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What to do with Derek Carr Week 9 fantasy football

Derek Carr is coming off his best fantasy game of the season. Will he keep it up Week 9 against the Lions?

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr attempts a pass as Houston Texans linebacker Jake Martin applies defensive pressure during the second quarter at NRG Stadium. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Carr is coming off his best fantasy game of the season, as he completed 18-of-30 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns in Houston. His completion percentage was subpar, especially for his standards, but he also averaged 9.5 yards per completion. Over his last two games, he’s totaled 578 yards and five touchdowns on the road.

Carr’s numbers for the season aren’t much to brag about, but he has been better of late, especially when forced to throw the ball in close games. Carr’s weakness, like many middling quarterbacks, is his inability to handle pressure. Any sense of a defender near him has him checking down or throwing the ball away. This season he hasn’t had as much pressure due to a strong offensive line. So far, the Raiders rank second in adjusted sack rate allowed and second in sacks allowed, with just 1.1 per game.

Fantasy football analysis, Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr

Carr travels back to Oakland this week, where he’ll take on a Lions defense that ranks 26th in adjusted sack rate and 29th in QB hit rate. Over their last two matchups, they’ve allowed four touchdown passes to Daniel Jones and Kirk Cousins. On the season, the Lions have been sixth-worst in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, while giving up the most attempts, and passing yards per game.

Game script looks advantageous for both teams to put up points, as the Lions and Matthew Stafford’s best weapons are in their passing game, while the Raiders are ninth in DVOA against the run and 29th against the pass. This matchup doesn’t have the second-highest over/under of the week just for the heck of it.

Josh Jacobs should be able to put up efficient numbers against the Lions weak run defense, but the Lions offense sets up well to put points on the Raiders pass defense, which should force Carr to throw the ball often. Carr also has Tyrell Williams back and healthy, Darren Waller and his consistency and Hunter Renfrow coming off a breakout game.

Traditional Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start.

DraftKings DFS Recommendation

Carr’s upside isn’t as high as Matthew Stafford’s due to the strong presence of Josh Jacobs on the ground, but his offensive line and the lack of a Lions pass rush makes Carr a safe bet for an above-average fantasy game. Carr’s salary is 18th for quarterbacks at DraftKings at $5,500, which is the lowest for any quarterback I’d consider a start this week.

His ceiling isn’t as high as I’d like for GPPs, but his price is excellent compared to his floor this week. I can imagine playing him in both cash and GPPs, as he is relatively safe and cheap.