider Waller a 1-year wonder, he spent the first 4 years of his career struggling with overcoming substance abuse.

Now that he appears to be clean, he can do some major damage to opposing defenses and pick up right where he left off in 2019. While he may not have an encore performance, he’s slated to reel in at least 70 receptions and possibly become a red zone threat.

Darren Waller Raiders TE

2020 is the year of truth for Waller, but considering the Raiders only added the aging Jason Witten as the TE2, Waller figures to continue his newfound success.

If oddsmakers project Waller to record over 80 receptions or 900 yards, it’s wise to bet under but if he’s projected for fewer than 80 receptions and under 800 yards, make sure when you’re betting the NFL this season to take the over.

If you play fantasy football, Waller is a high-end TE2 and potential TE1 in larger leagues. You can pick him up in the later rounds and get value for your TE2 or in smaller leagues he’s a great waiver wire pickup.

Here are his projected 2020 statistics:

  • 75 receptions
  • 873 yards
  • 11.6 yards per reception
  • 5 touchdowns

3- Stumbler: Henry Ruggs III, WR

2019 statistics:

  • 40 receptions
  • 746 yards
  • 18.65 yards per reception
  • 7 touchdowns

So Raider-like. Even 9 years after Al Davis’ death, his ghost still roams the halls wherever the Raiders are located. And this was such an Al Davis pick. The first person I thought of when Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock made this pick other than Davis was Darrius Heyward-Bey.

Heyward-Bey was an ultimate bust, averaging just 20 receptions per season in his 10 years in the NFL. And Ruggs had very Heyward-Bey type of numbers in college. Okay, his 4.27 speed is something to look at. But what else can he bring?

He’s not the best route-runner, as evidenced with his 55 targets, he under-produced in college, and he’ll under-produce in the NFL. Even worse, the Raiders picked Ruggs over Jerry Jeudy (Denver Broncos), and CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys), 2 NFL-ready prospects.

Henry Ruggs Raiders WR Rookie

If you bet on productivity, don’t even think about wagering the over at NFL betting sites on Ruggs unless they say he’ll record 20 or fewer receptions. Which isn’t likely, given the Raiders mediocre receiver room. Just bet under. He’s a surefire pick for the under.

As for fantasy football, take a flyer on him in the later rounds. Someone will reach for him and grab him in the middle rounds. Don’t be that person.

Only take a gamble on Ruggs if he falls to either the last or next-to-last rounds. If he doesn’t have 4.27 speed, he would’ve been a Day 3 pick.

Here are his projected 2020 statistics:

  • 59 receptions
  • 791 yards
  • 13.4 yards per reception
  • 5 touchdowns

4- Breakout: Hunter Renfrow, WR

2019 statistics:

  • 49 receptions
  • 605 yards
  • 12.3 yards per reception
  • 4 touchdowns

It’ll be Renfrow and not Ruggs, to take over the WR1 spot in Vegas. Or at least the go-to target. Renfrow, a 5th-round pick in 2019, recorded 49 receptions in just 13 games, equating to 60 receptions if he were present for all 16 games.

Impressive, considering the Raiders drafted him in the 5th round. His only downside is that he possesses traits for a traditional slot receiver, at 5’10, 185lb, and just a 40-yard time of 4.6 seconds. He has that Wes Welker build so he may not split out wide often.

However, his productivity shows that he may become the go-to receiver if Ruggs struggles.

Hunter Renfrow Raiders WR

It shouldn’t come as a surprise if this happens, considering the failures of speedsters like Heyward-Bey 11 seasons ago or John Ross in Cincinnati. Speed often overrates receivers and it’s shown in the past.

So, look for Renfrow to outperform his projected numbers and if online sportsbooks project anything under 60 receptions, he’s a great bet for the over. He’ll also gain at least 700 yards in 2020, especially if he plays in all 16 games.

For fantasy, Renfrow is a fringe Flex player if you’re in a league between 8 and 12 teams. But in large leagues comprising over 12 teams, he has a spot on the roster.

Here are Renfrow’s projected 2020 statistics: 56 receptions, 650 yards, 11.7 yards per reception, 4 touchdowns

5- Deep Sleeper: Marcus Mariota, QB

Statistics:

  • 95 completions
  • 160 attempts
  • 7 touchdowns
  • 2 interceptions
  • 1,203 yards
  • 24 carries
  • 129 yards
  • 0 touchdowns

Derek Carr hasn’t been the same quarterback since his 2016 leg injury. But despite a good 2019 campaign, having a former 2nd overall pick behind him means zero job security.

Mariota should know, as he lost his starting job in Tennessee to Ryan Tannehill last season in the same scenario. The Titans brought Tannehill in as the backup. Instead, Mariota lost the job while Tannehill won NFL Comeback Player of the Year honors.

And again, Carr recorded a fantastic campaign in 2019 and can build from it after mediocre seasons in 2017 and 2018. But if he again falls back to Earth, he’s in trouble and Jon Gruden would have no problem benching an underwhelming Carr for Mariota.

Marcus Mariota Raiders QB

Mariota isn’t someone to bet on yet, but he’s one to watch in camp and in the preseason. If Carr struggles and Mariota comes out hot, a quarterback controversy is likely. Especially given that Mariota held onto the starting quarterback job for 4 and a half seasons in Nashville.

If Carr struggles at any point in the season and Mariota relieves him with a good outing or 2, then he might be a great mid-season bet.

He’s also not one to take in fantasy in 2020 unless you’re convinced he’s the future in Las Vegas then he might warrant a selection in the last round when fantasy owners look for sleepers.

Here are his projected 2020 statistics:

  • 51 completions
  • 81 attempts
  • 593 yards
  • 4 touchdowns
  • 2 interceptions
  • 10 carries
  • 52 yards
  • 0 touchdowns

Conclusion

The Raiders have one of the league’s best up and coming running backs in Jacobs and an unlikely hero in Waller. Look for these 2 players to continue their successes in 2020.

Ruggs was a reach and he’ll prove it when the pads come on in July. Speedsters historically have a hard time making adjustments because of the game’s complexity.

Renfrow is one to watch, given his outstanding rookie season in accordance with his draft position.

Mariota might not see much action in 2020 serving as Derek Carr’s backup. But we all said the same about Ryan Tannehill when he came to Nashville to unseat Mariota.

While Carr played well and had a bounceback season in 2019, if the 2017-2018 version of Carr shows up, Mariota can capitalize.

What do you think of my picks? Did I leave anyone out? Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.