DeSean Jackson, Foster Moreau, Raiders' Fantasy Outlook After Darren Waller Injury

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IINovember 26, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Foster Moreau (87) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
AP Photo/David Becker

Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller suffered a bone bruise on his left knee in the second quarter of his team's 36-33 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday.

Waller is the team's top pass-catching weapon, and he had 51 receptions for 610 yards and two scores on 79 targets entering the Thanksgiving matchup.

Over the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Waller had a 16-game average of 98 receptions for 1,170 yards and six scores, per Pro Football Reference.

Losing him for any amount of time could be a significant blow to the team, although Waller has time to get ready for his team's next game on Dec. 5 at home versus the Washington Football Team.

Hopefully Waller is good to go for that matchup and returns as close to 100 percent as possible.

If not, then here's a look at the Raiders' aerial attack from a fantasy perspective, with a focus on the pass-catchers.

Backup tight end Foster Moreau should see the biggest uptick in snaps and usage without Waller.

Waller was inactive against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 24 due to an ankle issue. Moreau stepped up with six catches (six targets) for 60 yards and one touchdown. He played on 100 percent of the snaps and saw the second-most targets on the team behind wideout Hunter Renfrow, per Pro Football Reference.

Consider Moreau a lower-end starting tight end option. Quarterback Derek Carr clearly trusts him, and Moreau has delivered when called upon.

Renfrow should also be a bigger asset sans Waller.

He became the team's de facto No. 1 wide receiver after the Raiders released Henry Ruggs III, and he proved that on Thursday with eight catches for 134 yards. 

The former Clemson star routinely carves up defenses with short and intermediate routes, and Renfrow could be featured even more sans Waller. He's a must-start every week at wideout without Waller and an excellent flex option even with the tight end available.

Kenyan Drake may also get more targets. He's been used more often in a pass-catching role than backfield mate Josh Jacobs, accruing 29 catches (38 targets) for 283 yards and one score.

The rest of the Raiders wideouts are hard to trust.

DeSean Jackson can pay off in fantasy with one big play, as he did when he snagged a 56-yard touchdown against the Cowboys.

However, he's seen just five total targets in three games with the Silver and Black, making him hard to trust on a weekly basis.

Bryan Edwards is a talented wideout who is too inconsistent on a weekly basis. He started the season with 10 catches for 210 yards in three games, but his last eight have seen just 12 receptions for 224 yards and two scores.

Zay Jones entered Thursday with just nine receptions for 177 yards (16 targets). He never had more than one catch in a game after Week 1 until Thursday, when Carr looked his way for seven targets (five catches, 59 yards). He's worth a flier in deeper fantasy leagues.