The Duel

Raiders Game Plan Has Completely Changed With Henry Ruggs on Field

Max Staley
Las Vegas Raiders game plan has completely changed with Henry Ruggs on the field.
Las Vegas Raiders game plan has completely changed with Henry Ruggs on the field. / Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Henry Ruggs has been fantastic this season, turning 11 targets into six receptions for 177 yards and a touchdown through three games. But his impact goes far beyond the box score. In fact, his presence has completely changed the Las Vegas Raiders' offensive game plan.

Without Ruggs on the field, quarterback Derek Carr has an average depth of target (aDOT) of 6.5. For reference, that would tie him for the fifth-lowest mark in the league alongside Daniel Jones. It's also even lower than the 6.6 aDOT he posted last year when he was frequently criticized for playing too conservatively.

That figure jumps significantly when Ruggs is on the field, however. With the Alabama speedster in the lineup, Carr's 8.3 aDOT would be the 13th-best mark in the league, and it dwarfs anything he's done in the Jon Gruden era.

Ruggs' ability to take the top off the defense allows Carr to be much more aggressive, and that is already paying dividends. Carr's 9.7 yards per attempt with Ruggs on the field would be the best mark in the league by far, surpassing Jared Goff's 9.0. Meanwhile, the 7.5 he averages without Ruggs would put him in the middle of the pack at No. 18 overall.

Ruggs may only have 6 catches this season, but his impact on the Raiders' offense is undeniable. It's safe to say Mike Mayock should keep drafting these skill-position players out of Alabama.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.