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Odds Say John Brown Outproduces Cole Beasley in 2019 After Both Sign With Bills

Cole Beasley
Cole Beasley is on the move to Buffalo. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • The Bills receiving corps got a makeover this week and you can bet on who will be more productive in 2019: John Brown or Cole Beasley
  • Brown is an elite deep threat, while Beasley is one of the most reliable slot receivers in the NFL
  • Who will have more receiving yards and receiving touchdowns in 2019?

The Buffalo Bills went on an expensive shopping spree this week, upgrading their wide receiver depth in a major way.

The addition of speedster John Brown and safety valve Cole Beasley, immediately bumps the projection of second year quarterback Josh Allen, and gives the Bills two polished receivers to compliment youngsters Robert Foster, Zay Jones, and Isaiah McKenzie.

Brown and Beasley are coming off 715 and 672 yard seasons respectively, yet online sportsbooks expect a significant drop in their receiving production next season. Both players have an early receiving yards prop that is roughly 100 yards less than what they totalled in 2018.

Projected 2019 Receiving Yards for John Brown and Cole Beasley

Player Prop Projection Over Odds at BetOnline Under Odds at BetOnline
John Brown Receiving Yards 625.5 -115 -115
Cole Beasley Receiving Yards 575.5 -115 -115

Volume is King

Beasley is hyper efficient, while Brown is a much more volatile receiver. With an average depth of target of just 7.4 yards, Beasley relies on heavy volume to rack up yards, while Brown can get there in just one play.

Beasley caught 75% of his targets in 2018, while Brown hauled in only 43% of the passes thrown his way. He more than made up for the low catch rate by averaging 17.0 yards per reception, a new career high.

John Brown vs Cole Beasley Last 3 Seasons

Brown
VS
Beasley

1,531 REC YDS 1,891
37.3 REC YDS/GM 44.4
10 REC TD 12
0.24 REC TD/GM 0.29

Brown’s Style is More favorable for Allen

Brown needs plenty of opportunities to make plays, but when he hits, he hits big and that high risk, high reward style should mesh nicely with Allen.  As a rookie, Allen took a deep shot on 19.7% of his drop backs, the most by any quarterback in the NFL.

He had the most success in 2018 targeting players outside the numbers, 20+ yards downfield, which is precisely the type of routes that Brown, and his 4.34 speed excel at.

Brown will be the primary focus on the outside, a role that saw Foster produce 511 yards and three touchdowns in the final seven games of the season.


By contrast, Allen struggled with the type of routes Beasley will be running, registering a dreadful 52.2 passing grade from Pro Football Focus on short throws over the middle. Beasley’s sure hands will likely improve that number, but his 5’8″ frame won’t cure Allen’s accuracy issues.

Pick: Brown Over 625 Receiving Yards (-115)

Projected 2019 Receiving TDs for John Brown and Cole Beasley

Player Prop Projection Over Odds at BetOnline Under Odds at BetOnline
John Brown Receiving TD 4 -115 -115
Cole Beasley Receiving TD 4 -115 -115

Neither Brown or Beasley is known for being a huge touchdown threat, and that’s reflected in their 2019 TD props.  Both are projected for four scores, which is consistent with their averages over the past four seasons. Brown was targeted more heavily in the red zone than Beasley in 2018 (15-10), and received twice as many end zone looks.

Allen showed a propensity to lean on his outside receivers and tight ends in the red zone last season, targeting them on 22 of 27 pass attempts, which doesn’t bode well for Beasley. If the Bills new slot man is going to have any kind of touchdown success, it will most likely have to come through his yards after the catch.


Brown, meanwhile, will have the luxury of being peppered with deep balls, which should create ample opportunities for scores, given his blazing speed and his propensity to get behind the defense.


Pick: Brown Over 4 Receiving TD (-115)

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