We’ve already given you our look at the 2010 passing yardage leader here at Doc’s, so now let’s take a gander at the guys who catch those balls and try and project the best value bet on the player with some NFL predictions the most receiving yards in the league this season.
And unlike with the quarterbacks, there is one player who is the overwhelming favorite in this category: the Texans’ Andre Johnson at +300 on WagerWeb. And really Johnson should be the clear favorite considering he has led the league in receiving yards for the past two years. He had 1,569 yards receiving in 2009, which led the NFL by 221 yards -- and that’s fairly incredible.
Johnson became just the second player ever to win the receiving yards title in back-to-back years since some No. 80 with the last name of Rice. In fact, Rice did it twice and threepeated from 1993-95, so it can be done. Johnson joined Indianapolis' Marvin Harrison as the only other receiver to surpass 1,500 receiving yards in back-to-back years. The former Hurricane also led the league last year in overall targets, which is obviously important because the more balls his way … well you get the drill.
He has the NFL's highest receiving yards average (90.2 per game) since 2006. Houston rewarded him with a two-year, $23.5 million extension, $13 million guaranteed, that could reach $38.5 if he hits realistic incentives million with $13 guaranteed. I don’t think the money will slow his motor as it does some players (paging Albert Haynesworth).
So I guess I should give you a reason to bet against him. Well, I’m not convinced Matt Schaub can stay healthy considering last year was the first he played a full 16 games as a starter. And Dan Orlovsky is his backup; would you trust Dan Orlovsky to get the ball to anyone?. Plus I can’t see how opposing defenses let Johnson beat them considering the guy starting opposite is Kevin Walter, who only had 53 catches for 611 yards last year (he did miss two games injured).
Houston does have a pretty tough schedule as well, facing the NFC East as well as AFC title contenders Indianapolis, San Diego and the Jets. And there could be three games near the end of the year where the elements could hamper passing: at Philly, at Tennessee and at Denver. I don’t know, I guess my best argument is there’s a reason only one player has pulled the threepeat. And +300 isn’t great value.
New England’s Wes Welker was second to Johnson in receiving yards last year but he’s not currently an option on WagerWeb – no doubt because of his injury status. However, Welker apparently will start Week 1 so it might be worth taking the field at +500 because that gets you Welker as well as Carolina’s Steve Smith, the Bengals’ Chad Ochocino and, a big sleeper, Denver’s Eddie Royal, who should get all the balls that went to Brandon Marshall last year.
I really like Randy Moss at +800 because Moss is in the last year of his contract and, thus, will be duly motivated; it appears the Pats will let him play it out. And for a longer shot, take the Giants’ Steve Smith (+2200), who had his breakthrough season in 2009 with 107 catches for 1,220 yards.
Players on the WagerWeb prop I wouldn’t recommend are the Vikings’ Sidney Rice (+900), who is battling an injury that has lingered for months and who might not have Brett Favre; Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (+700) because Matt Leinart is no Kurt Warner; Marshall (+800) because the Dolphins don’t throw enough; or the Saints’ Marques Colston (+1000) because Drew Brees likes to spread the ball around.
Jason Sharpe is gearing up for his first season releasing his expert football picks at Doc’s Sports, but in now way is he new to the game – he has been beating the Las Vegas bookies for years as a professional sports bettor in Sin City. He has become known by those bookies for his college football and NFL handicapping capabilities, and now he wants to share these with Doc’s Sports. He expects to beat the majority of NFL point spreads this season and he plans on dominating the college football betting landscape as well!