Derek Carr Injury
What Does Raiders Derek Carr’s Injury Mean for Your Fantasy Lineup?
In the Oakland Raiders 16-10 loss to the Denver Broncos, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr went down with an injury to his back.
After a sack in the third quarter, Carr remained on the ground, needing assistance to walk back to the sidelines. The Oakland quarterback did not return to the game and was later diagnosed with a transverse process fracture. Carr’s injury has a varying timetable, with the quarterback expected to miss anywhere between two and six weeks.
Derek Carr has 753 passing yards so far this season, with seven touchdowns, two interceptions, and a completion percentage of 67.9 percent. His injury leaves the Oakland Raiders under the leadership of backup quarterback EJ Manuel.
The varying timetable of Derek Carr’s injury doesn’t help us decide how soon Carr will be back or at what capacity he will come back in the coming weeks. We expect EJ Manuel to be around longer than the early part of that timetable (two weeks) as the Raiders signed Carr to a monstrous $125 million, five year contract in the offseason. A back injury isn’t something the Raiders will want to take risks with, though this injury appears to not be as serious as it could have been.
EJ Manuel was 6-11 as the Buffalo Bills starter before he was replaced and eventually ended up in Oakland. However, Manuel’s receivers at Oakland (Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Jared Cook) are much more versatile and should help him carry the load in Derek Carr’s absence. Tight end Lee Smith spent two years on the Buffalo Bills with EJ Manuel so there is some history and chemistry in that area, as well.
What does this mean for your fantasy teams?
We don’t yet know how long Carr will be out as the Raiders starting quarterback. We will look for the next two weeks of practice, injury reports, and how EJ Manuel performs to make this projection. However, don’t expect Carr to be improbable for a comeback yet. Keep him benched. If you need extra space on your roster, let someone else go.
As far as receivers, leave Amari Cooper benched while we’re at it. This isn’t entirely because of EJ Manuel, either. The wide receiver, so far, has had an underwhelming season with only 12 catches for 110 yards and a single touchdown in the first four games of the season. This comes as a surprise since, from all fantasy perspectives, Cooper was expected to have a standout year. While we expect EJ Manuel to be a lot better than he was in Buffalo, we don’t expect the combination of an underperforming Amari Cooper and a not-yet-seen EJ Manuel to be the tag team that fantasy dreams are made of in week five.
The Oakland Raiders take on the Baltimore Ravens at home on Sunday.
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