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Odell Beckham Jr Favored to Lead NFL in Receiving Yards After Week 2

Bryan Thiel

by Bryan Thiel in NFL Football

Sep 19, 2019 · 6:53 AM PDT

Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr has shot to the top of the odds to lead the league in receiving yards. Can he take over first place by the end of the year? Photo from @ForTheWin (Twitter).
  • Odell Beckham Jr currently sits fourth in the NFL in receiving
  • Beckham Jr is the favorite to lead the league by the end of the season
  • Is OBJ the best bet? Or is there better value somewhere else?

It’s never boring for long with Odell Beckham Jr.

Looking at the stats, that’s what you could call Week 1 against the Titans. OBJ produced just 71 yards…but of course he wore that fancy watch.

Week 2 was much better for the Browns’ big-name acquisition. He hauled in six catches for 161 yards and a touchdown.

That performance put him in the top five in receiving yards. It’s a place many expect him to be thanks to his offseason quarterback upgrade.

But could he be the best of the best by season’s end?

Odds to Lead 2019 NFL Season in Receiving Yards

Receiver 2019  Receiving Yards Odds
Odell Beckham Jr 232 +600
Julio Jones 137 +700
DeAndre Hopkins 151 +700
Michael Thomas 212 +750
Sammy Watkins 247 +900
John Ross 270 +1000
Keenan Allen 221 +1000
Davante Adams 142 +1800
JuJu Smith-Schuster 162 +2000
Mike Evans 89 +2800

Odds taken 09/18/19 .

Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins finished top two in the receiving race last year, and were favored to do so again just last week. They were top five the year before, with Michael Thomas sliding in at sixth both years.

Odell Beckham Jr has been absent from the league leaders the past few seasons. In 2017 he was sidelined by a broken ankle. Last year it was a quad injury.

But with Beckham healthy and the focal point of a potentially dangerous offense, they sky is the limit.

Receiving Yard Leaders Won’t Last Very Long

A week ago when we were discussing the Kansas City Chiefs offense, we explored Sammy Watkins’ history. That, combined with Tyreek Hill’s eventual return and other weapons in KC eliminates Watkins.

While we’ve been big fans of what Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown have done, it’s important to consider the competition. They shredded a hapless Dolphins’ defense, and the Cardinals have surrendered over 600 yards so far. As things get harder for Baltimore, Hollywood should slow down.

John Ross will reportedly have a little more time to operate without AJ Green at least. Two of Cincinnati’s next three games (Pittsburgh and Arizona) give him a chance to fatten those numbers up. But Ross is in uncharted territory.

He had 21 career receptions before 2019. He’s at 11 already this year, and has some tough defenses coming up after Week 5.

Who Can Stop Odell Beckham Jr?

The easiest way to figure out OBJ’s path to leading the league in receiving is looking at who he’s playing.

So we went week-by-week to explore the passing defenses that he’ll be going up against. We also highlighted the best receiving line again each after two weeks.

Odell Beckham Jr’s Remaining Schedule

Week Opponent Passing Yards Against/Game Highest Single-Game Receiving Total (REC/YDS)
Week 3 Los Angeles Rams 201.5 Michael Thomas (10/89)
Week 4 @ Baltimore Ravens 254 Christian Kirk (8/112)
Week 5 @ San Francisco 49ers 232.5 Tyler Boyd (10/122)
Week 6 vs Seattle Seahawks 287.5 John Ross (7/158)
Week 8 @ New England Patriots 209 JuJu Smith-Schuster (6/78)
Week 9 @ Denver Broncos 189.5 Tyrell Williams (6/105)
Week 10 vs Buffalo Bills 198 Jamison Crowder (14/99)
Week 11 vs Pittsburgh Steelers 320 Phillip Dorsett (4/95)
Week 12 vs Miami Dolphins 316 Marquise Brown (4/147)
Week 13 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 320 Phillip Dorsett (4/95)
Week 14 vs Cincinnati Bengals 236.5 DK Metcalf (4/89)
Week 15 @ Arizona Cardinals 309.5 TJ Hockenson (6/131)
Week 16 vs Baltimore Ravens 254 Christian Kirk (8/112)
Week 17 @ Cincinnati Bengals 236.5 DK Metcalf (4/89)

There’s a realistic shot that OBJ could run away with the receiving lead after Week 11. In five weeks, he faces three teams who sit in the top ten for passing yards against. A few weeks before that, he gets the Seahawks, who are well removed from their Legion of Boom days.

If we add up the best receiving totals against all of these teams, we get 1,521 yards. Added to the 232 he’s already totaled, OBJ would settle in at 1,753. That would be the highest single-season total since Julio Jones and Antonio Brown both went over 1,800 in 2015.

Sizing Up the Rest of the Field

In Tampa, it’s tough to figure out what’s going on. Jameis Winston is averaging 6.6 yards per attempt, which is the worst mark of his career. Until they string a few good weeks together, Mike Evans isn’t worth your money.

Unfortunately for Michael Thomas, he may be out of the running too. In Teddy Bridgewater’s only two seasons as a starter, his top receiver’s yardage came in under 750. Granted neither were at the level of Thomas, but six weeks without Drew Brees will hurt his chances.

The same can be said for JuJu Smith-Schuster, because we know even less about Mason Rudolph.

OBJ Leads Short List of Favorites

Cutting the others aside, we’re left with OBJ, Hopkins, Jones and Keenan Allen.

And Allen may be your best bet after OBJ.

Julio Jones will get his, but maybe things are a little more level with the emerging Calvin Ridley. He bites into Julio’s numbers ever so slightly.

Hopkins is just as talented as the other three, but you have to wonder if that offensive line catches up to Deshaun Watson again.

Allen is in the best situation with Philip Rivers throwing him the ball, and his volume may go up with Hunter Henry sidelined.

But considering his start and who’s coming up on the Browns’ schedule, it’s tough to go against OBJ.

Picks: Odell Beckham Jr (+600); Keenan Allen (+1000)

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