Yup. Did you know that I have done away with the weekly idea of asking my readers if they knew something about football and then I’d share some obscure facts with them. I decided to commit rest of the monotounus waiting for the football season to begin into predicting my Top of Tops when it comes to football players.
Since we are exactly nine Sundays away from first Sunday kick off, the number was a easy part of the article to predict. Why wide receivers? Why not? Plus I think it’ll get me going nicely.
I’m in no way of an expert or data junkie (although I love statistics and advanced data stuff). I don’t follow each of the big stars in NFL and I’m not intending to include rookies here so my list will look out of place for some but hey… We can all pretend we are good at this stuff 😉
9. A. J. Green- Bengals
Last year wasn’t the best of his career in most of the stats but Green has delivered his usual workload with the best catch rate success of his career catching 65.2% passes thrown his way (his previous best was 59.1%). If Andy Dalton carries on as he did last season, then Green will be up there!
8. Allen Robinson – Jaguars
It was a proper explosion here last season with Robinson recording over 1000 catching yards season first time in his short two years, career. Whacking 14 receiving touchdown made him the league co- leader and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t shine on this massively improved Jaguars’ roster in 2016.
7. T Y Hilton- Colts
There’s plenty of catching up to do in Indinapolis. TY Hilton will be hoping for his NFL record breaking quarterback in terms of contract to remain healthy and allow Hilton to surpass 1000 receving yards fourth time running. Both guys will be hungry for success so Colts should see plenty of deep bombs down the field right into the hands of the speedy receiver.
6. Jordy Nelson- Packers
Nelson needs one more recevinh touchdown to record 50th of his career. After disappointing season 2015 that saw Nelson sidelined due to nasty injury sustained during the pre season game and the Packers struggling to get momentum going well into playoffs, the fans will be expecting Nelson making plenty of catches from Rodgers. It hopefully will be Nelson’s fourth season with over 1000 catching yards to his name.
5. Amari Cooper- Raiders
It was a great rookie camping for the explosive wide receiver that joined the Raiders last year. Cooper appeared to have built great chemistry with another Raiders youngster, Derek Carr- a second year quarterback and the duo should fire it all out in the coming season. Cooper should exceed his rookie numbers as he recorded 6 receiving touchdowns and 1070 receiving yards. And let’s hope his minus three rushing yards are not the only rushing attempts of his career.
4. Dez Bryant- Cowboys
Another injury victim that will have plenty to prove and who shouldn’t disappoint is the so physical receiver named Dez Bryant. The very explosive personality of his is probably half of the success he gathers on the football field.
Last season Bryant only played in 9 games and that resulted in posting his lowest records of career and it happened straight after three seasons where he was consistently top tier of wide receiving production on the field. Hopefully Dallas fans will see much more than 3 receiving touchdowns and 401 receiving yards he clocked in last year.
3. Odell Beckham Jr.- Giants
Beckham Jr. is yet to play full season in NFL as his first two seasons produced 26 starts out of 27 games he played in as he missed few in 2014 due to injury and one game in 2015 due to reckless behaviour. It might be a make or break season for Beckham who’ll try to establish himself as a consistent, level headed wide receiver. He’s got the numbers to back it up with 2755 receiving yards and 25 catching touchdowns in Hus two years but his mental make leaves a lot to ask for as some games showed it well last season.
2. DeAndre Hopkins- Texans
His career might be passing by quietly as Hopkins’ team, the Texans have not had a great deal of success but the three year wide receiver, who established himself as number one in Texans will hope to work some magic with new addition at the quarterback position in Brock Osweiler who joined Houston last off season.
Hopkins had by far the best year of his short career recording 1521 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns, both career bests that he’ll hope to top up in 2016.
1. Antonio Brown- Steelers
It might be a record breaking season for Brown who has established such great chemistry with Big Ben that only injuries really stay in front of him and some NFL records that he hopes to beat. Last year Brown caught 136 passes and produced 1834 yards from these adding 10 receiving touchdowns along the way. He’s not missed a game in three seasons and his production only kept getting better as the last two seasons he averaged over 70.5% catch ratio which made all the missed passes such incredibly rare feat to see.
And that’s it. I’ve actually done it and I should remember to revisit this article in few months time when the 2016 season will be nearing the end, to see how (in)accurate I was in predicting the best catching hands of 2016 NFL.
Next week I think we’ll look into top producing cornerbacks to tie it nicely with this week’s beast, the receivers. Until then. Keep well!
ALL STATISTICAL DATA PER http://www.pro-football-reference.com