In quite possibly the most exciting NFL off-season of all time, we have yet another blockbuster trade. In an extremely surprising move the Green Bay Packers have traded Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders for a 2022 first and second round pick. This was certainly not expected, as it was anticipated he would be back with the Packers after Aaron Rodgers signed his contract extension. It is a bizarre move for a team that was expected to run it back in 2022 after a disappointing playoff exit.
It has been reported by ESPN and other networks that the relationship between Adams and the Packers was unfixable after they chose to franchise tag him for the 2022 season. This led him to sign with the Raiders for less money than the contract the Packers extended. Even if this is all true it is baffling that the Packers have let it get to this point. If the Packers were going to offer Adams $30 million a year why wouldn’t they have done it last off-season? They could have made it an extension, and it wouldn’t have kicked in till this season anyway.
The Packers were able to mend their badly damaged relationship with Aaron Rodgers last season. Attempting to reconcile with Adams till draft night wouldn’t have jeopardized the trade. If the Packers did indeed offer more money I think there is a good chance Adams would have come around eventually. The deal is done though, so both teams will be looking to move forward this year as each team hopes to compete for a Super Bowl.
For the Raiders, Adams adds an elite playmaking WR to an offense reeling from the loss of Henry Ruggs. The Raiders were poor on offense the second half of the season last year. Adams should immediately come in and help the Raiders extend drives and finish a higher percentage with a touchdown. For the Packers, they have lost a Hall of Fame calibre receiver that they simply won’t be able to replace with a single player. The Packers will look to add multiple WRs this off-season and establish a more balanced offense than they have had recently. In this article we will examine how this trade impacted some of the most important dynasty pieces for each team, as well as their outlook going forward.
Adams Trade: Outlook for Davante Adams
Upon his trade, Adams finally got the massive contract he was looking for signing with the Raiders for 5 years/141.25 million. It is a market setting contract for a man who has led the NFL in receiving yards since the 2016 season with 7,192 yards (courtesy of Statmuse). Even at age 29 he has shown no sign of slowing down, catching 123 passes for 1553 yards in 2021. He is one of two players, the other being Cooper Kupp, who can call themselves the best WR in the game. Now he’s being paid like it.
From a football standpoint this immediately makes the Raiders one of the most prolific offenses in the league on paper. Adams, Renfrow, and Waller will be tough for opposing defenses to manage. However from a fantasy standpoint I believe this trade is going to hamper all three of these players’ production. Davante Adams has never played with this much receiving talent in his career. He was force fed the ball in Green Bay, almost too much at times. That is less likely to occur with two other accomplished receivers. Derek Carr is very good, but he is no Aaron Rodgers either. A top 5 WR season isn’t out of the realm of possibility for Adams. However, he will not receive the target volume he did in Green Bay over the last several years.
Adams checks in as the WR10 in DLF’s latest ADP, and my WR11. He has been a top 5 WR in fantasy points per game and targets each of the last 4 seasons (fantasypoints.com). His ADP is a reflection of him turning 30 late this year, and doesn’t factor in the latest trade. Bill Barnwell had a fantastic stat from ESPN regarding 29 year old Pro Bowl WRs. Since 1990, 38 wide receivers have made the Pro Bowl in their age 29 season. Afterward, 24 failed to produce a single top 5 WR season the rest of their careers. Only 4 of them managed multiple top 5 seasons. This isn’t to say Adams can’t be dominant for the Raiders, but the combination of a new environment and his age should breed hesitation in dynasty managers. For contending teams he is worth an early first round pick still, and is likely worth more to your roster than you can get through trade. For middle of the road or rebuilding teams he is a must sell. His trade market at 30 next year will be low regardless of the season he has this year. Trading now for a 2023 first plus a young top 30 receiver would be an ideal move.
Adams Trade: Outlook for Derek Carr
No one gained more fantasy value from this move more than Derek Carr. He now has one of the most electrifying receiving corps in the NFL. Carr is also coming off of four straight 4000 yard passing seasons. Yet he has been a QB2 – in fantasy – every year of his career except 2016 where he finished as the QB12. Why hasn’t he been able to finish higher? The lack of touchdown passes due to not being able to finish drives. Derek Carr hasn’t exceeded 28 touchdown passes since 2015. The Raiders as a whole have only managed to crack the top 16 in scoring offense once in the last 5 years. Davante Adams is a redzone machine. His slant is impossible to cover from inside the ten yard line, even when teams know it’s coming. This trade should vastly improve the Raiders red zone offense.
Despite rarely missing a game, Derek Carr has been a mid to low end QB2 in fantasy football leagues most of his career. This leading to his position as a low end Superflex option or QB3 for most dynasty rosters. After this trade, I would be disappointed if Derek Carr didn’t exceed 30 touchdown passes for the second time in his career. All signs point to Derek Carr having the potential for a career season. A high QB2/low end QB1 finish is in the realm of possibilities. Prior to this trade, Derek Carr was my QB19. He now gets a slight bump to QB17 in my rankings. I think this is great for Derek Carr this season, but I question for how much longer Adams can continue his elite production. Carr is a fine option for teams needing a second QB starter, who also aren’t looking to break the bank.
Adams Trade: Outlook for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers
Trading Adams was not even seen as a possibility after Rodgers re-signed with the Packers this past month. Both players were thought to be a package deal no matter where Rodgers decided to play in 2022. Trading Adams has left Allen Lazard as the best receiving weapon left on the Packers offense. The Packers will assuredly add WRs through free agency and/or the draft, but this is an unsettling development for Aaron Rodgers fantasy value.
Trading away Rodgers’ best weapon when he has openly discussed retirement the past two seasons is going to be seen as a highly questionable decision. Adams has always been a consistent safety blanket for Rodgers, playing a key role in his back to back MVP finishes. Over the last several years, Rodgers has been unable to develop a consistent weapon outside of Adams. No other Packer WR has been able to clear 700 yards receiving since Jordy Nelson did so in 2016. This was painfully apparent in the Packers most recent playoff defeat. Rodgers zeroed in on Adams the entire day and the 49ers we’re ready for it. Rodgers had a very poor performance by his standards, and the Packers were bounced from the playoffs yet again.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. In the past five seasons Adams has missed eight regular season games. In those games the Packers as a whole scored 1.5 more PPG than the games Adams played. Furthermore, Aaron Rodgers saw a slight increase in his completion percentage, TD rate, and yards per game.
This is not to say Aaron Rodgers is going to be better without Adams, as this is a small sample size. It is simply saying that Rodgers is capable of performing without Adams on the field. Currently found as DLF’s QB13 I believe this is likely to fall just a tad with this latest development. I’ve written extensively this off season about buying Rodgers upside despite his age and this hasn’t changed my mind at all. The Packers are likely to acquire at least a couple more WRs this offseason. I’m also confident in Aaron Rodgers ability to produce fantasy numbers regardless of who’s around him for as long as he decides to keep playing. I’ve seen multiple trades this off-season sending Rodgers away for a single 2022 mid first round pick. If I’m a contending team this is a price I would pay in a heartbeat to push my team over the top.
What did you think of the Davante Adams trade to the Raiders? Let us know by commenting below, or on Twitter/Facebook. You can follow Emerson on Twitter @Dynasty_Analyst. Keep your eyes peeled for more articles from our great Dynasty team coming soon. Remember to tune into the 5 Yard Dynasty livestream every Tuesday at 8pm (GMT).