DJ Moore was a hot name at the 2018 NFL Draft, noted as one of the best receivers in the draft class. In two games this season, he’s caught a single pass.
It’s the Carolina Panthers’ ball, just ahead of the 50-yard line. Cam Newton snaps the football, and the pocket begins to collapse. Newton looks downfield and fires a bullet to the rookie out of Maryland, DJ Moore, who shakes multiple defenders and cashes in with a 52-yard touchdown.
Now I ask you, why has Moore not been used more in Carolina’s new offense? It is only the dawn of week three of the NFL season, but that touchdown reception was Moore’s first reception of his rookie campaign.
Moore is electric when it comes to the wide receiver position. He can fly down the field when it’s time to run a “go route” or a “jet sweep” from behind the line of scrimmage. So again, why has he not been utilized thus far?
After watching the game film, it does not appear that Newton’s go-to receiver that specific play was Moore. However, after just one catch, it’s clear that Moore deserves to be used as an integral piece of Carolinas’ offense.
Panthers new offensive coordinator, former Chargers head coach Norv Turner, has had plenty of experience with young, talented receivers at this level. Turner has a plethora of offensive talent on this Panthers roster, but has got to find ways to get each of them involved.
The absence of all-pro tight end Greg Olsen should allow Moore and other pass catchers to gain more receptions in the interim while Olsen remains sidelined. However, when Olsen does return to the lineup Moore should be further in tune with the structure of the new offense, allowing his production to remain consistent.
Hopefully, a single reception, resulting in a 50-plus yard touchdown will be enough for Moore to pick up some steam in Carolina. Newton loves fast and smart receivers, and Moore is easily qualified to fit perfectly in that role.
Just to show off some numbers here, during his final collegiate season at the University of Maryland, Moore caught 80 passes for over 1,000 yards, cashing eight of those passes in for touchdowns. In three of his final 12 starts at Maryland, he amassed over 100 yards receiving.
Moore has the ability, he now has the quarterback, and he has other skilled receivers to take the heat off of him during his time on-field. Moore also has something he has never had before, which is the tutelage of a former Super Bowl Champion, fellow wideout Torrey Smith.
The keys to the kingdom are literally sitting on Norv Turner’s desk. Their names are Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, and now DJ Moore. The question is, will Turner use them to their fullest potential?
We’ve now got 15 weeks of NFL football remaining, and every fan knows those weeks fly by. Carolina has seen what Moore can do on the field, so now all they have left to do now is include him in their plans.
Fantasy Outlook: Moore ammaseed exactly 0.0 fantasy points in week one against Dallas. This previous week he hauled in one reception for 51 yards and a touchdown.
I’m not sure about your league, but in mine Moore totaled 11.5 fantasy points. As we all know, young players’ projections are usually positioned fairly low each week. I would give it another week or so until his stock picks up before you add him to your roster.
Until Carolina begins to utilize Moore properly, I would leave him alone. When that time comes to add him, you better pray you’re low on the waiver wire.
At the 2018 NFL Draft, Panthers legend Steve Smith made a comment regarding his former team and their newly acquired receiver. “The Panthers have never been able to replace me…until today,” said Smith.
You all remember Smith’s fantasy value. Moore is a rising star. Just give him some time and you’ll swear you added Steve Smith to your fantasy roster.