Davante Adams Fallout

I am going to take exception with some of the early fantasy analysis of the Davante Adams trade to the Raiders.

First off, too much is made of Hunter Renfrow losing targets. Are we forgetting who the new coach is? Josh McDaniels has made slot receivers a nice living in his offenses (i.e. Wes Welker and Julian Edelman). The presence of Adams will actually create more targets, as the Raiders passing game becomes more efficient.

The big loser? Josh Jacobs and the running game. The Raiders are clearly moving away from the run-first team they were under Gruden. Jacobs might become more efficient, but at the loss of carries. In addition, RB’s in McDaniels’ offense will be an afterthought in the passing game. TE’s soak up the dump-off passes. Expect Darren Waller’s ADOT to drop, even as his targets remain roughly the same (assuming he stays healthy).

The key for the Raiders will be how will they do in the red zone? Too often, their drives stalled there. That was great for Daniel Carlson, but not for the rest of the offense. Hopefully, Adams can improve their red zone efficiency.

P.S. As a Raider fan, I’m in heaven today!

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For the Raiders, this is one helluva trade. At least short-term. Long-term, I couldn’t help but raise an eyebrow at the fact they gave a 5-year $141m contract to a WR who will turn 30 this year.

The fantasy fallout:

Davante Adams: slight downtick. The potential remains the same, but the risk got a little higher. The Raiders threw the ball a little more often than the Packers on 2021. But the competition for targets will be greater in Las Vegas than it was in Green Bay. And while Derek Carr is a rock solid QB, he is still not Aaron Rodgers.

Before the trade, Davante was “top 5, probably top 3” to me. Now he’s “top 10, probably top 5”. His production won’t fall off a cliff, and the upside remains. The risk just got a little bigger.

Hunter Renfrow: no change in my book. I never saw him as a fantasy WR1 (much to your dismay, IIRC :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: ). He remains a WR2 for me.

Darren Waller: slight downtick. He won’t return to a 2020 level, but he also shouldn’t fall off a cliff, as long as he stays healthy.

Josh Jacobs: no change. The Raiders weren’t a run-first team. They threw the ball 643 times in 2021. That’s #7 in the league, behind only TB, KC, LAC, PIT, BUF and DAL.

And they had 407 rushing attempts. That’s #26 in the league. Only SEA, PIT, ATL, JAX, TB and NYJ had less.

I agree that we cannot expect the RBs to be utilized any heavier in the passing game. That’s bad news for Kenyan Drake, but he wasn’t fantasy relevant anyway. Jacobs’ outlook remains the same: solid mid-tier RB2. Same he was in 2021.

And finally Derek Carr: trending up. Not by a huge amount, but he’s been progressing steadily in recent years, and can take another step now. He was QB12 in 2021, and that’s where I see him in 2022 as well: a low-end QB1 who can probably be drafted later than other QBs in that range. A top 10 finish is well within the realm of possibility for Carr.

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Whoa! I never said he was a WR1. Just that his production won’t see a significant fall from the Adams trade, and maybe a slight increase. He’s a solid WR2.

There is a top 5 upside to Carr. For a few weeks last season, we saw it. We’ll see if he can hit it for a whole season with Adams.

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You are right. I looked it up, you said he will be the Raiders’ WR1, unless they get Davante Adams. Can’t argue that now, I guess.

No, there isn’t. Not with the zero rushing upside he has. I don’t expect the Raiders’ passing volume to go up by a ton. They will get more efficient, though, and that will get him into the top 10 conversation. But top 5? That would put him in a league with Mahomes, Allen, Burrow and Herbert. Maybe, if the Raiders play to the very best of their abilities and some of the big names miss some time, he can get into the 4-8 range. But that’s a big ‘maybe’.

7-11 range - yeah, I can see that. But he will have to avoid spells like week 13-18 last season, when the best fantasy performance he put up in a 6 week stretch was 16.85.

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Last season, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers were both top 5 QB’s with 182 yards rushing combined between them. Carr had 108. If you can get enough passing production, you don’t need the rushing upside.

That is one of the confusing parts of fantasy football lingo. We really need to come up with a different way of discussing player rankings within their position brackets versus within their team brackets.