The Las Vegas Raiders head east for a matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers, marking one of the NFL’s 11 games on the Christmas Eve slate. Las Vegas’ offense got a significant jolt with the return of Darren Waller last week, and he made his impact felt despite a limited number of snaps. Should fantasy managers feel confident in rolling with him in lineups for Week 16?
Fantasy Football Analysis: TE Darren Waller
In his first game back since Week 5, Waller finished with 13.8 PPR fantasy points after hauling in all three targets for 48 yards and a touchdown. He found the end zone after connecting with Derek Carr on a 25-yard reception, and his impact was notable given that he saw a limited number of snaps in his return. As the Raiders head east for a matchup with the Steelers, expect Waller to see more involvement against one of the tougher defenses versus his position.
The Steelers allow the 10th-fewest fantasy points to tight ends (5.8 PPG), but Waller remains a TE1 even with the tough matchup. It should also be noted that Pittsburgh has the 24th-ranked pass defense which gives up 238.8 yards per game through the air.
Fantasy managers know that the tight end position is very top-heavy, so if you have a stud at the position there are reasons few and far between to sit them. Waller should only see more looks as he makes his second appearance since returning from injury, and he should be the recipient of extra looks with the Steelers defense honing in on Davante Adams.
Start or sit in Week 16?
As long as Waller is healthy and on the field for the Raiders, fantasy managers should not hesitate in starting him. He has a solid upside this week as he gets acclimated once more into the fold, so fire him up in lineups accordingly.