The Oakland Raiders weren’t exactly a fantasy football player’s best friend last year. Other than tight end Jared Cook, the team didn’t have a lot of consistent performers. One of the players that had an off-year was starting quarterback Derek Carr. He had career-highs in completion percentage and passing yards but had a career-low in passing touchdowns.
What needs to be addressed is that Carr is surrounded by more talent than he ever has. He now has Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Josh Jacobs and more weapons at his disposal. That’s a very good corps of talent. The offensive line is still a concern, especially with the injury to Gabe Jackson, but the unit should still be improved compared to 2018. Given that he has another year in Jon Gruden’s system, Carr could be a serious sleeper at quarterback.
Derek Carr Fantasy Football Projections: Outlook & Preview
Carr is coming off a year that saw him as the 17th most productive fantasy quarterback. That was with an old Jordy Nelson as his top receiver and a banged-up Marshawn Lynch as his running back. He was also sacked 51 times. The team addressed the receiver and running back issue and also added talent on the offensive line. Despite the fact that the Raider offensive roster looks much better than it did a year ago, Fantasy Pros ranks Carr as the 25th fantasy quarterback heading into 2019.
This puts him behind quarterbacks that don’t have as good of a track record like Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Jameis Winston and Jimmy Garoppolo. This seems exceedingly low considering there’s almost no way his numbers go down in 2019 compared to 2018. Carr isn’t that far removed from being a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2016 and it could be argued that he has more talent around him now.
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When to Draft Derek Carr in 2019 Fantasy Football
It’s going to be hard to justify using a draft pick on Carr with so many variables involved. If you believe Fantasy Pros and that he’s barely a top-25 quarterback, then it would be best to let him sit in free agency and see how he does. It’s not impossible that he ends the year as a top-10 fantasy quarterback, but it might be a good idea to see how he does after a couple of games.
He’ll be facing off against a loaded Denver Broncos defense in week one and he’s struggled against them in the past. Let him sit on the waiver wire for that week and try to pick him up before the week two game against the Kansas City Chiefs. If you’re not stoked with your QB1’s matchup that week, Carr could be a really good option considering how bad the Chiefs’ pass defense was in 2018. He has a lot of upside with so many new weapons around him. The addition of Antonio Brown should add a good amount of points to Carr’s year-end points total. See how he does in week two and if he’s looking strong, he might be worth a permanent spot on your roster.