DISCLAIMER: I am a Raider fan. But this isn’t about my opinion.
I came across this article which suggested WR Hunter Renfrow could be getting more targets this season:
The article’s quote from PFF:
The Raiders’ 665 projected dropbacks may end up being a tad low, as they will have to throw the ball to win games, and Renfrow also gets a slot-friendly head coach in Josh McDaniels. Ultimately, Derek Carr will decide how to divvy the targets, but McDaniels has done a fabulous job keeping his slot receivers on the field in most personnel groupings.
Dating back to 2012, when McDaniels had a healthy slot receiver (no missed games), here are their routes per dropback:
Wes Welker (2012): 92%
Julian Edelman (2013): 89%
Edelman (2016): 94%
Jakobi Meyers (2021): 92%
The Raiders are also a top-heavy roster at receiver, so Renfrow is very likely to obliterate his career-high mark from last season (78%).
The article continues:
“PFF is counting on the Raiders to pass the ball around 700 times, which can signify a team in close games. The silver and black would feel more comfortable with Carr having fewer attempts because of scores being out of hand.”
As a Raider fan, I will admit the defense was suspect last season, to put it kindly. Even if they only improve a little, they would still be questionable, and would no doubt get picked apart by the better offenses they play. Improvement would at least give them more chances to win, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be in a lot of shootouts.
If PFF is right in their assumptions, and I can’t disagree, the Raider passing game is a solid buy all around. Even ECR still has them fairly cheap in PPR superflex rankings (with the draft round for a standard 12 team draft):
17 (2). WR Davante Adams
52 (4). QB Derek Carr
63 (5). TE Darren Waller
100 (8). WR Hunter Renfrow
280 (23). WR Demarcus Robinson
322 (26). TE Foster Moreau
365 (30). WR Keelan Cole
420 (35). WR Mack Hollins
Obviously, the last 4 are for deep draft dart throws.
Robinson is currently listed as the third WR on the Raiders depth chart.
Moreau might see more time as a second TE/h-back in 2-TE formations, so don’t sleep on him if you have the depth, as the Raiders are reported to be considering using more 2-TE formations. In addition, Waller has an injury history now, so Moreau could move to starter too.
Cole and Hollins were solid if unspectacular in the past, and will only see playing time in relief or due to injury.
But the real steal there is Hunter Renfrow. He had insane efficiency last season (103 catches on 128 targets, 1038 yards, and 9 td’s). If those targets go up, it is not out of the question to see WR1 production, even with Adams doing something comparable. For an 8th round pick? Even if you take him in the 7th round, that’s a steal. This is what you want with any pick: High floor with high upside potential.