Three and out: Moss won’t be a star with Niners

Randy Moss is back in the NFL, signing a one-year deal with the 49ers just hours after working out for them. Unfortunately, fantasy owners can’t get too excited about his return.

Moss, 35, hasn’t made a significant statistical impact since posting 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns as a member of the New England Patriots in 2009. He played for three different teams the following year and was one of the biggest busts in fantasy football. His longest stint with a team that season came in Tennessee, where he played in eight games — and caught a mere six passes. I would have had more excitement about Moss if he landed in New Orleans, for example, but playing for the Niners isn’t good news for his potential fantasy appeal heading into 2012.

First, the team hasn’t had a 1,000-yard wide receiver since Terrell Owens in 2003. Second, he’ll be no more than the third option for Alex Smith behind Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree in what will continue to be a run-based offense. Finally, he’s past his prime and hasn’t played a significant amount of snaps since the middle of 2010. That’s a lot to overcome.

At the end of the day, Moss will have more name value than actual draft value from a fantasy perspective. Is he worth a late-round flier in a 10- or 12-team league? Sure. Should you expect him to post consistent enough numbers to be considered a regular fantasy starter?

I’d say no.

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