Raiders passing more? The Renfrow steal

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.

1 Like

No, but about the opinion of a guy writing for a website called “Silver and Black Pride” :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Joking aside - there are some points here that I can follow, and some I don’t.


Do they? Let’s look at the 2021 top regular season teams and their league ranking in terms of pass attempts:

  1. GB, 13-4: #15
  2. TB, 13-4: #1
  3. DAL, 12-5: #6
  4. KC, 12-5: #2
  5. LAR, 12-5: #10
  6. TEN, 12-5: #26

It certainly doesn’t hurt to throw the ball a lot, but you can also make the playoffs as a run-first team.

The Raiders were 7th in pass attempts in 2021, throwing the rock 628 times. I see a small uptick in 2022 and have them at 643 attempts. But I don’t expect them to play from behind that often, which reduces the pressure to throw the ball. That’s why I am rather high on Josh Jacobs.

The addition of Vernon Butler, Denzel Perryman, Chandler Jones and Rock Ya-Sin should make the defense better. Of the top teams, the Raiders will have one the weaker defenses, but I do expect them to improve, compared to last year.

The big unknown is target distribution. Davante Adams will be the #1 target, that’s for sure. But will he command a target share similar to the one he had in Green Bay? I don’t necessarily think so.

That could indeed leave Hunter Renfrow with sneaky upside value. He won’t repeat his 2021 season, but I also don’t expect him to drop as far as his ADP suggests.

I wouldn’t call him criminally underrated at WR38. Players above him in the same tier carry some upside themselves, but indeed, I expect Renfrow to finish higher at the end of the season.

In best ball, he’s almost a must-add. In redraft, he’s a good option, if indeed falls into the 8th round or beyond.


Now, let’s not get too excited here. A projected 69% completion rate means there are 442 catches to be distributed among the various receivers.

The backfield should absorb around 100 of them. Adams had 123 catches last year, Renfrow 103. Let’s project them with a combined 200 catches in 2022. Waller is easily good for 90 catches, if he stays healthy.

So we have distributed 390 of the 440 available catches already. There’s simply not enough left for Moreau to become fantasy relevant. If he did, this would spell bad news for either Adams, Renfrow or Waller.

Moreau is a handcuff to Waller, no more. And outside of multi-TE leagues, who would handcuff a TE?

And even then: Waller missed weeks 13-17 last year. During those 5 weeks, Moreau delivered an average 5.3 half-PPR PPG. You will easily find better options on the waiver wire.

Of the 2022 Raiders, give me Carr, Jacobs, Renfrow and Waller. Adams is a tad too risky for my liking as WR4 off the board.

1 Like

I agree with you on Adams. Love the player, but not the price. I can get better value at RB where Adams is going off the board.

As for Moreau, I only mentioned him as far as very deep leagues are concerned. For a regular 1-TE starting league, you’d need a better backup than Moreau.