Best Bets To Lead The League In Receiving Yards
To start the 2020 season, you’re going to see a lot of familiar names projected to lead the league in receiving yards. They are the favorites for a reason.
But there are always a few players who will fly under the radar, and I want to share them with you today.
For each player, all of the odds mentioned are from FanDuel projections.
Let’s jump right in…
New Orleans Saints Wide Receiver Michael Thomas (+600)
Thomas is a stat machine, finishing each season with at least 1,000 receiving yards since he’s entered the league. Last year, he was just absurd, with 1,725 yards.
Thomas has a confidence that’s not in your face, but he clearly knows the skillset he brings to the table and the talent that he has. His Twitter handle is “CantGuardMike,” which is very fitting.
Thomas is locked in as the favorite receiver of Drew Brees, and that’s not going to change in 2020. So once again, Thomas will be a very good bet to lead the league in receiving yards.
Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver Julio Jones (+850)
Jones was a distant second to Thomas last season in receiving yards with 1,394, but he’s always in the mix as one of the top receivers in the NFL.
For 2020 especially, I think we’re going to see Matt Ryan rely on him even more, giving him a chance to top his totals from last year. This isn’t much of a rushing attack this year in Atlanta, so the passing attack may be forced to be the focal point of the offense.
If the Falcons are constantly playing from behind, they will need to keep throwing the ball to stay in the game. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley and tight end Hayden Hurst will help, but Jones is the first player Ryan will always look to down the field. Some extra garbage time production in those games could come in handy to boost his total stats.
Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Davante Adams (+1500)
Adams had a few issues with drops to start his NFL career, and he went as far as to shred his gloves in 2016. Since then, he’s developed into one of the top receivers on the team, finishing 5 of his 12 games with 100 or more receiving yards last year.
For 2020, the Packers are going to run the ball a lot more. The organization did not pick up a single receiver in the 2020 NFL Draft, and running back AJ Dillon was drafted in Round 2.
But Green Bay will still need to throw the ball, and with Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling projected as the other starters at receiver, Adams doesn’t have a lot of competition for targets.
Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (+3700)
Former cornerback Rod Woodson had some strong words about Smith-Schuster in different media outlets, saying the 23-year old receiver just wants to be on social media and questioning if the young pass catcher is a No. 1 receiver in the NFL.
With Ben Roethlisberger back to lead the offense, Smith-Schuster can at least address Woodson’s comments on his playing abilities with a bounceback season. With Big Ben at the helm in 2018, Smith-Schuster caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards.
That was good enough to finish fifth in the league that year, and if he can slightly improve upon them in 2020, he could be in the running to lead the NFL in receiving yards.
Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Courtland Sutton (+4200)
He may be a bit of a long shot, but Sutton’s progression indicates he could be a sneaky pick.
In his rookie year in 2018, Sutton caught 42 passes for 704 yards, and last season, he caught 72 passes for 1,112 yards. What I really like about the third-year receiver is that, despite a rotating carousel of quarterbacks who have been inconsistent, he still has managed to be productive.
In that regard, he reminds of DeAndre Hopkins. For his size (6-foot-4, 216 pounds), he also has some wheels, running a 4.54 40-yard dash time.
Putting that all together, Drew Lock has a great weapon at his disposal that he should target early and often in each game.