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Las Vegas Raiders Fantasy Football Preview

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

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The Las Vegas Raiders are one of the more interesting teams—albeit tougher—to forecast in 2022 because, frankly, the team looks entirely different than it did in 2021. Remember when Jon Gruden was an NFL Head Coach (again)? Good times.

The Raiders added football's best wide receiver, Davante Adams, selected RB Zamir White in the 4th round, and gave Josh McDaniels his first Head Coaching gig in over a decade.

It's a whole new ballclub.

That's exciting. But it also makes the Raiders tricky to project for fantasy purposes since we don't have much reliable—key word there—historical data to go off of. Here's what we do know...

What do we know about Josh McDaniels 👇

Josh McDaniels lasted just two seasons in his only stint as as NFL Head Coach back in 2009 and 2010 with the Denver Broncos. In those campaigns, his teams finished:

  • 20th and 19th in scoring

  • 15th and 13th in offensive yards

  • 9th and 17th in plays run

  • 9th and 7th in passing attempts

  • 13th and 7th in passing yards

  • 16th and 15th in passing TDs

  • 14th and 27th in rushing attempts

  • 18th and 26th in rushing yards

  • 22nd and 12th in rushing TDs

TLDR: they were average-to-below-average across the board and would be considered more pass-heavy than run-friendly.

If nothing else, that's interesting since his QB was Kyle Orton (and a little bit of Tim Tebow) and, in the prior season as Offensive Coordinator of the Patriots with the 🐐 Tom Brady, New England finished 12th in pass attempts and 4th in rushing attempts.

Was that just a product of roster construction and game flow?

Does McDaniels have a different philosophy than the run-heavy Bill Belichick?

Does any of it really even matter since it was over a decade ago? Probably not. So let's look at more recent numbers.

The truth is, each of McDaniels last three seasons as an OC were vastly different, understandable since his last 3 QBs were rookie Mac Jones, washed Cam Newton, and the 🐐. Here's where NE landed statistically in the last 3 years:

  • 7th (Brady), 27th (Newton) and 6th (Mac) in scoring

  • 15th, 27th and 15th in yards

  • 3rd, 29th and 21st in plays

  • 5th, 31st and 26th in pass attempts

  • 8th, 30th and 14th in passing yards

  • 16th, 32nd and 15th in passing TDs

  • 9th, 3rd and 8th in rushing attempts

  • 18th, 4th and 8th in rushing yards

  • 12th, 6th and 2nd in rushing TDs

So what, if anything, can we take from this?

Honestly, not much.'s at least worth noting that each of McDaniels' last three offenses were top 10 in rushing attempts, even when he had Tom Brady. In fact, even in 2018 and 2017—both with Brady—the Patriots landed at 3rd and 11th in rushing attempts.

So will McDaniels learn from his early head coaching mistakes and shed the pass-heavy approach? My guess is this offense is best approached as a middle ground between Mac Jones and Tom Brady. I'm expecting a balanced approach with a slightly pass-heavy lean.

Frankly, most of what's above is useless IMO, but hopefully it helps you understand where my brain is at as I'm evaluating the way the Raiders will conduct their business in 2022.

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Derek Carr 📈

The Raiders went and acquired the best wide receiver in football, giving Derek Carr his best weapon since Amari Cooper left in 2018.

In three seasons without Cooper, Carr has averaged 14.4, 15.9 and 15.1 fantasy points per game (does not include rushing stats). That's an average of 15.1 fantasy points over those three years.

In three full seasons with Amari Cooper, Carr averaged 16.3, 17.2 and 13.5 fantasy points per game (15.7 on average).

Davante Adams > Amari Cooper.

Of course, fantasy football is not that simple—not even close. Still, there's reasons to be excited about Derek Carr in 2022.

Since we don't have much reliable data to work with, one of the best things we can do in this scenario is look at what Las Vegas—the gambling city, not the team—is expecting from Raiders players in 2022. With that in mind, here's a few notes...

  • Derek Carr is currently tied with Matthew Stafford for the 4th best odds of leading the NFL in passing yards behind just Justin Herbert, Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes

  • He has the 10th best odds of leading the league in passing TDs

Most importantly/usefully, Vegas gave him an over/under of 29.5 TDs, 12.5 INTs and 4,550.5 passing yards. That would give him 274(ish) fantasy points across 17 games, or 16.1 fantasy points per game.

That would have slotted him at QB 12 last year and again, that does not include potential rushing statistics (granted, we know there's nothing there anyways).

Still, back end QB1/high end QB2 is about perfect for the 31-year-old signal caller and he should be approached as such in 2022 fantasy drafts.

Fantasy Drafts 🤷: Derek Carr is currently the QB 13 on Underdog, drafted around pick 106 (9th round). The cost is "fine" and he's best approached as a high-end QB2, but there's two QBs drafted after Carr that I'd rather have instead—Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins. Names drafted within 5 picks of Carr include Robert Woods, Dawson Knox, Chase Claypool, Aaron Rodgers, Ken Walker, Zach Ertz, Tyler Boyd, Rhamondre Stevenson, Cordarrelle Patterson, Melvin Gordon, Garrett Wilson and James Cook.

