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TE Darren Waller, LV


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1 hour ago, Ranethe said:

In my 16 team rookie draft last year I got George Kittle as mr irrelevant, last pick of 6th round. Not arguing your larger point but I think all picks remain investments.

Yes all picks remain investments. Major orders of magnitude difference between 1st/2nd rounds and 5th/6th, though. They really are basically free at that point. Any miss can't be seriously looked at as a loss when it is that late. 

I grabbed Kittle eveywhere around that same range two years ago as well. It was based on a modest amount of research (had a little sleeper hype, good measureables and played in a pro system at Iowa).  Maybe 5 minutes investment. Same thing with Waller. 

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For Former Soldiers and NFL Players, a Place to Heal

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Camp dark horse for you here (and potential “Hard Knocks” storyline): Raiders TE Darren Waller. He’s not that young—he’ll turn 27 right after the opener. And he’s had his share of issues, having incurred a four-game suspension in 2016 and a year-long suspension in 2017. But as a converted receiver moved to tight end, he showed his athletic ability in the spring, after playing a little in Oakland at the end of last year (the Raiders signed him off the Ravens practice squad in November). “He’s an athletic freak—phenomenal speed for his size,” said one staffer of the 255-pounder, while also lauding his work ethic and how he’s fit in as a teammate. Maybe it amounts to nothing. But if it’s more than that, it could fill the void left by Jared Cook’s departure.

 

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On 6/30/2019 at 8:39 PM, Ranethe said:

In my 16 team rookie draft last year I got George Kittle as mr irrelevant, last pick of 6th round. Not arguing your larger point but I think all picks remain investments.

If you got him as the last pick last year in a 16 team league let me know when you have an opening. If you mean 2 yrs ago when he was a rookie then I’ll ask, why did you draft kittle? I also drafted him in 3 leagues. Here was my reasoning:

1. Size/speed traits- he measured well as a te, fit the profile.

2. Weak depth chart in front of him- I don’t remember but I think they maybe still had Vance McDonald. Opportunity is step 1 to relevance. 

3. A coaching philosophy with a history of “some” te use- maybe not elite usage but the shanahan system uses the te. 

4. He was really cheap.

Waller is in a similar situation. I added him where I have a roster spot. Targets may be hard to come by but he’s worth a look imo. If he doesn’t pan out quickly it’s an easy dump. He’s not a rookie you may be inclined to hold for a few years hoping that “it takes 3 yrs for a te to break out.” There is absolutely no risk in carrying him. 

Fwiw the rookie I think fits this pattern is kahale warring. 

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2 hours ago, Snorkelson said:

If you got him as the last pick last year in a 16 team league let me know when you have an opening. If you mean 2 yrs ago when he was a rookie then I’ll ask, why did you draft kittle? I also drafted him in 3 leagues. Here was my reasoning:

1. Size/speed traits- he measured well as a te, fit the profile.

2. Weak depth chart in front of him- I don’t remember but I think they maybe still had Vance McDonald. Opportunity is step 1 to relevance. 

3. A coaching philosophy with a history of “some” te use- maybe not elite usage but the shanahan system uses the te. 

4. He was really cheap.

Waller is in a similar situation. I added him where I have a roster spot. Targets may be hard to come by but he’s worth a look imo. If he doesn’t pan out quickly it’s an easy dump. He’s not a rookie you may be inclined to hold for a few years hoping that “it takes 3 yrs for a te to break out.” There is absolutely no risk in carrying him. 

Fwiw the rookie I think fits this pattern is kahale warring. 

Yeah, sorry, meant 2 years ago in a rookie draft. Based on his athletic profile and a little looking into his usage in college, drop percentages, etc. I’m making no comment either way regarding Waller-I said I agreed with the larger point. Was just pushing back a little against the idea that late picks are throw-a-ways.

Having said all that, and understanding Gruden’s been talking him up, for me personally Waller isn’t the Raider TE I’d be interested in. I tend to view with skepticism the players who’ve kicked around a while and have had no success. I’ve been kind of thinking Foster Moreau has some Kittle-lite qualities. Decent athletic profile (though not at Kittle’s level) and some mitigating factors for lack of production in college. Alas I missed him in my drafts.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Darren Waller's "flashes in the passing game are there" early in Raiders camp.

