Derek Carr’s 2022 season was not up to his fantasy scoring standard, but he could rebound in a big way depending on who he plays for in 2023.
A 2022 Disappointment
Derek Carr finished as the 17th-ranked fantasy quarterback in 2022. His 60.8% completion percentage was way down from his 2021 number of 68.4%. And while he threw for one more touchdown (24) in 2022, he threw for nearly 1,300 fewer yards.
Derek Carr’s 2021 fantasy campaign saw him finish at QB13, which naturally led fantasy managers to consider him a bargain QB1 heading into the season. With the addition of his college friend and teammate, Davante Adams, fantasy players were happy to take Carr late in their fantasy drafts, banking on him being a part of numerous AFC West shoot-outs throughout the season. He was able to help Adams remain an elite fantasy option at wide receiver, but could not sustain enough respectable success himself.
Derek Carr Doesn’t Discuss Fallout With Raiders
Before his release from the Raiders, Derek Carr chose not to delve publicly into what happened with him and the Raiders. He knew he would not be in Las Vegas for the 2023 season, so he wanted to look forward.
Cue the off-season, and many are already speculating on the potential best spots for Derek Carr to start in 2023. While Derek Carr would be an upgrade for many teams, there are a few that I don’t see as the best fit. Teams like the Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, and Atlanta Falcons could be in the market for an upgrade, but all three have top-ten picks that could be used on a QB in this year’s draft which is full of promising young quarterbacks. I am more interested in a few landing spots mentioned by my colleague, Nolan Brooks.
Derek Carr To The Saints Could Be Huge For Fantasy
The above article mentions the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets as two other potential destinations for Derek Carr, but I think going to the Saints would be the best possible move for all involved.
The Saints did not make much noise in terms of competing for a playoff spot last season, but they play in a bad division and already have an elite defense. New Orleans ranked fifth in yards allowed per game and ninth in points allowed per game on the defensive side of the ball, and this unit kept them competitive all season. With an upgrade at quarterback, the offense can take some strides with the development of wide receiver Chris Olave, who showed immense potential this past season. If they can keep the status quo on defense, they could easily find themselves in the post-season since the NFC South is completely up for grabs.
Did I Forget To Mention The Fantasy Impact?
Technically, yes! But the idea was there. Derek Carr’s 2022 season could be an anomaly from a fantasy standpoint if he goes to New Orleans in 2023. I think we would see him once again produce at the level of an elite streaming option week to week.
Further, his impact on Chris Olave could be great. Olave was the 25th-best wide receiver in PPR leagues this past season as a rookie. He barely eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark, and only had four receiving touchdowns, but I think this could serve as his respectable floor. Going from Andy Dalton to Derek Carr, along with a full season of experience, could see Olave be a clear WR2 in fantasy, with the possibility of entering the low-end WR1 discussion.
Other Things I Heard
I say “heard,” because I cannot take credit for these ideas. I listened to a recent episode of the great podcast Fantasy Football Today, and they laid out some pretty interesting stats regarding Carr’s record in warm weather, and against non-playoff teams.
The cliff notes? Carr plays better in good weather and against bad teams. Well, who doesn’t? New Orleans, though, would check both of those boxes. He would play half of his games indoors and would be playing against a division that was full of losing records last season. It makes perfect sense to me.
I should temper expectations a bit, here, as while I think Derek Carr can be a meaningful fantasy quarterback again, I’m not sure there is any place he could go that would catapult him into the top 10.
He still has to prove that last season was an anomaly in terms of his statistics and that he still has plenty left in the tank. I should also mention that I think the Jets would, on paper, be a better overall offense for a newcomer at QB. However, my football hunch says Aaron Rodgers goes out east. Either way, we shall see! Happy speculating this off-season, and make sure to stay on Stadium Rant for all of your sports’ discussion needs.