Can we expect Oakland Raiders linebacker Sio Moore to regularly put up an 11-tackle, 2-assist, 1-sack, 2-forced-fumble stats line? Probably not, but the up and coming linebacker could be a fine replacement for one of the many walking wounded linebackers who will miss time after an injury-riddled week one in IDP fantasy football.
Moore’s explosion Sunday is at least partially attributable to the absence of middle linebacker Nick Roach. But my bet is that Moore will not return to obscurity even with Roach back in the lineup in Oakland.
While much of the talk this offseason was about first-round draft pick Khalil Mack, it is Moore who is in the more favorable position to make an instant impact while playing weak side linebacker alongside Roach and Mack. It’s Moore’s versatility that makes him a good bet to post solid IDP fantasy numbers this year. He can line up with his hand in the dirt and rush the passer. He can drop into coverage. He can shed blocks and get to the ball carrier. He’s probably not elite at any of these things, but he’s good enough to see the field in subpackages.
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Against the New York Jets Sunday, Moore didn’t come off the field for any of the team’s 72 defensive plays. The Raiders clearly like Moore in a pass rushing role, and it’s easy to see why. According to Pro Football Focus signature statistics, Moore rushed the passer five times and produced one sack and two hurries. That gave him a pass rushing productivity that tied Carolina LB Luke Kuechly and trailed only New England LB Jerod Mayo. It’s pretty impressive company, albeit on a small sample size.
Moore has flashed big play ability before. Against the New York Giants in 2013, Moore recorded 8 tackles, 2 assists, 1 sack and a fumble forced. In big play leagues especially, Moore is worth an add.
PFF ranked him ninth overall in week one for big-play fantasy scoring, and 16th overall in tackle heavy formats. If your league is shallow, and guys like Keenan Robinson or Emmanuel Lamur are still available, I’d be inclined to look there first. But if they’re taken, Moore is very worthy of a spot on your roster. Certainly his stats will fall back to earth a little bit when Roach returns, but I’d use the uncertainty over that to grab Moore before one of your competitors in your league does.
Steve Schulz is an IDP writer for FakePigskin.com. He welcomes questions on Twitter at @SteveIDP or leave a comment on the article below.