There are players every year that everybody gets excited about. Some of them meet the hype and have breakout seasons, while others disappoint and fall short of these expectations. This can happen for a variety of reasons, and often when dynasty owners get burned, they lose patience in the development of young players and move on for cheap.
This opens the window for savvy dynasty franchise owners, such as yourself, to swoop in on the post-hype and cash in for a possible big payday. One such player that is primed for this kind of situation is Rondale Moore.
Moore was highly touted coming out of college with 1915 receiving yards, 1258 of those coming in his first year in 2018. There is an explosiveness and speed to a game that allows him to make big plays when needed. He has the ability to make tacklers miss or just bounce off of them with his low center of gravity to fight for extra yards.
Unfortunately, his rookie season had him buried in the depth chart, and his big play ability has been held back by injuries in his second year, which kept him off the field for more than half the games. The soon-to-be 23-year-old has had some setbacks that have caused his value to fall.
This brings us to the biggest concern with Moore, which is a reasonable one and needs to be discussed. Since entering the league, he has primarily had soft tissue injuries, ranging from ankle and neck sprains to hamstring and groin strains. Soft tissue injuries, in general, tend to be troublesome and can linger if not taken care of properly.
For this reason, it is understandable if there is some hesitation in bringing him onto your dynasty teams. These injuries have caused the hype around Rondale Moore to fall off and his value to drop. However, it should be noted that he played a majority of his rookie season before being shut down until the playoffs in 2021, and he has successfully undergone surgery to repair the groin strain that shut down his 2022 campaign.
Looking towards the future, though, one thing to evaluate when trying to figure out what Moore’s impact might be is his usage in the few games that he was healthy for last season. Out of the seven games that Moore played in, he was fairly productive. He averaged 8 targets a game and was on the field for 93% of the snaps during that period, where he averaged 22.7% target share, according to FantasyPros. Moore made the most of those targets by averaging 12.42 points per game (PPG), as well.
It is also important to note that during those seven games, Moore was going up against some of the best defenses in the league. This includes teams such as Philadelphia, New Orleans, and twice against Seattle. Still, he showed his potential ceiling when he averaged 18.9 points the final three games he played in before being injured again. This shows that Moore has the floor of a WR2 when healthy, even when facing the top defenses in the league.
This is interesting, given where Rondale Moore was on the depth chart in 2022 compared to where he might be moving forward for the Arizona Cardinals. Last season had him sitting behind one of the best receivers in the league, DeAndre Hopkins. In the four games that Hopkins and Moore played together in, Moore was overshadowed by the start receiver but still had solid numbers, including his best game of the season against Minnesota, where he put up 23.4 points. He even outscored Hopkins in the home game against Seattle 14.9 to 13.6 points.
What is more is the fact that Hopkins has been the focus of Arizona’s off-season news, with the team looking to trade him. Hopkins even went public with what he’s looking for in a new team. It should be noted that the Cardinals do have Marquise Brown still, who had a solid start to the season before falling off due to his own injury. Still, everything is trending towards Moore competing with Brown for the WR1 spot in Arizona.
This brings us to what Moore’s value is in trades and startups. I have recently seen him going for 2024 2nd or even 3rd round picks in one-for-one trades. With the upside that Moore brings to the table, I am more than willing to take a chance on him at that value. Another tactic that I am taking is doing a two-for-two trade where I will look to “downgrade” at wide receiver by trading for Moore and upgrading at another position, such as running back or tight end.
For example, selling Amari Cooper and X-RB3 for Rondale Moore and X-RB2. In this way, you are upgrading one position, and you are setting yourself up for a bright future despite moving on from a solid receiver.
What might be even more intriguing is his value in startup leagues, where he is not going until the middle to the end of round 14 as WR64, according to Sleeper’s average draft positions (ADP). This is a tremendous value for what Moore’s ceiling could possibly be, and I am taking him a round or two early in all startups to secure him in my lineup. I would feel more than comfortable taking him ahead of players such as Michael Thomas, Skyy Moore, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Darnell Mooney, and so many more that have an ADP ahead of him.
Rondale Moore has always been an exciting prospect, and that upside still remains. The young playmaker still hasn’t entered the prime of his career and is already being positioned on his team to be a lead receiver. While there are some concerns with his health, Moore has shown his ability to be one of the top receivers in any given week. Despite his ability, people are undervaluing him, which is the perfect opening for you to get him on your dynasty team before the fantasy community begins to realize the value he brings to the league.