39-Year-Old Wide Receiver – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Randy Moss in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Randy Moss Contract Information:
Signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Niners in March of 2012.
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|Receiving||Rec Distance||Big Rec Games||Rushing||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Randy Moss: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Randy Moss.
The 36-year-old wideout did not return to the 49ers after catching just 28 passes for 434 yards and three touchdowns last season. He has yet to latch onto another team, but even if he does, he is a shell of the game changer he used to be.
After a bizarre season in 2010 where he played for three teams, two of which acquired him and then summarily ignored him, Moss sat out all of last year, seemingly retired. In Moss’s last normal season with the Patriots in 2009, he had 1,264-yards and 13-touchdowns on 9.1 YPT, so Moss’s decline was especially surprising in the absence of any reported injury. In any event, arguably the greatest downfield threat the NFL has ever known is in camp with the 49ers. Moss, now 35, claims he can still run a 4.3 40 and looked fit and fast while practicing with quarterback Alex Smith in May. Even so, a return to anything close to his 2009 level is a major long shot, especially in an Smith-led offense and with plenty of competition for targets in Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Vernon Davis and first-round rookie A.J. Jenkins.
What happened to Randy Moss last year? Coming off a 13-TD season, playing with Tom Brady and a top five wideout on nearly everyone's board, he dropped off the face of the earth. The Patriots knew something was wrong, so they traded him to the Vikings, and once their season was lost, they simply let him go. He was claimed by the Titans, who were desperate for a playmaker after Kenny Britt got hurt, and then Tennessee refused to throw to him. No injury was reported, and other than Moss making some unkind remarks to caterers in Minnesota, there were no reports of off-field friction. It's possible at 34 Moss is simply no longer good enough to play in the NFL, but we're talking about a player who was elite at the end of 2009 and an easy inner-circle Hall of Famer. Moss has been written off before – at the end of 2006 in Oakland, many thought he was done – and he returned to set the all-time record for touchdown catches in 2007. Four years later it's less likely, but still possible. Despite some interest from a number of teams, Moss ultimately decided to file his retirement papers and his NFL career is likely done.
Despite accusations of “dogging it” by opposing players and the media, and despite playing with what turned out to be a separated shoulder, the 13-year veteran tied for the league lead in touchdowns and managed 9.1 yards per target, roughly the same per-play efficiency as Andre Johnson. Moreover, Moss was tied for fifth in the league with seven catches of 40 yards or more, and his 15.2 yards per catch ranked him eighth among the 28 100-target receivers last year, so he hardly profiles as a player who’s lost most of his speed or explosiveness. At 6-4, 205, and with the ability to outleap defenders, Moss is an ideal goal-line target, a fact of which the Patriots are well aware. Moss was second in the league in targets inside the 10 with 13 and hauled in five of them for scores. Moss did turn 33 this offseason, and there’s some concern about his diminished production in the second half — he failed to crack 80 yards receiving in the season’s last seven games (though he did score six touchdowns in that span). But between his big first half, the tendency for receivers to age well, the quality of his quarterback and his historically great career, a substantial decline seems unlikely, barring injury. Moreover, Tom Brady is another year removed from his own health issues, and Moss’s shoulder should be 100 percent heading into the season. That he’s in a contract year shouldn’t hurt, either.
For the second year in a row, Moss led the league in touchdowns per target – though he did it in 2008 despite downgrading from arguably the greatest quarterback of all time to a virtual unknown. By midseason, Matt Cassel had improved enough to make Moss a reliable source of yardage and touchdowns, but the Patriots offense wasn’t nearly as efficient, and Moss’ red-zone attempts fell from 38 (1st) to 23 (tied for 7th). Cassel also lacked Tom Brady’s touch on the deep ball, and Moss went from a league-leading nine 40-plus yard receptions in 2007 to just three last year. Of course, Cassel now plays for the Chiefs, and Brady, by all accounts, is expected to make a full recovery after tearing his ACL in Week 1 last year. The question then is – are Brady and Moss (now 32) the same players they were during their historic run in 2007? Given Brady’s pocket-passing style of play, he’s not too likely to be adversely affected by an ACL repair, and at 31 is still very much in the prime of his career as a quarterback. Barring a setback, he’ll have a full training camp to get his timing and touch back, so we don’t expect too much falloff there other than normal regression to the mean that would have happened with or without the injury. As for Moss, it’s harder to say. Elite receivers typically don’t decline too much in their early 30s, so long as they’re healthy, and Moss hasn’t missed a game in two seasons. It’s of course possible that his decline in big plays last year wasn’t solely due to Cassel, but there’s no way of knowing that for sure. In fact, many claimed that Moss had lost a step when he was on the Raiders, and that turned out emphatically not to have been the case. So we’re going to give him the benefit of the doubt and consider him roughly the player he was heading into 2008 when he was the top receiver on virtually everyone’s board. With Brady back in the fold, we expect the Patriots offense to create more red-zone trips and also to throw more frequently when they get there. Moreover, we expect Brady to take more shots down the field to Moss and for those shots to have his trademark accuracy and touch. While a repeat of 2007 is almost impossible to envision, we expect Moss to resume his status as one of the league’s elite deep threats and red-zone targets with an all-time great quarterback pitching him the ball.
