Waller had thumb surgery Monday, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. 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 of 2019 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.
Waller caught six of 10 targets for 107 yards during Sunday's 16-15 loss to Denver. Waller did most of his damage late in the first quarter when, facing third and long, he snagged the tight-end screen and hustled upfield for a 75-yard gain, setting up a Raiders field goal. The fifth-year tight end enjoyed a breakout 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.
Waller hauled in all four of his targets for 37 yards in the team's Week 16 win over the Chargers. 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.
Waller caught eight of 10 targets for 122 yards in Sunday's 20-16 loss to the Jaguars. 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.
Waller caught all six of his targets for 73 yards during Sunday's 42-21 loss to the Titans. He also lost a fumble. 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 should continue to serve as Derek Carr's top target next Sunday against the Jaguars.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/22||New Orleans Saints||8||6.12|
|3||09/27||@New England Patriots||12||6.35|
|5||10/11||@Kansas City Chiefs||21||7.32|
|7||10/26||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||7.63|
|9||11/08||@Los Angeles Chargers||11||6.25|
|11||11/23||Kansas City Chiefs||21||7.32|
|13||12/06||@New York Jets||4||5.13|
|15||12/18||Los Angeles Chargers||11||6.25|
|3 Year Avg||62||48||610||2||28||12.71||74|