Fantasy Football: Chalk Talk – Raiders’ Andre Holmes


Andre Holmes once belonged to Jerry’s world, only to escape and reside in the Black Hole.

Holmes originally signed with the Minnesota Vikings after going undrafted in 2011. Holmes was then released by Minnesota in August of 2011, at which point he was signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad. Holmes was promoted to the active roster in 2011 but never played a snap. Dallas waived Holmes in 2012 and signed him to their practice squad. Dallas didn’t resign Holmes at season’s end leaving him a free agent. the New England Patriots signed him to their practice squad in 2013, at which point he was released in the middle of the summer. Holmes was claimed off waivers by the Oakland Raiders.

Andre  Holmes-

Andre Holmes-

 Stat Tracker

At 6’4 and 206 lbs Holmes, 26 years old,  Holmes caught 4 receptions for 121 yards and 2 touchdown on Sunday against the Chargers, resulting in a 30.3 average. Homes is currently ranked 42nd among wide receivers with 59.90 points in a PPR(points per reception) league.

Holmes’ snap count has been fairly inconsistent:

Week 1 vs New York Jets- 2 of 56

Week 2 vs Houston- 34 of 63

Week 3 vs New England- 28 of 60

Week 4 vs Miami- 62 of 67

Week 5-Bye

Week 6-vs San Diego 49 of 61

Holmes’ Targets have also been inconsistent: his season high was week 4 with 12 targets, and the previous week vs New England he had 2 targets. After a performance like this you would expect his snap count and targets to remain consistent in terms of volume. gives Holmes a 1.0 PFF rating on the season, 0.7 receiving & 0.3 in penalty.


Chalk Talk


Derek Carr has the Raiders in 11 personnel group on this 3 & 7 play. Holmes is lined up as the “z” receiver at the bottom of the screen, and the defensive back is in man press coverage. The Chargers are showing blitz.


Holmes gets a clean release off the line of scrimmage, meaning the defensive back doesn’t jam him in an attempt to disrupt the timing of his route. You can see the defensive back that is covering the underneath receiver is in the path of this route.


The second defensive back I referred to in the previous image sets a pick on his own teammate, not intentionally- poor communication, causing the defender covering Holmes to lose a step on his assignment.


From a different angle you can see that the hesitation from the defender created enough separation that allowed Holmes to finish this “9” route. With no safety over the top to help, this leads to one of his two touchdowns. What you like here are his arms extended away from his body, using only his hands to make the catch. Holmes displayed his breakaway speed after the catch to take it all the way to the end zone.


The is a simple screen play, the wide receivers do a good job of sustaining their blocks.  Holmes again has his hands extended away from his body in an attempt to catch the football.


The football hits Holmes right in the hands and falls incomplete. Two things that I believe effected this play. 1) The blocks were blown and Holmes heard footsteps causing him to lose concentration and not see the ball into his hands. 2)  He may have heard footsteps or felt the pressure.  With the defenders closing fast, I suspect he tried to look ahead and anticipate his movement after the catch.


This red zone offense is a “02” personnel group, and Holmes is lined up as the Z receiver.


This is a play action pass.  Carr does a great job of selling the play-fake, keeping his eyes on the linebackers during the process.


Holmes runs a shallow slant route.  Brice Butler, the split end receiver, runs a dig route. The Chargers are in a zone coverage. Being the defenders have already bit on the play action they’re on their heels, Holmes and Bulter will cross paths.


Holmes sees the hole in the zone defense and fades back to the corner of the end zone, Carr recognizes it and places the ball only where Holmes can catch it. Holmes reals in the football and drags his feet for the go-ahead touchdown. It’s good to see Holmes recognize the soft spots in zone coverage.  This particular play was assisted by the play action.  Non the less, it’s a good display of football IQ.


After reviewing this game my initial thought was Holmes didn’t show anything he was particular elite at, such as his route running, my ball mentality, or creating separation. With that said, Holmes only has 27 career receptions at the start of the 2014 season, so there is room to grow and develop. What entices me about the skill-set Holmes displayed was his long speed, initial burst, and the fact that he is a natural hands catcher. Adding that skill set to his physical gifts of being 6’4 and 200 plus pounds and a young quarterback who is showing signs of growth makes him an intriguing fantasy asset. I’m intrigued enough that I will buy in at the cost right now in hopes that all the pieces come together for him and the Raiders.





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