Faceoff - QB David Carr, Houston Texans
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Upside - by Mark Wimer
During the offseason, David Carr got some really great news about the Texans’ 2005 offense: the team’s management ordered OC Chris Palmer to rearrange the offense in order to more effectively protect Carr (who has been sacked a total of 140 times in 3 seasons, with 49 sacks and numerous other knockdowns coming last season) – May 23rd Houston Chronicle article.
The team is going to keep an extra blocker in on deep throws, and has installed a lot of quick timing routes to help keep Carr’s body, mind and soul together and in the game. He’s entering his 4th NFL season, which means that Carr is a seasoned, veteran player at this juncture. Domanick Davis is a dangerous back who takes a lot of the weight on his shoulders, which should help open up passing lanes for Carr in the new system.
In short, the Texans are going to place a premium on creating conditions in which Carr can succeed as a quarterback. The receiving corps, headlined by Andre Johnson, is adequate. Jabar Gaffney is developing at this point, but looks like a decent #2 – he really elevated his yards per reception last season (up to 15.4 from 11.8 in his first two campaigns), and posted a career-best 41/632/2 during 2005. The team has a deep threat #3 WR in Corey Bradford (he’s averaged 16.5 yards per reception since joining the Texans in their inaugural season).
Carr took great strides in 2004, overcoming a lot of pass-rush pressure to post career-bests across the board, statistically speaking (285/466 (for a 61.2 completion percentage) yielding 3531 yards, 16 TDs and 14 interceptions). It was the first year he’s thrown more TDs than interceptions, and his completion percentage spiked upwards by 4.6% and over his sophomore campaign.
With better pass protection and the wisdom of experience, Carr should easily exceed last year’s performance, and post numbers somewhere in the neighborhood of 3600-3700 yards passing, with 20-22 TDs and 13-15 interceptions. He’s not a fantasy headliner, but Carr should become a solid #2 fantasy option for bye-week and spot duty during 2005, with upside potential.
Downside - by Chris Smith
It is a strange experience to be on the negative side of David Carr as I actually like what he brings to the table as a quarterback and in another situation, he could be a solid fantasy starter. He is a young quarterback who has some confidence and has made improvements each season in completion percentage and yards per attempt. However there are a number of reasons to believe he will not be given the opportunity to finish inside the top fifteen when it comes to fantasy points per game this season.
- He has never thrown more than 16 touchdowns in one season
- He has a career total of only 34 touchdown passes against 42 interceptions
- He has added only five rushing touchdowns in his three seasons including none last year
- Head Coach Dom Capers is extremely conservative when it comes to offense
- Carr only threw 7 touchdown passes over the second half last year
- Carr never threw more than 220 yards over the final eight games of 2004
Carr has made improvements over this three seasons but he only averaged 172.1 passing yards per game and less than 1 touchdown per game over his final eight starts of 2004. With the ultra-conservative gameplan Capers likes to employ and with talented running backs such as Domanick Davis, Tony Hollings and rookie Vernand Morency on board, don’t expect Carr to get enough reps to warrant consideration as a fantasy starter this season. If he gets a new coach at any point this season though his fantasy worth could jump up.