WR D.J. Moore – Over three seasons at Maryland, Moore caught 146 passes for 2,027 yards and 17 TDs highlighted by his junior season in 2017 (80/1033/8). When doing my research on incoming rookies, I read scouting reports to come up with my initial picture then watch player highlights to get a feel for a player’s movements in game action. When doing the first step of research on Moore, I got the feeling that he was going to project or work as one-dimensional speed threat in 2018 for the Panthers. His highlights painted a different picture. Moore is a physical WR who will break many arm tackles while working the short areas of the field on many plays. His open field ability will turn a short pass into long TD if given daylight at the second level of the defense. He didn’t create huge separation in the deep passing game even with plus speed, but D.J. did show he could win tightly contested passes. I sense that the Panthers saw some of Steve Smith in his game, which allows Moore to test a defense all over the field. His next step is proving he can beat top CBs in the NFL when drawing WR1 coverage. His game will improve in the NFL, and his style should work well in Newton’s passing game. Overall, I see him outperforming Devin Funchess in his rookie season thanks to his better overall skill set. Outside chance at 65+ catches for 1,000+ yards and mid-level TDs. I expect him to be the new and improved version of Kelvin Benjamin in the Panthers’ offense.
WR Stefon Diggs – Over his first three years in the NFL, Diggs missed eight games while flashing impact value in many games. Last year he had two thrilling games (7/93/2 and 8/173/2) over the first three weeks of the year, but he lost his explosiveness over the last 12 games of the season which included two missed games with a groin issue. Stefon caught 41 of 59 targets over the last nine games of the season for 454 yards and four TDs while failing to gain over 80 yards in any game. With Adam Thielen banged up late in the year and the playoffs, Diggs caught 36 passes in his last six starts with one impact game (6/137/1) vs. the Saints in the playoffs. He’s ranked 47th, 31st, and 19th in WR scoring in PPR leagues over his first three years in the league while leaving 20 percent of possible stats on the table due to injuries. I like his game, and he has 90+ catch upside with a full season of games. The change at QB should be positive, and he could be considered the WR1A on the Vikings.
TE Vernon Davis – Some wise guy Fantasy owners believed than a Reed/Davis handcuff should still deliver high value in the Fantasy market in 2017. From Week 3 to Week 10, that theory held true as Vernon caught 29 passes for 447 yards and one TD on 40 targets over seven games. Unfortunately, Davis lost his way over the last six games of the season (ten catches for 121 yards and two TDs on 21 targets) thus leaving Fantasy owners with an empty feeling at TE. Vernon failed to catch over two passes in any of his last six games. Last season the Redskins’ TEs caught 85 passes for 966 yards and six TDs on 120 targets. At age 34, the days of trusting Davis as a playable TE are over.
WR Torrey Smith – Over the last three seasons, Smith lost his way after offering big play ability on the outside for the Ravens from 2011 to 2014. His best year came in 2013 (65/1128/4) while showing growth in scoring in the red zone in 2015 (11 TDs). The 49ers poor offense and QB play led to two seasons of emptiness (33/663/4 and 20/267/3). Last year Torrey struggled to make big plays (11.9 yards per catch – career low) while being the third wheel in the Eagles’ WR rotation. He finished 36 catches for 430 yards and two TDs on 68 targets. In 2013, Smith caught 21 passes for 20 yards or longer with eight gaining 40 yards or more. This year he’ll be the much needed deep threat for Carolina while working similarly as Ten Ginn in 2015 (44/739/10) and 2016 (54/752/4). His targets won’t be impactful due to the overall structure in the passing game, but Torrey will hit on some long TDs while adding value on crossing routes at the goal line. Possible 40 catches for 600 yards and about five TDs.
WR Darrius Heyward-Bey – Heyward-Bey has come up with a few deep receptions over his career but with all the talent in front of him at the wide receiver position in Pittsburgh, he probably won’t see much playing time in 2018.
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