We are just 1 month away from NFL action. Preseason action, but it is still a taste of what is to come. As was the case in receptions, Justin Jefferson led the way, with Tyreek Hill a close 2nd. Jefferson finished with just over 1800 yards, and only he, Hill, and Davante Adams surpassed the 1500 mark.
AJ Brown was just 4 yards shy with his new team in Philly, and Hill’s running mate, Jaylen Waddle, had 1350 himself. While Brown’s running mate, DeVonta Smith, rounded out the top 10 with almost 1200.
We will be taking into account some important factors when handicapping these totals. Strength of schedule will be one of these factors. Players may face easier teams on their schedule in terms of defensive matchups. Injury history will be another factor.
This is likely to play into some under plays when looking at the possibility to get a number that we feel may be attainable for a player, pending they play an entire season. Changes in coaching staff and contract status will be a couple of the other factors.
We may see a player that has put up decent numbers in years past but now has a head coach or coordinator that has a history of utilizing said player’s position more. The opposite can remain true as well. With contract status, we will be leaning on going under on players that have signed fat contracts and leaning over on players that are in the last year of their current contracts.
Amari Cooper OVER 875.5 yards -115 (Caesars)
Cooper has been one of the most consistent WRs in the league his entire career. He has averaged just over 1000 yards per season.
The seasons in which he failed to surpass this total were seasons where Cooper was sidelined for multiple games due to injury. He participated in every game last season and finished with 1,160 yards which was the 2nd highest in his career.
This was in part due to Deshaun Watson playing QB for the 2nd half of the season. This year, he will be behind center from the jump, and these 2 had an entire offseason and training camp to fine-tune their timing. Barring an injury, Cooper should coast over this total this season.
Stefon Diggs UNDER 1200.5 yards -130 (Caesars)
Since joining the Bills in 2020, Diggs has done nothing but produce 1200+ yardage seasons. Last season, he finished with his 2nd highest total in his career with 1,429.
So why would we doubt him to surpass the measly 1200 this season? Well, there is just simply too much drama and question marks surrounding the Bills’ offense and Diggs in particular.
It seems that whenever a receiver begins to become unhappy with his or the team’s situation, things go south for them pretty quickly. We cannot trust a disgruntled Diggs to reach this plateau this season.
Garrett Wilson OVER 1125.5 yards -112 (FanDuel)
The biggest noise maker in the offseason was Aaron Rodgers leaving Green Bay for the bright lights of New York. The top person to benefit from this move might be Garrett Wilson.
With an unstable revolving door at QB in his rookie year last season, Wilson still managed to grab 83 balls for just over 1100 yards.
This season, he gets one of the best QBs of all time throwing him the ball in what should be a much more consistent situation. We don’t expect a sophomore slump at all for Wilson here.
Mike Evans OVER 5.5 Touchdowns -110 (FanDuel)
Evans has gone over this number in 5 straight seasons. Granted, last season, he only had 6, and that was with the GOAT Tom Brady.
He is in a contract year and will be the main target in the red zone for whoever the Bucs end up going with at QB. While the team may struggle, we believe Evans will be able to surpass this total on limited opportunities.
Calvin Ridley OVER 5.5 Touchdowns +110 (Caesars)
Like Evans, Ridley is in a contract year and will be with a different quarterback. Not only that, but Ridley has a lot to prove in 2023.
He was suspended for the entire 2022 season after he was caught gambling and was subsequently traded from Atlanta to Jacksonville. He may be in a more ideal situation now with Lawrence as his QB instead of Ridder.
Lawrence tossed 25 touchdowns last season, which was over double his total from 2021. Ridley is likely to become Lawrence’s favorite target, and we believe he will shatter this total.
DK Metcalf UNDER 7.5 Touchdowns -115 (BetMGM)
After back-to-back seasons of 10 and 12 touchdowns, respectively, DK had a down year last season. It was not a huge surprise as it was his 1st season without Russell Wilson throwing him the ball.
While Geno Smith did a great job at replacing him and getting the team to the playoffs, he did not seem to have the same chemistry that Wilson had with DK.
Now, this could change over the offseason, but we are banking more on Geno not replicating his success from last season. We believe the Seahawks will struggle this season, and DK’s touchdown total will as well.