Another example of the incredible depth at the receiver position, New York Jets WR Elijah Moore is on the shortlist of players I want on every dynasty fantasy football team I roster. Despite an injury-shortened season, Moore showed a glimpse of his high-level upside. With the NFL Draft just weeks away, how should dynasty managers value Moore for the 2022 dynasty season?
Elijah Moore’s dynasty profile for 2022
The 2021 NFL rookie class was sensational, especially at receiver. Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, and DeVonta Smith received the majority of headlines. However, several other second-year receivers — such as Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kadarius Toney, Rashod Bateman, Rondale Moore, and Elijah Moore — are expected to take a step forward in 2022.
Ole Miss has something figured out, as they keep churning out high-level receivers. Moore joins the likes of A.J. Brown and DK Metcalf as recent alumni to come into the NFL and make an immediate impact. Moore did get off to a bit of a slow start as he fought for playing time and snaps with Jamison Crowder. But once he broke through, Moore was sensational. From Weeks 6-13, Moore was the WR8 in PPR scoring, posting 35 receptions on 57 targets for 472 yards and 5 touchdowns (17.7 PPR points/game).
Moore’s midseason success seems to be forgotten, as his season-long stats aren’t as impressive as some of his fellow receivers. The combination of a positional battle and a quad-related injury absence from Weeks 14-18 did him no favors. Yet, there is reason to be bullish on Moore in dynasty.
For one, he was one of the more active receivers despite his minimal participation. While Moore only ran a route on 47% of the Jets’ passing plays, he was targeted on 24% of them. As such, an increase in opportunities could lead to a substantial statistical boost. This especially holds true when examining Moore’s final two games of 2021.
Moore was one of the best receivers in fantasy in Weeks 12-13
With Moore healthy and Zach Wilson back from his knee injury, Moore saw 33.9% of the Jets’ targets in Weeks 12-13, while more than 40% of his receptions gained 15+ yards. Although his 50% catch rate might look unimpressive, only 55% of his targets were deemed catchable, so Moore did about as well as you could’ve asked.
While a 34% target share might be a bit bold to expect, Moore will likely be New York’s target leader in 2022 — at least, based on their current depth chart. At just 22 years old, Moore is the exact type of player I am trying to acquire in dynasty. He checks all the boxes, including efficiency, age, talent, and potential. He is a mid WR2 in dynasty with the talent to ascend to low-end WR1 territory.
Fantasy projection for Moore
We will have a better idea of the Jets’ target projections after the NFL Draft. They have the No. 4 and No. 10 pick, along with pick Nos. 35 and 38 in the second round. If New York selects a receiver, we’ll have to adjust how we see their pass-catching depth chart shaking out.
Adding more weapons for Wilson makes too much sense. The Jets could stand to upgrade over Corey Davis, Braxton Berrios, and the forgotten Denzel Mims, the latter of whom needs to get out of New York for his own sake. Wilson had his flashes as a rookie, but he needs to further develop in 2022.
Hopefully, we will also see a progression from Gang Green’s coaching staff, something that’s not discussed all that often. Head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur are coming off their first year in their respective roles, which come with a learning curve. Maybe it was the health of the team or his decision to work from the booth rather than on the sidelines, but LaFleur’s offense looked improved after Week 8, averaging 20.9 ppg after putting up 13.3 in the team’s first six games.
Around that same time, the Jets began to make schematic changes. The big move was getting away from 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 WR, 2 TE). From Weeks 1-5, they ran 12 personnel 36% of the time, third-most in the NFL. They deployed two-TE sets just 13% of the time after their Week 6 bye (26th-most).
Moore’s role change should lead to enhanced production
Moore also saw his role altered. He went from being a vertical threat to finally being used to attack every level of the defense. From Week 8-13, Moore was eighth in the league in receptions (34), sixth in yards (459), tied for first in touchdowns (5), tied for sixth in yards after the catch (168), and fourth in passer rating when targeted (127.0).
The Jets found what worked and have been able to spend all offseason using it as the foundation for their offense. New York doesn’t have to draft a No. 1 receiver — they already have one in Moore, who has top-15 fantasy upside in 2022.