I expect to draft DJ Moore in a lot of leagues. I think he’s headed for some kind of breakout type of year, and I notice that he’s going a lot lower than he should be in drafts.
Current ADP data indicates Moore is going about 26th among wide receivers in PPR leagues. I’ve got him 15th on my board.
Many could be overlooking the way Carolina uses its wide receivers as runners. (And this applies to both Moore and Curtis Samuel, who played a similar style to Parris Campbell at Ohio State.). Moore last year carried 13 times for 172 yards; he’s going to run the ball most weeks. Samuel carried 8 times for 84 yards and 2 TDs last season.
Moore didn’t put up huge numbers last year, but he was in a reserve role at the beginning of the season. He started only 10 games. He’ll be a starter and they’re No. 1 guy from Day One this season.
Moore wasn’t a big scorer last year (with just 1 TD in those 10 games) but I think they’ll get that fixed as he gets more comfortable in the offense and builds a stronger rapport with Cam Newton. Moore wasn’t used much inside the 10 last year, for example, but that’s pretty common for a first-year player. Randy Moss, Julio Jones and Amari Cooper come to mind as players who weren’t used around the goal line in as rookies.
Moore doesn’t have smoking hot speed. I remember a play in Detroit where he got behind everyone for an 82-yard catch – looked for sure like he would score a long touchdown. But Darius Slay ran him down with surprising ease, making up 8 yards in the final 50 yards of the play. Moore ran a 4.42 at the combine, and while that’s plenty fast enough, he’s not a Beckham-Cooks type burner.
There’s an article at The Athletic suggesting that Moore is very much focused on taking a big step forward. Teammate Christian McCaffrey was one of the league’s breakout stars last year.
“We [saw] the jump that Christian had from Year One to Year Two,” Moore said. “I’m looking to take the same jump.”
I don’t know that Moore will ever be a super elite franchise-type receiver, but with his catches and bonus rushing yards, he looks to me like a guy who’ll go over 1,100 yards. He averaged 73 total yards in his 10 starts last year. In this century, only nine other rookie receivers have started at least half of their rookie season and averaged over 70 yards per game.
|ROOKIE RECEIVERS AVERAGING 70 YARDS PER START|
|2014||Odell Beckham, NYG||11||7.9||114.6||3.2||117.8||1.00|
|2003||Anquan Boldin, Ariz.||16||6.3||86.1||2.5||88.6||.50|
|2004||Michael Clayton, T.B.||13||5.0||80.3||2.3||82.6||.54|
|2006||Marques Colston, N.O.||13||5.4||79.8||.0||79.8||.62|
|2011||Julio Jones, Atl.||13||4.2||73.8||4.3||78.1||.62|
|2016||Michael Thomas, N.O.||15||6.1||75.8||.0||75.8||.60|
|2011||A.J. Green, Cin.||15||4.3||70.5||3.5||74.0||.47|
|2008||Eddie Royal, Den.||15||6.1||65.3||7.3||72.6||.36|
|2018||DJ Moore, Car.||10||4.2||59.7||12.6||72.3||.10|
|2014||Mike Evans, T.B.||15||4.5||70.1||.0||70.1||.80|