By now you should be neck-deep in your fantasy football prep work. You should have read everything in the free Fantasy Alarm fantasy football draft guide, made your own personal adjustments to our fantasy football player rankings and, hopefully, at this point, taken part in a few fantasy football mock drafts. If you haven’t, then you’re missing out on some interesting draft trends to which need to catch up. For example, wide receivers have been all the rage this year. The first round remains littered with running backs, but through the first six rounds of most 12-team leagues, we are seeing an average of 32 wide receivers coming off the board compared to just 24 running backs. That trend continues to push through and with it, we are seeing some wide receivers pushed up the fantasy football ADP and some of us aren’t sure if that’s valid. Not to those who promote the Zero-RB draft strategy and cherish players like DJ Moore of the Carolina Panthers.

Notable Zero-RB truther Kevin Tompkins goes toe-to-toe with Howard Bender as they answer the question of whether Moore should be drafted at his current ADP or if you should seek alternatives at that point in your draft.



Draft DJ Moore in Fantasy Football with Confidence

by Kevin Tompkins

When looking at wide receivers who could jump up a round or two next season, you’re looking for many different things. But, of course, that depends on the player’s particular situation.

For example, the bull case for Courtland Sutton is that he can separate himself from Jerry Jeudy, the offense condenses to Russell Wilson passing to just a couple of targets instead of a wide distribution of targets, and Sutton can convert some of the unrealized air yards when Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock were throwing him the ball in 2021 into actual yards this season.

Want to know what the bull case for D.J. Moore involves? General offensive improvement.

That’s it. Moore does everything else.

Moore has played with some terrible quarterbacks, including Cam Newton, Kyle Allen, Will Grier, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Darnold. Yet, despite those awful signal-callers, Moore has been one of only three players in the last three seasons with 1,100-plus receiving yards — with the other two being Travis Kelce and Stefon Diggs.

With Darnold last season, the Panthers — notably Moore — got off a hot start. In the opening four-game stretch of 2021, Moore averaged 22.4 fantasy points per game (FPPG), 11 targets and 99 receiving yards and scored three of his four total touchdowns on the season. At the time leading to the start of last season, we were saying Darnold was the best quarterback Moore had ever played with. In 2021, he also attained a 40% air yards share on the Panthers last season — good for the fifth-highest in the NFL last season. He also ran a route on 91% of drop-backs and the league’s fourth-highest target share at 28.3-percent.

With all of those gaudy numbers with terrible quarterbacking, enter Baker Mayfield.

Mayfield comes over from Cleveland and is NOW the greatest quarterback Moore has ever played with, but this one should stick a bit better than Darnold. Per Andrew Erickson of FantasyPros, from Weeks 1-5 before a Mayfield separated shoulder, he ranked sixth in the NFL in yards per attempt (8.5) and seventh in aDOT (9.6).

We talk about general offensive improvement as the only thing that Moore needs because what Moore HASN’T done is score touchdowns. He’s only scored 14 career touchdowns and never more than four in a single season.

With offensive improvement comes touchdowns and with touchdowns comes fantasy goodness.

We’ve also seen Moore play various roles in his four seasons. In 2020, D.J. Moore was the deep threat of the Panthers offense, sporting a 13.7-yard average depth of target (aDOT) while Robbie Anderson and Curtis Samuel ran shorter routes underneath.

In 2021, Moore shortened his aDOT considerably and ran more intermediate routes, showing that he can run a complete route tree.

But Kevin, what about Christian McCaffrey if he stays healthy?

Notably, Moore’s 87-1175-4 season on 135 targets came in 2019, the same season McCaffrey broke fantasy football by averaging 29.5 FPPG and had his 1000-1000 season. These two players can co-exist together. Also, Moore can exist alone in the offense, as we’ve seen over his career when McCaffrey has been injured for the last two seasons.

Moore seems to be the next “QB-proof” wide receiver, following the first two that historically come to mind in DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson. Could Moore join these two in finally getting their quarterback and parlaying that into even further fantasy success? I definitely think so. He’s a fringe fantasy WR1 that still has an elite ceiling for much more. Don’t sleep on Moore in your drafts, whatever you do.



Avoid DJ Moore at His Current Fantasy Football ADP

by Howard Bender

You know when you get into that argument with your significant other and you get the ol’ “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it?” I feel like that’s how it goes when I talk to people about DJ Moore. When I say I don’t want to draft Moore at his current ADP of 38.16, it’s not because I don’t like the player. I actually like him a lot. He’s a super-talented player with three-straight 1,100-yard seasons, great hands and is a clean route-runner. The problem with him is his quarterback, his coach and the scheme in which he plays.

Let’s start with the quarterback – Baker Mayfield. Is he better than Sam Darnold? Sure. Well. Maybe. But as bad as Darnold, Kyle Allen, Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker, Will Grier or even an aging Cam Newton with a bum shoulder was, I’m not so sure Baker is the saving grace here. Even with decent receiving weapons, a supportive ground game and a strong offensive line, his numbers were, at best, pedestrian. He routinely struggles with his accuracy, he’s averaged 14 interceptions per season and his mobility is, well, let’s just say not great. And don’t just take my word for it. Our own Jon Impemba has brought forth plenty of anti-Baker rhetoric:

This is the guy who’s going to deliver crisp, sharp passes to Moore this season? Against top coverage because the rest of the receiving weapons are just bleh? Come on.

Then, of course there’s Matt Rhule who, in an effort to save his own job, threw offensive coordinator Joe Brady under the bus after last season’s travesty. Rather than take ownership of some of his own shortcomings as an NFL coach, Rhule blamed Brady and convinced ownership that he could win with…wait for it…don’t laugh…Ben McAdoo as his new offensive coordinator. Remember him with the Giants? New York is still trying to wash off the stank.

Both Rhule and McAdoo are hoping this new west coast passing scheme will help, but secretly, they’re just hoping that Christian McCaffrey stays healthy. That’s their bread and butter and they’re going to force everything in this offense to go through him. We’ll see a bunch of run plays, designed screens and, of course, a variety of short slants run by McCaffrey and the Rhule/McAdoo tandem will try to squeeze as much out of him as possible. Obviously, they will have to pass the ball at times, but again, to whom? Moore is the only legitimate threat they have, so expect the opposition’s top corner on him and if/when McCaffrey gets hurt, you can expect the double-team.

Let’s also not forget that while Moore has been able to come away from each of the last three seasons with over 1,100 yards, he has also averaged just four receiving touchdowns per year. Even with McCaffrey out for the last two years, Moore’s work inside the red zone and subsequent end zone, has not really increased. What are we to expect this year? Maybe the same if we’re lucky? And is this the production you would expect from a guy you’re drafting in the fourth round?

The only way I am going to buy DJ Moore at his current ADP is if the Panthers find me a legitimate quarterback and don’t keep all their eggs in the McCaffrey basket. He’s extremely talented and I would love him on almost any other team, but this is just a bad situation and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any better this year. In the immortal words heard on Shark Tank…


You've now heard both sides of the argument. Which one are you on?

More Fantasy Football Player Debates:



Fantasy Alarm is the home of all things Fantasy Sports. Bringing you the best Fantasy Football content all year long. Be sure to also check out the best fantasy promo codes on offer today!

Related Articles: