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Rookie Roulette - Which Rookie WR to Draft First?

Courtland Sutton, James Washington, Calvin Ridley. All of these receivers are getting hyped as the best rookie in this class, but which one will have the best rookie season and be a good pick in MFL 10s?

None of the above. For the answer to this question, you need to go to the city of Charlotte and rookie D.J. Moore. Not only was he the first rookie taken in the NFL draft, but he should be the first taken in redraft and best ball drafts as well.

Let's see what Moore brings to the table for fantasy football owners in 2018.

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Give Me Moore!

In his final season in college, D.J. Moore finished with 80 receptions for 1,033 yards and eight receiving touchdowns while adding an additional 61 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown on five carries for the Terps. At 6’ and 210 lbs, he is not nearly as big as the team's previous number one receiver, the 6’5 and 250 lb Kelvin Benjamin. He is, however, much faster at 4.42 and with a college dominator score in the 97th percentile despite having five different quarterbacks and a bad offense, he will shine in Carolina despite the accuracy concerns of Cam Newton.

The addition of Moore will allow last seasons leading receiver Devin Funchess to move back to his natural number two role. Add in the return of a hopefully healthy Greg Olsen and the backfield threat of second-year stud Christian McCaffrey and free agent signing C.J. Anderson and this should open up the offense for Moore to flourish this season.

While there is concern over the Panthers offensive and defensive lines in 2018, this should also work to the advantage of Moore and the rest of the offense. With the offensive line being in shambles, Newton will have to rely on short passes to possession receivers. While Moore does have speed to burn, his 12.9 yards per catch average and 80 receptions also shows he can be a possession guy.

With the defense looking to be in the bottom half of the league heading into the season, scoring will be at a premium for Carolina as a lot of 33-30 games could be in the cards. This will not be accomplished by running the ball only and the pass attack should take a step forward to help. With Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey both being top-five to 10 at their respective positions, the opposing defenses will need to man the box up front leaving mostly single coverage for both Funchess and Moore. As the more athletic of the two looks for D.J. Moore to exploit the coverage lack for a dominant rookie season.

Taking a wide receiver in the first round shows the Panthers know they need to finally find someone to replace Steve Smith Sr. With this pick they are showing they feel D.J. Moore has the potential to do just that and he will be given every chance to prove it in 2018. If he works out as expected the Panthers could be a force in the NFC for the next decade. If not, they will be headed back to the drawing board again. Either way, we will find out this season. With Moore’s current ADP holding at 118, he is a worthwhile investment as the 10th pick of the 10th round in 12 team leagues.

Could Courtland Sutton or James Washington have a breakout game or two in 2018? Of Course. So could Blake Bortles. But of all the rookie receivers, D.J. Moore is the one who looks to already be the number one receiver on their respective teams and is the only one who could conceivably finish the season in the conversation as a number one receiver. Not on their own team, but in the NFL.


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