Raiders' Biggest Sleepers, Busts, Stars to Target in 2022 Fantasy Football Drafts
The entire AFC West spent the offseason loading up on fresh talent. The Las Vegas Raiders were no exception, going out and acquiring star wideout Davante Adams and standout pass-rusher Chandler Jones.
Fans will get their first look at the Raiders in action on Thursday, as Las Vegas will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars in the annual Hall of Fame Game.
While fans are waiting to see what sort of team Las Vegas will be in 2022, fantasy enthusiasts are busy gearing up for draft season. The Raiders, who ranked 11th in total offense last year, should be a particularly interesting team to follow in fantasy.
Here, we'll provide a quick overview of the Raiders' fantasy outlook for 2022. We'll dive into some of the top stars, sleepers and potential busts for Las Vegas' coming season based on factors like past production, projected role, trending draft stock and any relevant camp reports.
Sleeper: Zamir White, RB
Because of the Adams trade, the Raiders didn't select until the third round of the 2022 draft. In Round 4, they scooped up Georgia running back Zamir White. While middle-round draft picks don't typically see high expectations, White is a potential sleeper worth stashing late in drafts.
The Raiders have Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake at running back, but Drake is coming off of a broken ankle, while Jacobs has battled injuries and inconsistency over the last two seasons. Las Vegas declined his fifth-year option this offseason.
White could become a piece of the long-term Raiders puzzle, and he has the skills needed to work himself into a significant role this season. White didn't see an extensive workload at Georgia, but he amassed 856 rushing yards last year and averaged 5.4 yards per carry in both 2020 and 2021 while notching 11 rushing touchdowns each year.
It wouldn't be a shock to see White supplant Jacobs as Las Vegas' top ball carrier later in the season. White is dealing with an undisclosed injury now, but according to The Athletic's Tashan Reed, he isn't expected to miss extended time.
Now is the perfect time to buy low on White, who is trending as the 68th-ranked running back in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
Wideout Mack Hollins is another deep sleeper worth considering on draft day. While Hollins only had 14 catches and 223 yards with the Miami Dolphins last year, he scored four touchdowns and averaged an impressive 15.9 yards per catch.
Hollins has also reportedly done a great job of picking up the Raiders offense.
"He comes out there every day, and he puts in the work," running back Josh Jacobs said of Hollins, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic. "And I'm excited to see about him. He's smart, too. I don't think I've ever seen a guy pick up an offense so fast, honestly."
Hollins is unlikely to be a star, but his big-play ability and potential to earn the No. 3 role make him an undervalued target as the 150th-ranked receiver.
Bust: Josh Jacobs, RB
With White potentially carving out a role in 2022, Jacobs could be in store for a declining workload. He certainly doesn't appear poised for the bell-cow reliance that he had in his first two seasons.
Head coach Josh McDaniels frequently used a committee approach as the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator. He'll likely do the same in Las Vegas.
"Jacobs and Drake will likely both be gone next year after playing out their contracts, and there is probably a decent chance (GM Dave) Ziegler and McDaniels already think White is better than them," Tafur opined. "A committee approach seems to make sense, keeping everybody fresh and ideally available."
With White, Drake and former Patriot Brandon Bolden in the mix, Jacobs shouldn't be viewed as a high-end fantasy back. Yet he's trending as the 22nd-ranked running back, which is too high for a committee back likely on his way out of Las Vegas.
While it's impossible to peg tight end Darren Waller as a potential bust, managers may want to exercise caution when targeting him on draft day. He missed six games because of injury last season and could see a drop in target share with a new offense and with Adams serving as Derek Carr's new go-to pass-catcher.
We're not advocating avoiding Waller in season-long leagues, but these are factors to consider because he is trending as the fifth-ranked tight end. It would behoove managers to track the Raiders' tight-end usage in the preseason if at all possible.
Stud: Davante Adams, WR
Adams has long stood as one of the top receivers in fantasy. That appears to be the expectation in 2022, as he is trending as the fourth-ranked receiver. Some managers may feel that the ranking is too high now that Adams is no longer working with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers.
In Las Vegas, Adams is reunited with Carr, who was also his quarterback at Fresno State. In two years together, Carr and Adams were phenomenal. In his final collegiate season, Adams racked up 1,719 receiving yards and 24 touchdowns.
Adams and slot specialist Hunter Renfrow have been performing well with Carr in camp thus far.
"The two receivers looked like they were on a mission, getting open early and often. Throughout the duration of practice, Adams and Renfrow were Carr's main targets. The most impressive thing I took note of was their ability to come up big in 11-on-11 red zone drills." Levi Edwards of the team's official website wrote.
Expect Adams to live up to fantasy expectations this season and to potentially even outpace his 2021 numbers with the Green Bay Packers (1,553 yards and 11 touchdowns).
Renfrow is another player who should live up to and potentially outpace his draft status—he's trending as the 36th-ranked receiver.
And with weapons like Adams, Renfrow, and Waller leading the receiving corps, Carr should be a quality fantasy starter in 2022. The three-time Pro Bowler threw for 4,804 yards with 23 touchdowns without Adams last season.
As the 15th-ranked quarterback, Carr may actually be undervalued.
*Rankings from FantasyPros and based on PPR scoring.