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Rondale Moore: Explosiveness Provides Waiver Wire Gold (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Brenden Schaeffer | Featured Writer
Sep 21, 2021

If you’re a pass-catcher tied to a Kyler Murray-led offense, you’re probably off to a strong start to the 2021 season. Through two games, the Cardinals gunslinger has thrown for 689 yards with seven touchdown passes. His ability to extend plays in a fast-paced, high-flying attack means fantasy points galore for Murray’s receiving corps.

DeAndre Hopkins is the obvious alpha target in the Arizona offense, but the early returns on the present campaign paint Murray as an MVP candidate with the ability to sustain multiple fantasy options on a weekly basis. As waiver wires heat up ahead of Week 3, one Cardinals receiver is establishing himself as a big-play threat worthy of consideration for fantasy lineups.

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Player Profile

Rondale Moore‘s road to the NFL wasn’t exactly a straight path, but his upside has always been evident. Moore flashed his game-breaking potential as a Freshman at Purdue in 2018 when he piled up 114 receptions for 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns. He used his explosiveness as a weapon in the running game, too, logging 213 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground. That came on just 21 attempts, for an average of 11.0 yards per carry. Even as a teenager, the guy had the juice to dominate in one of the best football conferences in the country. 

Injuries limited Moore over the following two years of his Big 10 career, but that didn’t stop the Arizona Cardinals from taking a shot on his playmaking potential in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Pairing Moore with Murray in one of the most fantasy-friendly offensive environments in the league was tantalizing, but there were questions as to whether Moore would assert his way to immediate relevance among a crowded receiving corps.

With Hopkins demanding a large target share alongside an emergent Christian Kirk and a resurgent A.J. Green, would there be enough action for the second-round rookie?

State of the Offense

Though it’s only been two NFL games thus far for Rondale Moore, the 21-year-old speedster is already proving his value at the professional level. Moore has quickly shed the stereotype, proving he’s more than a gadget-guy who comes in to provide some eye candy as a distraction for the defense.

Moore’s 77-yard touchdown reception on which he was inexplicably left all alone down the left sideline will be the main reason that the dynamic wideout gets scooped up in every fantasy league on this planet this week. However, his involvement in the Cardinals’ offense amounts to far more than a one-off fluke touchdown.

That sort of fantasy gold mine play-nice blocking by Kirk downfield to help finish it off, by the way, is always possible with Moore. But the underlying numbers are just as impressive and are more indicative of stable fantasy success moving forward. Moore has already shown out as a bonafide talent, hauling in 11 of 13 targets for 182 yards through his first two weeks in the league. With an eight-target outing in Week 2, Moore actually raced out to the early-season lead in the category among all Cardinals pass-catchers, Hopkins included.

Though we don’t project Moore to demand the ball more than Nuk throughout the full season, the team’s willingness to move the young buck around the formation and deploy him in a variety of routes could benefit his involvement. Whereas Hopkins lines up strictly on the left side of the field at an alarming rate, the Cardinals could exploit Moore as an X-factor in their alignments.

Another consideration: Moore hasn’t been involved on any end-around hand-offs just yet, but that’s an element of his game that could serve as a boost to his value down the road if Kliff Kingsbury draws up a couple of specialty play calls for the kid.

Moore’s outlook

Bottom line: Even with Christian Kirk balling out and A.J. Green showing he’s got some gas left in the tank, Rondale Moore has led a fast-paced, high-octane offense in targets through two weeks. That’s gotta mean something. Right?

If you had the gumption to pick up Moore and start him following a solid debut in Week 1, you were rewarded tremendously with this past week’s outburst. Kyler Murray is an explosive player who enjoys connecting with other explosive players. Moore is quickly proving to be worthy of his quarterback’s consideration on that front. Whereas last year’s rookie sensation Justin Jefferson took several weeks to come out of his shell, Moore has immediately made an impact for the fantasy managers brave enough to roster him.

If nobody in your league has done so yet, make sure it’s you that scores this dynamic rookie wide receiver when the time for waiver claims arrives ahead of Week 3.

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