Elijah Moore, Cleveland Browns, WR
As a brutal winter storm blows through the upper midwest en route to the northeast, the Browns and Texans will kick off the post-season in the comfort of temperature-controlled NRG Stadium. It's actually supposed to be a nice sunny day with 60 degree temps in Houston Saturday so they might even retract the roof.
The point is that weather won't be the issue it's going to be in Buffalo and Kansas City. For the visiting Browns the Houston weather will feel like summer on Lake Erie. Not only will warmer weather give Cleveland peace of mind, but they'll also have wide receiver Amari Cooper back in the fold after sitting out the last two games of the regular season resting a heel injury. With Cooper and tight end David Njoku garnering heavy attention from the Texans' pass defense, I like another Browns receiver as a solid value play.
Wide Receiver Elijah Moore is enjoying his best season in the NFL. Originally a second-round draft pick by the Jets in 2021 out of Ole Miss, Moore was traded to the Browns last March and he's been able to thrive amongst all the changes at quarterback in Cleveland.
Although unable to find the endzone as much as he did his rookie season in New York (5 in 2021, 2 this season) Moore's numbers vastly improved this season as he reached career highs in receptions(59), targets(101), receiving yards(640) and first downs(28). Even with five different QBs taking snaps for the Browns this season, Moore was always in the mix averaging 6.5 targets and 40 receiving yards per game.
Moore also did a good job of stretching the defense as he tallied seven receptions of twenty yards or more. On the season Moore averaged 10.8 yards a catch, hence all the first down plays. More importantly as it relates to this game, his first post-season action, Moore has built a nice on-field relationship with Joe Flacco. Since Old Man Joe (I'm sure somebody is calling him that) took over under center, Moore has averaged 9.2 targets per game, including twelve targets in Flacco's debut against the Rams.
Houston has some key injuries on defense that will impact their pass rush which would give a veteran Flacco more time to survey they defense in the passing game. On the season Houston ranked 23rd in passing yards per game allowed (234.1) but obviously tightened up in the red zone as they only allowed 20.8 points per game, 11th best in the league. With Cooper back, a strong running game and Njoku playing at an elite level heading into the post-season Elijah Moore should see a lot of targets in Houston and could shine in his first ever playoff game. Moore carries a very favorable $4000 price tag on DraftKings making him a strong value play in DFS.