If you haven't heard yet, the 49ers inked free agent Randy Moss to a one-year contract that will put him in the Bay Area for at least the 2012 season. Now while this move may have given a boost to the 49ers offense and gave the front office more ammunition to sell fans even more tickets, I have my reservations on how much the signing will help Moss' fantasy value. Below are three reasons why I'm not too excited about the signing from a fantasy perspective.
1. The 49ers run a very ground-oriented offense. In 2011, they totaled 498 carries. That ranked second behind only Denver and Houston, who both tied for first with 546. Considering the ground game is what got the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game against the Giants, I'd be surprised if Jim Harbaugh completely changed his strategy just to cater to one player.
2. Who is going to be throwing the ball? It appears that the 49ers will let Alex Smith test free agency, have him realize that his value isn't worth much and then re-sign him to a deal that fits their terms. Those who think Smith could get the same deal Mark Sanchez (3-year/$40.5 million) received as an "apology" for the Peyton Manning rumors are fooling themselves. Smith may have taken the team far in 2011, but his 196.9 yards-per-game average during the regular season should show San Fran that Smith is not the quarterback of the future. And outside of Smith, who else is there? Colin Kaepernick doesn't have the experience. And a free agent like Josh Johnson, who Harbaugh coached at the college level, isn't going to step in right away and be a stud. The only thing that will salvage Moss' value as far as his quarterback is concerned is if the 49ers step up out of nowhere and sign Peyton Manning. And that appears far from likely.
3. Between one and two, how long before Moss doesn't give 100 percent on every play? If the team goes with Smith at quarterback, how long will Moss' patience last if he's underthrown, overthrown or left out of a play entirely? We've seen Moss blow up before. Just because he's older doesn't mean he's grown up that much faster.
As far as fantasy value, there is no way I am taking Moss as a WR1. Not with everything I listed above. WR2 might be pushing it, but this all depends on how big the league is I am playing in. With free agency set to begin within the next several hours, things could change that bump Moss up in the fantasy rankings. But I really don't see it. What you saw last year is likely going to be the same scenario you will see going into the Summer, unless a trade or a surprise signing happens that no one was expecting. As of now, I'll pass on Moss and let someone else deal with the headache.