The Raiders moved on from Derek Carr this offseason, tying their short-term hopes to Jimmy Garoppolo and his surgically repaired left foot. This team has too many expensive veterans to embark on a full rebuild, but this also feels like a team where things could go south a lot quicker than it might seem right now. It doesn't help that, as of now, Josh Jacobs hasn't signed his franchise tag and seems likely to hold out of at least the start of training camp.
Record: 6-11 (26)
PPG: 23.2 (12)
YPG: 352.5 (12)
Pass YPG: 231.4 (11)
Rush YPG: 121.1 (17)
PAPG: 34.5 (12)
RAPG: 25.2 (21)
2022 Fantasy finishes
QB: Derek Carr* QB16
RB: Josh Jacobs RB3
WR: Davante Adams WR3, Mack Hollins* WR46
TE: Foster Moreau* TE28, Darren Waller* TE32
*No longer with team
Number to know: 15.3%
That's how many of Jimmy Garoppolo's passes last year traveled at least 15 yards past the line of scrimmage, the fourth-lowest mark in the game. Carr, on the other hand, was at 23.3%, the seventh-highest number among qualifying quarterbacks, while Adams' Average Depth of Target was 11.8 yards down the field, nearly two yards higher than any receiver had with Garoppolo in San Francisco. Which has led some to worry about the fit for Adams with Garoppolo, but ... I'm not buying it!
There's been some talk about Davante Adams not being a good fit with Jimmy Garoppolo, because Jimmy doesn't want to throw the ball down the field. but the thing is, Davante Adams is a good fit with any quarterback, because he's constantly open on every type of route. https://t.co/vUEj2bE8Lw— Chris Towers …Is A Real Boy (@CTowersCBS) July 17, 2023
Adams wins at every level of the field. Obviously, it's still possible that Garoppolo just won't throw it to him down the field much, or that he won't be comfortable doing so and Adams' numbers will suffer, but I just don't think there's very much risk of that -- Adams' 59 targets 15-plus yards down the field last season were the most in the NFL, but his 42.4% catch rate on those targets was the lowest of any player in the top five. There were already issues with him and Carr getting on the same page last season, and Adams was still a dominant Fantasy receiver.
There are reasons to be skeptical about Adams and this offense as a whole, but if Garoppolo is healthy, I think Adams is in line for another strong season.
1. (7) Tyree Wilson, OLB
2. (35) Michael Mayer, TE
3. (70) Byron Young, DL
3. (100) Tre Tucker, WR
4. (104) Jakorian Bennett, DB
4. (135) Aidan O'Connell, QB
5. (170) Christopher Smith II, DB
6. (203) Amari Burney, LB
7. (231) Nesta Jade Silvera, DT
0 carries, 0 RB targets, 115 WR targets, 97 TE targets
Rankings and projections
Chris Towers' projections
|QB||Jimmy Garoppolo||PA: 523, YD: 3763, TD: 23, INT: 11; RUSH -- ATT: 48, YD: 167, TD: 2|
|RB||Josh Jacobs||CAR: 287, YD: 1289, TD: 10; TAR: 63, REC: 52, YD: 375, TD: 2|
|RB||Zamir White||CAR: 96, YD: 382, TD: 3; TAR: 16, REC: 13, YD: 88, TD: 1|
|WR||Davante Adams||TAR: 152, REC: 99, YD: 1281, TD: 10|
|WR||Jakobi Meyers||TAR: 89, REC: 62, YD: 740, TD: 4|
|WR||Hunter Renfrow||TAR: 89, REC: 62, YD: 591, TD: 4|
|TE||Michael Mayer||TAR: 63, REC: 41, YD: 408, TD: 3|
|TE||Austin Hooper||TAR: 52, REC: 37, YD: 395, TD: 2|
Will Jimmy Garoppolo even be healthy enough to play?
Garoppolo underwent surgery on his foot shortly after signing with the Raiders this spring, and that led to a hold-up with his contract that apparently led to the addition of a clause where the Raiders can release him without penalty anytime this summer. That's a pretty big concern for your starting quarterback. The Raiders have a few high-profile Fantasy options in Jacobs and Adams, but it would be a lot harder to take them seriously if they had to go into the season with Brian Hoyer as the starter. There's some serious risk built into this offense.
One sleeper, one breakout and one bust
I was among those fading Jacobs a year ago, and that meant I was drafting a lot of White. I don't think he'll matter much if Jacobs signs his franchise tag and reports to the team, but obviously that's no guarantee. White is a fourth round pick who did almost nothing as a rookie, so expectations shouldn't be particularly high here, but Josh McDaniels' offenses have pretty consistently been among the best at creating value for Fantasy running backs, so if Jacobs doesn't report, White could be a solid starter.
Look, there's no good option for "breakout" in this offense. If everything goes as planned, Jacobs and Adams are going to dominate touches to the point where there probably won't be much room for anyone else to matter, and if things don't go according to plan, I'm not sure anyone else here is particularly well-equipped to take advantage. So I'll default to the talented rookie tight end on an offense without a clear hierarchy after Adams. Mayer produced in college and is a pretty good athlete who was taken in the second round, so there's clearly talent here. I don't expect him to do much, because most rookie tight ends don't -- Austin Hooper's presence doesn't help -- but he might be the second-most talented receiver on the roster in the long run.
As long as Jacobs reports, I expect him to be a top-five running back, because the Raiders don't really have any incentive not to use him as much as possible. But I'll grant that there are non-football reasons why this could go sideways. Any time a player misses part or all of training camp, there's increased injury risk -- the biggest risk of soft-tissue injuries comes at the start of training camp, and holding out would mean trying to get up to speed at a time when everyone else has already passed the point of biggest risk. There's also the more ineffable risks here -- that Jacobs will be frustrated about not getting the long-term security he believes he deserves and doesn't play at a high level as a result. It's an unknowable factor, but I do think there's some risk. These guys are only human, after all.