Most NFL Receiving Yards in 2019: Top-Dozen Odds and Predictions

Plenty of NFL wide receivers can fly down the field and catch balls, especially in this era of offensive-minded football, and one of those young men will become the 2019 receiving yards champion, a title that last year’s winner is predicted to take once again.

But a new challenger has emerged, a man who now plays for a team that just two season ago went winless, pushing the chances of last year’s runner up down a notch, making this an interesting competition already.

Here we take a closer looks at the odds and predictions of the top twelve candidates for posting the most receiving yards in 2019, and we briefly analyze each of their chances to win.  

Here Are the Current Top-Dozen Odds and Predictions Listed for Which NFL Athlete Will Have the Most Receiving Yards in 2019:

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12) A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals, wide receiver

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Current Age: 30  

Number of NFL Seasons: 8

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 210-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 9

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 46 receptions for 694 yards and 6 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 59.7 while averaging 15.1 yards per reception.

Analysis: Cincinnati Bengals’ deep threat wide receiver A.J. Green was having the year of his career in 2018, including his first three-touchdown game and a franchise record set for 100-yard receiving games with 32, when a recurring toe-injury kept him off the field for almost half of the games and eventually ended his season.

Green will be healthy in 2019, but now he has to learn the fresh system installed by Bengals’ newly hired head coach, 36-year-old Zac Taylor, the second-youngest NFL head coach behind his former boss, Los Angeles Rams’ Sean McVay, as well as develop a working relationship with new offensive coordinator Brian Callahan.

The key to Green’s success in 2019, of course, will be to stay healthy, and then if the team’s new leadership can improve the Bengals’ passing attack (ranked 24th last season after averaging just 205.6 yards per game through the air), the 7x Pro Bowler and 2x Second-team All-Pro will certainly have a chance to post up some big receiving yards.  

11) Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings, wide receiver

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Current Age: 28     

Number of NFL Seasons: 5

Height: 6-foot-2 

Weight: 200-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 16

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 113 receptions for 1,373 yards and 9 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 73.9 while averaging 12.2 yards per reception.

Analysis: Last season, Adam Thielen and his new quarterback Kirk Cousins were able to hook up a career high 113 times and turn those 1,373 passing yards into a top-ten finish among Thielen’s wide receiver peers.

Now that Cousins has had a full season to adjust to playing in Minnesota and a new offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski, has been in place since last December, look for an offensive game plan that involves even more targets for Thielen.

The Minnesota Vikings missed the playoffs last season and head coach Mike Zimmer has no plans for that to happen again in 2019, so expect him to prioritize the Vikings’ passing attack, ranked 13th last year, and to take full advantage of the Cousins-to-Thielen connection.

10) Keenan Allen, Los Angeles Chargers, wide receiver

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Current Age: 27

Number of NFL Seasons: 6

Height: 6-foot-2 

Weight: 211-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 16

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 97 receptions for 1,196 yards and 60 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 71.3 while averaging 12.3 yards per reception.

Analysis: It’s tough to say why the odds makers have placed Keenan Allen in the top-ten for this category, especially given that last season his 1,196 yards were only good enough to rank him 15th overall in total passing yards.

The Los Angeles Chargers’ passing attack was ranked 10th last season after averaging 255.6 yards through the air per game, so Allen has the perfect environment to take a run at the passing yards title.

Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers is due for a Super Bowl season – and good enough to get one – so maybe that’s why Allen, one of Rivers’ favorite targets, is predicted to do even better in 2019.

9) Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers, wide receiver

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Current Age: 26 

Number of NFL Seasons: 5

Height: 6-foot-1 

Weight: 215-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 15

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 111 receptions for 1,386 yards and 13 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 65.7 while averaging 12.5 yards per reception.

Analysis: If future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers expects to get back to the Super Bowl, the first thing he has to do is stay healthy, and the second thing he has to do is lead his team to the postseason, two things he has not been able to do for the last couple of years.

Pro Bowl receiver Davante Adams made the most of the fifteen games he played in last season, his 1,386 total passing yards good enough to place him seventh overall among his peers.

Adams scores touchdowns – he has posted 12, 10 & 13 touchdowns over the last three seasons – so if Rodgers can stay healthy and click with new offensive-minded head coach Matt LaFleur, expect Adams to score a bunch and post even bigger passing yard numbers in 2019.

8) Michael Thomas, New Orleans Saints, wide receiver

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Current Age: 26 

Number of NFL Seasons: 3

Height: 6-foot-3 

Weight: 212-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 16

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 125 receptions for 1,405 yards and 9 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 85.0 while averaging 11.2 yards per reception.

Analysis: Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints has only played in the NFL for three seasons, but he has become one of the best wide outs in the league, especially after the 2018 he had as receptions leader (125 catches), a First-team All-Pro nod for the first time and a Pro Bowl for the second time in his career.

Last season Thomas and the Saints’ future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees hooked up for 1,405 passing yards, a new franchise record that barely squeaked by Joe Horn’s 1,399 yards in 2004.

The entire football world is waiting for the 40-year-old Brees to lead his beloved and talented Saints back to the Super Bowl for at least one more shot at a ring and a Lombardi Trophy, and since Thomas is one of his favorite targets, expect his 2019 passing yards to get a nice bump as a result of Brees’ championship hunger.

7) T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts, wide receiver

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Current Age: 29 

Number of NFL Seasons: 7

Height: 5-foot-10 

Weight: 183-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 14

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 76 receptions for 1,270 yards and 6 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 63.3 while averaging 16.7 yards per reception.

Analysis: The Indianapolis Colts with a healthy Andrew Luck under center averaged 278.8 yards through the air per game last season, and a big reason for that was speedy wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.

