For the last two weeks, rumors had swirled around the Raiders’ quarterback position, particularly once Matt Schaub began struggling with elbow tendinitis. And today it became official: Derek Carr will be the starter in Week One.
In the words of Albert Breer, this isn’t exactly unexpected:
Long-term, I like Carr’s accuracy and his arm strength. I also think he has an impressive understanding of the pro game that will help him pick up the playbook quickly. As Ashley Fox wrote, “[Carr’s] intangibles are off the chart. He has, according to ESPN’s Scouts Inc., exceptional character and ‘eats, drinks, breathes football.'” And for what it’s worth: Carr went 11-for-13 in his final preseason game against the Seahawks, and he threw three touchdowns in that performance.
Those factors make Derek Carr an intriguing dynasty stash in 2QB and Superflex leagues and someone to keep an eye on in redraft, but he is not someone you should consider starting in Week One.
First, Carr will be a rookie quarterback making his first regular season start against a defense that registered 41 sacks last year. You can bet that Rex Ryan and the Jets’ defense are licking their chops thinking of creative blitzes to throw at the rookie.
Second, the Raiders will be flying from the west coast to the east coast for an early game — a situation that typically bodes well for the east coast team. According to Scott Kacsmar, from 2007-2011, west coast teams went 19-52 in early games on the east coast.
Keep an eye on Derek Carr in your 2QB leagues, but do not even consider starting him this week. In fact, do the opposite: pick up the Jets’ defense to stream this week.