There's little doubt that Moss is the best downfield weapon in the NFL today - his 9.8 yards per target was tops in the league among receivers with 100 targets or more. In fact, of the 34 receivers to get 100-plus looks, only two others (Reggie Wayne and Terrell Owens) averaged more than nine yards per target. Moreover, Moss led the NFL with nine receptions of 40 yards or more. But it's not just his capacity to beat teams deep that makes Moss such a valuable fantasy asset. Moss combines rare downfield ability with ideal red-zone size, excellent leaping ability and tremendous awareness and body control. The Patriots targeted him eight times (3rd) inside the five-yard line, and he rewarded them with a league-leading six scores. Moss led the league with 21 targets and 10 scores from inside the 10 and also with 38 targets and 14 touchdowns from inside the 20. In other words, Moss gets the dramatic long-distance scores, but he also gets the easy ones that many smaller speed receivers lack. Because of this, Moss is remarkably consistent, scoring in all but three games last season. If you're concerned with Moss's age catching up with him, don't be. Even though he came into the league in 1998, Moss just turned 31 in February, which isn't particularly old for a receiver - consider that Terrell Owens will be 35 in December. The other worry with Moss was his tendency to rack up nagging injuries - in the seasons preceding 2007, he had groin, hamstring, pelvis and rib injuries. But after seeing Moss play at peak capacity all season for New England, it's not entirely clear how much of the time he missed in those years was attributable to playing for a team that had virtually no chance to win and didn't use him properly in any event. Moss signed a three-year $27 million extension with the Patriots in March, so he'll again benefit from having Tom Brady as his quarterback and the Patriots aggressive offensive system.
We could spend this space analyzing Moss’ 2006 numbers if we thought they were probative of anything, but they’re not. Playing for a team that couldn’t protect Aaron Brooks or Andrew Walter, Moss was an afterthought in the offense, catching passes in just six games and missing three outright due to an ankle injury. That should change this season with Moss’ trade to the Patriots, who will protect Tom Brady and should look to make the most of Moss’s talents by taking downfield shots. We also could waste time analyzing the Patriots passing tendencies from in close, but given the receivers Brady had to work with a year ago, (Doug Gabriel, Reche Caldwell and Troy Brown) and even the better options he had in the past (Deion Branch, David Givens), we don’t think they’re indicative of how Belichick will use a unique talent like Moss. Finally, New England’s primary goal-line option from the last few seasons, Corey Dillon, is also gone, so the Patriots are likely to change the play calling from deep in their opponents’ territory. At 6-4, 215, and with the ability to run by or leap over defenders, Moss is a match-up nightmare for opposing defensive backs. Moss has tremendous body control in the air, and can adjust to the ball as well as any receiver in the league. He’s not the most precise route-runner, but he’s sure handed and very dangerous after the catch. Moss is also deadly in the red zone with a league-leading nine scores in just 11 games in 2004, his last season playing with an above-average quarterback. At age 30, there are some questions are to whether Moss has lost a step from his glory days with the Vikings, but he reportedly ran 40 yards in a blistering 4.29 seconds in the presence of Patriots Coach Bill Belichick this spring, and receivers typically keep their skills into their early 30s. Of more concern are Moss’ muscle strains the last couple years – Moss had been nagged by groin, hamstring, pelvis and rib injuries in 2004-05 – and his questionable attitude, though with the Pats likely to be a winning team, Brady throwing him the ball and Belichick commanding his respect, the latter issue is less likely to be a problem in New England. Newly signed Donte’ Stallworth will also be around, but as long as Moss stays healthy, there’s an excellent chance that he’s Brady’s No. 1 target.
