Well, it took a couple of years longer than we all expected, but Jimmy Garoppolo is no longer a 49er. The 31-year-old signed a three-year, $67.5 million deal with $34 million guaranteed with the Raiders on Monday. Las Vegas had been without a QB after releasing Derek Carr and exiting the Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes, so Garoppolo will immediately assume QB1 duties for a team that fell well short of expectations in 2022. With weapons like Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Jakobi Meyers at his disposal, Garoppolo should provide at least passable real-life quarterbacking services in Sin City, but what does that mean for his fantasy value? And how does it affect other L.V. skill players? Let’s get right into it.
Old projection: N/A
New projection: 254.0 completions on 589.6 attempts for 4,317.6 yards (7.3 YPA), 22.8 TDs, and 13.9 interceptions
- Garoppolo is a serviceable NFL QB — he actually has the highest career yards-per-attempt average of any quarterback in the modern era — but it’s a massive downgrade going from Kyle Shanahan‘s system to Josh McDaniels‘. Even in a picture-perfect 49ers scheme, Garoppolo averaged just 16.1 fantasy points per game across 14 starts (excluding Week 18) in 2021, good for QB16 on a per-game basis. In 2019, Garoppolo averaged 16.3 points per game (QB22 PPG). And that’s with Shanahan, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and (in 2021) Brandon Aiyuk.
- Jimmy G has solid weapons in Las Vegas, but the coaching downgrade is significant. Never having run for more than 62 yards in a season, Garoppolo offers nothing on the ground. He’s likely not a top-24 fantasy option for the Raiders. He could be useful in deeper best ball leagues, considering he has a chance to start all 17 games — although the Raiders could still look toward the future in the draft — but don’t expect many fireworks from Garoppolo fantasy-wise.
OTHER RAIDERS PLAYERS
- The QB position was a huge question mark for Las Vegas after they moved on from Derek Carr. They still could use the seventh overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft on a quarterback, but the decision to sign Garoppolo and guarantee him $34 million likely pencils him in as the starter all season. At the very least, he’s a known commodity — something you can’t say about a rookie QB — who’s capable of getting his weapons the football. It’s highly unlikely he replicates his SF efficiency with a new team, but Davante Adams, Josh Jacobs, Hunter Renfrow, and Jakobi Meyers should have competent QB play come September.
- Garoppolo seems like a slight downgrade from Carr, at least in terms of pushing the ball downfield. Carr’s 9.7 average depth of target ranked third among QBs with at least 300 dropbacks in 2022, per Pro Football Focus. Meanwhile, Garoppolo’s 7.3 aDOT placed him in the bottom quartile. Jimmy G can accurately find his guys, but we may not get as many deep shots to Adams in 2023. The QB change is perhaps a slight ding to where Adams’ fantasy value was in 2022, but Jimmy G is a better outcome for LV pass catchers than a rookie QB or a worse veteran.
- John Daigle did highlight that Garoppolo performed better than Carr on intermediate throws over the middle of the field, where a career-high 30% of Adams’ targets came last year. Shanahan certainly had a major impact on these numbers, so we’ll see whether Jimmy can sustain this success with Las Vegas, but the point remains that this is likely a close-to-lateral move for Raiders pass catchers.
Davante Adams saw a career-high 30% of his targets come in the intermediate level of the field (10-19 yards) in year one under Josh McDaniels.
Derek Carr in that range:
52% completion rate (33rd)
9.1 YPA (30th)
Garoppolo in that range since 2021:
11.6 YPA (5th) https://t.co/QJEEGZCTVX
— John Daigle (@notJDaigle) March 13, 2023