Josh McDaniels

Josh McDaniels : Second Time is the Charm?

Josh McDaniels gets his second chance as a head coach with the Las Vegas Raiders. Let’s take a look at the fantasy impact moving forward.

Josh McDaniels’ first stint as a head coach started out with promise, but then ended quickly after his second season. After two less than stellar seasons in Denver, he went back to the familiarity of New England. McDaniels has since flirted with other coaching options, but now gets his chance in Las Vegas. The Raiders made it to the playoffs in a tough division and almost won against the Bengals. What is McDaniel’s effect on the Raiders’ playmakers?

McDaniels’ Tendencies on Offense

In two years with Denver, the offense was top 10 in passing attempts with Kyle Orton leading the offense. With Tom Brady, New England’s offense was top 10 in attempts seven out of 12 years,  but also, in nine of those 12 years, they were top 10 in rushing attempts.  McDaniels wanted to pass the ball more for both teams, but his offense was more successful when it was balanced.

Many remember Brady and McDaniels because of all the slot receivers they have had in New England (Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman, Jakobi Meyers). In 2007 and 2008, New England had a dominant outside receiver. The chart below shows the top four receivers in targets in both years. As you can see, both Moss and Welker got well over 100 targets, along with heavy targeting to the RB.

So what does this mean for the Raiders? McDaniels obviously does not have Brady but has a much better QB than his time in Denver. With Adams, Jacobs, Renfrow, and Waller, this Raiders team should explode and see much better success than his Denver teams.

Fantasy Outlook

Derek Carr

Carr has only finished inside the top 12 at QB once in eight years, but this will be his most talented set of playmakers. McDaniels has shown that he likes to throw the ball. I think Carr will show that he has been underrated all these years. Many would not believe the below stat from PFF, and I think McDaniels can unleash his potential.

I have him ranked as QB12 in Dynasty which is well above the consensus of QB20 on our April 2022 Combined Consensus Rankings.

Josh Jacobs

In New England, the RB was always involved in the passing game and Brandon Bolden followed McDaniels to Las Vegas. I think the Raiders will involve Jacobs in the passing game, though I also think they will utilize a third-down back. Jacobs had his most targets last year with 64. With the addition of Adams, I think that his target amount could increase.

Jacobs has been a top 12 RB the last two seasons, but I think he will fall a little to RB14 which is still higher than the consensus on our April 2022 Combined Consensus Rankings. The offense will move the ball more and have more scoring opportunities, but I believe there will be more passing touchdowns with the effectiveness of Adams and Waller in the RedZone.

Davante Adams

Under McDaniels, there is not a large sample size of an offense with a dominant outside receiver, but there is some history with Randy Moss. Many think there are limitations with Carr throwing deep but the tweet below shows that he does it with the best.

There is no argument that going from Aaron Rodgers to Derek Carr is a downgrade, but I think his PPR ranking will only fall slightly. It’s for that reason that I still have him as my dynasty WR4. Another reason to be optimistic is, per PFF in 2021, Adams only had 15.1% of targets 20 or more yards down the field, so an increase in deep shots will help alleviate less efficiency.

Hunter Renfrow

When McDaniels was first hired, I thought it was a huge bump up for Renfrow because of the use of the slot in New England. Renfrow will likely lose production with Adams joining the Raiders, but I do not think we will see a huge decrease in 2022.

The Raiders started to double team Renfrow with Waller in 2021, but with Adams and Waller back, Renfrow will be in more single coverage — I still see a top 24 WR finish. I do acknowledge that, in dynasty rankings, I see him drop to WR35. So, with a strong start to the 2022 season, I would pounce and try to sell high.

Darren Waller

I believe the addition of Adams will have the biggest effect on Waller. In the two years with Randy Moss, there was not a dominant tight end, but I think Waller will see the targets that the third WR saw which were around 70. He has seen 356 targets in the last three years but, with fewer targets, I see Waller as a top-eight TE rather than the top three TE in the past.

With Adams in the fold, Waller also will see fewer RedZone targets.

Thanks for checking out my article on the fantasy impact of Josh McDaniels on the Raiders. Please note that this is before the draft, as it could totally change target allocation for the offense. You can read all my work on my IDP Guys Author Page and find me on Twitter @hayeb3

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