The New Orleans Saints made their move for a quarterback that everybody was waiting for with long-time veteran Derek Carr. While this move was a bit expected, I don’t think the positive implications are that strong. Carr is coming off his worst season of his career in his 2022 campaign, and I’m not sure a change of scenery is going to do anything to change that. However, at the very least, the offense should see more success than under their list of quarterbacks that played under center for the Saints last season.
The move definitely makes the NFC South interesting, with each team facing question marks at the quarterback position. Tom Brady has recently retired for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Carolina Panthers could be looking to the draft for a new one, and the Atlanta Falcons are seemingly set at quarterback despite the situation still being very murky. Grabbing Derek Carr off the quarterback market instantly puts the rest of the division under pressure, with a new veteran under center making his way to the NFC South.
Alvin Kamara- Running Back
Let’s start with Alvin Kamara who is currently under investigation for Battery charges. If Kamara enters the season as the Saints running back, he could have one of his most productive seasons. Very few quarterbacks have a higher check down rate than Derek Carr. This Saints offensive line is extremely poor, which means when Carr will be faced with a lot of pressure, he’ll look towards Kamara to do some damage for him. Kamara is a very talented running back, and I don’t see Carr airing out the ball too often next season, especially with what the offense will be looking like. Kamara should be a strong option in fantasy that you can get much later than in past years. He’ll be a boom or bust player that will be more likely to have boom weeks.
Michael Thomas/Chris Olave- Wide Receivers
When healthy, the Saints have a very good wide receiver core led by Michael Thomas and Chris Olave. However, I’m hesitant that Carr is going to make the splash everyone expects. With his worst season being last season with Davante Adams on the roster, it doesn’t seem like Carr can be carried by the talent of the offense. As noted previously, the Saints offensive line is one of the worst in the league. He is going to be under a lot of pressure when trying to get the ball off. I do lean that Thomas will be the favorite of the two targets. Olave plays similarly to Adams, which could turn out to be special, but I think having Carr at quarterback inhibits his upside a bit more compared to other options. If Aaron Rodgers joined the Saints, this wide receiver core should go to the moon. However, with Carr, that isn’t really the case. I expect him to focus on the quick throws, so Thomas should see a higher reception rate and less air yards.
Juwan Johnson/Taysom Hill- Tight Ends
The Saints tight end situation is an interesting narrative heading into the season. Juwan Johnson will ultimately take the role of Darren Waller, and there is a lot of optimism that he can be a clear starter. I honestly think that he is most benefited by the Carr signing. Johnson is coming off the best season of his career where he found the end zone seven times, which ranked fourth in the league. Carr can definitely build on that rapport, so the sky’s the limit for the tight end.
With Taysom Hill on the other side, prior to last year, Dennis Allen has said that he wants Taysom Hill to focus on playing at tight end. That didn’t exactly go as planned with the Saints quarterback situation. I’m wondering if with signing Derek Carr, Allen holds to his word and uses Hill more as a tight end. Either way, both tight ends should be solid streaming options at the very least, but there is much more upside in Johnson entering the season.