NFL 2019/20: Receiving


NFL nut Kyle Robins (@AhhYeahKyleYeah) shares his expert opinion on the best bets in the ante-post Receiving Yards markets ahead of 2019/20.

NFL 2019/20: Receiving

With the evolution of the Tight End roll the past few years in the NFL, the likes of George KIttle, Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz have brought the position to a new level since Gronkowski retired, and all have broken the 1,000-yard receiving mark. It does in term make this a slightly wide-open market, but I’ll still be scouting out a Wide Receiver to provide us with some value.

Last year’s receiving leader Julio Jones rightly tops the market again, and is best priced 6/1 with Unibet. The Falcons wide out accumulated 1,677 yards last season on 113 targets, and should rightly see the same amount of volume this year, given the high-powered Atlanta offense he works in.

Other notable players looking to make a splash in this market include the likes of DeAndre Hopkins (8/1), Odell Beckham (14/1) and Michael Thomas (14/1), but I’ll be looking to the man who rightly came into his own last year in Pittsburgh, and somewhat outshone the now departed Antonio Brown.

Twenty-two-year-old Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster has been a force since entering the league two years ago, amassing 2,343 receiving yards to go along with 14 touchdowns. Now his numbers jumped dramatically last season from his rookie year, and given Brown is now out of the picture, he’s more primed than ever to really take his game to the next level.

After hauling in 58 receptions on 80 targets for 917 yards his rookie year, those numbers more than doubled, as he accumulated 1,426 yards on 111 receptions off 166 targets last year.

When you also add in the fact Pittsburgh ran a passing play on 67% of their downs last year (second most in the league), and have a quarterback who can still sling it in Big Ben, Smith-Schuster should be in line for a monster year in a lead role. Taking the 12/1 with Betfair seems like the best bet to me

Two other big prices I might lean into are Bucs wideout Mike Evens, best priced 14/1 with Sportingbet and Amari Cooper of the Dallas Cowboys, who’s as high as 40/1 with William Hill.

Evans had eight 100+ receiving yard games last season, drawing up a total of 1,524 yards on just 86 receptions. Almost 30 less than Julio Jones for just a 153-yardage differential. If Evans can boost those reception numbers in 2019, in what is quite a pass happy offense down in Tampa, he’s more than capable of amassing the stats of last year and taking home this award.

As with Amari Cooper, he’s more of a boom or bust type play. He could easily put up back to back 200+ yard games, to only then follow that up with weeks of 10 and 20 yards receiving. When he’s good he’s great, so let’s hope for the sake of 40/1, he’s the most consistent wide out in the league.

As with the Running back market, assessing touchdowns with Receivers/Tight Ends is ever so different. Players ability to create space in the end zone is a unique gift only a certain few people are blessed with, including the man I myself am inclined to pick. His name has been mentioned before in this piece, and despite the fact he’s switched to a less powerful offense in Oakland, Antonio Brown is just far too good to be priced up at what he is.

Word coming out of Oakland is he has worked hard building a chemistry with quarterback Derrek Carr. Add that to the fact head coach Jon Gruden is known to prefer route-runners capable of lining up anywhere across the line, something Brown does with ease, the Raiders should look to move him around the line of scrimmage and beat defences downfield.

He’s an unbelievable route runner, with incredible hands, tremendous body control and a field awareness not many players have. Add all that to his unique toe dragging ability, and you have pretty much constructed the perfect end zone target. Bucky Brooks has Brown ranked no.2 among Red Zone targets and that shouldn’t at all change in Oakland. The 30/1 offered by Unibet is actually quite insulting, but who am to complain.

Let’s have it!

Best Bets

NFL 2019/20 – Most Receiving Yards: JuJu Smith Schuster (12/1 Betfair)

NFL 2019/20 – Most Receiving Touchdowns: Antonio Brown (30/1 Unibet)

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