2022 Fantasy Quarterback Sleeper - Derek Carr
Written by: Jon Gerstenberger
Why is everyone so high on Derek Carr? Just because he played in college with Davante Adams doesn’t mean they will have a connection still.
4 out of 5 dentists would agree with that sweet take, as would I…normally.
However, Adams and Carr didn’t just play together in college – they absolutely lit the world on fire. In 2013, Carr broke the passing yards and passing touchdown record for Fresno State with 5,082 and 50, respectively. Adams broke the reception (131), receiving yard (1,718) and touchdown (24) records as well that same year before they both left for the NFL Draft in 2014. Oh, and all those records still stand today, and nobody has come close to breaking them.
But that was over nine years ago, and at the college level – how does that translate to now?
Derek Carr is a “salt of the Earth” NFL quarterback – timeless, consistent and underappreciated by the fantasy community. He’s had a plethora of coaches and coordinators come through the Raiders organization in his eight-year tenure, providing very little consistency or foundation, and yet, he has made the Pro Bowl three times, never throwing the ball less than 500 times in a season, and throwing less than 3,900 yards only twice.
He did all that despite not having a “real” WR1 since Michael Crabtree in 2017, the best receiver Carr has played with. Reread that – the best wide receiver that Carr has ever played with is Michael Crabtree.
28-, 29- and 30-year-old Michael Crabtree. Two 1,000-yard seasons in his career Michael Crabtree. Never scoring double digit touchdowns in a season Michael Crabtree. That was the best he played with.
And what did Crabtree accomplish in those three seasons with Carr? He had two of the best three seasons of his career, one of his two 1,000-yard seasons and was targeted 140+ times twice (100+ in all three). Michael Crabtree scored four less touchdowns in those three seasons than he did in the other eight years of his career combined.
Since taking Michael Crabtree under his wing, do you know who has graced Derek Carr as his WR1? In 2018, it was 33-year-old Jordy Nelson. In 2019, it was rookie Hunter Renfrow. Finally, in 2020, it was the great travelling journeyman, Nelson Agholor. By the way, none of those players, despite being the Raiders WR1, were the receiving leaders on the team – that was Jared Cook in 2018, and Darren Waller in 2019 and 2020.
Derek Carr finally has a true WR1, who he has a great relationship with on and off the field, and a full complement of weapons in Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, Demarcus Robinson and Darren Waller, and in the best division in football, Derek Carr is going to have to make sure they all get fed.
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