One of the bigger debates on draft day is over who will be the main benefactor in the Panthers receiving game in 2019. Both D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel showed their potential last season. We are approaching the point where we will have to pick between the two on draft day. So who will it be, Moore or Samuel?
D.J. Moore was a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (24th Overall) and had high expectations as a rookie. Moore played in all 16 games, racking up 788 yards and 2 touchdowns with 55 receptions. That is quality production for a rookie in a system that gives a large share of it’s targets to the Running Back and Tight End positions. Rookies wide-outs typically struggle because they have to adjust to an NFL playbook, as well as the higher level of competition. Now that Moore has a grasp of the playbook, he can focus on becoming the best receiver he can be. If Moore can take a step up in his second season he will be a reliable week-to-week starter in Fantasy Football.
While Moore is the more expensive option of the duo, he is still relatively cheap and could easily exceed his value. Moore is going 57th Overall in drafts or 5:09 in 12-man leagues. D.J. Moore provides the ability to be a league winner — something that players being drafted around him do not have the potential to do. Based on what I’ve seen on film and the numbers he put up as a rookie, I would expect a very productive season for Moore. He should get the bulk of the targets this season and live up to the potential that was set for him in the NFL Draft process.
Samuel was drafted as a running back out of Ohio State in 2017. He has adjusted well to the switch to wide receiver in his first two seasons and will continue to make strides in 2019. Samuel was able to make an impact in his sophomore season with the Panthers. Curtis posted 494 yards and 5 touchdowns last season. He also added 84 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. I like Samuel as a flex play this season, especially considering his ADP.
Samuel is going 99th Overall (8:12 12-man leagues) which is a solid spot for his potential. I love the fact that the Panthers have used Curtis Samuel primarily as a receiver but are willing to toss him into the run game every once and a while. That said, I believe his production is capped in 2019. McCaffrey is ready for another 100+ receptions season. Olsen is back healthy and ready to empty out the tank in his 13th season in the NFL. D.J. Moore is expected to be the primary wide-out, leaving Samuel with the remaining touches.
Samuel will be a solid flex play every now and then, but it is unlikely he will have weekly value. He already took his rookie to second-year player jump, and is close to a finished product. He is a safe bet in the eighth or ninth round that could produce if an injury to one of the main offensive contributors occurs (which is likely).
D.J. Moore is one of my favorite mid-round targets as he approaches his second season in the NFL. He is extremely talented and will be one of Newton’s favorite weapons in 2019 (baring injury). Moore should see an uptick in overall production and develop into the receiver he will be for the next few seasons. Typically in a scenario where there are two quality options I would say take the guy with the latest ADP, but this is an exception. Who do you guys think will be the best return on value in 2019?
If you liked this article, check out our “Risk Factor” series where we break down players who have some question marks attached to them: