LAS VEGAS RAIDERS
Derek Carr: Derek Carr finished the season as the QB13 overall, but the QB18 in points per game. Darren Waller was out for 7 games in 2021, so that could have been a contributing factor to the points per game vs. overall ranking. During the offseason the Raiders traded for arguably the best wide receiver in the league in Davante Adams. This gives Carr legit top 10 upside as he’ll have the best weapons of his career in Adams, Waller and Renfrow. Carr has typically hovered around the top 12 among QBs in terms of passing yards and touchdowns, but the shift to Adams could push him into the top-5 conversation. The Raiders made strides last season with their defense, moving into the middle of the pack in yards per game allowed, but was still towards the bottom in terms of points per games allowed. In what’s likely the best offensive division in football, expect a lot of points coming from Carr and the raiders.
Josh Jacobs: Every year it seems as though we throw Jacobs under the bus in terms of value, yet he has finished as an RB1 in back to back seasons. He’s not the flashy pick, but he’s one of the safest. Typically in fantasy we don’t target the safe picks, which is why he falls in consensus rankings as well as on draft day. When bringing up safety, Jacobs doesn’t have that boom potential, reaching the 20 point barrier only twice last season, but he only scored less than 10 points only once. What’s even crazier is he only had 3 weekly RB1 finishes and still finished in the top 12. The reason for that as was stated earlier is consistency. You know exactly what you’re getting in Jacobs and can always trust that he won’t be the reason your team loses. For that safety pick, Jacobs is a great pick as your RB2.
Davante Adams: The move from Aaron Rodgers to Derek Carr is going to hurt Adams’ fantasy value, but it won’t be too much. The big difference will come in the touchdowns department. Over the last two seasons, Adams has caught an amazing 29 touchdowns. That can be attributed to Aaron Rodgers throwing for an insane 85 touchdowns during that time span. Carr on the other hand has passed for 50 touchdowns in the past two years. Since the beginning of his career, Carr’s top TD receiver has coincidently caught about a 3rd of his total touchdown passes every year. Assuming the same remains true in 2022, theoretically Adams should still return top-5 value.
Hunter Renfrow: Gone are the days of being Carr’s top option with the return from injury of Darren Waller and the trade for Davante Adams. Last year, Renfrow finished as the WR10 overall, but now being the 3rd receiving option, Renfrow takes the biggest hit from the Adams trade. With just Waller in tow, Renfrow averaged 14.4 points per game. Without Waller, that number jumped up to 16.8 points per game. Unfortunately, for Renfrow that average will continue to drop in spite of the hiring of Josh McDaniels, who’s had success with slot receivers like Wes Welker and Julian Edelman. McDaniels has had a Gronk, but besides that he hasn’t had two top tier, consistent talents like Adams and Waller. Renfrow drops down to WR4 range with potential boom weeks giving him some limited upside.
Darren Waller: Since coming out of nowhere and breaking out as the TE3 overall in 2019, Waller has been a mainstay as a top-5 option for the last 2 years. That changed in 2021 with an ankle sprain and an IT Band strain that held him to only 11 games played. He still finished the year as the TE6 in points per game. With the addition of Davante Adams along with the tight end position looking like it’s deepest in a long time, Waller’s value falls a bit. Still, Waller will be a top-2 option in a pass-heavy offense that figures to see a large amount of shootout games throughout the season. He figures to now be a player you don’t need to reach for on draft day with last year’s injury being a big reason for his drop. Take the value and draft Waller in the 4th/5th round as your TE1