Derek Carr Is a Must Buy
By: Marcel Boudreau
Winning a dynasty fantasy football league, like any fantasy football league, is often achieved by getting players at a value, whether that value be in terms of upside, or stability. This article is biasing Superflex (SF) Dynasty, and highlights three quarterbacks (QBs), all over the age of 30, in which are still being undervalued in the fantasy community, in which you are able to acquire for less than they are worth. Why over the age of 30? Because so many dynasty owners overreact to age and will quickly dump a player nearing the end of their prime, for an unproven young player or future draft picks.
2020 🡪 QB8
Passing: 33 TDs, 7 INTs, 3819 yards
Rushing: 7 TDs, 266 yards
Dynasty SF Value = two 1.04-1.08 draft picks
Dynasty price tag = 1.05 + 2.06-2.12
We were all very suspicious if Tannehill’s second half 2019 season heroics were going to be fluke.
We were all weary that the passing volume, and opportunity for Tannehill to put up fantasy production would be capped due to the nature of this run heavy offense.
If the 4-year $118 million extension was not enough to sway us, his 2020 season should be enough proof to make us purchase Tannehill. Below is a list of Pros and Cons.
- 36 Deep Pass Attempts (26th) 🡪 Deep Ball completion % of 33.3% (27th)
- Minimal big plays limiting his upside in the passing game
- Protected Rate (24th)
- Opposing teams could easily get to him.
- 31.8 pass plays per game (30th)
- Low volume, less opportunity
- 23rd in Accuracy Rating
- Play Action Completion % of 59.6% (33rd)
- Playing for a run-heavy team, he needs to make these throws count.
- 12th in Rush Yards and 7 Rushing TDs (4th)
- Easy fantasy points, higher floor
- 2nd in true passer rating
- 3rd in true completion %
- 5th in catchable pass rate
- 2nd in fantasy points per drop back.
The narrative that the offense runs through Derrick Henry (quite literally) is true. But Tannehill continues to prove he can co-exist with Henry and be extremely fantasy relevant. Tannehill did all of this, while being on the team with potentially the most COVID issues. He proved he could do it before, as he was the QB 8 back in 2014 with Miami, and he has now proven he can continue to do.
The big question would be if Tannehill is better with or without Henry. The answer is hard to project, but I would assume the similar fantasy outputs. He would go up in volume but decrease in efficiency; Tannehill did score 23 fantasy points in his one game without Henry (vs. 2019 Saints), small sample size, but he was stellar in that game, so he can be trusted regardless how long Henry is on this team.
2020 🡪 QB15 (missed ~1 game)
Passing: 26 TDs, 10 INTs, 4084 yards
Dynasty SF Value = two 1.05-1.10 draft picks
Dynasty price tag = 1.08 + 2.06-2.12
Matthew Stafford began his career playing 13 games in his first two season… since then? He has been a Top 10 QB in six of nine healthy seasons, and top 15 in eight of nine healthy seasons, with one season (2019) only playing eight games.
How about this season? We need to recognize that he was extremely beat up, had no O-line, and his best receiver was Marvin Jones. Yes, Jones is a great WR, but he’s not an elite WR. His second-best weapon was a toss-up between Hockenson and Swift, but Matt Patricia was doing his best not to play Swift early and went with Adrian Peterson to try and have a decent start to the season knowing his job was in Jeopardy.
Matthew Stafford, if you haven’t heard, is a Los Angeles Ram. What does this mean?
Rams have passed more than 35 times per game on average since the start of 2018.
That would be 560+ pass attempts from Stafford. The last time Stafford attempted 560 was 2017, when he finished as the QB 7, making Marvin Jones the WR10, Golladay was a rookie (WR70), and Golden Tate (WR11), Fells and Ebron combined for 7 TDs as well. Why do I bring this up? Stafford is entering a team with Kupp, Woods, Van Jefferson, Akers, Higbee all under contract until 2024. This is arguably the most complete set of skill players on a team, in an offensive scheme that was able to make Goff the QB6 in 2018… what doors that open for Stafford over the next three years?
How efficient was Stafford with a sub-par crew of weapons in 2020?
- 10th in true completion %
- 14th in deep ball completion %
- 10th in catchable pass rate
- 14th in production premium
- 11th in accuracy rating
- 12th in passing yards
He did all of this while his receiving group was:
- 23rd in separation
- 41st in YAC/T
- And had the 5th most drops.
