Rondale Moore 2021 Fantasy & Dynasty Outlook with Cardinals
Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Rondale Moore
Rondale Moore Fantasy Profile
Rondale Moore Fantasy Fit with Cardinals
This is an exciting landing spot for Moore … sort of.
Rondale Moore is the new Andy Isabella and I am here for it.
— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) May 1, 2021
After DeAndre Hopkins, the wide receiver depth chart is uncertain: A.J. Green and Christian Kirk should open the year as starters in three-wide sets, and 2019 second-rounder Andy Isabella could play ahead of Moore because Isabella is familiar with the system — but all three of these guys can be overtaken.
Green is on the downside of his career, Kirk has been a production tease for years and Isabella seems like a guy who is one year away from being out of the league.
Moore could find his way onto the field sooner rather than later, and although he’ll have a limited ceiling because of Hopkins’ target dominance in the offense, Moore could still produce as a Will Fuller-esque playmaker within the offense.
Because he lacks a clear path to playing time, I expect Moore to garner lukewarm interest in redraft and best ball leagues, and in dynasty he’s unlikely to be selected higher than the bottom of Round 1 in rookie drafts — and even that feels high — but I will be looking to buy him for 2021 and beyond in all formats.
He could be the No. 2 receiver for the Cardinals as a rookie.
Dynasty Fantasy Analysis
Note: The following was written before the NFL Draft.
The numbers — the attributes — that tend to translate into NFL success Moore possesses in abundance.
He broke out at 18 years old, and he broke out as a true freshman. Breakout age and experience are incredibly predictive for receivers. That Moore produced at a high level in such a precocious and immediate fashion is a boon to his NFL projection.
He also exhibited a multidimensional skill set in college. In his 2018 breakout season, he did more than enough as a receiver in 13 games to warrant sustained excitement, but what he did as a runner and returner really distinguishes him.
- Rushing: 21-213-2 | 10.1 yards per carry
- Kick Returning: 33-662-0 | 20.1 yards per return
- Punt Returning: 12-82-0 | 6.8 yards per return
College receivers who regularly contribute as runners and returners have historically had outsized odds of NFL success relative to their draft position. As demonstrated by his rushing and returning prowess, Moore has the type of get-the-ball-in-his-hands-in-whatever-way-possible playmaking ability that translates to the next level.
As an early declarant who won’t turn 21 until after the NFL draft, Moore could have 10-plus years ahead of him in the NFL. And as a prospect highly unlikely to fall outside of the top 100, he should have sufficient draft capital invested in him to ensure that he gets opportunities early in his career.
Although Moore is short, he’s stout and incredibly athletic. His physical profile is not an issue, especially since we’ve seen small-ish speedster have NFL success.
Because of various but fluky-ish injuries, Moore played just seven games in 2019-20. Even so, he put up 98.9 scrimmage yards per game in his two final seasons. The guy can produce.
It’s fair to question his style of play: In his two final seasons of college, Moore was rarely targeted downfield.
Here's a heat map of Rondale Moore's targets over the last two seasons. It's almost exclusively within 10 yards of the LOS.
The Tavon Austin comparison is unavoidable. Hopefully he lands with a coach who knows what to do with that, unlike Austin's early career. pic.twitter.com/DfQAJ9n9H9
— Ryan McCrystal (@Ryan_McCrystal) March 3, 2021
In the NFL, few guys can survive only on targets within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. If all Moore can do is catch screens and slants, he will likely be a limited professional player, as we’ve seen with the somewhat comparable Tavon Austin.
Unlike Austin, though, Moore I suspect actually has the ability to catch the ball downfield. In his two final seasons, Moore was victimized by circumstances beyond his control, as head coach Jeff Brohm oversaw an uninspiring offense quarterbacked by the tolerable-at-best trio of Jack Plummer, Aidan O’Connell and Elijah Sindelar.
That Moore wasn’t targeted beyond 10 yards in 2019-20 almost certainly says more about the offense and the quarterbacks than about him.
To my untrained eye, Moore has the elite short-area quickness and burst to run good routes. And when he actually was asked to run routes downfield in college, he did that with subtlety and success. And even with his size, I rarely saw him struggle to get off the line of scrimmage: He has the strength and more importantly the speed to be a well-rounded NFL receiver.
With his age, expected draft capital and breakout and physical profiles, Moore is easily one of the most complete and exciting receiver prospects to enter the league in the past five years.
I doubt he’ll be selected with a top-six pick in most rookie fantasy drafts, and that makes him someone I will target wherever possible.
NFL Prospect Comp: Curtis Samuel with more receiving production and a better breakout history
Matthew Freedman is 1,018-828-37 (55.1%) overall betting on the NFL. You can follow him in our free app.