Fantasy football impact from Las Vegas Raiders trading Darren Waller to New York Giants

Paradise, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller (83) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the New England Patriots during the first half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

  • Darren Waller joins the New York Giants, where his opportunity for targets will be higher: With the Las Vegas Raiders, Waller was the third or fourth-best option among the skill players. In New York, he could be second.
  • The Raiders have a clear need at tight end: Don’t be surprised if Foster Moreau re-signing with Las Vegas comes sooner rather than later.
  • Check out the Fantasy Football 2023 Free Agency Tracker: For updates on all other quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and kicker signings.


What this means for Darren Waller

The move gives Waller a chance to be a top-10 fantasy tight end again.

  • Waller was a top-three fantasy tight end in both 2019 and 2020, but injuries cost him significant playing time in both 2021 and 2022.
  • The Raiders were slowly phasing him out of the offense with the new coaching staff. His playing time to start 2022 was already lower than the majority of his 2021 performances, and it only declined from there.
  • Waller was still a top-seven tight end in fantasy points per game in 2021, but that fell to 12th in 2022 with fewer routes per game and fewer targets per route.
  • With the Giants, Waller will have a chance to play the vast majority of the team's snaps. There were four games last season where Daniel Bellinger played in over 94% of New York's offensive snaps.
  • Waller remains one of the most talented tight ends in the NFL. His 74.5 receiving grade ranked 11th-best among tight ends last season.
  • The Giants offense didn’t throw a lot to tight ends last season, but typically, tight end targets have more to do with the talent rather than the offense.
  • Daniel Jones has plenty of experience throwing to tight ends before 2022. Even Engram received the eighth-most targets for a tight end from 2020-2021.
  • The combination of talent and targets should be enough for Waller to be a top-10 tight end assuming he can stay healthy. If the Giants offense continues to improve, it’s possible Waller ranks top-five.


What this means for the New York Giants

This lessens New York's need to upgrade at wide receiver.

  • Waller will be moved to the top of the tight end depth chart, pushing everyone else down.
  • Daniel Bellinger was the top tight end last season, but the fourth-round rookie was just the best option New York had. Nick Vannett, Lawrence Cager and Chris Myarick all played, and all of them are under contract for 2023. One or two of them will be off the roster by Week 1.
  • New York’s wide receiver room is still in flux. Sterling Shepard and Wan’Dale Robinson were expected to be two of their top players last season, but neither lasted for more than 250 snaps. Both could be starters this season.
  • Isaiah Hodgins was a waiver wire addition in the middle of last season, and he developed into the Giants' top wide receiver. His 76.1 PFF grade was the best on the team, and he should be a starter again this season.
  • Darius Slayton and Richie James Jr. also contributed significantly throughout last season, but both are free agents. It could make sense to re-sign both players for depth, but there aren’t many great options available in free agency, so some other team might want them more.
  • The Giants could still upgrade at receiver even further in the draft, as we’ve included in a recent mock draft. The Waller addition doesn’t stop them from picking a wide receiver, but it’s less of a need now.

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What this means for the Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders will need to add a tight end in either free agency or the draft.

  • The only tight ends currently on the Raiders roster are Jesper Horsted and Cole Fotheringham, who have played a combined 179 career offensive snaps.
  • The most obvious solution is re-signing Foster Moreau, who has seen significant playing time with the Raiders, including over 700 offensive snaps each of the last two seasons.
  • Moreau would be serviceable in the Raiders' offense, but nothing more than a tight end to occasionally start in DFS in a good matchup.
  • He only had one game with more than three receptions last season and only one game with over 50 yards.
  • There are plenty of solid options at tight end in this season’s draft, so the Raiders may opt for a rookie.
  • It’s unlikely any tight end Las Vegas brings in will be a fantasy starter due to their talent at running back and wide receiver and how little they used their talented tight end last season.
  • This is good news for new free agent addition Jakobi Meyers as well as Hunter Renfrow because they won’t have as much competition for targets.
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