What was the 2019 fantasy season like for D.J. Moore?
In 2019, D.J. Moore was a middle to late-round pick in most fantasy football drafts. Despite playing his rookie season with the underwhelming Kyle Allen, who served as the starting quarterback, Moore ended his rookie season with 788 yards receiving with two touchdowns. He also added 172 yards rushing with zero touchdowns on the ground.
Following this solid rookie season, expectations were not high for Moore in the 2019 season. This lead to a fall in his average draft position in the 2019 fantasy football rankings; averaging out as a sixth-round pick in most leagues.
Continuing into the 2020 season, Moore has received a slight boost in his draft position. In a 12-man Point Per Reception (PPR) league, his average draft position (ADP) is 4.07 (as per Fantasyfootballcalculator.com). While for standard non-PPR leagues, Moore’s ADP is split between 7.02 and 7.03.
Unexpected 2019 season?
Was 2019 a surprise for Moore? The opinion is that the Carolina Panthers second-year wide receiver had a breakout season; finishing 2019 eighth overall for receiving yards for wide receivers. Moore racked up 1,175 yards on 87 receptions over the year.
Unfortunately, Moore had to miss the last game of the season with a concussion. If he had managed this final game, it’s possible Moore could have been ranked in the top four or five in yardage for receivers. Sadly, Moore fell just short of this by just 27 yards, finishing behind DeVante Parker.
Looking into the negative, a downside of the 2019 fantasy football season for Moore was only scoring four touchdowns. Undoubtedly, Moore’s inability to get into the end zone was a problem for fantasy owners last year and presents itself as a problem in 2020. With many of the elite wide receivers getting seven or more touchdowns, the next step for Moore is to find ways to get in for six.
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What to expect from D.J. Moore in the 2020 fantasy football season
Going forward into the 2020 NFL season, it looks like the Panthers are ready to shift their offense. It looks increasingly as if they plan to move away from the run-first mentality that has been a part of the Carolina offense for years. Dating back to the dual-threat days of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers have attempted to “keep pounding” the ball with decent success.
However, the 2020 version is shaping up as a high completion, run after catch offense that takes advantage of the exceptional playmakers on the offense side of the ball.
The main focus for the Panthers search for a new HC at the start of the year was to find someone who was offensive-minded and could bring about a radical change in philosophy. Hiring Matt Rhule was a big step in this direction. His stints with Baylor and Temple showed his ability to bring rapid and successful change. Coupled with the hire of offensive coordinator Joe Brady who coached last season at Louisiana State University (LSU) and was the mind behind Joe Burrow‘s exceptional season in 2019 and you have a recipe for a tasty Carolina offense in 2020.
A new face at quarterback
Teddy Bridgewater, who comes in after a positive time with the New Orleans Saints, is the new leader of the Carolina offense and hopefully replaces the inconsistency of former starter Kyle Allen. The initial feeling is that this will tremendously increase Moore’s value. Bridgewater is a former first round pick and has shown the ability to lead a team; providing an instant upgrade at the position.
Valued added is important here and Teddy provides stability and leadership and provides better quarterback play. In particular, when it comes to accuracy. In 2019 Teddy registered an “on target” throw on over 81% of his passes. By contrast, Allen was down around the 75% mark (as per pro-football-reference.com). Moore should definitely have more opportunity to get the ball in his hands with teddy at the helm.
A well-publicized story about Teddy Bridgwater is his reluctance to throw down the field. For example, in 2019 he averaged only 6.2 intended air yards per attempt. Kyle Allen, who certainly isn’t a deep-ball specialist, averaged 8.2 yards in that same metric.
However, in a scheme with short route concepts to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quickly to emphasize yards after catch, fantasy owners should be excited about the possibilities for the Panthers WR corps. Moore’s speciality coming into the NFL from college was his work with the ball in hand. Through his college career, Moore repeatedly showed that he was capable of a home run strike on any given play. He will only benefit from these short throws in 2020.
Read our Panthers schedule prediction here.
New teammates and old hands
With all these mouths to feed, Moore’s total yardage might not go up. But the potential for an increase in RAC receptions and touchdowns is certainly there.
Coming into 2020, Moore has the real potential to reach the 100 reception mark, while accumulating 1,200-1,250 yards. The run after catch yards that he can pile up, should lend itself well to PPR leagues. See below for my predictions and how they compare to the TimeSkew rankings for DJ in 2020.
|TimeSkew official projections||94||1243||9|
If Moore can achieve anywhere near either of these projections, it would be a tremendous improvement for the young Panthers wide receiver. Making more out of the receptions while also getting increased short targets will be big for Moore’s improvement.
If you can grab him in the fourth round of your league, you should be more than happy slotting him in as a borderline WR1 week to week.
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