There is no shortage of name brand options residing in wide receiver tiers 3-5, territory where high-end talent is typically available. Because this landscape has more landmines than usual, I’ve made a concerted effort to secure a solid foundation at wide receiver within my first three picks. And in most cases, I still need to make an aggressive play on some of the undervalued assets that slip into the middle rounds. I discussed Chris Godwin in detail, but D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley have caught my eye as well.
Cat-quick in Carolina
The Panthers’ 2018 implosion may have overshadowed D.J. Moore’s development. I’m willing to invest a little extra based on his October and November. Over that eight-game span, Moore caught 36 of 44 targets (81.2 percent) for a robust 14.2-yard average. Of course, those are peak numbers, so I’m not going to extrapolate them, but I’m excited nonetheless. The element of Moore’s game I love is his ability after the catch. It will allow him to appropriate top-flight receivers in the catch rate and catch average departments. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will design high-percentage targets that allow him to use his legs to rip off extra yardage. All he’ll need at that point is volume, something he should receive atop the Panthers’ wide receiver depth chart.
Another Falcon takes flight
What’s not to like about Calvin Ridley’s situation? 2018 first-round pick, strong rookie season, pass-focused offense, MVP quarterback … the list is long. I’m bidding on Ridley as if his floor is 20 percent of a potential league-leading volume of passing. That lands him in the neighborhood of 130 targets, more than enough opportunity for him to do damage. Ridley’s reported work ethic is perhaps the most encouraging piece of this entire equation. In “real life”, people who put in the time and effort to improve at their craft often get rewarded. The same applies to football, and Ridley is combining that discipline with talent and opportunity. Those ingredients usually yield tasty fantasy football production. The only thing left for him to do is ready his plate.
CWi Last Word: D.J. Moore, Calvin Ridley
In D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley, I have two high upside wide receivers to target in the middle rounds after fading the majority of choices from WR8-WR23 (according to Fantasy Football Calculator). I genuinely expect both Moore and Ridley to emerge as shrewder investments than the likes of Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kenny Golladay and a handful of other more highly regarded and higher priced options.