Jordy Nelson wasn’t on the free-agent market long, as the Oakland Raiders quickly signed him to a two-year, $15 million deal with $13 million guaranteed.
Here’s your Fantasy Five on Jordy Nelson
1. Nelson, the long-time Green Bay Packers standout, is coming off of a disappointing season where he posted just 53 receptions for 482 yards and six touchdowns. In his defense, his – and that of the Packers – season tanked after QB Aaron Rodgers (shoulder) was lost for the better part of the year. All six of Nelson’s touchdowns came in the first five weeks of the season but he failed to have a 100-yard game during that span (and never had one the entire season).
2. He’ll be 33 years old this season, which is a dicey age when thinking about receiver production. He is just a year removed from a 97-catch, 1,257-yard and 14-touchdown season. But, in that year, his yards per catch was a full two yards less than it had been in his previous productive years and he missed all of 2015 due to injury. See the caution flags?
3. QB Derek Carr has shown elite potential in flashes; he and Nelson will need to work together early and often to mirror the rapport Nelson had with Rodgers. The beauty here is he’s coming on board with plenty of time for them to spend months together.
4. The Raiders will be more offensive minded with Jon Gruden back in the NFL as a head coach and have a flare of West Coast style that Nelson is very familiar with from his time in Green Bay. The offense will run through Carr, and – by extension – his primary targets at receiver. Nelson figures to start opposite of erratic, yet wildly talented, Amari Cooper.
5. There is reason to be cautious here, so fantasy football players best not ignore the age, new team and falling production flags. However, this is a very talented Oakland team. Nelson will come off the board among the top-24 receivers in most situations, but it isn’t without risk. He has borderline WR1 potential and I’d happily leave draft day with him as my WR2 in all formats. I’m projecting him for 75 receptions, 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns.