Steelers Sign Lance Moore
For the first time in a while the Pittsburgh Steelers have actually hit the NFL free agent market pretty hard this offseason. Among their major additions is wide receiver Lance Moore, who was released by the New Orleans Saints earlier in the offseason.
The eight-year veteran signed a two-year deal worth $1.5 million per season. He’s going to be relied upon to replace the production we saw from the combination of Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery, both of whom departed via free agency.
Sanders and Cotchery combined for 113 receptions and 16 touchdowns on 182 targets last season. To put that into perspective, they represented 31 percent of the team’s total targets and 57 percent of their touchdown reception total.
That’s a huge void to fill heading into the 2014 season.
Pittsburgh is expecting second-year receiver Markus Wheaton to play a much larger role in 2014, but he struggled as a rookie. The former third-round pick caught six passes on 12 targets and averaged only 13.4 snaps per outing.
We can expect general manager Kevin Colbert to go out there and pick up a rookie in May. The 2014 NFL draft class is absolutely stacked at that position, which only bodes well for Pittsburgh’s prospects there. With that said, relying on an unknown leaves you vulnerable, especially in redraft and dynasty leagues that draft early.
Moore is nowhere near a sexy option around the fantasy football world. He seemed to be more of a product of the New Orleans Saints pass-happy offense and Drew Brees more than anything else. The veteran caught 37 passes for less than 500 yards and two scores a year after putting up his first and only 1,000-yard campaign.
With Kenny Stills taking on more of a load down the stretch, Moore saw his total snaps and production drop a great deal towards the latter half of the 2013 season. Including the playoffs, he saw less than 30 snaps in five of the Saints’ last eight outings. Obviously, that type of playing time indicates absolutely no value from a fantasy aspect.
He did, however, rank first among Saints receivers with a 71.2 percent catch rate. If given an opportunity in Pittsburgh this year, Moore could surprise a ton of people. The interesting dynamic here is that Moore should be behind only Antonio Brown on the Steelers’ depth chart unless they spend an early-round pick on a wide receiver.
In any event, if you’re forced to draft prior to the actual NFL draft itself, Moore should be a no go. He can be picked up off the waiver wire should the Steelers not add someone of quality heading into the later summer months. Even if Moore accumulates enough playing time to make a fantasy impact in 2014, it will be minimal. He is, perhaps, a decent bench option in deeper leagues.
Vincent Frank is the head editor at eDraft and the managing editor at Sportsnaut. Oh and he writes for a ton of sites around the Internet world, including Pro Football Focus & Yahoo. Vincent once said that his man crush is Colin Kaepernick, his real crush is Carrie Underwood and his life crush is literature. He also once dreamed about a flying pink unicorn attacking his pet monkey, but that’s a story for another time. Vincent’s favorite quote comes from Rumi: “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” Check him on Twitter @VincentFrankNFL