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Projecting Las Vegas Raiders skill position depth chart and fantasy impact

The Raiders will likely look toward tight end Darren Waller as their go-to receiver once again in 2021.

Quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders signals to tight end Darren Waller #83 during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at RingCentral Coliseum on November 17, 2019 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 17-10. Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Las Vegas Raiders finished second in the AFC West, but at 8-8 they missed the playoffs and were six games back from the Kansas City Chiefs. In the three seasons since Jon Gruden returned to coach, the Raiders have gone 4-12, 7-9 and 8-8. Fans and management were likely looking for a bigger step in year three. Under quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders have been average and at this point they don’t seem poised to take a big leap in Gruden’s fourth season, but that will of course be the goal as they finally bring in full capicity to their new stadium.

Quarterback

  1. Derek Carr
  2. Marcus Mariota
  3. Nathan Peterman

Running back

  1. Josh Jacobs
  2. Kenyan Drake
  3. Jalen Richard
  4. Theo Riddick

Wide receiver

  1. Henry Ruggs
  2. John Brown
  3. Bryan Edwards
  4. Hunter Renfrow
  5. Zay Jones
  6. Willie Snead

Tight end

  1. Darren Waller
  2. Foster Moreau
  3. Derek Carrier
  4. Nick Bowers

Biggest offseason changes

The Raiders kept their 2020 offensive skill positions intact, as Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs, Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards and Darren Waller all return. But they did let their top receiver, Nelson Agholor, walk in free agency. They also added running back Kenyan Drake from the Cardinals and wide receiver John Brown from the Bills to the mix.

Biggest questions for fantasy football

The biggest questions for fantasy will revolve around the running back touches and target shares for the wide receivers. Jacobs will likely lose work to Drake, hurting his upside. The nagging injury history for Jacobs likely pushed the Raiders to add depth with Drake and they’ll likely try to keep him fresh by sprinkling a lot of Drake into the offensive recipe.

With Agholor gone, Ruggs and Edwards will need to step up, but the veteran Brown could find his way to the top of the depth chart if they don’t. In the end, there’s a good chance that tight end Waller will continue to be the most reliable fantasy player in the receiving game while the receiver fight for targets behind him.