Why Randy Won't Be the Best Receiver
Posted Aug. 13 at 06:56 AM
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column regarding why LaDainian Tomlinson won't be the top fantasy running back in 2008. I stand by everything I said, but I didn't feel good writing it. I really like LT, and predicting a lack of success for him isn't something I enjoyed.
But this is different.
I don't think Randy Moss will be the best fantasy receiver in 2008. I don't even think he'll be the best receiver on the Patriots in 2008, and I don't have any qualms about saying it. I don't dislike Moss: He's the most talented receiver in the NFL and I think he has a pretty cool accent, too. But that's about it. I'm comfortable predicting a big drop off-not just a little one-for him this year, and here's why:
- Losing breeds discontent. When Moss was stuck on the Raiders, he dogged it throughout his tenure in Oakland. People say he didn't play like Randy Moss, but I think he did: He played like a guy who was going through the motions and didn't feel like wasting his talent on a situation that made him unhappy. Good or bad, that is part of playing like Randy Moss.
Of course, things were different in New England. The Patriots were winning, and didn't stop that streak until February. But what happens when the team loses a couple of games? Moss doesn't know what it's like to deal with Bill Belichick after a loss. He doesn't know what that week's practice would be like, or what kind of earful he'd get. He never had to deal with it at all last year. The one loss they endured was followed by...nothing. No angry week of film-watching, no hot tempers, no extra-grueling practice. Just an extended vacation.
So how will Moss deal with losing? Who knows? It's easy to be a model citizen when you have a virtual key to the city, but it's harder when you might have to share some blame for failure. I'm not predicting that the Patriots will fall apart, but if home-field advantage is ever threatened, Moss will have to deal with pressure. I'm not convinced he'll respond like the perfect team player he was last year.
- What has he done this year? In three games this past January and February, Moss had a pedestrian seven catches, 84 yards and one TD. Even those numbers are a bit misleading: He had just two catches in two home games before the Super Bowl. On the other hand, Wes Welker piled up 27 catches for 213 yards and two scores in that same time period.
Now, you can argue that Welker had room to work the underneath patterns because teams were focused on Moss. OK, so what? In fantasy football, who cares about why the numbers are the way they are? Moss was significantly less effective in the playoffs. When the records were broken and nobody was tracking the regular season stats anymore, Tom Brady felt much more comfortable going to Welker. I don't think that's a great sign headed into 2008, when it's unlikely Moss and Brady will be gunning for those same records again.
- Where's the motivation? In 2007, Randy Moss had a chip on his shoulder. He wanted to show his career wasn't over after a poor stint in Oakland: He did that. He wanted to put his name in the record books: He did that. He also wanted a fat contract extension with plenty of money, and he earned that, too.
So what's left? People respect Moss again, he broke Jerry Rice's single-season TD record and he had his big payday. To me, that's a recipe for complacency. I'm sure he'd like to win a title, but with all those other motivations gone I don't think it will be enough.
So if you put all of those things together-the honeymoon over in New England, fading stats at the end of last season and most of his motivations removed-I think Randy Moss will sorely disappoint fantasy owners in 2008. And I don't mean "disappoint" like going from the #1 receiver to the #2 receiver. I mean a big drop on the stat sheet. So who do I think will be better? Reggie Wayne, Marques Colston, Terrell Owens or Andre Johnson? If they're healthy, I say all of them. Wes Welker, too, especially in a point-per-reception league. And if Derek Anderson is the real deal, you can throw Braylon Edwards in there as well.
Like I said with Tomlinson, I could be wrong. Maybe Moss is a model citizen in 2008 and he continues to pile up the stats. I just don't see it. Randy Moss is the most talented receiver in football, but he doesn't self-motivate like Jerry Rice. Put him in the perfect situation where the team is always winning and there are record to pursue, and he's the most electrifying guy on the field. But throw some kinks in those plans, and I think you'll see a different guy this year.
Youtube Clip of the Week: No matter how well Randy Moss plays, I doubt you'll be seeing this again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOYH6PPYaPI
You can reach Michael Murillo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Aug. 13 at 08:41 AM
You're not drafting Tomlinson. You're not drafting Moss. How do I get in this league?
Posted by MICHAEL MURILLO | Aug. 13 at 05:42 PM
I would consider drafting LT if I thought I could trade him and get something extra (that I couldn't get with the #1 draft spot) in return. I just think this is the season we'll remember as the year he declined. But there's no way I would draft Randy Moss this year. No way, no how.
Posted by RICHARD OLJEY | Aug. 13 at 06:32 PM
I'm with Ian. I want a team in the Murillo Fantasy Football League. Last year, we were told to avoid Moss because we wouldn't know which Randy Moss we were getting. Well we got model citizen-teammate Hall of Famer Randy Moss! Now, we're told he to avoid him again? What gives? What does the man have to do to prove that he is the top receiver in football, period? I'll take a shot with Randy Moss in the Murillo League. And when he puts up, let's say, 1500 yards and 15 touchdowns (which is top receiver production), I want you to write a mea culpa column right here. Go Randy, go Patriots!
Posted by MICHAEL MURILLO | Aug. 14 at 01:16 AM
I'll definitely write about how much of a genius/idiot I am as the season concludes. But more importantly, I'm going to propose to my leaguemates that we change the name of the league to the "Murillo Fantasy Football League." I just like the way it sounds. Unfortunately, I predict this motion will fail 11-1. Also, keep in mind that this is my opinion only, not the official FFI/Allan opinion. I also don't like Favre's prospects in New York, but don't want to rile up new J-E-T-S fan Andy Richardson since I play in a league with him.
Posted by David Norlin | Aug. 14 at 02:50 AM
Let me understand, you think the Patriots are going to loose 3 or 4 games this year and those losses will push RM into depression and discontent? Are you sharing the drugs you are taking? Who do you think are better than LT and RM?
Posted by BRAD MARTINEZ | Aug. 14 at 06:42 AM
Can I apply for this guy's job? No way he is employed much longer.
Posted by MICHAEL MURILLO | Aug. 14 at 04:00 PM
Thanks very much for the comments. As I said in my column, I see this as being the year LT shows us that his reign at the top is over. It's not about other guys stepping up as much as him stepping down. But as far as Moss goes, I gave a list of guys who I think will out-perform him. I'm pretty sure that a year ago everyone had questions about Moss, and few considered him the top WR. A year later, many are sold on him like he's Mr. Reliable. I'm not buying it. And as far as QBs go, I really, really like Brees this year-- and no, no more openings in my league. :-)
Posted by RICHARD OLJEY | Aug. 15 at 01:17 AM
Well, Michael, at last we agree on something: I too really like Brees this year. Since I came up with the concept for the Murillo Fantasy Football League, I'll take LT, Randy Moss and Brees as my first three picks and I'll see you in the Super Bowl. But hey, you like Brees. And one for three is pretty good.....in baseball! LOL
Add a Comment
Already a registered user? Please sign in to add comments.
To add comments, you must become a registered user of our site. To register, please click here.