2021 projections for Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III

Henry Ruggs III, Raiders
NFL Analysis Network

When it comes to Fantasy Football, late-round sleepers are what will take a team over the top. Everyone can identify the stars earlier in drafts, but finding the under-the-radar players that are ready to break out is how you win leagues. One player that fits the bill as a 2021 breakout is Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver, Henry Ruggs III.

The Raiders selected him with the 12th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He was the first wide receiver off the board, but he did not have a great rookie season.

Ruggs played in 13 games, starting 12 of them. He was only targeted 42 times, catching 26 passes for 452 yards and two touchdowns. Ruggs also was given nine rushes for 49 yards.

Those are underwhelming stats for a player picked as high as Ruggs was. Many analysts were surprised that he was selected so high, but he didn’t have a prominent role in the Raiders’ offense as a rookie. Heading into his second season, things are set up well for him to showcase why Las Vegas selected him as high as they did.

Let’s take a look at what Ruggs can do in his sophomore season.

What To Expect From Henry Ruggs III In 2021

The Las Vegas Raiders will be relying on Henry Ruggs III to take a big leap in production in 2021 after a difficult rookie season. This season, he will be in a better position to produce.

Las Vegas saw Nelson Agholor depart in free agency, as he signed with the New England Patriots. That will open up the role as the deep target in the passing attack for Las Vegas. The deep ball is something that Derek Carr implemented in the offense a lot in 2020.

Carr attempted more 20+ yard passes in 2020 than he had in a season since 2017. Ruggs ranked 39th in targets of that distance, which was 14 fewer than Agholor. With Agholor moving on, Ruggs will certainly see more opportunities downfield.

The Alabama burner does have to work on his game, as he ranked 69th in the rate of receptions on deep balls. If he can fix that, he is in for a big 2021 season.

With defenses keying in on tight end Darren Waller, Las Vegas needs Ruggs to step up to help divert some attention from opposing defenses. He will do just that, showing why he was the 12th pick last season.

Henry Ruggs III will catch 75 passes in 2021 for 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns. That is an excellent season and one that savvy fantasy football managers that snag him later in the draft will benefit from as well.