January 16, 2021

Nelson Agholor Injury Update: Will he play on Sunday?

4 min read
After failing to capitalize on an incredible matchup last week, Las Vegas Raiders WR Nelson...

After failing to capitalize on an incredible matchup last week, Las Vegas Raiders WR Nelson Agholor has a chance for fantasy football redemption against the winless New York Jets. Unfortunately, an ankle injury suffered last week has a chance to derail what are now high expectations. Will he play in Week 13, or will the Raiders be forced to rely on someone else to carry the receiving game?

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Nelson Agholor missed practice this week due to an ankle injury

According to ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez, Raiders WR Nelson Agholor did not participate at practice on Thursday. This was the second day in a row that Agholor was unable to get on the field. It appears as though his availability for Sunday’s road matchup against the Jets could be in legitimate jeopardy. 

The extent of Agholor’s participation in Friday’s final session of the week will likely be telling as to his chances of suiting up. If Nelson Agholor is out due to injury, the team will rely on WRs Hunter Renfrow, Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards, and Zay Jones. Though the main targets will be TE Darren Waller as his 26.7% target share leads the team.

It’s unsure when Nelson Agholor’s injury occurred

The ankle injury is a rather new development as we didn’t see this as an issue during Sunday’s game. Agholor played on 42 of the Raiders’ 63 offensive snaps in the 43-6 loss to the Falcons. 

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It was almost shocking how poor the Raiders were last week against one of the easiest passing matchups in the NFL. The Falcons are 31st in fantasy points to QBs (23.72) and WRs (43.02) and are 32nd against the TE (15.77). Yet somehow, Derek Carr put up one of his worst games of the season. Carr went 22 of 34 passing for 215 yards and no touchdowns with one interception. 

Despite Carr’s poor performance, Nelson Agholor had a decent fantasy outing. The sixth-year WR caught five of his six targets for 55 yards. Good enough for 10.4 PPR points.

The Raiders will already be without key weapons on Sunday

ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez reported earlier on Friday that running back Josh Jacobs has been ruled out of Sunday’s game. Jacobs suffered an ankle injury in last week’s game and will be left in Las Vegas when the team heads out East. Safety Johnathan Abram will be out as well.

“We’re going to leave Jacobs here. He won’t play,” said head coach Jon Gruden on Friday. 

Jacobs is the NFL’s fifth-leading rusher with 782 yards and is the RB6 in PPR fantasy formats, averaging 15.7 per game.

Nelson Agholor has been quietly reliable for fantasy

After spending a first-round pick on Alabama’s Henry Ruggs, people didn’t expect Nelson Agholor to be the team’s top WR for fantasy. However, his 114.7 points and 10.4 PPG leads the team’s receivers. 

It hasn’t been by volume, but that has never been Agholor’s game either. He has caught 29 of his 44 targets for 497 yards and six touchdowns in 2020. The most he has scored since 2017 (8) and second-highest for his career. Nelson Agholor has scored double-digit fantasy points in six of his last eight weeks. Since Week 4, he has been a WR3 in fantasy. Take out his goose egg in Week 8, and Agholor has averaged 13.9 fantasy points. That is even including his Week 10 debacle, which was filled with drops.

Since Week 5, he leads the Raiders’ WRs in targets, yards, and yards per catch. Agholor’s six touchdowns lead the team despite only seeing 13.0% of the team’s targets. 

The downside of Nelson Agholor from an NFL and fantasy perspective are his maddening drops. After being the punchline of jokes in Philadelphia, his issues followed Agholor to Las Vegas. He has the fifth-highest drop rate in the NFL at 11.4%. 

Will he play in Week 13, and what should be expected out of Nelson Agholor for fantasy?

On Friday, Agholor was limited at practice. He isn’t listed on the final Week 13 injury report, but the fact that he was limited causes some concern.

If we know Nelson Agholor will play, he is a big play waiting to happen. In fact, 51.2% of his production this year has come on just five receptions. The Jets have allowed 9.28 yards per target to wide receivers this season, which gives some comfort if Nelson Agholor is starting for you in fantasy. 

Over the last three weeks, Jets CBs Bryce Hall, Lamar Jackson, and Arthur Maulet have allowed 28-of-41 passing for 296 yards and two touchdowns, which is part of the reason why they are 0-11, after all. If Nelson Agholor faces Jackson, he gets a CB who has allowed a ridiculous 146.4 QBR in 2020. 

There have been 20 wide receivers who’ve finished as a WR4 or better against the Jets, and so long as he will play, Nelson Agholor should be a WR4 for fantasy. 

Want more fantasy football analysis and news?

Be sure to follow us on Twitter: @PFN365 to stay up to date with all things around the NFL and the 2020 fantasy football season. Also, continue to visit Pro Football Network for NFL news and in-depth analysis while also seeing our fantasy football section for more coverage and up-to-date rankings.

Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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