Perhaps the greatest downfield threat ever to don a football uniform, Moss has been nagged by groin, hamstring, pelvis and rib injuries the last two seasons, and as a result hasn’t shown his trademark speed and burst. But lest you think he’s lost a step, consider that before Moss went down in Week 5, he amassed 466 yards on 19 catches through the season’s first four weeks - numbers that prorate to 76 grabs for 1,864 yards and an average of 24.5 yards per catch. From Week 6 through the end of the year, Moss caught just 41 passes for 539 yards (for a 13.1 average, equivalent to his lowest mark in four seasons). Moreover, 116 of his yards and two of his eight scores came in Week 17 against the Giants, a full 12 weeks after he suffered the injury. In the intervening 11 weeks, Moss failed to reach 100 yards receiving or get into the end zone more the once in a game. In other words, he played hurt all year, and the numbers he put up aren’t remotely indicative of what he would do if healthy. At 6-4, 215, and with the ability to run by or leap over defenders, Moss is a match-up nightmare for opposing defensive backs. Moss has tremendous body control in the air, and can adjust to the ball as well as any receiver in the league. He’s not the most precise route-runner, but he’s sure handed and very dangerous after the catch. Moss is also deadly in the red zone with a league-leading nine scores in just 11 games in 2004. Whether Moss can stay healthy for the first time in three seasons is an open question, but that he was blowing by rookie safety Michael Huff in minicamp is a good sign. While Moss will be working with a new signal-caller in Aaron Brooks this year, Brooks, like his predecessor Kerry Collins, has a strong arm and the ability to get the ball downfield.
At 6-4 and blessed with great speed, body control and leaping ability, Moss has been the NFL’s most dangerous receiver for the better part of a decade. Moss is particularly deadly inside the 20-yard line and around the goal line – he was second in the league in red-zone touchdowns with nine and easily led the league with eight scores from inside the five in just 11 games last season, thanks in part to a league-leading 12 goal-line targets. And in 2003, Moss led the league with eight red-zone scores and 32 red-zone targets. Now with the Raiders, it remains to be seen whether Moss will be targeted near paydirt as often as he was with Minnesota, but given his enormous advantage in height, reach and athleticism over virtually every NFL defensive back, it makes a lot of sense for Oakland to do so. Even if Moss’ red-zone targets are down this season, he’s just as deadly from deep, catching 18 passes for 40 yards or more over the last three seasons, which ties him with Terrell Owens for tops in the league over that span. And with the strong-armed Kerry Collins able to launch the ball downfield, Moss might increase his damage from long distance. The presence of the physically imposing Jerry Porter on the other side should take a little heat off of Moss, though it’s Porter who will almost surely benefit from frequent single coverage.
Last year questions about Moss's commitment to the sport and work ethic were answered, as Moss finally decided to scrap his usual offseason routine of playing in a summer pro basketball league and instead spent time at the Explosive Speed Academy in Fort Lauderdale, pulling 90-pound sleds on a beach and running hard in the sand to build up his lower body. When unrivaled skills are matched with a rigorous work ethic, seasons like Moss’ 2003 campaign follow. There are fundamental differences in the way Moss is utilized under Mike Tice as compared with Dennis Green. Moss is targeted much more frequently (172 times last year with completions on 65 percent of those attempts). But he has put up his two lowest career yards-per-catch averages and just seven TDs in 2002. And Moss is no longer the Distance Scoring King of the World. Moss broke into the NFL in 1998 with 14 plays over 40 yards, including a league-record 10 TDs from at least this distance. And Moss has 47 career 40-plus yard catches to his credit. But in 2003, he hauled in just five 40-plus yarders, and two of them (also the two longest) were thrown by backup Gus Frerotte. And one of the three from Daunte Culpepper was half of a hook-and-ladder right before halftime. Moss did still lead the NFL in catches over 25 yards with 16, but the Vikings also completed 24 passes behind the line of scrimmage to Moss last year, good for just 6.5 yards a pop. After witnessing the ease with which Frerotte exploited Moss’ ability to physically overmatch defensive backs (five TDs in two starts), it’s clear Moss’ big-play skills are still intact and should be better utilized. If they were, the type of 20-TD, 2,000-yard season many have long predicted for Moss could become a reality.
Moss is too talented to be any lower than No. 3 on your wide receiver board, though he's coming off perhaps the worst season of his five-year career (just seven touchdowns, along with 1,347 yards). He seemed to take offseason conditioning more seriously in the spring of 2003, for whatever that's worth. Ultimately, he's someone you're a little afraid to take, and someone you're a little afraid to pass on. Do you feel lucky?