With the Hall of Fame game kicking off on August 5th, football is right around the corner. And, with DraftKings Sportsbook releasing an array of props for bettors to wager on, it's time to start hammering some NFL futures.
For this post, let's dig into the favorites and longshots to lead the league in receptions. First, a look at the odds:
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DeAndre Hopkins and Stefon Diggs lead the way on the list as co-favorites at +600. Diggs led the league in receptions with 127, while Hopkins finished tied for second with 115. The Cardinals pass catcher also finished 3rd in receptions in 2019 with 104. Both WRs will see plenty of targets in 2021, as they are both in pass heavy offenses. Last season, Diggs finished 1st in targets with 166, with Hopkins coming in right behind him, with 160. As long as both guys stay healthy, it'll be no surprise to see them both catch over 110+ balls again.
Finishing off the upper tier is Davante Adams (+650) ad Travis Kelce (+850). Adams finished tied for second with Hopkins, pulling in 115 catches. Kelce grabbed 105 receptions, finishing 5th in that category last season. Similar to Hopkins and Diggs, both Adams and Kelce were heavily targeted last season. Adams finished the year with 149, while Kelce saw 145.
Betting on Adams is a risk, but if you think Aaron Rodgers will suit up for the Packers next season, then you should grab this number now. If AR starts for the Pack, Adams' odds will shorten, as he is Rodgers' favorite target. Personally, I see more value in the next tier, so let's take a look at the pass catchers with double-digit odds.
A couple of big named studs come in with double-digit odds in this next group. This tier is headlined by Keenan Allen (+1200), Calvin Ridley (+1200), Darren Waller (+1600), Cooper Kupp (+1600), and Tyreek Hill (+1800).
Waller had a terrific season last year, finishing 4th in the league in receptions with 107. While I love Waller in that offense, two other names stick out in terms of betting value.
First, Allen on the Chargers at 12-1 looks juicy. He caught 100 balls with 147 targets last season, and had 104 receptions with a 149 targets in 2019. Not to mention, 97 catches in 2018. He is one of the most consistent and targeted players on this list. Couple that with the fact that it'll be QB Justin Herbert's second year in that offense and LA has a new playcaller, and sky's the limit for Allen next year. I would not be surprised to see him finish the season with close to 160 targets.
Kupp is the other name that immediately grabbed my attention at his price. This is a guy that had 92 receptions over 15 games last season, and 94 catches in 16 games in 2019. He saw 124 targets last year and 134 two seasons ago, so you know the volume will be there.
But, one of the biggest reasons I'm high on Kupp is the team's addition of QB Matthew Stafford. Staffy at the helm over Jared Goff will immediately pay dividends for LA's skill players, most notably Kupp. Also, head coach Sean McVay loves Kupp and always looks for ways to utilize him, which is just another big plus.
The Rams WR should see more targets this upcoming season, especially with Cam Akers going down. So, at this price, Kupp is definitely worth a sprinkle.
Justin Jefferson (+2000), Amari Cooper (+2000), Allen Robinson (+2200), Terry McLaurin (+2500), and Tyler Lockett (+2500) are the big names with odds of 20-1 or longer in this section.
If you are looking for the sleeper of this bunch, I like Allen Robinson. ARob finished last season with 102 receptions with 151 targets. Robinson's targets were third in the league behind only Diggs and Hopkins. Two seasons ago, he had a similar output with Chicago, catching 98 balls with 154 targets.
The Bears should get much better QB play this season with either Andy Dalton or Justin Fields getting the nod. While I see Dalton starting the season against the Rams, there is a good chance that Fields takes over for Chicago sometime during the season. Once Fields becomes QB1, of course he'll goto his best and most reliable playmaker in the offense, so Robinson should reap the rewards. If the rookie is as good as advertised lookout.
At +2200, Robinson is definitely worth the risk.