As free agency brought many pieces of news, everything we know is about to get rocked with the upcoming NFL Draft. Mock draft season is coming to an end and we are close to getting the final piece to the player puzzle once the NFL results are in. This series will focus on that market pulse by highlighting players at each spot. Here are four wide receivers to watch before the NFL Draft:
DJ Moore, CHI – Sell
This one may come as a shock for many who have known my tendency to come to the defense of DJ Moore any time the attackers came about. Realistically, the numbers have always favored Moore from a market share and efficiency standpoint, but the situation has never allowed him to produce at the same rate as other players with similar metrics. The trade to the Bears was the big move we all hoped for, as Justin Fields gets a high-end option at wide receiver. With that said, the move did not move Moore’s value up, but put him in the spotlight just enough to get transaction traction in a league. He is WR18 and I am fine pivoting elsewhere in the same range as a bet against the efficiency of Justin Fields.
The Move – By no means do I want to “sell” Moore just to cash out. He is still a very good wide receiver with a price that likely reflects his production expectation. With that said, can I reroll Moore for the shot at the WR2 in the 2023 class (1.08 or 1.09)? Christian Watson and Michael Pittman are solid pivot options, as are Brandon Aiyuk and Jerry Jeudy, both likely to find new teams in the next year or two.
DeAndre Hopkins, ARI – Buy
Hopkins is one of the favorites to move during NFL Draft weekend and he currently checks in at WR42 in the latest ADP as dynasty managers await where he lands. Despite his injury history plus prior PED suspension, the price is in a range that any team playing in a small window should consider buying Hopkins. This valuation devalues age as many of the younger players in the same range have question marks as to if they are actually legitimate producers. Hopkins finished in the top fifteen in market share, yards per route run, targets per route run and air yards share. He can still produce at a high level.
The Move – Consider buying Hopkins for a second. Consider moving risky wide receivers such as Kadarius Toney, Wan’Dale Robinson, Skyy Moore or Elijah Moore in deals to acquire Hopkins. This is a purchase with minimal re-sale equity. Treat it as such.
Diontae Johnson, PIT – Hold
There have been some rumblings of Diontae Johnson trade rumors leading up to the NFL Draft and after the acquisition of Allen Robinson and the propensity of the Steelers to draft wide receivers in the first two days of the draft, the idea is not crazy. Despite the reasons for or against, Johnson is a player who has out-performed his current ADP (WR31) and is coming off a down season, making his market cache very low and thus, a hold in dynasty. He still posted a near 27 percent target share in 2022 and is someone who will produce regardless of where he lands.
The Move – The definition of a hold is to revert to the market. I am comfortable getting between ten and twenty percent exposure to Johnson but he is a candidate to pivot up or down, or neutral to another wide receiver in the same tier. Beware of selling based on last season and his current market steam; hold instead.
Parris Campbell, NYG – Drop
Ultimately, the move to the Giants is not encouraging as he received a one-year deal worth up to 4.7 million dollars and a paltry 2.9 million guaranteed. This deal is not starter-level money in the current wide receiver market and considering the Giants brought back Sterling Shepard, have Wan’Dale Robinson, used Isaiah Hodgins as a big slot, and are in the mix to add another prototype slot wide receiver in the draft, Campbell is destined to be a #RosterClogger.
The Move – Try and move Campbell for anything. A third-round pick? Unlikely. A fourth-round pick? Maybe. Free agent blind bidding dollars? Sure. The roster spot is more valuable barring you starting less than twelve and your rosters are not more than 35. He is even a stretch in best ball dynasty.
Conclusion – The WR market is beginning to take shape with many of the big names currently in the league settling in their place. The 2023 rookie class is down and although a few major risers may emerge, I expect this market to be the quietest after the NFL Draft.
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