"Raiders TE Darren Waller making plays in camp like Raiders WR Darren Waller," reporter Michael Gehlken said of the converted wideout. Waller still needs his buzzed-about offseason to carry over into the preseason, but he continues to look like a deep sleeper who might actually pay off at the tight end position.

SOURCE: Michael Gehlken on Twitter

Jul 30, 2019, 2:27 PM ET

 

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19 minutes ago, Twenty-Four Eighty-Four said:

Never hear this guy much thought. What do people think?

 The ACL sprain is disappointing but there has been some buzz around him at camp, the Raiers have room for someone besides AB to catch passes. Also, if one created a pass catching TE in a lab, they would look a lot like Waller. 6'6" 255, 4.46 speed, agile and can jump like a basketball player. He is a guy to keep an eye for sure. 

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10 hours ago, Just Win Baby said:

I'll take the under

Well, sure.  I'd take the under if Cook hadn't left too given that it was Cook's career year.  And I think it's maybe 40-50% Waller is like for like.  And 75% that he stays healthy (like any NFL player).

But, you know, he's basically free.

 

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz
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34 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Well, sure.  I'd take the under if Cook hadn't left too given that it was Cook's career year.  And I think it's maybe 40-50% Waller is like for like.  And 75% that he stays healthy (like any NFL player).

If you are saying you think there is a 40-50% chance that Waller matches Cook's 2018 season if he stays healthy, I think you are far too optimistic about him.

First off, Cook had 101 targets last season. No way Waller sees that many targets competing with a stronger RB group, Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, and the other new WRs, unless there are multiple significant injuries to others. It really isn't necessary to look any farther than targets.

Again, there is a difference in saying that Waller can return value given his very low investment price and saying he has a great chance to be a top 5 TE this season. The former may be true. The probability of the latter is probably less than 5%.

Edited by Just Win Baby
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33 minutes ago, Just Win Baby said:

If you are saying you think there is a 40-50% chance that Waller matches Cook's 2018 season if he stays healthy, I think you are far too optimistic about him.

First off, Cook had 101 targets last season. No way Waller sees that many targets competing with a stronger RB group, Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, and the other new WRs, unless there are multiple significant injuries to others. It really isn't necessary to look any farther than targets.

Again, there is a difference in saying that Waller can return value given his very low investment price and saying he has a great chance to be a top 5 TE this season. The former may be true. The probability of the latter is probably less than 5%.

I'm saying there's a ~40-50% chance Waller occupies the same role as Cook did last year, will put up similar numbers to what Cook would have (if he stays healthy), and is a legit top-10 contender.  And even if I'm wrong, he's ~free.

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1 minute ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

I'm saying there's a ~40-50% chance Waller occupies the same role as Cook did last year, will put up similar numbers to what Cook would have (if he stays healthy), and is a legit top-10 contender.  And even if I'm wrong, he's ~free.

To anyone who has been paying attention he's not free. He might be cheap at this point but if he stays healthy that will change quickly but most in the Community have been paying attention.

 

Tex

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Raiders TE Darren Waller (shoulder) returned to practice on Sunday.

Waller was a spectator at Saturday's session but only needed a day to recover from a sprained AC joint. He's been a standout at camp so far with beat reporter Ted Nguyen of The Athletic going as far as to call him "unguardable." Stepping into the role vacated by free-agent casualty Jared Cook, Waller could be in line for a 2019 breakout.

SOURCE: Scott Bair on Twitter

Aug 4, 2019, 12:44 PM ET

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

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NBC Sports' Scott Blair reports Raiders TE Darren Waller is "as active as he's been since suffering his shoulder sprain."

Waller isn't fully cleared, but he should be soon. The late-round sleeper is expected to slide into a modified version of the Jared Cook role in 2019. There has been positive buzz surrounding Waller all offseason.

