Fantasy Impact: Derek Carr
By Nick Young
Quarterback Derek Carr signed ealier today with the New Orleans Saints for 4 years $150 million. This comes after being released by the Las Vegas Raiders last month. I'm here to give you my thoughts on how this will impact the Saints' position players and their fantasy production.
This is, by and large a major boost to the Saints offense as they struggled with Andy Dalton at the helm. In Davante Adams first year with the Raiders and Carr, he eclipsed 1500 receiving yards and hauled in 14 touchdowns and a WR1 in all fantasy formats, the Saints offense should see an increase in fantasy relevancy. Let's take a look at a few players, and how I see this impacting their fantasy production moving forward:
Running back Alvin Kamara’s status with the Saints remains up in the air as his criminal case is still in flux. With that in mind I don’t expect much to change for Kamara on the offense. While Kamara is known for his receiving ability, Derek Carr doesn’t have a reputation for his running backs to have a big part in the receiving game. This past season while Josh Jacobs had 1600 rushing yards, he only had 400 receiving yards which was his career highest. Since Drew Brees has retired, Kamara hasn’t seen more than 450 receiving yards. Kamara was RB16 this past season and I don’t expect that to change unless the Saints also address their offensive line issues.
Saints’ rookie sensation Chris Olave showed why he was a first-round draft pick this past year by breaking the 1,000-yard mark in his first season with shaky play overall from the offense. Olave had an average depth of target of 14 yards this past season and while Carr is not known for throwing the ball deep (11 yards per target average), it can still be expected that Olave will show a consistency of 1,000-yard seasons. Olave was the WR25 this past season according to player profiler, and I expect him to break the WR20 barrier with the increase in quarterback play.
Injuries continue to plague Michael Thomas as he played in only 3 games this past season and a total of 10 in the past three seasons. It remains to be seen if he still has the playmaking ability that he showed in the beginning of his career. If he does stay with the Saints and is cleared, he will be nothing more than a low end WR2 at best.
The 2022 TE15 Juwan Johnson showed flashes of playmaking ability with Andy Dalton at the helm, and I expect him to see the biggest improvement with Derek Carr coming in. Derek had a major connection with his previous tight end in Darren Waller which resulted in Waller being a TE1 consistently and a top 5 tight end in fantasy for the past few years. If Johnson builds this connection with Carr, I can see him rising a few spots in fantasy to the TE11-13 range with a ceiling of TE10.
Overall, the Saints offense see a huge upgrade with Derek Carr at the helm and if they use their draft pricks on shoring the offensive line and bringing in another wide receiver. The majority of the players should be more fantasy relevant.
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