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Could D.J. Moore outproduce Mike Evans and Chris Godwin?

D.J. Moore

D.J. Moore

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The first week of the new league year has been damn good. We’ve seen some shockers and some disappointments, but as it sits right now we still have plenty of ballers who are available. DeAndre Hopkins remains available for trade, Odell Beckham is still a free agent, Leonard Fournette is looking for a new home and Ezekiel Elliott is looking to get fed elsewhere. Dalton Schultz will immediately garner attention from the fantasy world whenever he signs with a team. The beauty (I guess) of all this is that all of these guys could be on new teams by the time you read this column. Brandin Cooks (Cowboys) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (Patriots) will look to elevate their games on new teams. Juju should be an interesting one to watch, he’ll get the chance again to be his team’s top receiving option after finally securing some long term cash, but he’s going from Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes to Mac Jones and the worst team in the AFC East (speaking as if Aaron Rodgers is a Jet).

Oh, speaking of Rodgers, how about that guy huh? He intends to play for the Jets, he says. When the trade gets done who knows, but he doesn’t annoy me as much as he does everyone else. We are not the same. Whatever the case, that squad will be ready to go upon his arrival. Rodgers’ buddy, Allen Lazard is already a Jet after he signed a four-year deal. Breece Hall, Sauce Gardner and Garrett Wilson have worked too hard on Twitter not to have No. 12 under center.

Then there’s the whole Lamar Jackson saga. He received the non-exclusive tag which will pay him $32 million in 2023. Teams may offer him and the Ravens would have five days to match (they probably would), but no offers have come that we know of. First let me say, Jackson is the one player I will always be subjective towards, I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks there. Quite frankly, I’m sick of seeing nobodies (or people who can’t do a fraction of what he does) speak on what he’s worth or what he should do. The last time I checked, Jackson is a grown man. He can handle himself. He’s active on social media, being normal, not sending subliminal shots or anything like that. He’s fine people. Jackson is a generational and transcendent talent who will move the needle wherever he goes. I say all this to say, no matter what happens, he’ll still be an elite (fantasy) quarterback, ha.


D.J. Moore - WR, Bears

Moore struck gold after being traded to the Bears. Going from a team in Carolina that’s facing a rebuild (I think), to a quarterback on the rise in Justin Fields is a big deal. Moore scored a career-high seven touchdowns in 2022, but had his worst season from a receptions and yards standpoint since his rookie season (63 receptions for 888 yards). The Bears are going all in this offseason and Moore is a key piece in the equation. Prior to the 2022 season, Moore had three straight seasons where he surpassed 1,150 receiving yards mainly with Sam Darnold, Kyle Allen and Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. It’s more than fair to say that Fields will easily be the best quarterback that Moore has had in his career thus far. Some may worry about Fields’ 2,242 passing yards in 2022, but the reason the Bears made the move for Moore was due to lack of receiving options. Moore will provide just that and the two will have an exceptional 2023 season.

Garrett Wilson - WR, Jets

I suppose this is unofficially official? Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show that his intentions are to play for the Jets in 2023. Those words alone bring up Wilson’s fantasy value. Despite catching passes from the quarterback carousel that included Zach Wilson, Mike White and Joe Flacco (who will all be backups this season), Wilson went on to post 83/1103/4 en route to OROY honors. Even with the Jets signing Allen Lazard to a multi-year deal, Wilson will be greatly improved. In 2022, as the WR30 on a points per game basis, Wilson will be a fringe WR1 with Rodgers at the helm. Lazard and Elijah Moore (as long as he’s still a Jet) will provide a nice supporting cast for the soon-to-be superstar wide receiver.

Rashaad Penny - RB, Eagles

You couldn’t have asked for a better landing spot if you’re Penny. After a strong finish in 2021 where in Weeks 14-18 he was the top running back in fantasy, Penny looked to build upon that before suffering a broken fibula in Week 5 of the 2022 season. He’ll now play in the best running offense led by Jalen Hurts. The Panthers’ Miles Sanders had a career-year in 2022 with the Eagles going 259/1269/11 and that’s the role Penny is looking to play. Penny will concede carries to Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott, but if he’s anything like he was to end the 2021 season, he should be the man in the lead role. Running behind that elite Eagles’ offensive line with the threat of Hurts in the backfield bodes well for the former Seahawk.