Few NFL receivers averaged more yards per catch than Hilton did (16.7), and his 1,270 total passing yards were twelfth best in the league last season.

The Colts with Luck had a sixth ranked passing attack in 2018, and now that many experts are calling them one of the main AFC teams to beat in 2019, expect Hilton to get targeted early and often again under second-year offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni’s successful system. 

6) Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wide receiver

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Current Age: 25 

Number of NFL Seasons: 5

Height: 6-foot-5 

Weight: 231-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 16

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 86 receptions for 1524 yards and 8 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 62.3 while averaging 17.7 yards per reception.

Analysis: Last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed last in the NFC South with a 5-11 final record and didn’t make the postseason for the eleventh straight year in a row, so general manager Jason Licht cleaned house and hired now un-retired head coach Bruce Arians.

Deep threat wide receiver Mike Evans should benefit from whatever scheme Arians and new offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich come up with for the passing attack since chances are it will involve the same general game plan as last season when the Bucs’ ranked first in that category.

In 2018, Evans caught for the most yards in his career, 1,524, which was third most in the league, and that was in the midst of a rapidly rotating quarterback carousel that won’t exist in 2019, so expect the 2x Pro Bowler to make another legitimate run at the receiving yards title.

5) Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders, wide receiver

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Current Age: 30         

Number of NFL Seasons: 9

Height: 5-foot-10

Weight: 181-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 15

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 61.9 while averaging 12.5 yards per reception.

Analysis: The biggest challenge for wide receiver Antonio Brown in 2019 will be getting used to catching balls from somebody else besides potential Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger, who last season led the league with 5,129 passing yards.

Now Brown is working in Oakland with veteran Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr, who threw for over a thousand yards less than Big Ben did last year (4,049), so the first part of Brown’s 2019 season will most likely be spent getting used to an entirely new system and roster.

Undoubtedly a huge priority of Raiders’ $100-million head coach Jon Gruden will be to take advantage of having one of the top receivers in the league as a weapon, and there is no doubt that Gruden and Carr will figure out how to use the 7x Pro Bowler and 4x First-team All-Pro receiver as often as possible.

4) Juju Smith-Schuster, Pittsburgh Steelers, wide receiver

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Current Age: 22       

Number of NFL Seasons: 2

Height: 6-foot-2 

Weight: 220-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 16

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 111 receptions for 1,426 yards and 7 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 66.9 while averaging 12.8 yards per reception.

Analysis: Last year in Pittsburgh, Juju Smith-Schuster took advantage of having one of the league’s best receivers, Antonio Brown, lining up with him, since defenses tended to pay more attention to the veteran receiver than they did to him.

In 2019, things will be different without Brown on the Steelers’ roster, since now defenses will focus more on Smith-Schuster, the team’s new ace, and the extra attention and double-teams might be difficult to overcome, at least at first.

Of course, the upside to that is that now Smith-Schuster won’t have to share targets with Brown and should instead become the most targeted receiver on the team, so look for him to be in the final running for the 2019 receiving yards champion.

3) DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans, wide receiver

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Current Age: 27

Number of NFL Seasons: 6

Height: 6-foot-1 

Weight: 215-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 16

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 115 receptions for 1,572 yards and 11 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 70.6 while averaging 13.7 yards per reception.

Analysis: Houston Texans’ receiver DeAndre Hopkins’ career best 1,572 receiving yards last season was second best in the league, so there’s a great chance that Hopkins will be in the running for the honor again in 2019.

Hopkins has posted 1000+ passing yards in a season four times (with an almost-fifth time in 2016 when he missed the mark by just 46 yards) and now fans have come to expect him to connect at that high a level with third-year quarterback Deshaun Watson, which they did on 70.6% of the attempts made in 2018.

The Houston Texans are expecting to get back to the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons, with Hopkins being a big part of those expectations, so in 2019 expect the Watson-Hopkins connection to be one of the main components of their offensive game plan.

2) Odell Beckham Jr., Cleveland Browns, wide receiver

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Current Age: 26

Number of NFL Seasons: 5

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 198-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 12

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and 6 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 62.1 while averaging 13.7 yards per reception.

Analysis: Now that Odell Beckham Jr. plays for the Cleveland Browns, it will be interesting to see how his numbers stack up catching passes from second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield, known to have a highly accurate rifle arm.

Credit general manager John Dorsey for figuring out a way to basically steal one of the league’s best receivers, giving Browns fans postseason hope for the first time in a long time.

The key to OBJ’s success in Cleveland will be to stay healthy, which is not a given – he sat out the last four games of 2018 with a quadriceps injury and most of 2017 with a bad ankle – but if he can do that he could easily have the best season of his career and certainly give last year’s receiving yards champion a run for his money.

1) Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons, wide receiver

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Current Age: 30      

Number of NFL Seasons: 8

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 220-pounds

Number of games played in 2018: 16

2018 Receiving Stats Line: 113 receptions for 1,677 yards and 8 touchdowns with a catch percentage of 66.5 while averaging 14.8 yards per reception.

Analysis: The Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff brought recently fired Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter back as the Falcons offensive coordinator (a job he already had from 2012-14) in an effort to improve an offense that last season ranked 23rd in red-zone scoring percentage after only scoring a touchdown on just 49 percent of their red zone trips,

Deep threat receiver Julio Jones was targeted just 17 times in the red zone last season and caught only 10 of those passes for 5 touchdowns, so look for the new scheme to take more advantage of him at close range.

Jones won the receiving yards honors last season with 1,677 total yards through the air from veteran quarterback Matt Ryan, and Jones, this season’s odds-on favorite, has every intention of defending his enviable title in 2019.