With a rebel yell, the Kansas City Chiefs cried out Skyy Moore! Skyy Moore was the 54th pick in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Many thought that he would be the immediate replacement for the recently departed Tyreek Hill. He crept up in the first round of most rookie drafts last summer, so expectations were Skyy high. In retrospect, these were lofty expectations for this day 2 draft pick coming out of Western Michigan. To add to this, getting accustomed to Andy Reid’s offense is a tough feat for the most seasoned veteran, let alone a small school rookie. Moore’s rookie season left many thinking he was a bust. Recently, there has been some buzz coming out of the Chiefs camp, word is that the Chiefs are excited about Moore. This hype is not just coming from the beat writers, it’s also coming from the likes of Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes, and when these two speak, we should be paying attention. Perhaps, people jumped on the hype train a season too early? Should we be giving Skyy Moore a pass for his lackluster rookie season? Let’s dive in.
Reasons to Sell
Entering the 2022 season, expectations were high, anyone who had any shares of Skyy Moore last year was feeling pretty sour after an uninspiring rookie campaign. Moore had difficulties getting on the field consistently illustrated by his measly 22 receptions for 250 yards on the season. The more concerning number, Moore played all 17 games but was only able to earn a 30% snap share, topping out in week 12 with a 46% share. Early on in the 2022 season, Moore struggled to run proper routes, frequently finding himself on another page from his pivot Mahomes. Moore wasn’t where he needed to be on a consistent basis, highlighted by his low 5.6% target share. Moore hardly made it on the field in the first 9 games. When Juju Smith-Schuster missed 1 game and left another early last season, Moore was active but couldn’t get on the field enough to capitalize on the opportunity to earn more playing time. Moore’s snap share averaged 33% in the time that Smith-Schuster missed. The Chiefs were clearly reluctant to give Moore those important opportunities last season and there is a possibility that this could spill over into 2023 and beyond.
Working Against the Odds
Coming off an impressive senior year at Western Michigan where he totaled 92 receptions for 1283 yards and 10 touchdowns, you would think he would have been more NFL-ready. The reality is, that small school wide receivers often take more time to develop because the talent and competition aren’t as strong when comparing the talent and competition the bigger schools face. Additionally, it is rare (25%) for a wide receiver selected in round 2 or later to finish as a top 24 wide receiver, if they failed to do so in their rookie season. The odds seem to be continuously stacked against Moore. The Chiefs also seem to have their doubts about Moore; they added Kadarius Toney late in 2022 and also used another day 2 pick on Rashee Rice this past draft. Furthermore, even if Skyy Moore can elevate his game and become the Chiefs WR1 is it even that coveted of a roll? The Chiefs spread the ball around, and changed their offense last year, virtually making all of their receiving options outside of Travis Kelce replaceable. The fear I have is that, if Moore does indeed take the WR1 role, there will always be a possibility that if Moore doesn’t produce, a veteran who can step up and be a consistent contributor will replace him.
Reasons to Buy
Seizing the Opportunity
The chips have fallen in Skyy’s direction this offseason; hopefully, he can capitalize on them. Early this pre-season there was buzz coming out of Chiefs camp that Andy Reid was endorsing Toney as their number 1 wide receiver. An early camp injury has extinguished that flame. Since then, all reports coming out of training camp have been glowing reviews for Skyy Moore. He is playing every snap with the first-team offense and every snap in two wide receiver sets. Furthermore, there are 135 vacant targets left behind by recently departed Juju Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman. In addition, Moore has found himself playing quite a bit from the slot, the vacant role, played last year by Smith-Schuster. If Moore can solidify himself in this valuable starting slot role, he will be seeing similar playing time and targets as Smith-Schuster did last season. The Chiefs have a talented wide receiver room and at any given moment one of them could emerge and take hold of that WR1 role. Marquez Valdez-Scantling with his 81 targets returns as one of the projected two starting wide receivers. I think the Chiefs will take the same approach as they did with Moore with recently drafted Rachee Rice and ease him into this complicated offense this season. Kadarius Toney the often injured, gadget play guru will always be a looming threat but I cannot see him staying healthy long enough to carve out a big enough role. Then there is Richie James who I think is the biggest threat to Moore’s current role with the team. The Chiefs brought him as an insurance policy. Moore should be able to rise above and take this role. Looking past this year into 2024 and beyond, I project Moore having a strong 2023 season and seizing one of the starting wide receiver positions alongside fellow round 2 pick Rashee Rice. I see the Chiefs moving on from often-injured Kadarius Toney and veteran Marquez Valdez Scantling once their contracts expire. After all, the Chiefs did use important draft capital to bring these two young wide receivers in, and I believe their long-term plan is to have both Rice and Moore be their long-term starters. Travis Kelce will one day slow down and leave even more targets for these two young wide receivers to gobble up. Looking ahead to the next five years, I envision there will be plenty of targets and opportunities for both of these young wide receivers to be top 36 producers.
Patrick and his Mahomey
When Patrick Mahomes goes on record and endorses a player we have to pay attention. The chemistry between Moore and Mahomes seems to be building. Very few quarterbacks threw the ball more than the 648 times Mahomes did last year. I can’t see this number going down anytime soon, a great outlook for the future of the Chiefs’ young wide receivers. In addition, word coming out of Chiefs camp is that Andy Reid has been impressed with the growth Moore has done in the offseason. Finally, Moore has come into this season with more confidence in the team and has more confidence in himself. Moore was not a consistent player last season, however, he did run a complex route tree for a rookie, lining up in multiple spots. There were going to be growing pains no doubt, as Moore learned this complicated Chiefs system. With a strong offseason, a fantastic camp, and newly affirmed confidence from the Chiefs camp, all signs are indicating that these growing pains are in the past.
Perhaps, Skyy Moore should have been considered a long-term development project when the Chiefs drafted him last year. It was a lot to ask of a small school, second-round rookie to jump in and learn an Andy Reid offense with the expectation of producing as a WR3 or better. I see this as an opportunity to buy Skyy Moore in this spot. He is being drafted in dynasty startups around the WR54 as a WR5 with WR4 upside. I see Moore finishing as a low-end WR3 this year and beyond. I envision Moore finishing similar to how Smith-Schuster finished last season with 15% target share in this offense as a starter. That would put Moore around the 100-target range if the Chiefs continue to pass at the same volume. My prediction for Skyy Moore this season is 75 receptions for 950 yards and 4 TDs. This would put
him in the WR3 range with WR2 upside, moving him into the WR30 range in the dynasty heading into 2024.
Mike Lindberg has been playing fantasy football since 2008. He specializes in Dynasty, Keeper and Redraft leagues.
He spends a lot of time reading, listening to podcasts, and mock drafting in order to give you the best fantasy advice possible.
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Let’s go win some championships!