2023 NFL Free Agency: Fantasy football reaction to Jakobi Meyers signing with Las Vegas Raiders

Paradise, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers (16) gains yardage against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

  • Jakobi Meyers gives the Las Vegas Raiders another weapon: The Raiders were already stacked with high-end talent at skill positions, and this makes the offense more dangerous.
  • The New England Patriots are losing skill players: This is the second receiver the Patriots have lost to begin free agency, and it might not be the last.
  • Check out the Fantasy Football 2023 Free Agency Tracker: For updates on all other quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end and kicker signings.
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

What this means for Jakobi Meyers

Meyers finished the last season at WR29, which might be difficult to repeat in Las Vegas.

  • Meyers is reunited with Josh McDaniels, who was his offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots from 2019-2021.
  • He might be put in a position to succeed more with Las Vegas, although his targets might not be as high.
  • When McDaniels was Meyers’ coordinator, he was lining up in the slot between 52-57% of the time. Once McDaniels left, that rate went above 60%. In Las Vegas, it might be lower than 50%.
  • Meyers has an 84.8 career PFF grade lined up out wide compared to 72.0 in the slot. Similarly, his yards per route run are 2.31 out wide compared to 1.47 in the slot.
  • Hunter Renfrow is known for playing in the slot while Davante Adams grades better in the slot.
  • Meyers could see around the same fantasy production or see a slight dip despite fewer targets to go around if he can be more effective on his targets.
  • His upside isn’t as high as it was due to the target competition, which could further lower his ADP, making him more of a reliable late-round bargain.

What this means for the Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders will have fewer targets to go around, meaning at least one player will lose fantasy value.

  • Mack Hollins finished second on the team in targets with 89, but that likely would have been lower if Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow stayed healthy the entire season.
  • Either Hollins, Renfrow or both will lose significant playing time depending on how Meyers is used.
  • If Meyers is used the same way he was in New England, both players will lose significant time. If Meyers is viewed more as an outside or slot receiver, only one would.
  • Waller underperformed last season even when healthy, with only 4.7 targets per game.
  • At 30 years old, he might fall to third on the target priority order.
  • Renfrow and Hollins will likely fall off fantasy radars in most leagues, which should worry fantasy managers about drafting Waller without a backup plan.
  • This move still probably doesn’t put Jimmy Garoppolo high on the priority list in standard fantasy leagues, but it makes him a better option than before in superflex leagues.

What this means for the New England Patriots

The Patriots already lost Jonnu Smith via trade, and now they will be losing another weapon.

  • Meyers ran a route from the slot 315 times last season while no other wide receiver surpassed 100.
  • Kendrick Bourne lined up in the slot significantly in 2021 with New England, making him the most natural option on the roster to replace Meyers.
  • This leaves DeVante Parker and Tyquan Thornton as the outside receivers.
  • Nelson Agholor was also among the Patriots' wide receiver rotation last season but is an unrestricted free agent.
  • It’s possible these losses hurt the Patriots as a team but help their remaining weapons' fantasy value. New England had a significant rotation at both wide receiver and tight end all of last season, but now, the Patriots might not have the luxury of rotating as much. This would lead to more volume by the remaining players.

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