Five fantasy questions we need answered this NFL offseason: Should Derek Carr go to the NFC South?

Who plays QB in the NFC South?

I'm cheating by grouping an entire division's worth of team fantasy questions here. Yet, it's notable that every team in the NFC South not only has questions regarding who will throw passes but also at least one great pass catcher who needs saving.

With Derek Carr currently on the free agent market, it's worth digging into each team. He profiles as a fantastic fit for almost any of them.

The only team who could maybe convince themselves that their 2023 starter is already on the roster would be the Atlanta Falcons. Desmond Ridder is young and wasn't an outright disaster as a rookie, but personally, I think it would be unwise and unlikely for the Falcons to walk into next season with him as the unquestioned starter. At least he's potentially promising and has taken game reps. The rest of the division doesn't have a guy like that.

This may not be the conventional take but I want a high-end quarterback to unlock the Falcons' potential more than any other in the division; perhaps more than any other offense in the NFL.

Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Tyler Allgeier are a nice trio of young building blocks. The offensive line is a solid unit as well. I'm a fan of the way Arthur Smith designs offense and believe the quarterback play, especially early in the season, just left far too much meat on the bone in 2022. People hate this offense after some of its results last season.

Get a good quarterback in the mix here and you won’t feel that way anymore.

I don't see Atlanta offered up as as a Carr destination often but they selfishly might be my favorite fit for the veteran passer. He instantly brings credibility and would unlock the short and intermediate passing games. Unlike some of their division mates, the Falcons have the cap space to easily make it happen.

The Panthers, however, should be ready to get off the retread veteran-quarterback carousel. Their new head coach Frank Reich might be even more inclined to exit that ride.

Carolina should be looking to April's NFL draft to find a young player to build around. We haven't seen Reich get the chance to groom a young player since Carson Wentz's good days in Philly. Number-one receiver DJ Moore has never been paired with a young ascending quarterback. Let's get these guys on the right track.

The Buccaneers feel more primed to drop a veteran passer in the mix. The division is still within striking distance and the roster still capable. Someone on the Jimmy Garoppolo or Derek Carr tier could step in for Tom Brady and keep the Bucs atop the NFC South. They can push off a hard reset for a couple more years. No one should want to see talented receivers like Chris Godwin or Mike Evans have to wander the quarterback wilderness.

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The cap is an issue for the Bucs, however. They rank right near the bottom in available space at the moment. That might push them out of the mix for free-agent veterans and force their hand into going young. At the same time, few teams have shown more flexibility in navigating such issues than Tampa Bay during the last few years with Brady.

The Saints are a tough team to read. They seemingly always believe their window is wide open regardless of the state of their roster.

We already know they were ready to trade for Carr before he elected to hit the open market instead. A good starting veteran would certainly elevate this scoring unit from some of its dull days in 2022 with Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston. Those two QBs are C- type solutions. Better ideas are available this offseason.

Much like Tampa Bay, New Orleans, to no surprise, is also cap strapped. They find a way to wiggle out of the red every year but doing enough trimming to fit a Carr-level contract might be difficult. The Saints don't have a ton of talent on offense that needs saving outside of star 2022 rookie receiver Chris Olave. With Michael Thomas likely on his way out of town and Alvin Kamara possibly right behind him amid legal issues, this unit is a near-blank slate behind Olave.

Can Derrick Henry remain the “sun” of the Titans offense?

Few players will be more hotly debated than Derrick Henry during the run-up to fantasy football season. Every fiber of a manager's being will want to fade a 29 year old running back who has handled an absurd 1,249 carries over the last four years.

And yet, it’s so difficult to label Henry a declining player heading into 2023 based on arbitrary thresholds when we have simply seen zero evidence of said decline.

Many folks expected to witness the dropoff begin last season. Henry then led the NFL in carries and started 16 games. He only missed a week because the Titans decided Week 17 was meaningless in the grand scheme of their playoff chase and rested him. There was a small blip in the season where Henry’s yards per carry dipped well south of expectation but that slump didn’t last.

The Titans star back ran for 460 yards and three scores at 5.1 per rush in his final four games of the season. He finished 2022 as hot as ever.

Tennessee will tell us how they view the future of their offense — and even their short-term identity — with their offseason moves.

Last year, they traded a top-five wide receiver and replaced him with a developmental rookie. The only other move of consequence was taking a flier on a declining Robert Woods. Do we see the Titans make more of a commitment to building their passing game or will they stand on their 2022 moves and triple-down on Henry as their guiding force?

It won’t answer every question some will have about the hulking star back but it’ll give us a clue as to how Tennessee thinks.

Can the Rams squeeze one more good year out of their core?

Large swaths of the football world seemed ready to push the Rams into a rebuild about halfway through last season. However, as we sit just days out from the NFL Scouting Combine, it seems more likely they’ll try to push their core through one more year than tear it all down.

Sean McVay returned. Matthew Stafford didn't retire. Cooper Kupp and most of the offensive players will be right back in the same spots we projected going into last season.

The offensive line, however, was a disaster last season. I can’t remember a unit with proven good players rendered so completely nonfunctional due to their pass blocking. I don’t think it’s crazy to imagine this Rams team and the fantasy players in their offense get right back on track if they go full-force to fix the starting five in the trenches.

The Rams aren’t stacked with resources, obviously. But we’ve seen teams take their line from disaster to above-average with smart picks and value signings before. Los Angeles could pull that off and then many of these skill-position guys might come at a value in August fantasy drafts given all the bad vibes still hanging in the air.

Do the Cowboys add more juice to their offense?

We know the Cowboys are going in a “new” direction with their play-caller. Head coach Mike McCarthy will take the reins after Kellen Moore left the team. That can’t be the only move they make. The skill position players, especially the pass-catchers, were an issue last year and they are shrouded with questions heading into the offseason.

Dalton Schultz and Tony Pollard are set to hit free agency. Ezekiel Elliott will need to take a pay cut to stay with the team. Michael Gallup could be much better in his first full season coming off a torn ACL but did undergo a cleanup surgery earlier this month.

CeeDee Lamb is the one playmaker under contract who heads into 2023 coming off a great season.

Lamb showed himself to be a superstar type of talent. Dallas still needs much more around him. Gallup was a rock-solid starting outside receiver prior to his late-season 2021 ACL injury. Perhaps he gets back on track following a disastrous year but it would be malpractice for Dallas to simply count on him as their only solution across from Lamb.

Pollard could be back on the franchise tag but Schultz likely walks. The tight end room needs either a complete overhaul or have a guy like Jake Ferguson take a massive leap forward.

Dallas has its work cut out this offseason. If McCarthy is going to get the best out of Dak Prescott, Dallas will need to stack the deck for him far more than it did this time last year.

What does Jameson Williams do for the Lions offense?

The Lions wisely used 2022 as essentially a redshirt year for their first-round rookie wide receiver. Jameson Williams was never going to be in the team's Year 1 plan following a late collegiate ACL tear. Detroit played it slow, hoping to save the best of Williams for the long term.

Now we get to find out just how good of a player he will become.

Williams has a ton of speed and a player of his skill set would be the perfect cherry on top of what the Lions offense was last year. A vertical stretch receiver could open up the entire field for their strong run game and even more so for star slot receiver, Amon-Ra St. Brown.

Given that we have essentially no NFL resume to work off of with Williams, evaluators will have to return to their draft takes. Nothing he did or didn’t do as a rookie should move the needle in either direction. That will make him one of the most fascinating players to debate this offseason.

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