SOURCE: Scott Blair on Twitter

Aug 13, 2019, 4:33 PM ET

 

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Darren Waller Looks Healthy In Game Action

5 hours agoOakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller appeared to be putting his recent shoulder woes behind him in the team's preseason Week 2 matchup. After suffering an AC joint sprain on August 3, Waller missed the preseason opener last weekend and has appeared sporadically in practice since. He was active and effective against the Cardinals on Thursday, picking up a slick reception for seven yards and was also found wide open in the end zone on the same drive, but was overthrown on a pass thrown by Mike Glennon. Waller continues to get praise from the coaching staff for his athleticism and strong receiving hands, making him a viable breakout candidate in 2019. He'll take over the void left by Jared Cook, albeit without the high volume of work, and could provide sneaky value at the thin tight end position this season.--Riley Mrack - RotoBaller

Anyone actually watch the game? This is a good sign that he's back healthy and that he basically was Glennoned on an easy TD. Still contend this kid has the most upside of any TE flier out there. Not sure whey he isn't getting more love. It's almost like he's suffering from Residual Rico Backlash.

Edited by tombonneau
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On 8/3/2019 at 11:32 AM, Twenty-Four Eighty-Four said:

Never hear this guy much thought. What do people think?

He’s an athletic freak but it’s just a matter if he can put it all together. AB will certainly open up the field for him and hopefully the Jacobs hype pans out. Should have enough space opportunity to finish as a TE 10-12. Not exciting but can be had for nothing and if you are in a keeper league he should only improve from here. I just really don’t know how I feel about Carr.

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Warren Sharp @SharpFootball

Raiders players say TE Darren Waller is the most underrated player in camp. He played all first-string snaps this preseason & stayed in for all groupings (11, 12, 21 & 22). He caught only 6 passes since 2016, but Gruden said this year he'll get the "chance of a lifetime".

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1 hour ago, Penguin said:

Warren Sharp @SharpFootball

Raiders players say TE Darren Waller is the most underrated player in camp. He played all first-string snaps this preseason & stayed in for all groupings (11, 12, 21 & 22). He caught only 6 passes since 2016, but Gruden said this year he'll get the "chance of a lifetime".

Jeez if he never comes off the field, he will stumble ###-backward into startable fantasy points even if he's below average. And he's got some talent and athleticism. 

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Would really like to join the Waller owners here but this is what keeps me from jumping in. He's been in the league for a couple of years now and he did noting with Baltimore, a team who uses the TE a lot. I just can't seem to get past that.  Can any one help me out here?  I know Cook had a very good year and it's expected Waller takes over for him. How does he compare to Cook in terms of talent? Obviously the opportunity is there.

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3 minutes ago, KingPrawn said:

Would really like to join the Waller owners here but this is what keeps me from jumping in. He's been in the league for a couple of years now and he did noting with Baltimore, a team who uses the TE a lot. I just can't seem to get past that.  Can any one help me out here?  I know Cook had a very good year and it's expected Waller takes over for him. How does he compare to Cook in terms of talent? Obviously the opportunity is there.

He came into the league as a 238(?) pound WR and was suspended for four games and then an entire year.

So the TE thing is a new idea and this is his first go with it.

Fairly high risk of injury (weight gain, still on the leaner side for a TE) or suspension (c.f. Josh Gordon), but the upside is there (physical profile is similar to Olsen at 255) and the noise out of camp has been loud and consistent.  I'm buying at the current prices.

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20 minutes ago, KingPrawn said:

Would really like to join the Waller owners here but this is what keeps me from jumping in. He's been in the league for a couple of years now and he did noting with Baltimore, a team who uses the TE a lot. I just can't seem to get past that.  Can any one help me out here?  I know Cook had a very good year and it's expected Waller takes over for him. How does he compare to Cook in terms of talent? Obviously the opportunity is there.

I first thought the same thing but then thought he could be just a late bloomer.

Tex

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24 minutes ago, Choke said:

On Hard Knocks he says he was totally addicted to any and all drugs.  Banned for the entirety of 2017.  Now has used rehab and is clean and cognizant of his problem.

He had problems at Georgia Tech too, IIRC.

Twitter tells me that he was a big story on Hard Knocks last night and that he's been clean for a couple years now.  Rooting for the guy.  Hype train probably leaving the station.

