Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson reeled in 1,964 receiving yards last season, breaking Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving record and finishing 366 yards ahead of his closest competition.
So it’s no wonder he’s an overwhelming favorite to lead the NFL in receiving again in 2013.
Online sportsbook 5Dimes.eu has NFL player props available for the most receiving yards and Johnson is priced at +385, again leaving his closest competition in the dust (Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears is the second favorite at +650). Having such a large front runner means there is plenty of value behind “Megatron” on the prop board.
Here’s a look at three value bets to lead the NFL in receiving this season:
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans (+1,800)
Johnson was the No. 2 WR in terms of yardage last season, totaling 1,598 receiving yards. He was targeted 164 times, missing only 52 of those throws, and was Houston’s main option on passing plays 58.1 percent of the time – an NFL high. He finally avoided the injury bug, which had slowed him in recent years, and should continue to be busy as long as he and QB Matt Schaub stay healthy.
Wes Welker, Denver Broncos (+1,200)
Welker goes from one Hall of Fame QB to another, making the move from New England to Denver this offseason. Welker has been among the league leaders in receptions throughout his career and that shouldn’t change with Peyton Manning making the tosses. Fellow WR Demaryius Thomas will be attracting a lot of attention downfield, giving Welker plenty of looks underneath. All those dinks and dumps add up. He finished eighth in yardage last season (1,354) and was playing hurt most of the time.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs (+2,000)
The Chiefs offense got a facelift this offseason, adding QB Alex Smith and new head coach Andy Reid, who isn’t afraid to air it out. Bowe has had his troubles dropping balls but he’s filled with new-found confidence this spring. And why shouldn’t he be. He caught just 59 of the 114 passes thrown his way for 801 yards in 2012, missing three games to injury. He totaled 1,159 yards in 2011 and 1,162 yards in 2010. And those passes were coming from the likes of Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, Kyle Orton and Tyler Palko. Smith and Reid are huge upgrades for 28-year-old wideout.
Here’s the full list of prop odds for the NFL’s most receiving yards:
Calvin Johnson +385
Brandon Marshall +650
A.J. Green +800
Dez Bryant +800
Danny Amendola +1200
Demaryius Thomas +1200
Julio Jones +1200
Victor Cruz +1200
Wes Welker +1200
Anquan Boldin +1500
Larry Fitzgerald +1500
Marques Colston +1500
Percy Harvin +1500
Randall Cobb +1500
Roddy White +1500
Vincent Jackson +1500
Andre Johnson +1800
DeSean Jackson +1800
Dwayne Bowe +2000
Miles Austin +2000
Steve Smith +2000