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Best Wide Receivers of the 2017-2018 NFL season
10. Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints
In 2016, Michael Thomas joined quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliot as the undisputed best rookies in the league in their respective positions. Thomas’s overall skills and ability quickly mesh with the Saints’ offense saw him finish his impressive rookie campaign with 92 catches for 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns. His hands are quite commendable too, as he was third among receivers in catch percentage (76 percent).
Expectations on Thomas are high for the upcoming season. But considering how pass-happy the team is and how frequent he’ll be targeted now that he’s the new primary receiver with Brandin Cooks gone, it’s really easy to see him have another productive year.
9. Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals
Old man Fitzgerald – the wide receiver position’s ageless wonder. He’s an easy pick in this list, thanks to an exceptional consistency in skill and production. Last year was a prime example of his abilities, as he still appears to be one of the fastest in the field and was able to lead the entire league in receptions (107) as a 33-year-old.
We should see Fitz continue doing what he does best, since he’s the most effective wideout in the team. Adding to that is he has rising running back David Johnson to alleviate pressure and attention from the defense.
8. Amari Cooper – Oakland Raiders
The Raiders’ stoic wide receiver is unlike most guys in his position. He simply comes into the game, plays hard down after down, produces yardage, and move on like its nothing. That’s what he’s been doing in his first two years, where he averaged 77.5 passes and 1,100-plus yards and 5.5 TDs per season.
It’s interesting how well he can progress now that his rapport with QB Derek Carr and co-WR Michael Crabtree is more established than ever, not to mention the arrival of RB Marshawn Lynch.
7. Brandin Cooks – New England Patriots
Brandin Cooks is the lone man in the list that’s entering the season with a new team, which tells something about his abilities and how good the situation he’s coming into.
He’s not going to be the 2007 Randy Moss, but because this is the first time that the Patriots will be bringing in an in-his prime, number one receiver since Moss, it will definitely be interesting to see. Cooks is netting 81 receptions, 1,600-plus yards, and eight TDs per season in the last two years, and considering his size, strength, speed, hands, and technique, he could again have that type of stats.
6. TY Hilton – Indianapolis Colts
The absence of Andrew Luck (shoulder) is concerning for Indy’s offense. It is, however, hard to gauge as to how much it can affect Hilton’s numbers, because he has the talent of an elite receiver and is also coming off a year where he led the NFL in receiving yards (1,448). He was arguably the only consistent weapon that the Colts have in 2016.
So whether it’s Luck, Scott Tolzien, Stephen Morris, or even undrafted rookie Phillip Walker, look for Hilton to produce, since he will be the focal point of the passing game no matter what.
5. Mike Evans – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If you want to see mismatches on the wide receiver-cornerback matchup, Mike Evans is one of the few guys to checkout. The dude is 6’5, 231 lbs and could also run a 4.47 in the 40-yard-dash.
Now that his chemistry with Jameis Winston is more seasoned and he has a better partner in DeSean Jackson to help lessen the pressure, he’s poised to continue stuffing the stat sheet. Evans has 15 TDs and more than 2,500 yards in the last two years.
4. Jordy Nelson – Green Bay Packers
He may look like a typical number two or three receiver, but he’s definitely number one in Green Bay. That patient route running, tenacity for the ball, and sneaky speed fools the secondary.
Also, as Aaron Rodgers’s favorite target, a fantasy-friendly season from Jordy Nelson is almost automatic. The passing duo has mastered each other’s tendencies and it resulted in Nelson coming back from a devastating ACL tear with ease. He missed the whole 2015 season due to the injury and returned last year to tally 1,257 yards and score a league-leading 14 TDs.
3. Odell Beckham Jr. – New York Giants
Although he’s the most polarizing receiver in the NFL, there’s no denying that talent-wise, he could rival anyone in the league. He’s yet to be as explosive or productive as the two guys ahead of him on this list, but whether it’s speed, quickness, strength, route running, or any other tool that a WR has, OBJ is at least top three in each aspect. Even rival Josh Norman, who hates his guts, knows that he plays hard.
Beckham has three-straight seasons with at least 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns. With plenty of pieces on offense added to help take off the pressure, he should be more comfortable scoring and piling up yardage.
2. Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
With a 6’4, 220 lbs.-frame, top-notch speed, and a linebacker-like built, he’s with Mike Evans as an unforgiving mismatch to defensive backs. Julio Jones is simply a physical specimen that can do it all on the wide receiver position, while also having an elite QB (Matt Ryan) on his side.
Jones should and would remain as the Falcons’ key weapon. He’s had 1,400 or more yards in each of the last three seasons, and he has also led the league in receiving yards per game in the last two year.
1. Antonio Brown – Pittsburgh Steelers
This should be short because there’s really nothing to argue about. Antonio Brown has been the game’s best receiver for a couple of years now, and 2017 should carry on as such. AB won’t dominate that many defenders with speed and strength, but he sure can catch every kind of ball thrown at him.
He’s also got the talent and supporting cast to help keep his numbers be on-par with the other premier wideouts. Since becoming the Steelers’ number one WR in 2013, he’s been putting up 1,579 yards and 11 TDs per season.
Create a betting account now and get set for another exciting NFL season.
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