Faceoff - WR Randy Moss, Oakland Raiders
Exclusive to Footballguys.com
Upside - by Cecil Lammey
Randy Moss is the man when it comes to wide receivers. Even in a bad year last season he still had 13 TDs. Injuries robbed Moss of having another spectacular season, but he proved he could still be a force while not being 100% healthy. In all the games Moss played in 2004 he failed to score only two times out of twelve tries. He also had double digit touchdowns in three of those 12 games. In his seven year career he has been the #1 rated fantasy wide receiver 3 times. He has also scored double digit touchdowns in all but one season (2002). When healthy Randy Moss has the type of skill set to dominate this league. The Raiders traded for Moss knowing that they were getting perhaps the number one playmaker in this league. For certain, Randy Moss is the number one deep threat in the NFL and should continue to make his presence felt in 2005.
Randy Moss is a complete freak of nature, and I mean that as a compliment. His skill set is of an elite level that we do not often see in the NFL. Moss has dominated this game and he hasn’t even put forth his best effort. He is among the fastest players in the league, and when you couple that with great leaping ability you have the makings of a fantasy superstar. He also has sure hands and a knack for making the spectacular catch. The Raiders are going to give Moss every chance to be successful in Oakland. Kerry Collins is no Daunte Culpepper, but he does throw a good deep pass. The Raiders best defense in 2005 will be a high powered offense. Expect the Raiders to pour it on because they know their defense is among the weakest in the league. What that means is plenty of opportunities for Moss to continue to be the Super Freak.
Downside - by Chase Stuart
I like Randy Moss. He’s been on my dynasty team the past three seasons, and he’s exciting to watch. I think he’s generally misunderstood and underappreciated, and lots of fantasy footballers dislike Randy Moss. But personal opinions have no place in fantasy football analysis. So what did Moss do on the field last year?
Randy Moss played in eleven games last season. In those eleven games though, he was not the Randy Moss of old. He was targeted 83 times and caught 49 passes for 767 yards. In those same eleven games, Nate Burleson – yes, Nate Burleson – was targeted 56 times and caught 39 passes for 709 yards. Since when is Randy Moss not the most dynamic receiver on the field?
Now this isn’t to say that Burleson isn’t a very fine receiver, but we’ve come to expect Moss to really stand out from the crowd; in 2003, he caught 1,100 more yards than any other Vikings WR. In a “down” 2002 season, he still had more than twice as many receptions as any other Minnesota receiver. Moss went from being the main cog in the 2003 Minnesota engine to a guy that caught less than 13% of his team’s passes.
Yes, Moss caught 13 TDs last season. But touchdowns have a way of fluctuating from year to year, and I don’t envision Kerry Collins throwing 39 touchdowns in 2005. Collins is a SIGNIFICANT downgrade from Daunte Culpepper; Culpepper’s a multi-dimensional quarterback with a career 93.2 passer rating. Collins is an immobile turnover machine with a 73.3 passer rating. If Moss can stay motivated on an average team with lots of other offensive weapons and an inconsistent QB that will drive him nuts, he’ll be lucky to meet his ADP. And I don’t see any value in that.