There were many Oakland Raiders that had impressive fantasy football performances against the Denver Broncos in week 1. One player who was a big standout was tight end Darren Waller, who caught seven passes for 70 yards. The loss of Jared Cook was supposed to be a big blow to the Raiders offense, but Waller looks like he might be an adequate replacement. The former Baltimore Raven hasn’t done much of anything to this point in his career, mainly due to multiple suspension from failed drug tests. However, things are looking up for the athletic tight end.
Based on what was seen on Hard Knocks, Waller is clean and ready to be a big impact player for the Raiders. He was targeted early and often versus the Broncos and that should continue throughout the season. Derek Carr likes to throw to his tight ends and that means really good things for Waller this season.
Darren Waller Fantasy Outlook: Matchup vs. Chiefs
In PPR, Waller 14 points in week 1. That was against a stronger Denver Defense. As unstoppable as Kansas City’s offense is, their defense isn’t nearly at the same level. Rookie backup Gardner Minshew looked like a seasoned veteran against them. This week 2 game in Oakland is probably going to be a shootout. The Raider defense looks improved, but there probably isn’t a defense in the NFL that can slow down the Chiefs. Oakland is going to have to score some points to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and company.
The Jaguars’ tight end, James O’Shaughnessy, didn’t have a huge game against Kansas City, but he hasn’t ever been a consistent receiving threat in his career. Waller used to play wide receiver, so he’s a very effective receiving threat. Due to the fact that he’s never proven to be consistently productive, there are some risks playing Waller. We don’t exactly know what his role will be from week to week and we don’t know if in some games the coaching staff will have rookie Foster Moreau be more involved.
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Should You Start or Sit Darren Waller in Week 2?
With all that said, you should have Darren Waller as your starter unless you have Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Zach Ertz or Evan Engram on your roster. ESPN predicts Waller to get 11.4 points in PPR and could easily get more than that. It seems like Waller is going to be a big part of the Raider offense and this could be the week where he breaks out big and scores his first touchdown while wearing the silver and black. He could even be a solid FLEX play if you do already have one of the top-four tight ends.
Also, don’t forget that the Raiders show up to play against the Chiefs when they come to Oakland. The last two season, the Raiders scored 64 points combined in the two games where Kansas City came into town. Against the Chiefs last season, Jared Cook put 100 receiving yards and scored a touchdown. Don’t be surprised if Waller has a similar stat line on Sunday.