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Five bold wide receiver predictions for 2019

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I’m bullish on Miles Boykin

Jacksonville Jaguars v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

We see a 50% increase in wide receivers who have over 100 receptions this season

Justification: Last year we had eight wide receivers achieve this feat (Michael Thomas, DeAndre Hopkins, Julio Jones, Adam Thielen, Davante Adams, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Antonio Brown, and Stefon Diggs) – Zach Ertz (TE), Travis Kelce (TE) and Christian McCaffrey (RB) also achieved this feat. In 2017, five receivers did this (Jarvis Landry, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Thomas, Keenan Thomas, and Antonio Brown) in 2016 only three achieved this (Larry Fitzgerald, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham). It’s trending up each season. Likely candidates to me include the favorites: DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr, Tyreek Hill, JuJu Smith Schuster, Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton and Amari Cooper.

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The leading player in touchdown receptions this year is not a wide receiver

Justification: The last two years a tight end has the 2nd most receiving touchdowns: 2018 (Eric Ebron 13) and 2017 (Jimmy Graham 10) and I think we see a tight end sit atop the throne with the most touchdowns this year. The Rob Gronkowski model is really pushing out to the league who is now using tight ends more in their offense and in red zone situations. Additionally, more teams are passing so in lieu of a running back going up the gut with two years to the goal line, you see a cross route to a tight end in these situations.

Six players—including JuJu Smith-Schuster—have a reception of at least 85 yards. The most since 2011.

Justification: Last year we had three (JuJu, Amari Cooper and Demarcus Robinson), 2017 saw four players (JuJu again, Robert Woods, Austin Hooper and Amari Cooper), 2016 had four (Brandin Cooks, Mike Wallace, Ted Ginn Jr. and Brandon LaFell). With teams airing the ball out more and the rules giving more leniency to wide receivers, I think we see a handful—specifically JuJu Smith Schuster—break out for a 85 plus yard run.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers do not have a top ten wide receiver this year in fantasy

Justification: I’ve seen them as a top five favorite in terms of their wide receiving corps but that’s not where I’m skeptical. Last year Ryan Fitzpatrick played in eight of their games amassing approximately 40% of the teams attempts and completions. In these games, Ryan Fitz’magic’ had a better completion percentage, more yards per game, a longer long, a better TD/INT ratio and better rating. This isn’t to say that Jameis Winston is a joke but also consider these three things: one, Jameis Winston has gone back to back seasons with injuries derailing his season, it was fortunate they had such a dominant backup. Two, Bruce Arians is swearing up and down that the running game will be ramped up this year. And three, Jameis Winston, while playing had career highs in attempts per game, yards per game, TD% per game and career lows in sacks, maybe I’m cynical but I think something in all of that gives this year and regresses a bit.

Miles Boykin is a top 25 wide receiver

Justification: I’ve seen him as high as 48 and as low as 100. The 93rd overall draft pick out of Notre Dame will add a nice infusion of talent to the Baltimore wide receiver corps which previously had John Brown as their top wide receiver (715 yards and five touchdowns) good enough for 49th and 41st respectively. The team had similar stats: 334 receptions (22nd in NFL); 3,708 receiving yards (23rd in NFL); 18 receiving touchdowns (26th in NFL). Here is where I differ greatly from most this year: I think Lamar Jackson is going to be running less and throwing more than people expect. The last seven games of last year when he became QB1 had him throwing about 23 times per game and completing about 13 of those passes (for about a 58% completion percentage). I think we see him attempting more like 30 times per game this season. Miles is appearing as 3rd or 4th string on many depth charts but if you watched the first preseason game or the recent practices, he is impressing many and working his way up the charts, especially wide receiver coach David Culley.

Poll

Which bold prediction will come true?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    50% increase in WR with over 100 receptions
    (35 votes)
  • 18%
    Leading player in reception TDs is not a WR
    (22 votes)
  • 12%
    Six players have a 85+ yard reception
    (15 votes)
  • 14%
    Tampa Bay doesn’t have a top 10 WR
    (17 votes)
  • 25%
    Miles Boykin a top 25 WR
    (30 votes)
119 votes total Vote Now