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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Quarterbacks Movin' Up - Week 17
Tim Van Prooyen
December 29, 2009
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Quarterbacks  |  Running Backs  |  Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Movin’ Up

Breakdown: The season of fantasy football is coming to an end.  With that in mind we realize that, minus the opportunity that may arise due to injury, the players with something to bring to the table this fantasy season are pretty much well known to all.  Therefore our perspective must change a bit, leading us to look beyond just this season but to next season as well.  Whether for keeper league purposes, trade purposes, or whatever other purposes may be pertinent, we’ll be taking a weekly look at players and situations that fantasy owners should be aware of in order to be on top of their game moving forward.

Matt Moore (CAR) – Here’s a situation where what we’re seeing develop flies directly in the face of what things look like on paper.  On paper, Jake Delhomme is the quarterback of the Panthers for the next five years or so – yes, he’s signed through 2015.  On paper, all the other quarterbacks on the Panther’s roster are free agents after this season.  On paper Matt Moore was an undrafted rookie who has done very little in selective service over the past two-plus seasons.  However, to everyone watching the Panthers not only this year, but for the past couple of years, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Jake Delhomme isn’t going to make it much longer as a starter – if at all.  He was a mess this year and was supposedly healthy.  He’s missed most of the past handful of seasons to injuries, and all in all, while he has had a great run, his glory days are behind him it would seem.  The veterans the team brought in as safety valves, A.J. Feely and Jake McCown, both are unrestricted free agents next year and likely won’t be with the team in any other role than a backup.  The Panthers have little choice but to draft a quarterback this offseason at least in the late rounds.

Which brings us to Moore.  A couple of weeks ago no one was giving him much of a look.  Now, something interesting has transpired.  Moore has put up two weeks of very good football, and a four game stretch that has people taking notice.  In fact, even though his yardage hasn’t been fantastic (think Troy Aikmen type yardage numbers) his four game numbers, speculated out over a season, would put him at about 3,300 yards, with 28 touchdowns and four interceptions.  Those numbers would be welcome by most fantasy owners.  The fact that Moore has a 7-1 TD/INT ratio over the past four weeks says more than anything about how he’s performing.

So, where does this leave fantasy owners?  Well, of course it is tough to say how things will develop as a lot can happen in the off season, but while Moore is a free agent, he is a restricted free agent, meaning the team will have at least a bit of a say in whether or not he leaves or not.  His performance to end the season will make the team think long and hard about letting him get away, and it is more than likely that he’ll compete for the starting job next year, probably against Delhomme.  While Delhomme still would probably be the favorite if all things were equal, they definitely are NOT equal at this point in his career.  It is well within the realm of possibility that Moore is the starting quarterback for Carolina when the 2010 season begins.  If this happens, he’s looking solid enough to be considered as a decent number two quarterback in most leagues.  With a receiver like Steve Smith and an excellent running game, he has all the elements in place to succeed.  If you’re looking to take a flier on someone that could reap serious dividends, Moore could be that guy at quarterback for you.

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