In redraft leagues, Carr is a better streamer option than a locked-in 17 game QB that I would spend a draft pick on.

In best ball leagues, I'd feel much better about him as a strong QB2 to go with a low-end QB1 than I would feel about him being my QB1.

Draft Kits: I have Carr in Tier 1D of my fantasy football Draft Kits with Kirk Cousins and Trey Lance.

Dynasty leagues: It could be argued that Carr's value right now—or after this season—is the best it will be from here on out. Davante Adams and Darren Waller will both be 30 before the season is over and Hunter Renfrew was JAG before last season.

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Josh Jacobs 📉

2019 PPR points per game: 14.7 (RB 15)

2020 PPR points per game: 15.4 (RB 15)

2021 PPR points per game: 14.5 (RB 15)

Josh Jacobs is in the final year of his contract with the Raiders and likely to be wearing another uniform at this time next season. He's been fine—not spectacular—as a Raider, averaging 14.9 PPR points per game in 3 seasons and hovering on the low-end RB1/high-end RB 2 border.

Fine, not spectacular, is probably the perfect description for Jacobs' floor-ceiling combo, too. In 3 seasons, he's hit 15 or more PPR points in just 40.48% of his games—last year being easily his best at 50%.

The ceiling is not pretty. Jacobs has hit 20 or more PPR points in just 21.43% of his games (including just 7.14% last year) and he's hit 30 points just one time in his career (back in 2020).

He's usually good for at least 10 PPR points (he's hit double digits in 80.95% of his games) but you're not winning fantasy championships on that.

New Head Coach Josh McDaniels is unlikely to treat Jacobs as a workhorse, especially after handpicking Georgia's Zamir White in the 4th round of his first draft as the Raiders coach.

It's not likely but it's entirely possible that White is getting around 50% of the work before the season is over.

Vegas sportsbooks has Jacobs pegged for about 750 rushing yards and 7 rushing TDs. That would give him 117 fantasy points, not including receiving. If you tack on Jacobs' career receiving averages (35 catches for 247 yards and no TDs—he literally has zero TD receptions on 107 catches), he'd gain about 60 PPR points for a total of about 177 PPR points.

That would have landed him at the RB 22 overall last season.

(Sure, you could mention that Jacobs had his best receiving year last season—54 catches, 348 yards—but that he doesn't seem likely to match that with the new coach and added target competition of Davante Adams, a healthy Darren Waller and perhaps even Brandon Bolden)

Fantasy Drafts 🤷: Speaking of RB 22, that's exactly where Josh Jacobs is being drafted so far this season, around pick 63 (6th round). The cost itself is fine, but I'm usually drafting WRs in that range (or sometimes QBs). Within 5 picks in either direction of Jacobs are JK Dobbins, Kyler Murray, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Chris Godwin, Jalen Hurts, Elijah Mitchell, Dalton Schultz, Amari Cooper, Adam Thielen, and AJ Dillon. Murray, Godwin, Cooper and Thielen are usually the ones that have my attention in that range.

Draft Kits: I have Jacobs in Tier 2B of my fantasy football Draft Kits with Antonio Gibson, Breece Hall, Javonte Williams, Travis Etienne and Miles Sanders.

Dynasty Leagues: Josh Jacobs is fascinating in dynasty leagues. Still just 24 years old, he'll likely be on a new team next season. The question is whether or not the rest of the NFL views him as more of a committee back or if someone will pay him to be a workhorse in 2023. He's a gamble but, that said, his value is already pretty low. I'd hang onto him and see what happens.

Zamir White 📈

There's three key tidbits that the 22 year old 4th round pick out of Georgia has going for him right away...

1) Josh Jacobs is unlikely to be a Raider next year.

2) White was handpicked by Josh McDaniels in his first draft as the Raiders coach. They even traded up to get him. That's certainly not a bad sign.

3) He's athletic as hell and was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school before ACL issues derailed his collegiate career.

White is worthy of late round consideration with the hope that he works his way into the rotation sooner than later.

Fantasy Drafts 👍: White is currently the RB 63 on Underdog, drafted around pick 207 (18th round). I'm a huge fan at that cost considering Jacobs has missed at least 1 game in all three of his NFL seasons and the Raiders might want to get White on the field to see what he's got as they prepare to let Jacobs walk next offseason. Drafted within 5 spots of White in either direction are: Chris Evans, Logan Thomas, Terrace Marshall, John Metchie, Taysom Hill, Davis Mills, Odell Beckham, Mo Alie-Cox, Brevin Jordan, James Washington, Sony Michel, Zay Jones, Bryan Edwards, Donovan Peopls-Jones, D'Ernest Johnson and Hassan Haskins. My sights are usually set on Marshall, Michel, Johnson and White around this spot.

Draft Kits: I have White in Tier 3C of my fantasy football Draft Kits with Alexander Mattison, D'Ernest Johnson, Isaiah Spiller, Rachaad White, Trey Sermon, Khalil Herbert, D'Onta Foreman and more.

Dynasty Leagues: I have White around 23rd overall on rookie draft boards (so late 2nd round pick) at RB 6.