This article is part of our Team Previews series.
Las Vegas Raiders
The nucleus proved capable of a playoff push, but last year's 10-7 record arrived with a concerning negative 65-point scoring differential. The new regime seems to have added enough talent to remain competitive in a stacked division, however, and continuity exists at the helm with QB Derek Carr.
2022 Offseason Moves – Las Vegas Raiders
- Davante Adams – WR (from Packers)
Joins forces with his college QB after five straight Pro-Bowl seasons.
- Chandler Jones – LB (from Cardinals)
Provides a veteran edge-rushing presence with 107.5 career sacks.
- Demarcus Robinson – WR (from Chiefs)
- Keelan Cole – WR (from Jets)
Has the versatility to work either in the slot or out wide.
- Zamir White – RB (Rd. 4, No. 122 – Georgia)
Leading rusher with 84 yards in 2022 CFP National Championship win.
- Zay Jones – WR (to Jaguars)
Posted a 43-430-1 line in eight games from Week 12 through wild card.
- Bryan Edwards – WR (to Falcons)
Following his trade, the team's first five 2020 draft picks are gone.
- Yannick Ngakoue – DE (to Colts)
Paced the Raiders' pass rush with 10 sacks during the 2021 campaign.
Las Vegas Raiders 2022 Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Josh McDaniels (Year 1)
Offensive Coordinator: Mick Lombardi (Year 1) – Erhardt-Perkins scheme
Defensive Coordinator: Patrick Graham (Year 1) – 4-3 scheme
Stats To Know for the Las Vegas Raiders
2022 Vegas Projected Wins: 8.5 (T-16th)
2021 Record: 10-7
2021 Points Scored: 374 (18th)
2021 Points Allowed: 439 (26th)
2021 Point Differential: -65 (22nd)
2021 Run-Play Rate: 37.1 percent (29th)
2021 Offensive Snaps: 1,082 (13th)
2021 PFF O-Line Ranking: No. 28
2022 Las Vegas Raiders Depth Chart
FB: Jakob Johnson
WR2: Hunter Renfrow
Kicker: Daniel Carlson
2022 Las Vegas Raiders Schedule
|1||Sep 11||@ Los Angeles Chargers||4:25 PM|
|2||Sep 18||Arizona Cardinals||4:25 PM|
|3||Sep 25||@ Tennessee Titans||1:00 PM|
|4||Oct 2||Denver Broncos||4:25 PM|
|5||Oct 10||@ Kansas City Chiefs||8:15 PM|
|7||Oct 23||Houston Texans||4:05 PM|
|8||Oct 30||@ New Orleans Saints||1:00 PM|
|9||Nov 6||@ Jacksonville Jaguars||1:00 PM|
|10||Nov 13||Indianapolis Colts||4:05 PM|
|11||Nov 20||@ Denver Broncos||4:05 PM|
|12||Nov 27||@ Seattle Seahawks||4:05 PM|
|13||Dec 4||Los Angeles Chargers||4:25 PM|
|14||Dec 8||@ Los Angeles Rams||8:15 PM|
|15||Dec 18||New England Patriots||8:20 PM|
|16||Dec 24||@ Pittsburgh Steelers||8:15 PM|
|17||Jan 1||San Francisco 49ers||4:05 PM|
|18||TBD||Kansas City Chiefs||TBD|
Las Vegas Raiders Storylines for 2022
Committing to Carr
In March 2020, the Raiders made Marcus Mariota the highest-paid backup quarterback in the NFL at the time, but he never really threatened Derek Carr's job security, as the latter logged a career high 4,804 passing yards (in 17 games) in 2021, while also recording a completion percentage of at least 67 percent for a fourth consecutive season.
Carr's admirable leadership qualities are less quantifiable on paper, but he guided his team to a playoff berth for the first time since 2016 despite a challenging campaign full of obvious turmoil within the Raiders' organization, and he even constructed six game-winning drives along the way. The 31-year-old since has been rewarded with a massive new deal to stay in Las Vegas through 2025, while Mariota has departed to compete again for a starting job in Atlanta.
But the cherry on top for Carr is a reunion with his favorite target from their Fresno State days, with Davante Adams set to join in on a bountiful payday of his own after the receiver originally was franchise tagged by the Packers before a blockbuster trade was engineered. Although pass protection still is a concern for the Raiders, Carr now has a solid supporting cast at his disposal headlined by elite weapons in Adams and tight end Darren Waller, which is key for potential shootouts in the AFC West.
Wideout Corps Gets a Major Boost
The acquisition of Davante Adams, arguably the best wide receiver in the league, cost the Raiders their first- and second-round picks in the 2022 Draft, and they also managed to ink him to a five-year contract worth $140 million as he comes off back-to-back First-Team All-Pro efforts.
Adams' rapport with signal-caller Derek Carr was astounding throughout their two seasons (2012 and 2013) of collegiate football together, as the duo put up video-game numbers with 233 total connections for 3,031 yards and 38 touchdowns en route to back-to-back Mountain West Conference championships.