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29 minutes ago, KingPrawn said:

Would really like to join the Waller owners here but this is what keeps me from jumping in. He's been in the league for a couple of years now and he did noting with Baltimore, a team who uses the TE a lot. I just can't seem to get past that.  Can any one help me out here?  I know Cook had a very good year and it's expected Waller takes over for him. How does he compare to Cook in terms of talent? Obviously the opportunity is there.

As someone else said, he had drug issues (which is still a red flag as these things can re-occur). Also he was a college WR transitioning to TE which would be a steep learning curve. 

2015- hurt, went to IR

2016- 4 game suspension for drugs

2017- suspended for the year for drugs

2018- spent the year on the Ravens practice squad. While that is not a good sign, we also have to remember the Ravens had Hayden Hurts, Mark Andrews, Maxx Williams, Nick Boyle. It was a group clogged with relatively high draft picks. 

So there is some room to explain away his early season struggles and given his pricetag, it's not a costly gamble. 

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46 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Just saw the Hard Knocks and yeah it's hard not to root for him. He seems like a very thoughtful and honest person. 

My take as well. I particularly liked the response to the Madden raters that were there. They asked how he felt about being given a 68. He basically said he hasn't done anything in the league yet so why should he be defensive about a video game rating? 

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I've been snagging Waller as my second tight end in leagues where Chris Herndon is already gone.  Both are risky but have high ceilings.  Waller is a player who I'll have on a very short leash.  If he only gets a catch or two in the first game, I'll cut him.  Either all this preseason hoopla is true or it's not.  I like drafting risky players with high ceilings who I can cut after the first week or two if they don't immediately pan out.  

 

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5 minutes ago, Don Hutson said:

I've been snagging Waller as my second tight end in leagues where Chris Herndon is already gone.  Both are risky but have high ceilings.  Waller is a player who I'll have on a very short leash.  If he only gets a catch or two in the first game, I'll cut him.  Either all this preseason hoopla is true or it's not.  I like drafting risky players with high ceilings who I can cut after the first week or two if they don't immediately pan out.  

 

Your first sentence makes sense but cutting after one game if the catches aren't there seems silly.   

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Just now, DocHolliday said:

Your first sentence makes sense but cutting after one game if the catches aren't there seems silly.   

I like playing the waiver wire.  You have to cut players to do it.  So I intentionally draft several high risk/high reward flyers who I can cut without much worry.  Waller has an 16th round adp.  If you can't cut the player you drafted in the 16th round then who can you cut?  Players who are going to have a breakout season will usually do well in the first game of the season.  Players who receive a lot of offseason chatter but do bupkis in the first game of the season usually amount to nothing.  It's not a foolproof strategy.  It's just a better strategy than the alternative.

 

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5 minutes ago, Don Hutson said:

I like playing the waiver wire.  You have to cut players to do it.  So I intentionally draft several high risk/high reward flyers who I can cut without much worry.  Waller has an 16th round adp.  If you can't cut the player you drafted in the 16th round then who can you cut?  Players who are going to have a breakout season will usually do well in the first game of the season.  Players who receive a lot of offseason chatter but do bupkis in the first game of the season usually amount to nothing.  It's not a foolproof strategy.  It's just a better strategy than the alternative.

 

I'd hold him for a couple more games than that. 

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9 minutes ago, Don Hutson said:

Players who are going to have a breakout season will usually do well in the first game of the season.  Players who receive a lot of offseason chatter but do bupkis in the first game of the season usually amount to nothing.

This feels anecdotal at best. 

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1 hour ago, Don Hutson said:

I like playing the waiver wire.  You have to cut players to do it.  So I intentionally draft several high risk/high reward flyers who I can cut without much worry.  Waller has an 16th round adp.  If you can't cut the player you drafted in the 16th round then who can you cut?  Players who are going to have a breakout season will usually do well in the first game of the season.  Players who receive a lot of offseason chatter but do bupkis in the first game of the season usually amount to nothing.  It's not a foolproof strategy.  It's just a better strategy than the alternative.

 

I agree. The only caveat is that I'm not dropping such a player after one or two games unless there is someone on the wire that I am actually targeting. There usually is but it's not a given. 

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