I’m a value seeker when looking for futures. I’ll take a select few of the most obvious bets on the board, but I’m mostly out there looking for the rare +500 bets and above hoping it skyrockets into a large sum.
After looking at potential 2020 MVP Candidates, today’s Futures article will pivot to trying to identify which receiver will lead the league in receiving yards. It is important to keep in mind that injuries can quickly derail a counting statistic like this. Those injuries aren’t solely limited to the receiver, as we often see a massive decline in productivity when changes at the quarterback position occur. As such, I’m only going to personally place a select few bets on a wager such as this.
I’m stating this information just to show how risky these bets are from the start. There’s a reason the “favorite” is still marked at +500.
Let’s check out the candidates.
Note: All odds listed below are from either DraftKings’ or FanDuel’s Sportsbooks, but please shop around to find the best odds offered to you in your state before placing your wager.
Michael Thomas (+500 DK)
Last year’s winner, Michael Thomas, comes in at the highest odds at +500 to repeat his 2019 success. He totaled 1,725 receiving yards last year en route to setting a new league record in total receptions (149). Can he repeat? The Saints brought in some additional receiving competition in Emmanuel Sanders that could funnel away some volume, but we also need to keep in mind that part of Thomas’ success last year came with Teddy Bridgewater under center. Thomas’ splits with Bridgewater weren’t quite as strong when Drew Brees was playing.
The RotoViz Game Splits App shows some minor differences in Thomas’ scoring depending who was under center but there is certainly room for improvement with a full 16 games from Brees. Thomas claiming the top odds to take home this hardware shouldn’t surprise at all after what we saw from him last year. I don’t mind the bet here as we should anticipate heavy passing scripts in NFC South battles, but the addition of Sanders and a fully healthy year from Alvin Kamara (knee, ankle) could water down Thomas’ lofty target totals from a year ago. I’d rather get better odds on other wideouts.
Julio Jones (+900 DK)
Julio Jones has won this title several times already (2015, 2018) and now plays on a Falcons offense that has 258 vacated targets up for grabs. He ranked second in receiving yards last year (1,394) and the Falcons face one of the toughest schedules in the league. The Falcons ranked second in terms of plays per game last year (68.5) and passed 63% of the time in situation neutral gamescripts (+/- 8 points). That’s a concoction for a ton of passing volume for Matt Ryan (a sneaky MVP wager) and his top receiving target in Julio. They should be passing quite often in this offense and I like the odds here at +900 for a wideout that combines heavy target share (25%), Air Yards share (37%), and has a proven track record of taking home this receiving title.
Davante Adams (+1400 DK)
If fantasy drafters aren’t taking Michael Thomas as the first receiver off the board, they’re likely pivoting to Packers wideout, Davante Adams. What makes Adams a highly appealing candidate to capture this receiving award is the lack of talent around him to contend for targets. Last year when healthy, Adams sported a 29% target share and over 36% of the team’s receiving yardage. If we look at Adams’ last 16 games (including 2019 postseason and tail end of 2018), Adams totaled 1,485 receiving yards. Only MT had more receiving yards than that last year. The Packers currently have Allen Lazard as Adams’ primary contender for targets and a likely rotation of inexperienced tight ends. A full 16 games from Adams given his history and lack of competition for targets could lead to him claiming the title of most receiving yards in 2020.
Kenny Golladay (+2000 DK)
Last year, we saw Kenny Golladay finish with a robust 18.3 yards per reception and the seventh-most receiving yards in the league (1,190). Golladay’s 18.3 YPR was top-5 among all receivers and he paced the league in receptions (18) that went 20+ Air Yards or more in depth. Big plays downfield were a common occurrence for Golladay last year and keep in mind — that was with Matthew Stafford only playing eight games. At the time of Stafford’s injury (Week 9), Golladay ranked third in Air Yards (994), a pace that would’ve netted him the most in the league had he sustained that rate a full year. Considering Golladay only played half the year with his starting quarterback, his end of season totals are even more inspiring for a better 2020 season. The Lions possesses a dreadful secondary and Vegas projects them to win just 6.5 wins this year, fifth-lowest rate in the league. No defense allowed more passing yards against than the Lions last year and OC Darrell Bevell’s offenses passed the ball at an electric 92% rate when trailing by 9+ points in Week 1-9 last year (when Stafford was healthy). Add in the fact that Bevell’s offenses have been top-10 in pace of play each of his last two seasons calling plays and we have an interesting concoction of big-play ability and increased targets for Golladay to be a darkhorse candidate to take home this award at some enticing odds (+2000).