Randy Moss: Fantasy Spotlight

Dan ClasgensContributor IJuly 2, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 02:  Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots runs for yards after the catch on the last play of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 2, 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 18-15. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It was just two years ago that Randy Moss helped re-write the record books, catching 24 touchdowns as the Patriots rolled through a perfect season.

Moss, who was hands down fantasy’s top wideout at this time last year, suffered a bit of a setback in 2008 after Tom Brady went down in Week One to a season-ending knee injury.

There’s no doubt Moss still has the potential to be fantasy’s top wideout. At 32, there is still enough gas in the tank and he's always had the speed, size, and athleticism to cause havoc for opposing defenses.

However, with the emergence of Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, and Calvin Johnson, it’s hard to justify putting Moss atop the wide receiver rankings to start the season.

Even without Brady last year, Moss still caught 69 balls for 1,008 yards (14.6 avg) and 11 touchdowns.

It took some time for adjustment, but Moss eventually developed some chemistry with backup Matt Cassel.

Consistency was the biggest problem as Moss only scored in seven of his 16 contests and only produced four 100-yard games. When he did produce it came in bunches, though.

His value in points-per-reception leagues took the biggest hit a year ago as he finished with 29 fewer catches than the previous season.

With Brady looking to be near 100 percent, the question remains: Will Moss come closer to last year’s numbers or approach the 2007 totals?

Assuming both he and Brady stay healthy in ’09, fantasy owners should anticipate the production to be somewhere in between. 

One factor that is likely to go overlooked is that the team no longer has as much depth at receiver, meaning Moss and Wes Welker are going to get plenty of targets to be productive.

Expect 90 receptions for about 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns. If those numbers hold true, Moss will be a steal as early as Round Two on draft day.