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Fantasy Fallout

Fantasy Fallout: Davante Adams traded to the Raiders

by Pat Kerrane
Updated On: March 18, 2022, 10:59 am ET

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The Packers have traded Davante Adams to the Raiders in exchange for the Raiders' 2022 first and second-round picks. The Packers had previously franchise tagged Adams, but he was reportedly unwilling to play for them without a long-term contract. Adams will get the deal he was looking for, becoming the highest-paid wide receiver in football with a new five-year deal. But it will be the Raiders paying him, not the Packers.

In Las Vegas, this move is a downgrade for everyone involved, except Derek Carr. Adams had a 32% target share in 2021, tied with Cooper Kupp for the highest in the league. He also had 2.81 YPRR, behind only Cooper Kupp and Deebo Samuel among all pass-catchers. With a new quarterback and better target competition, Adams will not be able to dominate targets as he did in Green Bay, and his efficiency will likely take a hit as well. Still, Adams remains a fantasy WR1; he's just no longer in the elite tier.

Darren Waller also takes a bit of a hit, although he is a rare talent as a high-end receiver who plays tight end. Waller's TE-premium stock takes the biggest impact, but there's an argument that he shouldn't drop much in 0.5 PPR best ball drafts. He'll see less defensive attention now, and the Raiders offense should score more TDs than it did last season. Waller has been a fairly inconsistent fantasy scorer over the last few years, and that's almost certain to remain the case, but he is still capable of big spike weeks.

Hunter Renfrow takes the biggest hit as a reception-dependent fantasy scorer. But there's no denying that he has a strong connection with Carr, and perhaps he emerges with a bigger than expected target share. He is still interesting as a PPR WR4 type and should see plenty of routes in an offense that should run a base 3WR set.

For Green Bay, this is a complex trade. On the one hand, the Packers just pulled off a coup. They traded a wide receiver they didn't even have under contract for a first-round and second-round pick. On the other hand, this is another example of the Packers refusing to maximize their championship window with a back-to-back MVP. Trading away Rodgers' top weapon as he enters his age-38 season is a head-scratcher. But at least they got Rodgers to put pen to paper before making the move.

The Packers are now in a challenging position. Rodgers and Adams had one of the strongest QB-WR connections in league history. There's no replacing that level of chemistry. At the same time, Green Bay can't roll into the season with Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb as their top "weapons."

It seems logical that the Packers will attempt to bring free agent Marquez Valdes-Scantling back, but it would also make sense for them to target another wide receiver in free agency. There are some big names still available. Odell Beckham, JuJu Smith-SchusterJarvis Landry, Julio Jones, and Will Fuller are all free agents... but all are coming off of down seasons or injuries. Still, it is incumbent on the Packers to bring in a professional wide receiver or two. Even Jamison Crowder would be a clear improvement on the current roster.

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Green Bay also now has extra firepower to work with in a rookie class with a handful of first-round wide receiver talents. The Packers could also look to take a wide receiver on Day 2 in what is a deep class. And if there's a wide receiver they feel strongly about, they also now have the draft capital to trade up.

The uncertainty in Green Bay makes it difficult to invest in the existing options in Green Bay outside of end-of-draft dart throws. However, it makes sense to move one skill player up boards: Aaron Jones. Over the last three seasons, Jones has seen 3.95 targets in games with Davante Adams. In seven games without Adams, Jones' targets have jumped to 6.71, and he's averaged 26 PPR points per game.

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We're obviously working with a small sample size, but there appears to be something to the idea that the Packers lean on Jones more when Adams is out of the lineup. It's a good bet that Jones will be heavily involved in the offense for at least the early stretch of 2022, as Rodgers develops chemistry with what will likely be multiple new pass catchers.