The Raiders’ Receivers and the Panthers’ Need
I read some news that got me thinking this morning. It seems that Andre Holmes is making a move on Denarius Moore for the third spot on the depth chart in Oakland. A few quick bullet points on this and then a point on a potential deal with Carolina—which is, of course, pure speculation by me.
- Andre Holmes may indeed pass Denarius Moore, but I think it’s a mistake to rank the Oakland receivers in more than a general way. This group could be fairly fluid as we move through the season. As much as we respect James Jones, he’s not a special talent and he could end up in the same role he played in Green Bay before too long if others develop.
- Denarius Moore has had issues with the coaching staff for a while now and Oakland may be best-suited by looking to deal him sooner rather than later.
- Andre Holmes, to us, is the most interesting receiver in Oakland. We like him as an upside add in long term and as a sleeper in large redraft formats.
- Rod Streater is both overlooked and over-hyped at once. We do like him as a value pick for depth, but he’s going to be hard to depend on ... unless Oakland gets a QB into a groove. We are having a really tough time buying into the idea of Matt Schaub, who, at his best, was just a solid quarterback. His lack of mobility could be a fatal flaw in the Oakland offense.
- While we expect Schaub to start Week 1, we also expect him to be a failure. That's where Derek Carr should come in and that’s when the Oakland offense could become more relevant for fantasy purposes. Carr brings superior mobility and arm strength. He’ll make his share of mistakes, but he’ll extend plays and open up the field for the receivers.
Back to the Panthers.... Carolina has been a bit all over the map when it comes to their receivers. It’s a bit of a counter-intuitive approach for a team building around a young quarterback. Not to say that their approach isn’t defendable. It is, but the lack of outside speed is palpable and what’s the point of having Cam Newton without enough legit downfield weapons? I like the idea of Kelvin Benjamin as a deep threat, but he wins with his size, strength and athleticism more than his speed. In Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant, they are long on stability and character, but a bit short on downfield play-making ability. And, while we like Marvin McNutt, he is more of a candidate to replace Brandon LaFell’s contributions versus Steve Smith’s. McNutt probably has as much ability as LaFell. He’s more of a possession receiver and blocker with some red zone upside. He’s not stretching the field for Cam Newton. We do have some hope for Tavarres King in this regard, but he's just potential at this point.
Here's our take on Tavarres going into his rookie year....
He needs to catch the ball better and needs to develop some strength to deal with the jam at the next level. He’s behind Decker and Thomas so he will be afforded some time to develop, but he could see some time as a deep threat this season if he has a good camp. He’s worth a look in deep leagues if you have invested in Decker or Demaryius. It’s also possible that they try and turn him into a slot guy as Welker is close to the end. King’s worth owning for sure, but we see him as a big play option for the QB after Manning versus a guy who can get it done right away.
So, while guys like Corey "Philly" Brown and King are still developing, Denarius Moore would give Carolina a proven option with excellent deep speed and play-making ability. And, perhaps above all, he fits the Carolina model of buying low. Moore to Carolina for a 2014 5th rounder makes a whole lot of sense for both teams.
Again, we respect Carolina’s value-based approach and GM Dave Gettleman, but they have a team capable of winning right now. They are currently looking pennywise but a bit pound-foolish at receiver. Getting a guy like Moore would give them a much more balanced array of weaponry. It’d be a no-brainer.
Make the call, Gettleman!