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Darren Waller

Darren Waller

Tight End #84
ADP:Round: 5, Pick: 10
Team: Las Vegas Raiders
Ht / Wt:6'6" / 238 lb.
College:Georgia Tech
Born:June 23, 1992
Drafted:2015 / Rd. 6 (204)
Draft Team:BAL

Darren Waller: Undergoes thumb surgery

Waller had thumb surgery Monday, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: It's unclear when Waller sustained this injury, but it surely didn't hinder him in the season finale, as he caught six passes for 107 yards -- his fifth game with 100-plus receiving yards. Waller was a late-round steal for fantasy purposes this year, as he finished with 90 receptions for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns. The 27-year-old is expected to make a full recovery for the 2020 season when the Raiders move to Las Vegas.

December 30, 2019 1:06 PM EST

Darren Waller: Breaks free in Denver

Waller caught six of 10 targets for 107 yards during Sunday's 16-15 loss to Denver.

Analysis: Waller did most of his damage late in the first quarter when, facing third and long, he snagged the tight-end screen and hustled up field for a 75-yard gain, setting up a Raiders field goal. The fifth-year tight end enjoyed a renaissance in Oakland this season, finishing the season with 90 catches for 1,145 yards -- amazing considering he had just 18 career catches for 178 yards entering 2019. He should be a cornerstone in Las Vegas, though fans will surely hope that he improves on 2019's meager three touchdowns.

December 29, 2019 5:20 PM EST

Darren Waller: Held in check

Waller hauled in all four of his targets for 37 yards in the team's Week 16 win over the Chargers.

Analysis: Waller was hurt by the return of Hunter Renfrow (ribs), who provided Derek Carr another intermediate target option. After recording no fewer than six receptions in each of the three games Renfrow missed, Waller's production immediately dipped. Still, he made the most of his opportunities by recording chunk gains of 20 and 11 yards. Waller will look to end the season strong in Week 17 against the Broncos, though it seems likely that his targets will remain limited.

December 22, 2019 5:33 PM EST

Darren Waller: Strong effort in Oakland finale

Waller caught eight of 10 targets for 122 yards in Sunday's 20-16 loss to the Jaguars.

Analysis: In the Raiders' final game in Oakland, the tight end led the team in catches, targets and yards, a fitting tribute to past franchise greats like Dave Casper and Todd Christensen. Waller topped 1,000 receiving yards on the season with his final grab, becoming only the second TE in the club's history to accomplish that feat -- Christensen did it three times between 1983 and 1986. Waller will take aim at Christensen's franchise record 1,247 yards over the final two games, including next Sunday's road clash with a Falcons defense that just saw George Kittle rack up 134 yards against it in Week 15.

December 15, 2019 5:51 PM EST

Darren Waller: Leads team in receiving yards

Waller caught all six of his targets for 73 yards during Sunday's 42-21 loss to the Titans. He also lost a fumble.

Analysis: Waller finished second on the team in targets while tying for the team lead in receptions. He has now topped 70 receiving yards in three of the last four games to approach 900 yards for the season. Waller continues to serve as Derek Carr's top target and should continue as such next Sunday against the Jaguars.

December 8, 2019 5:06 PM EST

Darren Waller: Big day in loss to Chiefs

Waller caught seven of nine targets for 100 yards in Sunday's 40-9 loss to the Chiefs.

Analysis: The tight end led the Raiders in catches, targets and yards, en route to his third 100-yard performance of the season. Waller has struggled to reach the end zone -- he hasn't scored a TD since Week 8 and had to watch Derek Carrier haul in Oakland's only score Sunday -- but otherwise he's having a remarkable breakout campaign. Waller will look to post big numbers again in Week 14 against a Titans defense that just let Jack Doyle go off for a 6-73-1 line.

December 1, 2019 6:29 PM EST

Darren Waller: Tops 40 yards in blowout loss

Waller caught three of six targets for 41 yards in Sunday's 34-3 loss to the Jets.

Analysis: The entire Raiders team laid an egg in this one, but at least Waller was able to eclipse 40 yards for the ninth time in 11 games. While the yardage has been there, the tight end remains stuck on three touchdowns this season, all of which were scored in a two-game stretch spanning Week 7 and Week 8. Waller should be more involved against the division-leading Chiefs in Week 13.