I’ve heard the argument of “LAR defense is 1000x better than the Lion’s defense, he will nott have to play from behind and therefore less pass attempts” or something along those lines.
First off, the Rams were 13-3 in 2018 and Goff threw 561 attempts. Secondly, they play in a conference with Seattle, Arizona, and San Francisco, which has a chance to be one of the highest scoring conferences in the NFL next season, meaning there’s strong chances Stafford will have many games of at least neutral game script. Ultimately, they can be a great team, and Stafford can have the passing volume to support not only a strong fantasy season, but at least 3 in a row.
29y.o (30 before start of 2021)
2020 🡪 QB14 (missed ~1 game)
Passing: 27 TDs, 9 INTs, 4103 yards
Running: 3 TDs
Dynasty SF Value = 1st + 2.08-2.10
Dynasty price tag = 2.01-2.06
There are many reasons why you should buy Derek Carr, and a few reasons why you can get him at a discount.
Why is he a discount?
He had an extremely average season, with 3 bust games, which all came when you expected boom games.
- Week 10 vs DEN (7.16 fantasy points) who just gave 284yds and 3TDs to Matt Ryan in week 8,
- Week 12 vs ATL (-2.4 fantasy points) who were giving up the most points to the QB.
- Week 15 (fantasy playoff semifinals) vs LAC (2.12 fantasy points) where he got hurt.
Three bust in five weeks, all end of season when things mattered most, leaving an extremely sour taste in owner’s mouths. Owners are ready to move him at a cheap price as it will feel as weight has been lifted off their shoulders.
Why he’s a dynasty buy?
Jon Gruden’s offense is a tricky system to learn, people hate it because it looks like it’s only feeding Waller the ball, but there’s a lot more to it than that, and Carr spoke on this in an off-season interview and how it took 2 years to learn it, which is reflected in his QB finishes over last three seasons: 20, 17, 14.
Derek Carr just threw for a career high 4103 yards (11th) while missing a game, where if he didn’t miss the one game, he was on pace for QB7 in total yards ahead of Aaron Rodgers.
In 2020, Carr was:
- 11th in TDs thrown (27),
- 5th in Red Zone pass attempts,
- 8th in money throws
- 6th in yards per attempt
- 8th in deep ball attempts (10th in deep ball completion %)
- 15th in accuracy rating
- 13th in true passer rating
He was very efficient for a QB who had Nelson Agholor as his WR1. Waller is still under contract, Ruggs will be a year older, and it’s no secret that the Raiders are trying to make the cap space to sign a top WR Free Agent (Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Juju Smith-Schuster… Godwin I expect back with Tampa, Fuller is a question mark). If we’re being honest, Las Vegas is appealing for any of those guys:
- Great city/new arena,
- Top 3 TE demanding defensive attention
- Absolute field stretcher in Ruggs, under contract for another four years.
- Young, stud RB that defenses need to respect in Jacobs.
- LV can make space to pay 17-19 million which would be about their asking prices.
Derek Carr finished as the QB 14, and odds are looking like their offense will have better pieces, and they’ll play in an extremely competitive division, where they will need to score points to stay in games, AND don’t feel threatened that Derek Carr will be traded or replaced as rumors are multiple teams have inquired and the Raiders have replied with a “hard no”. There’s a reason they’re trying to trade away Mariota, and I believe Carr start for the raiders for the remainder of his contract as a Raider. Derek Carr is a player I would advise to buy if your dynasty team is in a “win now” situation, where you can rely on him for at least two more seasons to bring consistent value.
To conclude, I am not saying break your bank, ruin your team, or trade great pieces away for these QBs. Evaluate your team, make sure you’re balanced. The easiest way to lose an SF dynasty league is by not having two reliable starting QBs. Both Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady were not considered for this article as they’re more on the side of sell high or holds. Matt Ryan was the next guy on the list, which he split hairs with Derek Carr, the uncertainty and rumors of Matt Ryan being potentially replaced in the draft are what deterred him from making the list. That being said, if the Falcons do not draft a QB, Matt Ryan becomes an instant buy-low QB. The last tip here, instead of trading away a first and a second-round pick for these QBs, try to “sell the age” and package in a Drew Lock or a Sam Darnold to preserve the future of your team, while off-loading their questionable futures.