It's nearly fall, which means it's time for that annual autumn rite of passage that is football season. Football teams are already at the respective camps, training hard and getting ready for a new year of smashmouth pigskin. Get your fantasy leagues registered and start planning how you're going to draft your new team. Like any draft - real life of fantasy - it's the late picks that will likely either make or break your team, as you're certain to be getting top talent in the early rounds. That's where your knowledge and football expertise can really pay dividends in your fantasy league and make the difference between fantasy league champion and fantasy league bottom feeder.
Where most fantasy players are going to go after all-stars and MVP's, do your research and look for the up-and-comers who are poised for banner years. One sleeper player that is set for a potential breakout season is Oakland wide receiver Denarius Moore. You won't have to waste an early pick on Moore and you'll likely be able to snag him in one of the later rounds as he's not yet a premiere player in the NFL. Here are four reasons why you should consider selecting Moore when he comes up on your draft board:
In his 2011 rookie season, Moore caught 33 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns. They're not championship numbers, especially when compared to league leaders. Consider a couple of things: he was a rookie and not in the starting lineup. He averaged 18.7 yards per catch and his numbers really picked up after Carson Palmer became the starting quarterback for the Raiders. Another year in the system, another off-season worth of workouts, and a newfound knowledge of what it takes to be a great pro are all working in Moore's advantage for a breakout season. Moore will likely be a No. 3 or No. 4 wide receiver to start the season, but could find his way into the starting lineup.
Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer could be the deciding factor in terms of how successful Moore is this year. In the six games in 2011 without Palmer, Moore only caught just over 200 yards worth of passes. But when Palmer took over, the two developed instant chemistry, helping Moore to a solid rookie campaign. With a full off-season of workouts together, there's no reason to think that this chemistry wouldn't be even better when 2012 kicks off. Who knows, you might be seeing a lot of the Palmer-Moore connection this fall.
As we mentioned in the opening, Moore could be a late-round steal. The key words being "late" and "round." That means you're probably not going to have to spend an early-round pick on Moore and can snag him with one of your picks as the draft is winding down, when you're drafting more for depth than star power. Being that you're not going to have to draft Moore very high, he's likely to be a very low-risk option. And if he can better the statistics that he had in his rookie year (which all signs are pointing to), the reward from this move could pay off big time.
If Moore has a good season, he could become a valued player at your fantasy league's trade deadline, meaning that you could ask a lot in return for him. And even if he only puts up numbers comparable with his rookie year, he could still be packaged in a trade deadline deal. Like our previous point, drafting Moore is a low-risk, high-reward move, so if you don't anticipate on keeping him for the long haul and can trade him to meet some of your team's needs, even better.
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