Because his competition level was questioned at Fresno State, Fantasy Football players didn’t know what to expect from Derek Carr when he first entered the league in 2014.
But the second-year quarterback made solid progress in 2015, and he helped the Oakland Raiders finish with a seven-win season. That was the most wins for the team since 2011.
Today, Carr is being drafted in Round 8, according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
Because of his progress last year, are Fantasy players undervaluing the 25-year old quarterback? Or is he being drafted right where he should be?
Before we answer that question, let’s take a look at his performance from 2015.
2015 Fantasy Football Review: Derek Carr
Carr started the 2015 season off strong, with 21 touchdown passes between Weeks 1-10. During that time frame, he also averaged 291 passing yards per game (Not including Week 1, where he only attempted 12 passes).
The 25-year old quarter did have a tougher schedule at the end of the season, though, which is part of the reason why he started to fade.
Week 13: Kansas City Chiefs (Fifth-fewest Fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks)
Week 14: Denver Broncos (Second-fewest Fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks)
Week 15: Green Bay Packers (14th-fewest Fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks)
Week 16: San Diego Chargers (10th fewest Fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks)
Week 17: Kansas City Chiefs (Fifth-fewest Fantasy points per game allowed to quarterbacks)
Now, remember that Carr will still have to play the Chiefs, Broncos, and Chargers a total of six times this season. Just keep that in mind if you plan to make him your starting quarterback for the year.
But even though the first part of his season was better than the second part, Carr showed great improvement in 2016.
Carr went from 21 touchdown passes and 3,270 yards in 2014, to 32 touchdown passes and 3,987 passing yards in 2015. Blake Bortles overshadowed Carr’s accomplishments, though, as he threw 35 touchdown passes and 4,428 yards.
Derek Carr 2016 Fantasy Football Weapons
Although Amari Cooper wasn’t the most consistent receiver in 2015 Fantasy Football leagues, he still had an impressive rookie season. Cooper hauled in 72 receptions for 1,070 receiving yards, and he finished the 2015 season with five games of 100 or more receiving yards.
Carr will also once again be able to lean on 28-year old receiver Michael Crabtree. Even though it was his first year in Oakland, Crabtree had tied a lot of his career-high totals. He hauled in 85 receptions for 922 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
Crabtree was especially valuable in PPR leagues, as he caught four or more passes in every single game except Week 17. If anything happens to Cooper, Crabtree should seemingly be the most-targeted receiver for Oakland.
As a seventh-round pick, Crabtree is an excellent addition to MFL10 lineups.
Carr didn’t particularly rely on one tight end too heavily in 2015, but Clive Walford and Mychal Rivera combined for 60 receptions, 609 receiving yards and four touchdown receptions. If you do draft a tight end on the Raiders, Walford has more upside.
The running backs on Oakland also helped in the passing attack. Latavius Murray and Marcel Reece combined for 71 receptions, 501 receiving yards and three touchdown receptions.
Derek Carr 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
Because Carr showed significant improvement from 2014 to 2015, he’s currently drafted ahead of players like Eli Manning, Philip Rivers and Tony Romo.
He threw the fourth-most touchdown passes in the league last season, and Carr even threw more touchdown passes than Aaron Rodgers.
One issue with Carr, though, is that the Raiders don’t have a ton of depth behind Cooper and Crabtree. If one or both players became injured, Oakland would have to heavily rely on Andre Holmes and Seth Roberts.
That could cause Carr to regress or become stagnant.
OTA's are done. Mini camp this week then we are off until camp! I love competing and working… https://t.co/Et0rxWnsuQ
— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) June 10, 2016
And as I previously mentioned, Carr does face three very tough defenses in his division a total of six times. Based on Fantasy data from last season, Carr has the 10th-toughest schedule for quarterbacks.
But even with a tough schedule and a rookie receiver, Carr finished the 2015 Fantasy Football season as the 13th-highest scoring quarterback. If Cooper and Crabtree remain mostly healthy in 2016, Carr should be able to crack the top 10.