Oakland Raiders-Vikings Preview: Five players to watch

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Nov 9, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Brice Butler (12) stands on the field before the start of the game against the Denver Broncos at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

1. Brice Butler

Brice Butler is a player that Raider fans generally love but who has struggled to get involved in the Raider offense: in two years in the league, he has 30 receptions for 383 yards and 2 TD’s, most of that coming last year. Despite being a bigtime performer in preseason games (24 career preseason receptions, including a 6-catch performance last week), he has always found himself deep on the Raider depth chart at wideout, where both Rod Streater and Andre Holmes get more reps and looks – and starts – as the big-bodied X receivers who can stretch the field.

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Predicting the Miami Dolphins roster after two pre-season games
Predicting the Miami Dolphins roster after two pre-season games /

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  • But Butler may have his opportunity on Saturday night coming off a great performance against Saint Louis. Andre Holmes is hurt, and Rod Streater has not managed to work his way back up the depth chart since recovering from an illness. While the Raiders will likely go with Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree as the starting X and Z receivers (and Kenbrell Thompkins as the primary slot receiver), look for Butler to work his way into the lineup fairly early in the game, as he is now the biggest wideout on the roster.

    If Butler can have another strong preseason performance catching passes from Christian Ponder and perhaps even Derek Carr, he might be able to put himself in position to be the #1 “big guy” receiver for the Raiders while Andre Holmes is down. Butler and Matt McGloin are already Raiders preseason legends as a QB-WR tandem, but it will be important for Butler to show that he can replicate that magic with another QB throwing to him.

    Next: Player to Watch: Trindon Holliday