2011 Fantasy Football Sleepers: Lance Moore

Jul 27 3:36am

How often have you thought to yourself, “self, this Drew Brees fella sure does throw for a lot of yards and touchdowns every season, so if I grab one of those guys he’s throwing to in my fantasy football draft then I might be able to use those points to beat my opponent over the head with.” And yes, that is what I usually think as well. Every season us fantasy football pundits try are darndest to figure out what Saints receiver is going to be the leader on the team. That usually is Marques Colston. Since his rookie season he has led the team in receiving yardage every year except in 2008 when he was hurt for much of the season and our man Lance Moore took the lead. But that was back in the olden days. What is going to happen this season?

Lance Moore is one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets. Moore is a free agent now and Brees has publicly stated that he wants him back. After they most likely let the hybrid RB/WR Reggie Bush go it will almost be imparative that they resign Moore and I believe they will. Moore will need to fill that void that Bush will leave. Brees is the master at spreading the ball around, but needs his safety blanket and that has been Lance Moore recently. In 2008 when Colston went down Moore picked up the slack and had 79 receptions for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns.  And that led to us fantasy “experts” to predict another good season for Moore in 2009, but he dislocated his shoulder and tore his labrum in the off season while lifting weights and then battled a hamstring injury much of the regular season. This made him a bit of an afterthought in 2010 but he ended up with 66 receptions, 763 yards and 8 touchdowns. Those numbers aren’t going to win your matchups week in and week out, but they are respectable and the 8 TDs puts him in the top 20. For being a smaller receiver Brees continues to look for him in the end zone which is good.

So with Bush gone this gives Moore an even more vital role in the offense, but is it vital enough to make him a true “sleeper” pick in fantasy football? Yes and no. I believe he is poised, in the offense as it is now, to have a respectable season similar to last year with a slight up tick in yards and receptions. That is good for a spot on your fantasy roster. But the reason I am high on Moore this year is because Marques Colston just underwent his 6th knee surgery in the off season. I just don’t see him being able to sustain 16 games this year and those targets are going to go somewhere. Yes, Robert Meachem will get some, Jimmy Graham will for sure get some and maybe even Adrian Arrington for ya’ll in deep leagues, but Moore is Brees’ guy and especially in points per receptions leagues he will have a lot of value.

Besides, Chet has written for the N.Y. Times: Fifth Down Blog, and his own sites Razzball and Third Coast Sports. He is extremely/obsessively active on Twitter and will answer your questions as best he can if you throw them @ChetRazzball.

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