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Bold wide receiver predictions for the 2018 season

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Spoiler alert, I’m not buying in on Antonio Brown this season

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

What I know from recent history – Antonio Brown and Julio Jones have each finished in the top 5 in receiving yards each of the last four straight years. Larry Fitzgerald has been in the top 5 in receptions each of the last 3 years and Davante Adams has had the 2nd most receiving touchdowns each of the last two years. Some of that helps me figure out who to pick this year but there are some other variables muddying up the water this year.

Prediction 1

Sammy Watkins falls outside the top 30 Wide Receivers in Receptions, Receiving Yards and Receiving TDs

Rational: Sammy Watkins has not landed inside the top 40 in any of those categories over the last two years. Additionally, he has only landed inside the top 20 in TD’s (2015) in the last four years. Outside of that he ranks 20th or worst in each of those three categories over the last four years. A lot of hype for minimal production here.

Prediction 2

Jarvis Landry lands inside the top 10 in receptions and receiving yards but outside the top 20 in receiving TDs

Rational: He has been a top 10 receiving in receptions each of the last three years and inside the top 20 in receiving yards each of the last three years (which will improve as he will get the bulk amount of targets in Cleveland this year). Last year was the first year he was top 20 in receiving touchdowns and he is moving to Cleveland where they have landed in the bottom 7 in receiving TDs each of the last four years. I know what you are thinking, QB uncertainty played a role in that. Very true, but Tyrod Taylor was 25th in the league in throwing TDs last year. Additionally, this is rust belt Midwest territory where rushing TDs play a major role due to the weather and general demeanor in late fall/early winter.

Prediction 3

Antonio Brown lands outside the top 5 WRs in receptions and yards.

Rational: I reeeeeeally like Antonio Brown as a fantasy option. I was lobbying heavy earlier this year as taking him at #1 overall in drafts. Since then two things have changed, first of all - he held out and is now nursing an injury. There is a lot of drama going on with this injury and maybe it’s nothing but I think there is a chance for reinjury or at very least him sitting a game or two throughout the season through this or late in the season due to playoffs implications. Either way, I think there is a decent chance he plays in 12 or fewer games this year. Second of all, the continued emergence of Juju Smith-Shuster and James Washington who are both looking absolutely amazing might impede on some of his receptions. All it takes is them stealing 2-3 targets per game which could add up to 400 yards less in receptions putting him outside the top 5.

Prediction 4

Marquise Goodwin is a top 12 WR in receptions and receiving yards.

Rational: Average yards pre-Jimmy Garoppolo – 52.5. Average yards with Jimmy – 76.8. What that extrapolates out to on a 16 game season: 840 yards vs. 1,228. A difference of being the 25thhighest WR and being a top 10 WR. Likewise in receptions, before Garoppolo he averaged 2.5 receptions per game, with Jimmy 5.5 that extrapolates to 39 receptions on the season and 92 (good enough for 40th in receptions and 8th in receptions).

Prediction 5

One of these three WRs will land in the top 10 in receiving yards this year: DeAndre Carter, James Washington or Justin Watson.

Rational: DeAndre looked great last night getting separation and to me it looks like he’s the top candidate if Nelson Aghelor misses any prolonged time with injury. James is looking every bit the next up and coming star in Pittsburgh and Justin is hoping to become the next Mike Evans in Tampa Bay. In all three situations, the skill is there, the evidence of separation and talent is there but the intangibles of depth chart, QB situation and opportunities is the biggest question mark.

Poll

Which prediction is the most absurd?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Sammy Watkins is a bust
    (17 votes)
  • 0%
    Jarvis Landry for Yards not TDs
    (2 votes)
  • 40%
    Antonio Brown struggles
    (106 votes)
  • 9%
    Marquise Goodwin is a top 15 WR
    (25 votes)
  • 43%
    DeAndre Carter, James Washington or Justine Watson breakout
    (114 votes)
264 votes total Vote Now