November 24, 2019 3:08 PM EST

Darren Waller: Records 78 receiving yards

Waller caught five of seven targets for 78 yards during Sunday's 17-10 win over the Bengals.

Analysis: Waller led the team in targets while finishing averaging a solid 15.6 yards per reception. He ripped off a long gain of 32 yards, and although he was held mostly to shorter gains on the rest of his grabs, he finished with his highest receiving output since Week 7. Although Waller hasn't reached the end zone in the last three games, he could still have opportunities to produce next Sunday against the Jets.

November 17, 2019 7:13 PM EST

Darren Waller: Cleared to play this week

Waller (foot) does not carry an injury designation for Sunday's game against the Packers after practicing fully Friday, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Waller was added to the Raiders' Week 7 injury report after being limited at practice Thursday, but he'll be a go Sunday, which is good news for the team's passing attack, given that top wideout Tyrell Williams (foot) will remained sidelined this weekend. Five games into his 2019 season, Waller has racked up 37 catches (on 42 targets) for 359 yards, numbers that make him a startable fantasy tight end and also recently earned him a multi-year contract extension with the Raiders, worth about $9 million per season, according to Gutierrez.

October 18, 2019 1:51 PM EST

Darren Waller: Listed as limited Thursday

Waller (foot) was limited at practice Thursday, Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Analysis: The tight tend -- who recently signed mult-iyear contract extension with the Raiders -- practiced fully Wednesday, so his limitations Thursday are worth noting. We'll revisit his status no later than Friday, but so far there's been nothing to suggest that Waller's status for Sunday's game against the Packers is in peril.

October 17, 2019 2:32 PM EST

Darren Waller: Snags three-year extension

Waller and the Raiders agreed on an extension that will keep him under contract through the 2023 season, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: Per Pelissero, the deal is expected to be worth around $9 million per season after his would-be restricted free agent year following the 2019 season. Waller has made a remarkable journey back from a battle with addiction, and was originally signed off the Ravens' practice squad last November by the Raiders. The 27-year-old has established himself as a go-to guy for the Silver and Black this season, catching 37 of 42 targets for 359 yards through five games. It's likely more specifics surrounding the deal will become available in the coming days, but the Raiders were able to lock up their breakout tight end for the next three seasons.

October 16, 2019 6:30 PM EST

Darren Waller: Has season-worst outing

Waller caught four of five targets for 39 yards during Sunday's 24-21 in over Chicago.

Analysis: Waller figured to be the Raiders' top target with Tyrell Williams (foot) and J.J. Nelson (knee) on the shelf. Evidently, Chicago thought the same thing as Waller was bottled up while his backup, Foster Moreau, led the team in receiving. Waller already has a difficult matchup in Week 7 against the Packers. If Williams and Nelson are unavailable, Green Bay would likely have all eyes on Waller.

October 6, 2019 2:24 PM EST

Darren Waller: Even more targets than usual?

Waller is a candidate for extra targets in Sunday's Week 5 tilt against the Bears in London with wideouts Tyrell Williams (foot), J.J. Nelson (knee) and Dwayne Harris (ankle) all declared inactive for the contest.

Analysis: The breakout tight end has seen no fewer than seven targets in any contest, and given the multiple absences and the relative inexperience of the receiver set to step up, Waller could be closer to the season-high 14 looks he saw in Week 3 against the Vikings. The one damper on the possible increased opportunity is naturally a Bears defense that's allowed an average of just 5.5 fantasy points per game to tight ends in standard scoring formats.

October 6, 2019 8:54 AM EST

Darren Waller: Grabs seven passes

Waller caught seven of eight passes for 53 yards during Sunday's 31-24 win over Indianapolis.

Analysis: Waller was held to a season-low 53 yards Sunday as the Colts did well with their zone-heavy scheme of keeping the athletic tight end in front of them. That didn't stop him from snagging at least a half-dozen passes for the fourth consecutive game. Waller leads Oakland in catches, targets, and yards, but it's fair to wonder where the touchdowns are for a big-bodied target averaging over eight catches per game. Pay dirt has to be coming eventually, but the Bears will be a tough team to do it against in Week 5.

September 29, 2019 5:00 PM EST

Darren Waller: Even more opportunity on tap?

