When my wife and I first moved in together, she wasn’t really into football but it was my Sunday ritual. The house we lived in wasn’t really big so it was either watch football with me or hang out in the bedroom all day if the weather was crappy. The weather is often crappy during football season around these parts. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em right? But first she needed a team and my favorite team is not great.
We were watching Monday night football together one time and my Buccaneers were playing the Carolina Panthers. This was the first time she truly enjoyed football and a lot of it was at my expense. She fell in love with Cam Newton. The confidence, the swagger, the first down and touchdown celebrations, the absolute ass kicking that he was putting on the Buccaneers. By the end of the game, she decided that she was a Panthers fan. And she watched them every week from there on out. If the Buccaneers were on in the living room, she turned the game on on the laptop. If there was a story about Luke Kuechly or Jonathan Stewart or whoever, we would talk about it and it was a fun couple of years. Soon enough, the roster changed, Cam couldn’t stay healthy, and she lost interest in football. I think the heartbreak of losing a Super Bowl had a lot to do with it.
She pops in every now and then and knows how good Christian McCaffrey is, but she was clearly on a bandwagon. And the Panthers are arguably in a rebuild. Their defense has so many holes, they hired Matt Rhule to a weird contract in which he has full control of the roster for the next 5 years, and Teddy Bridgewater is going to be under center. But there are shiny pieces on this roster outside of Christian McCaffrey and one of those pieces is D.J. Moore.
It’s no secret that D.J. Moore is very coveted in the fantasy football community heading into his 3rd NFL season. He’s coming off of a 87 catch season where he gained 1,175 yards. It didn’t matter who was under center, D.J. Moore had some big games with Kyle Allen as well. D.J. Moore was also 10th in the league in targets with 135. The biggest problem with Moore was lack of touchdowns and that is a pretty big deal. Moore only had 4 in 2019 and only 6 in his career. A WR14 finish in 2019 is nothing to scoff at and I can see the upside. But Moore is going off of the board in the late 20’s and that doesn’t sit right with me in an offense that added Robby Anderson and could still struggle to put up points. There are a lot of analysts that believe that this offense could be really productive, but I’m not sold on Matt Rhule just yet. I really do like D.J. Moore, but he’s going to have to fall into the 4th round to get nibbles from me.
Cooper Kupp came back really strong from a torn ACL that he suffered in 2018. Kupp caught 94 catches for 1,161 yards. The biggest production difference in the stat line between him and D.J. Moore was the touchdowns. Cooper Kupp had 10 of them in 2019. Kupp’s 16 redzone receptions was good for 3rd in the league among wide receivers and his true catch rate of 91.3% was 7th in the league. Kupp finished just outside of the top 10 last season in targets with 134.
Cooper Kupp could see an increase and usage and more versatility in ways that he lines up with Brandin Cooks gone. Van Jefferson could be a nice piece for the Rams too and that can only help Kupp and the Ram’s offense as a whole. While the Ram’s likely won’t have the same success as they did in 2018, McVay should have this offense going back in a positive direction on a more consistent basis. And even if he doesn’t, I doubt it affects Kupp’s production too much. With Kupp also going off the board in the late 20’s I think I’m going to be targeting him way more than D.J. Moore.