The Vikings inexplicably released a Hall of Fame wide receiver they acquired for a third round draft pick less than one month ago. The move is even more questionable considering that Percy Harvin may be side lined with an ankle injury for between one and three games and Sidney Rice, who has not been activated from the PUP list, is reportedly not ready to return to action just yet. In the Vikings defense, Moss is a problem child that does not, and did not, give full effort. His post game antics where he through the Vikings coaches under the bus and gushed like a school girl about an opponent that just beat up on his squad were disgusting.
In the wake of this bewildering move we look at where Randy Moss may suit up next and the possible fantasy football implications. Randy Moss’ fate is not in his own hands. The veteran pass catcher will now be subjected to the waiver process and teams will have a shot a picking him, his baggage, and his salary up in worst to first order. Here are the first sixteen teams in order; Bills, Panthers, Cowboys, Niners, Broncos, Lions, Vikings, Bengals, Browns, Chargers, Cardinals, Jaguars, Rams, Raiders, Redskins, Seahawks.
The least likely to claim Moss include the Bills, Panthers, Cowboys, Niners, Lions, Vikings, Bengals, and Chargers. You certainly can’t dismiss the Cowboys entirely considering Jerry Jones may be ready to make some brash decisions, but it’s highly unlikely. The Niners are another team that might be desperate enough to at least consider a move they would normal not even entertain. The Bengals would only sign him if he had more run-ins with the law or even worse character issues, so count them out.
A couple teams that also fall into the unlikely category, but that have extenuating circumstances that might instigate interest are the Browns, Cardinals, and the Jaguars. If the Browns are going to try to see what they have in Colt McCoy they could sure use a decent WR. The rookie is playing with one and a half hands tied behind his back when he has to drop back to pass right now. The Cardinals are missing Kurt Warner, that much is clear, but they are also missing Anquan Boldin– all the more for the fact that they have had difficulty staying healthy at the #2 WR position. There are two reasons why the Jaguars might take a look-see at the mercurial Moss – they need to sell tickets and they have a lame duck head coach that could see Moss as the guy that could help save his job. But, alas, these are long shots. Let’s get to the most likely suitors.
St. Louis Rams. The Rams have to be elated by the early success of their rookie signal caller, Sam Bradford. They should also think about rewarding his hard work with a new toy. The Rams have had a steady rotation of average wide receivers perform well and then get hurt. Donnie Avery, Mark Clayton, and Donario Alexander have all been bitten by the injury bug. Moss would not only give Bradford a prime target, making him a very good fantasy football bye week fill in and worth starting in favorable matchups, but he would be good for his health and welfare. Steven Jackson would instantly find more running room and that would be a nightmare for opposing defenses. The third player to benefit would be Danny Amendola who would be able to roam fairly unfettered from the slot position and do his Wes Welker thing. Moss himself would still be a fantasy WR #1 because Bradford has proven he Is good enough to get him the ball deep.
Oakland Raiders. We acknowledge the Raiders should fall into the long shot category. Randy Moss part one in Oakland was a disaster but you can never discount the Raiders when there is a bad boy on the loose. Moss seems ideally suited for the Raiders and their deep ball loving owner. Neither Gradkowski nor Campbell, whomever starts, will be transformed into a starting fantasy QB. Zack Miller would find more space and the running game would see defenses loosen with Randy Moss in silver and black. Randy Moss may be the only hope that Louis Murphy owners have at having their once hot WR become fantasy relevant again. As for Moss himself, he is going to be a WR #1 in almost any situation. Oakland may not be ideal because of inconsistent QB play, but it’s better than some of the alternatives, like Cleveland, where even Moss could not post big numbers.
Denver Broncos. Kyle Orton and Randy Moss could make sweet music together. Moss has proven he can fit into the offensive system and he knows it well from his years in New England. Denver Broncos HC Josh McDaniels is very familiar with Moss as well and that may not be a good thing. McDaniels may have the inside scoop on what led to the Patriots decision to part with Moss and he may not want to deal with those kind of headaches. On the other hand, he may be trying to save his job and that may inspire him to give it a go. Moss to Denver would not be good news for the current crop of Bronco receivers or their owners. They currently have a group of pretty good targets that post very good numbers with varying consistency. Moss would be the new sheriff in town and in our estimation he could represent one target too many for any to be very reliable. Orton and Moreno would be the only winners in this scenario.
Washington Redskins. This move just makes sense, unless Mike Shanahan simply refuses to deal with another high maintenance player. If he does roll the dice on Moss, McNabb has the arm strength and deep ball accuracy (which he lacks on short or medium passes) to connect with Moss on a consistent basis. This move would make McNabb worthy of a starting spot in your lineup most weeks. A lot of that would depend on whether the Skins can scare enough people with the running game to make play action work. Santana Moss would remain a WR#3 and Moss would be a low end WR#1 most weeks. The problem for both Mosses is that they are both fairly one dimensional.
Seattle Seahawks. I’m not sure you want Moss and Marshawn Lynch on the same team. That’s just a lot of poor character to have in one offense. Hasselbeck has left his best days in the last Presidential administration so this is not the most ideal destination from a fantasy perspective. The QB numbers will not go up enough to make him starter worthy and Moss will not post great numbers in this offense. Marshawn Lynch would get a boost in value because Moss would demand respect and attention. Moss would add a deep threat element to the offese so Mike Williams would continue to be an excellent PPR option.
The best situation, as we see it, from a fantasy football stand point is for Randy Moss to become a Ram. There exists one conspiracy theory, if only in our heads, that we’d like to throw out. You never know what the real situation is, but folks in the know are speculating that Ziggy Wilf is not happy that Moss was let go and that the decision to cut bait on Moss was a unilateral one from Brad Childress. Before this move it appeared that Childress has only a precarious grasp on his head coaching job. The Vikings are high up on the pecking order of waivers, hence the distressed position of Childress’ job standing, and while it is extremely unlikely, it is not impossible to think that the Vikings could can Brad Childress and claim Moss off waivers. Wouldn’t that be an interesting turn of events.