The 2017 NFL season begins next week and all 32 teams are entering the final stage of their preparations for the new campaign.
The passing game has become the most crucial aspect of success in the league. The NFL is currently in a golden age of top-quality receivers playing at their peaks at the same time.
Indianapolis Colts wideout TY Hilton led the league in receiving yards last season, amassing 1,448 yards over the course of the campaign.
However, he faces a challenge to remain on top due to the injury woes of Andrew Luck. Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr will be desperate to take the crown from him this term.
There are a number of wideouts capable of topping the yards table such is the quality across the league. We’ll now breakdown the three of the leading candidates and their betting odds.
Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
The 29-year-old regressed in the 2016 campaign, although he still recorded 1,284 yards. It was down 550 yards from his total in the previous season when was second in the NFL, but still good enough for the fourth highest mark in the league.
Brown still had a very successful season as he notched 12 touchdown to guide his side into the AFC Championship game. The New England Patriots bested the Steelers in the title game to reach the Super Bowl, limiting the wideout’s impact on the game.
One of the primary reasons for the decrease in his production was the lack of threat outside of Brown at tbe receiver position. The Steelers were without Martavis Bryant for the campaign due to suspension, while Heath Miller retired after the 2015 term.
The other wideouts on the roster failed to raise the level of their performances, allowing teams to double Brown. The 29-year-old’s ability allowed him still to have a brilliant season, but not quite to the level of is past production.
Pittsburgh will have Bryant back for the new campaign along with second-round pick Juju Smith-Schuster to ease the pressure on Brown. As a result, the All-Pro should be line for a return to dominance, with a 1,500-yard campaign well within his grasp.
At the age of 29 along with the possibility of Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, his chances of etching his place in history with a 2,000-yard season are running out. Expect the duo to go all out this year in a bid to challenge the mark and to reach the Super Bowl.
Backing Brown at odds of 4/15.00+4004.004.00-0.25 with Bovada sportsbook could be a valuable punt.
Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
Jones was sensational for the Falcons last season in their surge to the Super Bowl. He would have been disappointed by his lack of overall effect on the contest, catching four passes for 80 yards. However, the 28-year-old almost made the play of the game with an astonishing top-tapping grab on the sideline.
His moment was overshadowed by Julian Edelman’s circus catch, but he still created a moment in Super Bowl history. It was to be expected from the wideout as he was consistent as ever in the regular season. He notched his third 1,000-yard season on the bounce, notching 1,409 yards in the term.
Atlanta eased the burden from his shoulders following his 1,871-yard 2015 league-leading term. Matt Ryan spread the ball around the offense as the arrivals of Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel brought the Falcons back to life.
At his best the 28-year-old is the most dominant receiver in the game, using his height and speed to torment defenders. None more so than his two-touchdown performance against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game. He bullied their cornerbacks from the off, including one devastating run after the catch to kill off the contest.
In the prime of his career he is poised for another strong season. Jones himself has targeted a 2,000-yard campaign to break Calvin Johnson’s record. He notched 300 yards in one game last season and was on pace to reach the mark. There’s no reason why he could not do achieve the feat this term at odds of 9/25.50+4504.504.50-0.22 with Bovada to lead the league in receiving yards.
Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Evans has been a sensation for the Buccaneers since he was drafted seventh overall in the 2014 Draft. He has three 1,000-yard seasons under his belt at the age of just 24 and will only improve in the future.
The wideout’s receiving yard totals have increased every year he has been in the NFL. He made his intentions known as a rookie with an outstanding first season, with 1,051 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He maintained his form in 2015, although his production in the redzone took a slight hit in Jameis Winston’s rookie season. However, the two players formed a connection last term to see Evans take his game to new heights, notching 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns.
In his fourth season in the NFL and third with Winston, Evans should be looking to challenge Jones and Brown for the elite category in his position. He has all the physical tools needed to be an absolute force, but may need to work on mental mistakes.
The arrival of DeSean Jackson should open up more space for the 24-year-old in single coverage. There he can use his height and strength to overpower the majority of corners in the NFL.
His touchdowns should at the least remain in the low teens, but further developments of his route-running could allow him to push the 1,800-yard mark.
Winston’s form could effect that outcome. The Buccaneers’ quarterback out of the other two mentioned is the weakest of the bunch and has displayed a propensity for peculiar decisions.
Evans has the talent to overcome these issues, and at odds of 12/113.00+120012.0012.00-0.08 with BetFred he has appealing value to lead the NFL in yards for the first time in his career.
Antonio Brown To Attain Most Receiving Yards
Julio Jones To Attain Most Receiving Yards
Mike Evans To Attain Most Receiving Yards
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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