Aug 5, 2007
by Jim Coventry, Guest Blogger
I have heard plenty of talk about Randy Moss (WR, NE) joining the New England Patriots and the one thing that is consistent is that the talk is very spirited. In a 12-team (redraft) league, you’re likely to have more than six owners totally disinterested in him, a few others that will pounce if the draft value is too great to pass up, and a couple that will draft him right about his ADP. That leaves one or two owners that will draft him higher than anyone would expect, for instance, in the fourth round. In terms of drafting Moss in a keeper league, I suspect that there will be at least one owner willing to take him in the fifth round. I will present the Moss talking points, so you can solidify your stance on him going into this season.
Has Moss lost his ability?
Many experts have gone on record saying that Moss has lost a step and that injuries are piling up on him, sapping him of explosiveness. Normally, when we see a player near 30 years old and he has had two seasons of declining production, it is valid to say that the player is nearing the end of his playing days. Rodney Harrison shed some insight into Moss’ abilities during the minicamps when he said that Randy is the same Randy that had been terrorizing defenses for years and that none of his speed was gone. When Moss was injured for much of the season (two seasons ago,) he still had over 1,000 yds. and 8 TDs with a 16.8 ypc. Last year, he could not have looked more uninspired than he did. The last two seasons did not show a decline of skills, they showed how quickly a bad situation can deteriorate for certain players.
Will Tom Brady continue to spread the ball equally to his receivers?
I have heard this idea accepted by most fantasy players and experts as well, and although it follows with the way Brady has conducted business, I think Brady always spread the ball around out of necessity. When a QB does not have a true #1 WR, what other option does he have? He has to use all of the weapons at his disposal. Think about it logically, if Brady is going through his progressions and Moss is behind the defense, do you really think he’s going to check down to another option because another player hasn’t caught the ball in awhile? Of course not, Brady will throw the ball to Moss and take the six points. Not only is Moss a #1 WR, he is a hall-of-fame caliber player and Brady is way too smart to ignore him. Even when defenses had full concentration on Moss, he was still able to blow by them, and with all the weapons the Patriots now have, it’s unlikely that defenses can pay too much attention to him.
Will Moss have a horrible attitude and will he be a locker room cancer?
Obviously, I have not been in the locker room with Moss, but countless teammates of his have not viewed him as a cancer. Teammates generally liked him and agreed that the Randy Moss portrayed in the media is not the same Moss they knew.
In terms of his attitude (in terms of how hard he tries,) this case seems to be very unique since Moss is an individual that needs to be in a successful situation to bring out the best in him. While on the Vikings, Moss always played exceptionally until the team had no chance. Take, for example, the playoff game when the Giants blew the doors off the Vikings- as soon as the game was out of reach, Moss started pouting and stopped playing. Moss is now in a locker room that has brought players like Corey Dillon aboard only to get model behavior and great attitude from them. The Patriots will not be a losing team anytime soon. Yes, Moss does take some plays off, but superstar players have always gotten away with some prima donna behavior- it goes with the territory, and people who complain about it, have probably never been a superstar.
Is he too old to draft in a keeper league?
Moss will be 30 this season, and if you believe that his last two seasons have been poor due to other factors than losing his skills, then he should have at least three more productive seasons. If you’ve read my keeper league articles on the Guru site, you know my philosophy that hall-of-fame type players usually enjoy a few more years of longevity (at a high level) than average players. If Moss was productive until he was 33, he would have four more years to look forward to.
In closing, if you are paying on last year’s production, then you will not draft Randy Moss. If you take player personality into account when making player assessment, you may not select him either. I fully believe that Moss is the same player that was a borderline first round pick a few years ago that you can get at an amazing value in your draft. Every player has risk, but there are very few players that have the upside potential of Randy Moss. Be sure to make a solid business decision as to how he fits into your plans come draft day.