Derek Carr didn’t have to wait long to get his chance to quarterback the Oakland Raiders. After a strong preseason by the rookie and an epic fall by veteran passer Matt Schaub, the Raiders have officially named the Fresno State product their week one starter. Carr will take on a New York Jets defense that is tough up front, snuffs out the run and has been known as a tough pass defense for years.
On paper, Carr looks like he’ll be in for a shaky debut, but the reality is he might just continue his hot play. New York has been decimated in their secondary and should be without top corner Dee Milliner. They also have a rookie safety manning the back of the defense in Calvin Pryor and lack any real depth at corner. If New York struggles to put pressure on Carr early, it’s absolutely possible the rook makes mince meat of their pass defense.
In that same breath, Carr is still a rookie and this will be his first ever NFL regular season contest. Oakland will likely ease him in with a strong rushing attack and hope their defense can key in on Geno Smith on the other side. Regardless of whether it all works out as planned to kick the season off, Carr is almost certainly to stick under center going forward.
Carr has the size, arm and athleticism to do good things for Oakland right away, and that could shockingly mean he’s relevant in fantasy football, too. He’s a bit of a sleeper heading into week one, albeit a deep one you don’t want to have to use, as he’s facing a pass defense that is looking pretty ugly on paper right about now. Everything still needs to go just right for him to pay off if you use him in weekly fantasy football or otherwise, but there is upside to be had here. Long-term, he has the skill-set to be a factor in fantasy football this season, so he’s worth picking up in deeper leagues.
While Carr needs to be monitored in all leagues going forward, this news is actually best for other Oakland weapons. He especially appeared to have great chemistry with tight end Mychal Rivera, but due to his willingness to take shots down the field (plus the arm strength), all Raiders passing weapons get a bit of a bump.