Fantasy Football Film Study: Week 9 Waiver Wire
We’re turning the page towards Week 8 and there were a number of eye-popping fantasy performances that we need to take notice of especially heading into placing waiver wire bids. Instead of just looking at the box scores, we had some of our Footballers Writing Staff do the watching for you. We took a look at a couple of Week’s 7 standouts: David Moore, D.J. Moore, Josh Reynolds, and Jordan Thomas.
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David Moore– WR, Seattle Seahawks
Who is David Moore? Honestly, before this season I had never heard of before hearing him make some noise in the preseason. Drafted out of East Central University, a Division II school in Oklahoma, in 2017, Moore fought his way to make the 53-man roster and has slowly worked his way into the WR rotation in Seattle ahead of Brandon Marshall, Amara Darboh, and Jaron Brown. Moore has caught 4 TDs in his last 3 games but what is showing up on film?
First off, Moore had the pleasure of facing Teez Tabor, Lions 2nd-year CB, who has been roasted all year long. In fact, PFF ranks him 180th(!) out of 181 CBs this year. On all 4 of his targets, Tabor was the one covering him and he allowed… 4 catches. Here’s his TD catch in the 2nd quarter.
Notice how Moore matched up with Tabor with no safety help. It’s clear Wilson saw the coverage and was willing to give him a back shoulder look near the end zone. Moore bobbles it but maintains control for the easy TD. On his other 3 targets, Moore is split out wide with the opportunity to work the sideline and dog walk Teez Tabor. Moore has played exclusively out wide (85% of snaps), something this team has desperately lacked opposite of Tyler Lockett. Doug Baldwin is going to continue to own the slot but Moore has definitely gained some trust with Russell Wilson. If the Seahawks somehow begin to push the issue and throw more than 20 times in a game, Moore is an interesting flier. But for now, he’s a stash on the bench and a desperate flex play at best. -Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
D.J. Moore– WR, Carolina Panthers
Hope you already have shares of rookie wide receiver D.J. Moore, because his stock is about to explode. I watched the film on his game against the Ravens in Week 8 and there is a reason to be excited. The Panthers have started to find creative ways to get their explosive rookie the ball. In this game, he had two rushing attempts. The first was almost a lost fumble on the pitch from Cam Newton, but Moore cranked it up the field for 37 while showing off his impressive speed. Showing confidence in the rookie, the very next play was a delayed end-around pitch for 11 yards.
And I haven’t even talked about his pass catching yet! D.J. Moore has been getting more targets every single week because he’s been reliable. Since Week 5, he’s boasting an 80% catch rate. His clearest ability is to track the ball and make adjustments to complete the catch. Moore has aggressive hands that compliment his speed and agility.
Here was Moore’s last completion of the day. It’s a 15-yard crossing route from right to left. Cam sees a gap in the defense under the secondary and fires a bullet at Moore’s waist level. Moore slides in at full speed to secure the catch. These are the type of plays that I think Moore can excel at going forward. -Kent Weyrauch (@kentweyrauch)
Moore, the 1st round rookie out of Maryland, saw his highest snap percentage (71%) of the year against the Ravens in Week 8. While mostly outside, Moore did have 10 snaps in the slot, something that could increase moving forward. Beyond just his playing time and his solid production (5 catches on 6 targets for 90 yards), what Moore laid out on tape was definitely a step in the right direction for a rookie WR.
What stands out the most from his targets was seeing Cam Newton and the offense design plays specifically for Moore’s skill-set. This is exactly what Matt Harmon highlighted in his Reception Perception profile and termed as “lay-up” throws. Moore was utilized in bubble and screenplays such as the following to emphasize his after-the-catch ability.
This should’ve been a 6 yard gain at most but Moore turns upfield and powers through for a 1st down. He was given a reverse later that he almost took for a touchdown. There were a number of drag and intermediate routes that he was found on, exactly what Harmon highlighted in his RP profile. Moving forward I think of him as a bigger Golden Tate or younger Pierre Garcon, when his legs actually still worked. He’s worth a look this week especially with the pitiful Buccaneers secondary on the schedule. -Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
Josh Reynolds– WR, Los Angeles Rams
Reynolds was talked about in recent waiver shows after Cooper Kupp went down two weeks ago. He has stepped right in as the WR3 behind Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks. He’s seen 84% and 88% of the snaps the last two weeks as the Rams run 11-personnel sets (3 WRs, 1 RB and 1 TE) more than any other team in the league. He caught 3-of-5 targets for 42 yards and 2 red-zone TDs.
On this red zone look, Reynolds runs a 10-yard in as the Packers drop into a zone coverage while safety Ha-Ha Clinton Dix doesn’t recognize the route in time and reacts slowly. Goff fires a strike as he believes Reynolds will run the right route ala, Cooper Kupp. What matters most is that he’s a young player with sticky mitts in an offense that can put up points.
He definitely has the skill set as a tall (6’3) slender WR who has a legit catch radius with the ability to also be a big slot receiver. Think of him as a thinner Tyrell Williams without quite the same deep ball skills. If Kupp stays out one more week, Reynolds is a deep league flex at best in a projected high scoring affair against the Saints. -Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)
Jordan Thomas– TE, Houston Texans
Thomas is another relatively unknown player that came up big time this week with 2 red zone TDs on Thursday night against the Dolphins. Thomas was drafted in the 6th round out of Mississippi State and has predominantly lined up as an in-line blocking TE this year. In fact, he ran more routes (17) in Week 8 than he had in Weeks 1-5 combined. Ryan Griffin has missed the last two weeks with an illness and Thomas has stepped in seeing 86% and 89% of the snaps.
This TD is just a coverage break down as the play action allowed the Dolphins single-high safety to bite down and not recover in time to man Thomas. Nothing super special other than running the right route. Thomas’ other TD was a scramble drill as Deshaun Watson bought a ton of time before throwing across his body to find Thomas in the end zone. He was in the right place at the right time.
If Griffin returns, there is no way Thomas can be a viable option. He’s a TD-dependent guy at a position that is flat as can be. However, if Griffin stays out another week and rookie Keke Coutee continues to be on the sideline with an injury, and Jordan continues seeing the type of high-end snaps we want, he’s worth taking a swing on especially as targets open in the offense with Will Fuller being out. -Kyle Borgognoni (@kyle_borg)