Does Jets WR Elijah Moore Have Fantasy Football Redraft Upside in 2021, Or Just Dynasty Leagues?
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images. Pictured: Elijah Moore
Elijah Moore Fantasy Profile
Elijah Moore Fantasy Fit with Jets
Moore had a strong chance to go on Day 1, so it makes sense to see him come off the board early on Day 2.
In drafting him, the Jets are getting great value. And although the depth chart in New York is ostensibly crowded, the path in front of Moore is relatively clear, as the wide receivers already on the team are relatively unimposing.
The Jets just signed Corey Davis this offseason, and they drafted Denzel Mims in the second round last year, but as long as Moore is able to replace veteran Jamison Crowder in the slot, he has a real chance to lead the team in targets as a rookie.
And it seems as if the Jets are desirous to move on from Crowder, since he was the subject of trade and cut rumors during free agency and especially since the team just drafted a younger, more dynamic version of him.
The Jets offense under new offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur might be hard to project for 2021, especially with rookie quarterback Zach Wilson under center. But Moore is an upside option for redraft and best ball leagues this year, and in dynasty he should go in Round 1 of single-quarterback rookie drafts.
Dynasty Fantasy Analysis
Note: The following was written before the NFL Draft.
You probably know who Moore is. He’s the guy who lifted his leg.
It wasn’t his best moment … but it was still a great moment. I bumped him up a couple of spots in my way-too-early dynasty rookie rankings on the leg hike alone.
As noted earlier, Moore absolutely crushed his pro day.
Official pro-day results for @OleMissFB WR Elijah Moore. 🎤drop after first 40 run. One scout just texted, "he's putting on a show".🔥
Hand: 9 3/8
Arm: 30 1/8
Wing: 71 3/4
40-yd: 4.35 (NFL scout ⏱️) 👀
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) March 25, 2021
Moore was a four-star recruit with a strong athletic reputation, it was generally assumed that he would do well, but he didn’t just meet expectations: He easily exceeded them.
In both his 40-yard dash and his agility drills, Moore exhibited elite athleticism.
Elijah Moore with incredibly impressive footwork at his Pro Day pic.twitter.com/gvuMVs5dJp
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) March 26, 2021
Moore is small: There’s no getting around that. But with his athleticism, his size is not a problem. Moore’s physical profile is sufficient for NFL success.
And he has the production. As a true freshman, he was the No. 4 option behind future NFL receivers A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf and DaMarkus Lodge with a modest 36-398-2 receiving, but as a sophomore he was far and away the No. 1 pass catcher with 67-850-6 receiving. No one else on the team managed even 200 yards or two touchdowns.
And then in new head coach Lane Kiffin’s explosive offense last year, Moore looked like one of the best players in the country with 86-1,193-8 receiving in just eight games. (He opted out of the final two contests.)
With his junior production, Moore easily stands out on the various leaderboards in the 2021 Sports Info Solutions Football Rookie Handbook (SIS).
Receiving Total Points Per Game
- Elijah Moore: 5.4
- DeVonta Smith: 4.4
Receiving Total Points Per Game – Slot
- Elijah Moore: 4.5
- Marlon Williams: 3.5
Catchable Catch Percentage
- Elijah Moore: 98%
- Tutu Atwell: 98%
A consensus All-American with the surest hands in college football, Moore dominated in his final season.
Elijah Moore in 2020 among WRs:
🔥RECs – 86 (2nd)
🔥Yards – 1,193 (2nd)
🔥Receiving Grade – 92.4 (3rd) pic.twitter.com/aMzGJqicz2
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 8, 2021
If one wanted to do so, one could nitpick Moore’s production profile. For instance, he didn’t break out as a freshman, and historically first-year breakouts do better in the NFL than prospects who break out later.
I’m not worried about Moore’s lack of freshman production. He still broke out at 19 years old, which is still very young, and he had multiple future NFL receivers playing ahead of him as upperclassmen.
If Devonta Smith had difficult obstacles to achieving an early breakout in Ruggs and Jeudy.
Terrace Marshall had even harder ones with Chase and Jefferson
Elijah Moore's were simply impossible with AJ Brown and DK Metcalf
— Chris M-Bite Size Fantasy Football Stats (@force_fantasy) April 6, 2021
With smaller prospects, it’s also nice to see multi-faceted production. If a guy is small but he contributes as a runner and returner as well as receiver, that speaks to his overall skill set and playmaking ability.
Moore’s overall profile as a runner and receiver markedly underwhelms.
- Rushing: 21-71-0
- Punt Returning: 27-133-0
- Kick Returning: 12-222-0
A common comp for Moore is Tyler Lockett. Literally everyone is pairing them together.
Wherever you look, Moore is comped to Lockett.
In many ways, they are comparable. But in a very underappreciated way, they could not be more dissimilar.
Every analyst is comparing Elijah Moore to Tyler Lockett.
I like Moore, but …
– Rush: 22-192-0
– Kck Rtn: 77-2,196-4
– Pnt Rtn: 32-488-2
– Rush: 21-71-0
– Kck Rtn: 12-222-0
– Pnt Rtn: 27-133-0
… Moore is not even close to Lockett in ancillary production.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 10, 2021
It’s a knock against Moore that he doesn’t have supplemental production, especially as a returner. The smaller receivers who turn into fantasy-relevant NFL players …
- Tyreek Hill (4 years): 8 return touchdowns
- Stefon Diggs (3 years): 2 return touchdowns
- Diontae Johnson (3 years): 2 return touchdowns
- Tyler Lockett (4 years): 6 return touchdowns
- Tyler Boyd (3 years): 1 return touchdown
- Antonio Brown (3 years): 5 return touchdowns
… they tend to flash as return men in college.
And Moore is a rather slot-bound receiver, having spent the supermajority of his snaps there in each of his three collegiate campaigns.
- 2018: 94% slot rate
- 2019: 94% slot rate
- 2020: 78% slot rate
In college, Moore struggled with handsy cornerbacks and could be pushed off his routes against press coverage, so he might be unable to play on the outside in the NFL, even with his speed and agility.
Despite his young sophomore breakout and dominant junior production, Moore comes with some concerns.
In the big picture, though, these concerns seem small. Last year, Moore outperformed the Heisman-winning Smith against both man and zone coverage with a higher average depth of target despite playing a much higher percentage of his snaps in the slot (per SIS).
Positive Play Rate vs. Man Coverage
- Elijah Moore: 78%
- DeVonta Smith:73%
Positive Play Rate vs. Zone Coverage
- Elijah Moore: 75%
- DeVonta Smith: 74%
Average Depth of Target
- Elijah Moore: 10.1 yards
- DeVonta Smith: 9.9 yards
If Smith can have success in the NFL, Moore probably can as well.
If Moore goes in Round 1 then he will clearly be a desirable asset to acquire in dynasty, but he should still entice as a Day 2 selection.
All NFL History: Rds. 2-3 WRs – 21yo early declarants w/ 100 yds/g in a college season:
– Curtis Samuel
– JuJu Smith-Schuster
– Allen Robinson
– Keenan Allen
– Robert Woods
– Sidney Rice
– Antonio Bryant
Even if Elijah Moore isn't drafted in Round 1, he'll be OK.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 10, 2021
My top comp for him isn’t as sexy as Lockett, but I nevertheless project multiple 1,000-yard NFL seasons for Moore.
NFL Prospect Comp: K.J. Hamler with more draft capital and much more receiving production but less ancillary production.
Matthew Freedman is 1,018-828-37 (55.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.