Waller could be in line for another significant target share in a Week 4 tilt against the Colts with wideouts J.J. Nelson (coach's decision) and Dwayne Harris (ankle) declared inactive for the contest.

Analysis: It would be difficult for Waller to top the 14 targets he saw Week 3 against the Vikings, but the pair of absences in the wideout corps at least up the chances he reaches double-digit looks once again. Waller has arguably functioned as a 1-A receiver in the Raiders offense through the first three games anyhow, having brought in an impressive 26 of 29 targets for 267 yards. He'll also be drawing a favorable matchup Sunday, considering the Colts have allowed an 18-181-2 line to tight ends over their first three games.

September 29, 2019 8:50 AM EST

Darren Waller: Colossal Week 3 production

Waller corralled 13 of his 14 targets, amassing 134 receiving yards during Sunday's 34-14 loss to Minnesota. He also registered one carry, logging a seven-yard gain on the play.

Analysis: Waller looks like he may just be your prototypical "league winner," emerging from a late-round average draft position to become an elite fantasy producer over the course of the season. The 255-pound tight end has been targeted at least seven times in three straight games to start off the season, while providing an absurdly efficient catch rate of 89.7 percent. He also has offered a high floor with no fewer than 63 receiving yards in any game thus far in 2019. Look for Waller to keep things rolling in Week 4, facing a Colts defense that allowed Falcons tight end Austin Hooper to erupt for 66 yards and two touchdowns Sunday.

September 22, 2019 3:52 PM EST

Darren Waller: Another solid outing

Waller caught six of seven targets for a team-high 63 yards in Sunday's 28-10 loss to the Chiefs.

Analysis: The tight end was productive once again, although the Raiders' passing game as a whole took a step backwards from Week 1. Waller already has new career highs in catches (13) and receiving yards (133) on the season, and he appears to be Derek Carr's No. 2 option behind Tyrell Williams -- a role that should make him a valuable fantasy asset the rest of the way.

September 15, 2019 5:50 PM EST

Darren Waller: Extremely encouraging season debut

Waller caught seven of eight targets during Monday night's 24-16 win against the Broncos, accounting for 70 receiving yards.

Analysis: Waller is a secret weapon for an Oakland offensive attack aiming to improve upon an 18th-place finish in passing yards per game. The 6-foot-6 Waller possesses elite athleticism for his position, with a 4.46 second 40-yard dash time and 4.25 second shuttle time recorded at his 2015 NFL Combine appearance. Existing within a Raiders offense that suddenly has targets up for grabs after the release of Antonio Brown on Saturday, Waller has a chance to enjoy a lucrative 2019 campaign at a tight end position that offers relatively few matchup-winning options across the league.

September 10, 2019 12:35 AM EST

Darren Waller: Possible increase in role?

Waller could be a candidate to receive more targets after the Raiders released Antonio Brown on Saturday.

Analysis: Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow and even J.J. Nelson are the more obvious names who stand to benefit from Brown's release, but Waller's already fast-rising fantasy value could skyrocket up further with Saturday's not-so-shocking announcement. The tight end was already turning heads throughout training camp, and benefited nationally from extra coverage throughout HBO's Hard Knocks, but a lack of obvious pass catchers in Oakland almost solidifies Waller's value as a low-floor, high-ceiling option. He'll face a difficult matchup Week 1 against the Broncos, but it's not hard to envision a scenario where Waller puts together numbers similar to Jared Cook, who was the Raiders' primary pass catcher in 2018 to the tune of 68 receptions, 896 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

September 7, 2019 11:10 AM EST

Darren Waller: Gets starting nod

Waller (shoulder) got the start and caught one of two targets for seven yards in Thursday's preseason win over the Cardinals.

Analysis: Oakland's first snap featured two tight ends and a fullback, with Waller, Foster Moreau and Alec Ingold joining halfback Josh Jacobs and wideout Tyrell Williams. Starting quarterback Derek Carr only threw two passes -- one to Williams and one to fellow wideout Ryan Grant. Despite the modest performance, Waller still appears on track for the top pass-catching role at tight end, if for no other reason than a lack of competition. He's listed in the top spot on Oakland's preseason depth chart, followed by Moreau, Derek Carrier and Luke Willson, in that order.

August 16, 2019 7:11 AM EST

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