Fantasy Impact of Jakobi Meyers Signing, Darren Waller Trade to Giants
Ted breaks down the fantasy football implications of the Raiders' active day, as they signed Jakobi Meyers and traded Darren Waller.
The Raiders have been one of the most active teams to start the NFL offseason. My fantasy football breakdown from just yesterday of the Jimmy Garoppolo signing is already half outdated, as Vegas started the day by signing perhaps the biggest free agent WR of the year in Jakobi Meyers and have now sent star tight end Darren Waller to the Giants in exchange for a third-round pick (the one they received in exchange for Kadarius Toney from the Chiefs). Let's break down the fantasy impact of these moves.
Fantasy Football Implications of the Raiders' Big Day
The biggest winner of today's moves by the Raiders is the one player leaving Vegas. After back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2019 and 2020, Waller has struggled with injuries en route to disappointing production over the last two years. More worryingly, even when he was healthy, Waller's snap share was dramatically lower in 2021, Josh McDaniels' first year as the Raiders head coach. The Giants did target tight ends at the second-lowest rate of any team in 2022, but I can't imagine they traded for Waller in order to not use him … and he's not exactly an elite blocker. He should see plenty of targets as he joins what was perhaps the league's worst receiving room last season.
This is a straightforward one. While it's normally a wide receiver, we've seen what acquiring an elite receiving talent can do for young, developing quarterbacks. Especially if they still add help at WR, this move greatly increases the chance Danny Dimes can finish as a top-ten fantasy QB again in 2023, even with regression likely coming for his seven rushing TDs.
While he would have been harder to place an hour ago, the Waller trade secures Meyers as a fantasy winner in his new home in Vegas. An underrated route runner from the slot and out wide, Meyers has already proven to be a great fit in Josh McDaniels' offense and thrives at the underneath routes that Jimmy G loves to hit. The presence of Davante Adams still caps his ceiling, but Waller's departure means Meyers should have no issue finding his way to enough targets to be a fantasy WR3, at least.
It's close, but I think the arrival of Meyers will hurt Renfrow more than the departure of Waller will help him. While Meyers will likely slide outside for three-WR sets, allowing Renfrow to operate from the slot, I think it will be Renfrow who departs most often in two-WR looks. There are not many offenses capable of supporting three fantasy-relevant WRs, and I don't think the Jimmy G-led Raiders is going to be one of them.
This one is sad to type, as I was excited about Bellinger heading into this season. With elite athleticism and lots of targets up for grabs in New York, he was as good a pick as any to break out at the position. But the arrival of Waller absolutely signs his fantasy death warrant. You can hold him as a handcuff or longggg-term play in deep Dynasty leagues, but, barring an injury to Waller, he's off the fantasy radar in Redraft.