article featured image background
Article preview

Sleepers, Busts and Bold Predictions: The 2023 Las Vegas Raiders

NFL Fantasy



Nick Makowitz

Contributor's Page

Welcome to Sleepers, Busts and Bold Predictions for the 2023 fantasy football season. All summer, our analysts, two at a time, will preview all 32 NFL teams for the upcoming season. We’ll pick a pair of sleepers, a pair of busts and a pair of bold predictions. Sometimes they’ll be the same pick! Sometimes they will directly disagree! And that’s fine. Today: The Las Vegas Raiders.


Below, Nick Makowitz and Michael Dolan tackle the Raiders, starting with their picks in “The Answers,” then expanding on their picks in “The Explanation.”

2023 Sleepers, Busts & Bold Predictions: Las Vegas Raiders

The Answers

Favorite Sleeper

MakowitzJakobi Meyers
Dolan: Hunter Renfrow

Biggest Bust

MakowitzJosh Jacobs
Dolan: Davante Adams

Bold Prediction

MakowitzDavante Adams finishes outside the Top 12 Wide Receivers
Dolan: Zamir White is this Year’s Elite Handcuff

The Explanations


Makowitz: Jakobi Meyers

After four seasons in New England, Jakobi Meyers joins the Las Vegas Raiders as a likely replacement for Hunter Renfrow, although the shifty slot receiver is still officially on the team. With rumblings that Renfrow is on his way out, Meyers should be able to step in and dominate the short yardage receiving game, one that his new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo loves.

Meyers also reunites with former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Under McDaniels, Meyers improved each year with the Patriots, finishing as the WR100, WR57 and WR33 from 2019-2021 even while totaling just two touchdowns in that span. Last season, In 2022, Meyers missed three games and finished as the WR28. He may not be the breakout that wins you a championship, but all signs point to a much better finish than the spot he’s being drafted in (WR53).  

Dolan:  Hunter Renfrow

News surrounding Jimmy Garroppolo, his injury, and his contract are in flux right now, but one thing we know about Garoppolo is he loves targeting the middle of the field. Over the past few years, Vegas has utilized the tight end position to heavily attack that area. Entering 2023, both Darren Waller and Foster Moreau are no longer with the team, thus creating an opportunity for Hunter Renfrow to have more of a presence in an area of the field his quarterback likes to target.

We’ve seen Renfrow serve as a valuable PPR option in years past, and with a thinner group of pass catchers surrounding him, his volume should only increase. Even if the entire offense takes a step back with Garoppolo under center, Renfrow could take a sizable step forward as the new No. 2 behind Davante Adams in the passing game.



Makowitz:  Josh Jacobs

Josh Jacobs put together his best season as a pro in 2022 on the back of solid efficiency and the league’s biggest workload. He managed to stay healthy behind a mediocre offensive line and rushed his way to an RB3 finish, but I wouldn’t be surprised if 2023 goes differently.

Everything went right for Jacobs last year. He received the most opportunities (carries + targets) in the NFL, scored a dozen touchdowns, played in all 17 games and his bad offensive line outperformed expectations. If any of those things break the wrong way for Jacobs in ‘23 – and it’s reasonable that at least one does – his ceiling is much lower than where he ranked last season. He’s historically been an RB2 in fantasy points per game and that’s where I expect him to be once again. Not a complete bust, just not worth the round two price tag. 

Dolan:  Davante Adams

Calling Davante Adams a “bust” may be taking it too far, but relative to where he’s ranked, I think the superstar receiver is set to disappoint this year. He’s still an elite talent, but I’m not sure the QB situation in Vegas will allow his numbers to reflect this. Adams won’t bust in the sense that he’ll be unplayable, but for someone currently being drafted as a locked and loaded WR1, I’m skeptical that he’ll outperform the guys being drafted around him.

Garoppolo is a much more limited quarterback than Carr or Rodgers ever were, and I think the dropoff is going to negatively impact Adams’ fantasy value more than consensus wants to admit. While Adams is talented enough to be considered “QB proof,” that label only goes so far. Garoppolo’s affinity for the middle of the field may benefit Renfrow, but I’m not sure that tendency will benefit Adams, who’s talent allows him to threaten all areas of the field – including some spots that Garoppolo doesn’t target often. 


Bold Predictions

Makowitz: Davante Adams finishes outside the Top 12 Wide Receivers

Since 2016, Davante Adams has finished inside the top eight at wide receiver in total fantasy points or fantasy points per game in every season. In each of the last two years, he’s finished as the WR3 with two different teams and several different quarterbacks. So, why will 2023 be different?

Adams has played predominantly with Aaron Rodgers and Derek Carr the last two seasons, both of whom typically rank in the top half of the league in aDOT. His new quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, ranked 30th among qualified quarterbacks in aDOT last season and is still dealing with foot problems that came about last December. Without the deep ball, Adams can still be a great fantasy asset, especially in full point PPR, but his 100-yard, multi-touchdown upside could be limited.

Dolan:  Zamir White is this Year’s Elite Handcuff 

Last year Josh Jacobs breakout season was largely unexpected. After an offseason of wondering whether or not the Raiders would utilize a committee or if Jacobs was even the top back on the team, he went on to lead the league in rushing yards. This shows not only Jacobs’ immense talent, but also that the Vegas staff is willing to give one back a massive workload rather than operate as a committee.

Jacobs finished the season with an astounding 340 carries. A number that helped make him the valuable fantasy asset that he was last year. Despite his awesome role, no one’s talking about his other backs on the depth chart potentially getting that same role in a handcuff situation, and right now Zamir White is No. 2 on the depth chart. Should Jacobs miss any time, White is in prime position to see a massive workload and path to fantasy relevance. Obviously we hope nothing happens to Jacobs, but there will be plenty of volume available on the depth chart if he does, and Zamir White would be the primary beneficiary that no one seems to be talking about.

Previous Whitestone’s Waiver Watch: NFBC Main Event Next Should you draft Bijan Robinson or Jonathan Taylor in 2023: Fantasy Crossroads