Home > NFL > August 31 – Fantasy Debate – Johnson or Moss?

August 31 – Fantasy Debate – Johnson or Moss?

With many people’s fantasy football drafts quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to do two or three entries comparing the consensus top two players at the three key positions. Many times the hype for one player will trump the numbers for another – so let’s see if that is the case this year. I’ll start at wide receiver:

On most cheat sheets, Andre Johnson of Houston is ranked as the top WR. Johnson is 29, entering his 8th year in the league. He has been a starter since he entered the league, and his last two years have put him in the elite tier of receivers.

Most (but not all) experts have Randy Moss at #2 at receiver. Randy is moving on a bit in years, now in his 12th year at age 33. His production, however, has not slowed with age. Entering his 4th year with the Patriots, he is still a force to be reckoned with.

Let’s compare the two:

Randy Moss - courtesy Wikipedia

Receptions: This one isn’t a contest – Johnson is the big winner here. Over the past couple of seasons, Johnson has averaged 108 catches. Moss has averaged 76. The difference is understandable if you look at the 2 situations: Moss is the big strike guy in New England, not the possession guy – that’s Wes Welker. Johnson kind of serves both roles in Houston. So if you are in a league that rewards receptions with a lot of points, you would lean Johnson’s way.

Yards: Johnson runs away with this category also. Moss averaged 1136 yards the past 2 seasons. Johnson averaged 1572. Moss may be a good yard after catch guy, but Johnson consistently gets more mid-range yardage which leads to more yards overall. Advantage – Johnson.

Touchdowns: The scoring category leans towards Moss. As I mentioned earlier, he is the big strike guy. If Brady hits him with a bomb, it usually ends up in the end zone. For a guy that had so many catches, its amazing Johnson only had 17 TDs the last 2 years. Moss has had 24 the last two, and it’s hard to forget the 23 he had in 2007. If your league values TDs more than catches and yards, Moss may look like a healthier pick.

Team: Both guys have good QBs getting them the ball. Brady is obviously more proven, but Schaub is no slouch either. Moss gets hurt a bit by the fact that Brady has a go-to possession receiver like Welker. He has done a better job going over the middle in recent years, as opposed to his years in Oakland and Minnesota when he would run down the field on almost every play. Johnson is the guy in Houston, but he is hurt by the fact that other teams pay him more attention because of it. Johnson also has the home climate advantage. Both teams have marginal RBs, and are passing teams for the most part, anyway. I’ll call this one a draw.

Opponents: The Texans have the tougher division overall, but several teams in their division (Jacksonville, Tennessee) have secondary as a weakness. Moss gets to face Miami and Buffalo twice, but might be on Revis Island for 2 games. Moss faces the AFC North and NFC North. Johnson gets the AFC West and the NFC East. I think Moss gets the slight advantage here, but not by much.

Overall: In my opinion, this ranking boils down to one thing: Will the Texans get Johnson the ball in the end zone more? If they do, then Johnson has the edge here, and deserves his #1 ranking. However, if Johnson still only manages the end zone 8 or 9 times, and Moss can be more of the long-bomb threat that he once was, and still can be, then I can see where the rankings become more fuzzy. If I had the choice, I’d stick with Johnson, his youth, and his potential to score more.

Thoughts? Disagree? Let us know – comment away!

I’ll continue the Re-Previews with the NFC East tomorrow.

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