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Davante Adams – The One Man Show

Davante Adams has always been a one-man show for whichever team he has been on, but can his new quarterback situation keep the show going!?

Davante Adams has been the king of elite pass catchers over the last five seasons. He has been a one-person show for the team’s passing attacks, seeing heavy target volume and elite production. The move to Las Vegas was initially concerning since he had Aaron Rodgers at quarterback for so long. Now Adams has a new challenge at quarterback while trying to beat the odds of being a 30-year-old receiver. Let’s dive deep into Adams and if he is still worth being the elite receiver.

Adams Time in Green Bay

Since 2016 when Adams first broke 100 targets, he has been dominant for the Packers. He averaged 142 targets per season and produced 97 receptions, 1198 yards, and 12 touchdowns. It helped he had the play of future Hall of Fame quarterback Aaron Rodgers at quarterback. During that time, Adams averaged almost 53 more targets than the second-leading target pass catcher. Adams gave elite fantasy numbers as long as he stayed healthy, which he hasn’t played many full seasons in his career. Of course, it only has a few games here and there, but he has been consistent outside of them.

Last Season in Vegas

Fantasy owners were spectacle over Adams going from Rodgers to Derek Carr for the 2022 season. Adams continues to be the one-person show he showed us in Green Bay with another 180 targets. The next best receiver was Mack Hollins, with 94 targets, an 86 target difference. There was just one game in 2022 in which Adams didn’t see seven-plus targets and managed to have nine games with double-digit targets. A few times, he disappointed us with three games under five fantasy points. He made up for that with seven games over 20 fantasy points, especially in the fantasy championship game.

Adams would go on to rank 1st/2nd/3rd in these categories.

  • Target Share
  • Air Yards
  • Total Touchdowns
  • Targets
  • Deep Targets
  • Yards after Catch
  • Receiving Yards.

Adams was also shown to work with lesser talent at quarterback, with Jarrett Stidham finishing the last two games of 2022. With Stidham at quarterback, Adams produced 12 receptions for 226 receiving yards and two touchdowns. It’s also good to note that Adams dominated the AFC West last season, averaging over 100 receiving yards and a touchdown per game vs. the division.

What’s New for 2023 

Like in 2022, Adams has significant changes for his fantasy value in 2023. Starting with his quarterback situation again. Jimmy Garoppolo is the supposed new starting quarterback for the Raiders. Availability is already a concern, as he had foot surgery once he signed with the team. The Raiders can cut him without penalty if he can’t pass a physical by training camp. However, if he does pass, there are still issues as he only has played two seasons with more than 12 games. If he is out for the above reasons, the team is left with journeymen Brain Hoyer and rookie Aidan O’Connell. Devante Adams has thrived with his downfield ability, but none of the quarterbacks fit that play style. Jimmy G was outside the top 25 in deep ball attempts in those two full seasons. Hoyer was never a big arm thrower, and O’Connell had questionable arm strength coming into the league. Adams has shown in small quality that he can thrive with lesser talent than quarterback, especially if he sees that heavy target share.

The factors

A big factor for Adams is his age since he’ll be 31 by the end of the season. Adams, for the most part, has been able to stay healthy as of recently, but age can be a nightmare for players of his play style. We’ve seen 30-year-old receivers still be elite, like Jordy Nelson, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, and Tyler Lockett. All four receivers had one more elite season into their 30s and performed at high levels. Unfortunately, not every great can be great forever, as DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, AJ Green, and TY Hilton all have had their injury bug and never posted well into their 30s as receivers. It is a concern for Adams, but his greatness should overcome that age trend.

The mindset of Adams could affect his overall play as a pro due to his relationship with Josh McDaniels. It seems that McDaniels didn’t want Carr to throw the ball so much to Adams but to have it spread out more. While this isn’t a significant concern, it is something to keep your eye on throughout the offseason and into the 2023 season. McDaniels went out of his way to bring a firmer face in Jakobi Meyers to the team this offseason. McDaniels has been a train wreck as a head coach, and while it hasn’t effective Adams’s game, it could happen eventually.

Dynasty Trade Values 

  • 2024 1st for Devante Adams
  • 2023 2nd & Christian Watson for Devante Adams
  • 2024 1st, 2023 4th & Rashod Bateman for Devante Adams
  • Amari Cooper & 2025 1st for Devante Adams & 2 2024 3rds

Here are some recent dynasty trades on the Dynasty GM Trade Browser 2.0 with Adams. As a contender, only giving up 2024 first isn’t bad for a receiver that should top over 1000 yards. Even the two 2023 seconds and Watson is another solid trade because, as a contender, I trust Adams in 2023 more than Watson with Jordan Love. Even the Bateman trade for Adams is a good deal; Bateman is, at best, a boom-bust WR3 and then a hopeful late 2024 first. I’m torn for the final trade in this list as I’d like to see Amari Cooper bounce back with a full back DeShaun Watson for 17 games, plus you pick up 2025 first as well. Straight up, I’d still lean toward Adams, but with the addition of the first over two-thirds, give me the Cooper side of the trade.

Final Thoughts

Adams should have at least one more elite season in his fantasy career. He has shown he could make it work with any quarterback, but we haven’t seen him do it with a lesser talent for an entire season. Adams can still provide WR1 numbers for a contending team, but the elite games may be fewer than we’ve seen in past years. I wouldn’t overspend to get Adams on your team; many variables affect Adams’s 2023 season and beyond. For a rebuilding team, I’m still looking to sell Adams for a first and third in whichever draft you have open. You should look to avoid Adams in start-up drafts unless you are going all in. We’ve seen that WR1s don’t usually have many 30-year-old receivers. The best bet is that he finishes as a mid to high-end WR2. He is down to a WR2 for dynasty value due to his age, but his name value keeps him higher than most 30-year-old receivers.

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