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Darren Waller - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Darren Waller


#2 Tight End

158 Projected Points

ADP: Not Available
Bye: 8
Experience: 6 Yr(s)
Age: 29
Height: 6'6"
Weight: 255
40 Time: 4.43

Weekly Outlook

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Week 6 Projections
Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
5.2 66.3 0.4 9
Weekly Writeup
Waller’s usage has taken a huge hit since his 19-target Week 1. But his targets have still remained fantasy-friendly with 7, 7, 7, and 8 since the opener. We’ll see how the absence of Jon Gruden impacts Waller’s role, but there’s no doubt he’s still a high-end TE1.

Rest Of Way Outlook

Rec Rec Yds Rec TDs Fantasy Pts
4.6 60 0.5 9
Week 5
Waller caught 4 of his 8 targets on Sunday for 45 yards. While his volume has dropped off from his 19 targets in Week 1, his 7-8 targets each week since is still nice volume. This was also the first time Waller didn't get to 50 receiving yards.

Going forward, there is little reason to doubt Waller. He is leading the TE position in targets and is 9th among all pass catchers. While his QB may buoy throughout the season, Waller should remain rock solid.
Week 4
Waller caught 4 of 7 targets for 50 yards and 1 TD in the Raiders' Week 4 loss to the Chargers.
Waller was mostly quiet in this one with just 4 catches but had a highlight reel TD where he jumped over a defender and caught it high in the air.
Waller is an every week top 3 TE play, including Week 5 against the Bears.
Week 3
Since Waller’s insane, 19-target Week 1, he’s posted games with 7 and 7 targets. There’s no force-feeding Waller anymore, especially as defenses look to take him away. The Raiders also saw guys like Bryan Edwards (3-89), Henry Ruggs (4-78) and Hunter Renfrow (5-77-1) step up. Derek Carr’s strong play at least bodes well for Waller’s efficiency going forward. The duo hooked up 5 times (on 7 targets) for 54 yards. Vegas’ 3 red zone TDs went to Renfrow, Peyton Barber and FB Alec Ingold, though. All that to say: Waller remains an elite TE1, partly because of the position’s lack of depth. Waller ranks as the overall TE3 through 3 games.
Week 2
After seeing 19 targets in the season opener, Waller was far less busy against the Steelers, though he tied for the team lead with 7 targets. He upped his yards per catch from 10.5 to 13, as the Steelers’ pressure was quite different from the heavy blitzing that the Ravens presented the Raiders with in the opener. Although Las Vegas moved the ball well for the entire game, they usually broke down in the red zone, so there weren’t TD opportunities from near the goal line.

Not only is Waller going to be the primary TE for the Raiders, but he’ll likely continue to be the alpha receiver on the team, which should give him a weekly target floor that can only be rivaled by Travis Kelce. That said, with the Raiders already seeing improvement from both Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards, it’s possible that the coaching staff begins to share the targets more than they’ve done in the past, and if they do, it could impact some of the crazy ceiling that Waller has shown.
Week 1
Waller made his case on Monday night to be the TE 1 in fantasy football. He saw an absurd 19 targets. He caught 10 of those targets for 105 yards and a TD. Going forward, there is little reason to doubt Waller, who was a highly coveted player in draft season. The emerging Raiders WRs should help take some focus away from Waller and make things easier on the TE. QB Derek Carr made the TE a priority in Week 1. A season ago, Waller had 6 games with double-digit targets including a 16 and 17 target game. There is little reason to think we don't see a similar game log come season's end with double digit targets becoming the new norm if everything breaks right.

Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Waller turned in his 2nd straight big fantasy season in 2020, posting a 107-1,196-9 line.
  • He led TEs in catches, ranked 2nd in receiving yards and 3rd in receiving TDs.
  • Waller finished 2nd at his position in both PPR and non-PPR points.
  • His PPR point total was the 8th highest by a TE in NFL history; his non-PPR points the 17th most.
  • Waller scored as a top-12 fantasy TE in 11 of 16 games last year and top 5 in 8 games. Both marks ranked 2nd to only Travis Kelce.
  • Waller’s 146 targets last year led the position and were the 11th most for a TE in NFL history.
  • He was also super efficient, ranking 9th in yards per target and 3rd in yards per route run among 35 TEs with 40+ targets. He ranked 2nd in Pro Football Focus’ receiving grades.
  • That all followed a breakout 2019 season that saw Waller post a 90-1,145-3 line. He finished 2nd among TEs in PPR points and 4th in non-PPR that year.
  • In 2019, Waller ranked 4th in yards per target, 4th in yards per route run and 5th in PFF receiving grade among 37 TEs with 40+ targets.
  • He turns just 29 in September, so there’s no reason to worry about an age-related decline this season.
  • He returns to the same offense (HC Jon Gruden) with the same QB (Derek Carr).
  • The Raiders lost WR Nelson Agholor, who led the WRs and ranked 2nd on the team with 82 targets last year, in free agency.
  • They added WR John Brown and return WRs Henry Ruggs, Hunter Renfrow and Bryan Edwards. But Waller remains the heavy favorite to lead the team in targets in 2021.
  • He saw 117 targets on a 22.4% share in 2019 and 146 targets on a 26.5% share in 2020. Expect him to settle somewhere between those marks this season.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Waller has been awesome the past 2 seasons, ranking 2nd among TEs in PPR points both years (2nd and 4th in non-PPR). He turns just 29 in September and returns to the same offense with the same QB this season.

So Waller is 1 of the safer picks in fantasy football. The only problem is that he’ll be much more expensive in fantasy drafts this summer. We like him in the 3rd round of PPR and non-PPR drafts -- and the 2nd round of TE-premium drafts like the FFPC.

Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Raiders TE Darren Waller returned to practice on Tuesday, according to The Athletic's Tashan Reed. Waller ended up missing about 2 weeks with what was reportedly a minor ankle injury. Barring a setback, it shouldn't be an issue come Week 1.

View all Darren Waller Shark Bites »

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports that Raiders TE Darren Waller is dealing with an ankle injury that's "not concerning." We know Waller has been sidelined for over a week now -- but this is the 1st time we've heard why. "If prepping for a regular-season game, Waller would probably be fine," Fowler adds. We'll keep an eye on this, but it doesn't sound like we need to adjust 2021 expectations for Waller right now.

View all Darren Waller Shark Bites »

A source tells The Athletic's Vic Tafur that Raiders TE Darren Waller is "fine" and whatever has kept him out of practice is "nothing serious." Waller has missed the past 4 practices but has been spotted in the weight room. We'll continue to keep an eye on this but aren't adjusting expectations for Waller.

View all Darren Waller Shark Bites »

Raiders TE Darren Waller has missed the past 3 practices. That's all we know at this point. It's not even clear if Waller is injured or away from the team for another reason. We'll pass along an update as soon as we know more. For now, we're not moving Waller in the TE rankings.

View all Darren Waller Shark Bites »

Raiders TE Darren Waller (knee) is active for today’s game against the Patriots. He only got in a limited practice on Friday, but we haven’t heard anything about him being limited today. Waller remains a strong target bet.

View all Darren Waller Shark Bites »

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