Nelson caught six of his seven targets for 48 yards in Sunday's 24-21 win over the Steelers. Nelson's return to full strength after dealing with a knee injury in November has been a major key for quarterback Derek Carr's resurgence, as the latter racked up 607 passing yards and five touchdowns to no interceptions over the past two games. Nelson's stat line during the same stretch includes 16 catches on 18 targets for 145 yards, though he's earned just one total look in the red zone dating back to Week 6. He'll look to maintain recent momentum against the Bengals on Sunday in what will be a battle between two teams without playoff hopes.
Nelson corralled 10 of 11 targets, logging 97 receiving yards during Sunday's 40-33 loss to Kansas City. The 33-year-old wideout has had his moments this season, but unfortunately for once bright-eyed fantasy owners, those instances have been few and far between. Nelson's 97 receiving yards Sunday were his most since Week 3, but he failed to exceed 50 yards in any of the seven appearances between those two noteworthy performances. The value just hasn't been there for the 11-year veteran, even operating within a top-15 Oakland passing attack, as Nelson has averaged 2.1 catches and 20 receiving yards per game outside of his two performances of more than 95 receiving yards in Weeks 3 and 13. Upcoming next is a matchup against a Steelers defense that's been formidable in defending the pass, allowing just 223.3 yards per game (sixth-fewest in the NFL).
Nelson (knee) wasn't listed Wednesday on the Raiders' Week 13 injury report, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. This comes as a bit of a surprise given coach Jay Gruden's recent comment that Nelson was "obviously not 100 percent" during Sunday's 34-17 loss to Baltimore. The 33-year-old wideout played 52 of 58 offensive snaps in the contest, finishing with one carry for minus-two yards and zero catches on one target. Despite the upgrade in his injury status, Nelson doesn't inspire much confidence heading into this weekend's matchup with the Chiefs.
Nelson did not haul in his lone target during Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Ravens. He lost two yards on a single carry. Nelson now has just two targets and no catches in his last two games. You'd have to go back to Week 5 for the last time the veteran target topped 20 yards in a game or scored. The Raiders' pass offense has been ugly lately, failing to reach 200 yards in three out of their last four games. Next Sunday's game against the Chiefs might be the cure if for no other reason than that the Raiders will likely need to throw a ton to keep up with the Chiefs.
Nelson (knee) is active for Sunday's game against the Ravens. Nelson's return from a one-game absence is critical with Martavis Bryant (knee) set to miss a second straight game and Brandon LaFell (Achilles) done for the season after getting hurt in the Week 11 win over the Cardinals. Despite following a limited practice regimen this week, Nelson will likely be in store for a full snap load and could benefit from more target volume than normal due to aforementioned absences. Nelson's fantasy upside still seems fairly low, however, given that he logged more than 50 receiving yards just once in his prior nine appearances this season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
Red Zone Trends
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