2023 Fantasy Football Las Vegas Raiders Preview

by A.J. Applegarth
2023 Fantasy Football Las Vegas Raiders Preview

Welcome to the 2023 Fantasy Football Las Vegas Raiders Preview brought to you by the Fantasy Six Pack!

Ah, yes—let's take a trip to Sin City! Las Vegas is arguably the gambling capital of the world. But, the city is even more abuzz because its sports teams have been straight-dealing in their respective leagues over the last calendar year.

First, we have the WNBA's Aces, who brought a championship to Vegas at the end of the 2022 season. Don't let these Aces fool you into thinking their ring ceremony was just simply a case of beginner's luck. Sure, they've only held their Vegas residence since 2018, but the Aces franchise itself has been in existence since 1997.

Next, we have the NHL's Golden Knights, who doubled down on their 2018 Stanley Cup Finals appearance by raising Lord Stanley's Cup a mere week ago. In just their sixth season in the league, the Vegas expansion team claimed hockey's ultimate jackpot by defeating the Florida Panthers 9-3 to win the series in five games.

That's quite a lucky hand for the city's two elder major sports teams. But, now the pressure is on the Raiders in just their fourth season in the desert. Do the boys in Silver and Black have what it takes to give Vegas yet another title? Let's go all-in and find out!

2023 Fantasy Football Las Vegas Raiders Preview

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Quarterbacks

The Las Vegas quarterback room is an absolute abomination of asinine proportions...as it stands right meow. Jimmy G. is dealing with yet another injury (foot) that has kept him off the field for his new team.

Garoppolo has been able to take some positive steps (pun intended) during the Raiders' organized team activities. Unfortunately, learning the playbook and watching film is a far cry from getting up to speed on building chemistry with his new teammates/offensive playmakers.

Plan 'B' for the Raiders is journeyman Brian Hoyer, who doesn't inspire a ton of confidence from a football standpoint.  Sure, Hoyer has been serviceable over the years, throwing for 10,668 yards and 53 touchdowns in 76 career games. But, those numbers don't scream QB1 material for fantasy managers.

Running Backs

The presence of Josh Jacobs in the Raiders' backfield should help soften the blow of the current quarterback situation. Then again, Jacobs still hasn't signed his franchise tag tender. I expect this situation to get resolved sooner rather than later, though.

Last season, Jacobs put up video game numbers, while leading the league in rushing yards (1,653), yards/game (97.2), total touches (393), and yards from scrimmage (2,053). He also scored 12 touchdowns and caught 53 receptions on 65 targets.

That production definitely puts Jacobs in the RB1 category for fantasy football. However, he also had David Carr as his backfield battery mate, so some regression should be expected in 2023.

The other running backs listed on the Raiders' depth chart remind me of Brian Hoyer, as they're just simply not too exciting for fantasy. Both Abdullah and Bolden offer some value as receiving backs. But, the Zamir White breakout still hasn't arrived. Maybe this is his year to shine with the offense in such turmoil (again, currently).

Wide Receivers

Similar to Jacobs, the Raiders also boast one of the league's premiere wide receivers in Davante Adams. In 2022, his first season with Las Vegas, fantasy managers who drafted Adams were rewarded with 100 receptions, 1,516 receiving yards, and a league-leading 14 touchdowns.

As alluded to above, if Brian Hoyer is under center for the Raiders this season, Adams could see his consistent production take a step backwards. For now, though, you still have to target him early in the second round in fantasy drafts.

The Raiders also signed free agent wide receiver Jakobi Meyers for the 2023 campaign. Meyers has some big play ability, as shown in his time in New England. However, he has never shown a knack for hitting pay dirt often. Maybe his touchdown luck will change in Sin City.

Along with Meyers, Las Vegas also brought in former division rival, DeAndre Carter, from the Los Angeles Chargers. Carter is yet another receiver who can stretch the field for the Raiders. Having all of these downfield threats, and possibly no lead quarterback to throw the ball to them, makes for a very interesting offensive scheme. Time to lay your cards on the table, Josh McDaniels!

Tight Ends

Another new face we'll see for Raider Nation in 2023 is Austin Hooper. Mr. Hooper has seen mixed success over the past few years after breaking out for the Falcons in 2019.

Currently, Hooper sits atop the Raiders' tight end depth chart, but the bigger name of note, in my opinion, is Michael Mayer. Las Vegas selected Mayer with the 35th Overall Pick in last April's NFL Draft to help fill the void left by Darren Waller, who will be playing for the New York Giants in 2023.

Mayer brings size (6'5", 249 lbs.) and polished route running to the Raiders offense. He has no fear when it comes to going after contested catches, and he's very difficult to bring down once he has the ball in his hands. Mayer is a solid compliment to Hooper, but he easily has the chops to supplant Hooper as the season progresses.

Final Verdict

Ideally, Jimmy G. will be healthy enough to lead this team in 2023. However, if this latest injury continues to linger, the Raiders can opt to simply cut him outright. If that happens, this entire offense gets an immediate downgrade from me.

Both Jacobs and Adams are elite talents with proven returns on value for fantasy managers. Although, the current question marks surrounding the quarterback position could negatively impact that 'elite' status in 2023. It could also hold back their rookie tight end's rise to fantasy relevance.

Bottom line, the Las Vegas Raiders represent the quintessential, "you gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em" team for the 2023 fantasy football season.

That wraps up our 2023 Fantasy Football Las Vegas Raiders preview. Thanks for tuning in, and good luck with your fantasy teams this season!


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