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2023 Team Preview: Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas Raiders

2022 Season Recap

Record: 6-11 (3rd in AFC West)

Points For: 395 (12th

Points Against: 418 (26th)

Off-Season Roster Recap

Losses: QB Derek Carr, QB Jarred Stidham, WR Mack Hollins, WR Tyler Johnson, TE Darren Waller, TE O.J Howard, TE Foster Moreau, DE Gerald McCoy, OT Justin Murray, OT Sebastian Gutierrez, DE Brock Martin, P Julian Diaz, 

Draft Recap Offense

(35th) TE Michael Mayer, Notre Dame (100 th) WR Tre Tucker, Cincinnati. ( 135th ) Qb Aiden O’Connell

Draft Recap Defense

( 7th ) DE Tyree Wilson Texas Tech , ( 70th ) Byron Young, Alabama, ( 104th ) CB Jakorian Bennett, Maryland,  ( 170th ) Christopher Smith II , S, Georgia, ( 203rd ) Amari Burney, LB , Florida, ( 231st ) Nesta Jade Silvera, Arizona State, 

2023 Outlook

The 2022 Las Vegas Raiders season started with high hopes.   They had just acquired super star WR Davante Adams from Green Bay, TE Darren Waller was expected back at full health.  New Head Coach Josh McDaniels had a tremendous support cast on offense to build off a 10-7, 2nd place finish in the AFC West in 2021. 

But the cards dealt to Las Vegas soon had them looking to fold.    A disastrous 2-7 start, another Darren Waller injury, and shockingly low 55.6% catch percentage by Adams overshadowed a tremendous RB3 season by Josh Jacobs who amassed 2000 total yards and 12 touchdowns.  

Of Vegas’ six wins, two of them came their last place division foe Denver Broncos; one versus the eventual last-place Houston Texans, and an absolute gift lateral by (ironically, current Raider ) Jakobi Meyers to beat New England, this team was closer to 3-14 than it appears. 

The off-season saw Darren Waller shipped to the New York Giants for a 3rd round pick ( eventually used on WR Tre Tucker ), Derek Carr not re-signed and a Josh Jacobs contract dispute that lingered into Week 2 of the preseason.  The Raiders brought in Jimmy Garoppolo to be the main signal caller, signed Jakobi Meyers away from New England and added Austin Hooper at Tight End.  The Raiders drafted well this year, adding tremendous edge rusher Tyree Wilson at 7th overall, and TE Michael Mayer, who many billed as the top Tight End prospect in the draft.  

The fantasy implications here are wide open; from the quarterback situation, to who’s getting the additional targets in Las Vegas in 2023.   Does Josh Jacobs get the workload he saw last season, running the ball 340 times, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and hauling in 40 catches on 64 targets.  Do the Raiders give him a huge workload again and let him walk in 2024?  The Raiders did not pick up the fifth year option in 2022, it’ll be hard pressed to see Las Vegas keep him in 2024/25.  This season does feel like a bit of an outlier for him; banking on him having back to back career years is a tall task especially after hitting the 400 touch mark in 2022.   Zamir White absolutely needs to remain on your radar, in case Jacobs cannot repeat the tremendous workload he received last year.   The rest of the backfield contains hardly any fantasy relevant players; Ameer Abdullah and Brandon Bolden.  Regardless of the Jacobs situation, White is a zero RB candidate to have your eyes on.

At wide receiver, Mack Collins was a surprisingly effective player last year for the Raiders, but he too is not on the team for 2023, opening up 94 targets.  Hunter Renfrow was fresh off a 128 target 2021 season, but reports show him on the roster bubble for 2023. 

There is plenty of room here for someone to step up, like Jakobi Meyers who has been targeted a staggering 301 times in the last three seasons.   3rd round pick Tre Tucker could see meaningful action right away.  The 5’9 180 lb receiver could be a great underneath option for Garoppolo, whose days of looking deep downfield are in the past.

Darren Waller and Foster Moreau combined for 98 targets last season, which should immediately move Michael Mayer into flex consideration immediately.  The Notre Dame product can be a tremendous Red Zone threat immediately, with teams looking to stabilize Davante Adams in goal to go situations.  

A large part of the Raiders’ success this fantasy season hinges on their running game and their quarterback situation.   Does Jimmy Garoppolo still have enough in the tank to target Davante Adams effectively, at a high level?  Questions about Jimmy Handsome’s arm strength have been floating around since as far back as 2021, and he has only played TWO full seasons in his NFL career.  Was his success due to the Kyle Shananah QB friendly system in San Francisco?   The Raiders drafted Purdue QB Aiden O’Connell in the fourth round in this season’s draft, and has looked solid in preseason action.   How will O’Connell fare once he’s in live NFL action?  History suggests that will see O’Connell on the field at some point this NFL season.  

With so many question marks on offense, it’s very difficult to be excited for this Raiders squad.  There have been whispers that Adams wants out of Las Vegas already, the relationship between star running back Jacobs and uncertainty on Jimmy Garoppolo’s arm could have Las Vegas looking towards 2024 sooner than expected.   None of these players feel like a safe fantasy value at their current ADP, and you shouldn’t feel bad about shying away from this offense altogether this season.

Raiders 2023 Opponents 

Week 1 @ Denver

Week 2 @ Buffalo

Week 3 vs Pittsburgh

Week 4 @ Los Angeles Chargers

Week 5 vs. Green Bay

Week 6 vs. New England

Week 7 at Chicago

Week 8 @ Detroit

Week 9 bs. New York Giants

Week 10 vs. New York Jets

Week 11@ Miami

Week 12 vs. Kansas City

Week 13 BYE

Week 14 vs. Minnesota

Week 15 vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Week 16 @ Kansas City

Week 17 @ Indianapolis

Week 18 vs. Denver

Strength of schedule: .524 (10th toughest)

Vegas Wins – 7.5

#MrOviedo’s record prediction - 5 wins 12 losses

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