Adams set career highs in both receptions (123) and receiving yards (1,553) in his final season as a Packer, which came on the heels of a league-leading, 18-touchdown campaign in 2020. He'll celebrate his 30th birthday in December, but age isn't yet a concern, as he averaged 9.2 yards per target over the course of his last 30 contests with Green Bay.
Adams now leads a receiving corps that also features capable slot man Hunter Renfrow, who joined the 100-catch, 1,000-yard club on the way to Pro-Bowl honors in 2021. With Bryan Edwards having been sent to the Falcons, free-agent additions Keelan Cole, Demarcus Robinson and Mack Hollins now are in line to compete for slotting behind Adams and Renfrow.
New Coach and GM on Board
Former interim coach Rich Bisaccia, who began handling those duties Week 6 last season following Jon Gruden's resignation, inspired his squad to a 7-5 record and second-place finish in the AFC West before they ultimately lost to the conference's eventual Super Bowl rep (the Bengals) in the wild-card round. Bisaccia since has departed to serve as the Packers' special teams coordinator.
Moreover, there was turnover in the front office this offseason, with Mike Mayock relieved of his GM duties after just three years and plenty of questions surrounding the so-called draft expertise that originally landed him the job.
The departures left some key vacancies, which team owner Mark Davis elected to fill the Patriot way in what has the potential be a significant culture shift. Josh McDaniels landed the Raiders' head coaching position after a collection of 18 seasons with New England, primarily as Bill Belichick's offensive coordinator while helping the dynasty win six Super Bowls.
McDaniels is joined in Las Vegas by former Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler, whose trade for Davante Adams wasn't the only proof of a win-now attitude upon his introduction to the GM role. Ziegler also splashed in free agency with the signing of linebacker Chandler Jones, who should be a dangerous pass-rushing complement alongside Maxx Crosby.
Fantasy Football Stock Watch
⬆️ Rising: QB Derek Carr
The Raiders not only endorsed Carr by signing him to a three-year, $121.5 million extension, they also traded for one of the NFL's top receivers to accompany Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow in a potent aerial attack.
⬇️ Falling: RB Kenyan Drake
Drake's 2021 campaign was derailed by a broken ankle that ultimately required surgery, limiting him to 93 total touches in 12 games during his first season in Las Vegas after he left a workhorse role with the Cardinals.
😴 Sleeper: RB Zamir White
White's physical build could earn him valuable goal-line work, but the rookie is an especially interesting consideration in dynasty formats given that the Raiders declined starter Josh Jacobs' fifth-year option in April.
🌟 Pivotal Player: Darren Waller
After a career year in 2020 in which he racked up a 107-1,196-9 line on 146 targets, Waller's production dipped this past season as injuries limited him to 11 games. A rebound is in order assuming he can stay healthy, especially given that opposing defenses now must also game plan for Davante Adams.
Las Vegas Raiders Injury Report
RB Josh Jacobs
An undisclosed injury kept Jacobs from participating during the team portion of the Raiders' mandatory minicamp in June, but there's been nothing to indicate his availability for the start of training camp is in danger. Sidelined by ankle and toe issues Weeks 2 and 3, he missed only two games throughout the 2021 season, but he also played through a rib concern late in the year. There's less optimism surrounding the health outlook of Jacobs' backfield companion Kenyan Drake, who's not guaranteed to be cleared for full football activity by training camp after undergoing a procedure to repair a broken ankle this past December.
RB Kenyan Drake
Drake's major ankle injury sustained Week 13 of last season ultimately required surgery in December, and the 28-year-old wasn't quite ready to return to the field during June's mandatory minicamp. His status for the Raiders' veteran report date to training camp of July 20 remains in question, but he'll be eager to prove himself to Las Vegas' new coaching staff after the team selected Georgia product Zamir White in the fourth round of the 2022 Draft to compete for touches behind Jacobs. The Raiders also added backfield versatility in the form of Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah, so Drake could be forced to battle for even a complementary role once he's past his ankle issue.
A nagging toe issue limited Mullen to just five games played last year, but he also underwent an undisclosed surgery in early May, which likely caused his absence from the Raiders' mandatory minicamp in June. The procedure was described as minor, but it remains to be seen if he'll be 100 percent to begin training camp. Mullen's health could play a large part in determining whether or not he retains his starting role, as the 2019 second-rounder enters a critical contract year.
Training Camp Battle 2022 – Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders are locked into Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow as their top two options at wide receiver, but the latter primarily sticks in the slot, so the competition for another spot on the outside opposite Adams remains wide open after the team traded Bryan Edwards to Atlanta in May.
This No. 3 WR role really is just the fourth option at best in Las Vegas' aerial attack, with tight end Darren Waller soaking up a significant portion of the target share as well, but Edwards paced the position group in snaps played last season, so someone new at least will get an opportunity to see the field often.
If nobody else is added to the mix, a battle between Demarcus Robinson, Keelan Cole, Mack Hollins and Tyron Johnson likely will ensue, with Robinson having the experience category, having been active for 97 regular-season games with the Chiefs over the past six years.
However, Hollins' 6-4, 221-pound frame allowed him to catch four TDs on just 28 targets with the Dolphins last season, and Cole has produced several fantasy-relevant campaigns despite overall dysfunction within the Jaguars and Jets offenses.