Darren Waller - TE, Giants

There’s a lot of speculation on why Waller was traded to the Giants and it may have to do with his former head coach Josh McDaniels not getting invited to his wedding, but we will leave that alone for now. Waller makes somewhat of a lateral move with his quarterbacks, but gets a big upgrade at head coach (Brian Daboll). As a Giant, Waller will easily be the team’s top pass catcher. He and Daniel Jones could be a match made in heaven as Jones was only 20th in air yards in 2022. Waller will provide a much-needed safety blanket for Jones to lean on in the intermediate area of the field. In Vegas, Davante Adams was the clear cut top dog when it comes to pass catching so Waller won’t concede to a better talent there. With Daboll’s scheme and Waller’s talent, you could make a strong case for him being a top three fantasy tight end heading into 2023.


Mike Evans/Chris Godwin - WR, Buccaneers

Evans and Godwin have been a phenomenal receiving duo up until this point and that won’t change, but their numbers might. It’s looking like their quarterback is going to either be Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask. In case you’re wondering, neither of them are as good as Tom Brady and say whatever you want about Jameis Winston, but he provided Evans/Godwin with elite fantasy production. If you’re a manager of either Evans or Godwin, you’re almost hoping Trask wins the quarterback battle because we already know what Mayfield is and that’s not a quarterback you can trust with your receivers. Mayfield has only supported a single top-12 receiver (Jarvis Landry in 2019 when he was WR12) in his career. Perhaps the duo could elevate Mayfield, but the chemistry Evans and (especially) Godwin had with Brady was undeniable. I’d be treading lightly with the Bucs’ players right now.

D’Andre Swift - RB, Lions

Swift’s role in the Lions’ offense has always been awkward despite his talent. In 2022 we saw his former teammate Jamaal Williams break the Lions’ single-season rushing touchdown record with 17. We also witnessed Swift lose valuable touches to Justin Jackson. Now, David Montgomery enters the picture. While the former Bears RB didn’t break the bank, it’s clear he’s there to play a prominent role in the offense. Montgomery signed a deal similar to the one Williams signed with the Saints so it’s clear the Lions preferred the former. What’ll hurt Swift’s value more is Montgomery’s ability to catch the ball out of the backfield after averaging 43 receptions per season the last three years. You don’t need me to tell you that Swift is a better and more explosive player than Montgomery, but who cares what I think if the Lions think they just signed Barry Sanders?

Khalil Herbert - RB, Bears

The Bears showed a lot of faith in Herbert by letting David Montgomery hit the open market (it was almost a given). To be fair, whenever Herbert got the chance to start in place of an injured Montgomery, he always looked better—like his Week 3 performance where he went 20/157/2. That was short lived as the Bears brought in D’Onta Foreman on a one-year deal. This wouldn’t seem like such a big deal except for the fact that Foreman is coming off his best season as a pro in which he ran for 914 yards and five touchdowns. On the surface it looks like Herbert will at least gets to lead a committee out of the gate, but I still wouldn’t rule out the Bears drafting a running back (like, ahem Bijan Robinson) which could completely derail Herbert’s value.

Cole Kmet - TE, Bears

Another Bear? Yes I know, but it’s for good reason. It means the team is actually trying to get better. Not only did the Bears add D.J. Moore and are getting Darnell Mooney back, Robert Tonyan is coming to town. Now it’s not like Tonyan is some big burly lumberjack of a tight end who only plays on third and short, he kind of catches the football. In fact, Tonyan is coming off a season in Green Bay where he had a career-high 53 receptions (for 470 yards and two touchdowns). Kmet to his credit caught seven touchdowns on 50 receptions, but something’s got to give. While this is great for Justin Fields, you may need to tread lightly before thinking you can just snatch up a Bears’ tight end because of the revamped offense. There will be a number of mouths to feed, the question will be finding out where Kmet falls in line.