NFL Top 5: Long-shot receiving yardage leaders
A sensational 2012 season has propelled Detroit Lions superstar Calvin Johnson to the top of the prop list for most receiving yards in 2013. Johnson, however, may be hard-pressed to repeat last year's exploits after racking up close to 2,000 yards.
Here are five receivers with an outside chance of topping Johnson and the rest of the NFL's pass-catching fraternity (odds courtesy CarbonSports.ag):
Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons (+1,800)
Jones had a productive 2012 campaign, finishing with nearly 1,200 receiving yards despite ranking outside the 20 in targets among wide receivers. With Matt Ryan and the Falcons' offense looking to build on a strong offensive showing and safety valve tight end Tony Gonzalez admittedly a step slower in what will be his final season, expect more targets - and yards - for the still-improving Jones.
Wes Welker, Denver Broncos (+1,800)
Welker goes from one future Hall of Fame quarterback to another, leaving Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to join Peyton Manning and the suddenly stacked Denver Broncos. Manning remains a top pivot even in his late-30s, and having Welker in the slot will allow him to opt for shorter passes that should spare his arm some wear and tear - bolstering Welker's stats in the process.
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals (+3,000)
forgettable season behind him (798 yards, his lowest total since 2004),
Fitzgerald enters 2013 with a new quarterback in Carson Palmer and not
much competition from the rest of the Cardinals' receiving corps.
Fitzgerald remains one of the most athletic wideouts in the league, and
at just 29 years old still has several productive seasons ahead of him.
Anquan Boldin, San Francisco 49ers (+5,000)
With No. 1 wideout Michael Crabtree expected to miss the entire season, the burden of leading the San Francisco receiving corps falls on the shoulders of the 32-year-old Boldin. The struggles quarterback Colin Kaepernick has had establishing chemistry with tight end Vernon Davis, coupled with a major lack of viable options behind Boldin, could mean a big year for the long-time Baltimore Ravens star.
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers (+6,500)
A high-ankle sprain hampered Brown through the second half of last season, but the fourth-year pro is healthy and entrenched as Ben Roethlisberger's go-to guy. With former top wideout Mike Wallace in Miami, tight end Heath Miller still recovering from an ACL injury and the Pittsburgh running game in shambles to enter the season, Brown should see a fair number of targets.