Ok first up, I want to get this out in the open, I have become an affiliate for Redzonesports.bet – I want to keep the site free and not have subscriptions for it. But I do have a certain financial upkeep for the site, paying for the domain(s) and the wordpress account etc… Also I put in a lot of hours per week doing the write ups each week FOR FREE, so if people would kindly sign up for redzone it would help greatly! – I am aware of what the word affiliate means to a lot of people, and I understand that. I am working towards it being a CPA (A one-off payment for new accounts opened) rather than a revenue share. But they don’t offer that to new guys unfortunately. For the record, and I think my body of work from the last 2 years shows it, I don’t want people to lose! At all!
They offer some very good prices on a lot of markets, which you’ll see from the spreadsheet I offer for free, and you can compare on oddschecker for the other prices offered by the mainstream bookies. They’re a smaller organisation and they will allow you to get good money on most NFL markets, they advertise themselves as the home of US sports in the UK. They are also very responsive on twitter @GoRedZoneSports, especially with #Yourzone (their request a bet section) and they’ve priced most of the ones I’ve asked for better than is available on Skybet. They also opened up EW on these leading markets because I politely requested it which some of the big boys seem to have refused to do!
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Leading receiver is a tougher one to call, there’s a lot of them out there, although only really 10 or so WR1s as it stands, obviously there’s a few who can make the leap and no doubt someone will come out of nowhere with a decent season.
Last year finished as such, Brown – 1533, Julio – 1444, Allen – 1393, Nuk Hopkins – 1378, Thielen – 1276
So lets go through those first.
Antonio Brown is the face of Madden this year, that’s not usually a good thing as it leads to the Madden curse! He’s already had a couple of scares in camp as well. The Curse is real! He’s the best in the game at the moment, and has been for a few years now (hate to admit it as a Bengals fan) He’s had over 100 receptions for each of the last 5 years, over 1,200 yards in all of them, over 1,499 in 4 of those 5. His finishing positions in the leading market over those five years? 2017 – 1, 5, 2, 1, 2 – He’s brilliant, his route running is a thing of beauty, and unless he’s playing the Bengals he’ll get a ton of yardage each game. Of course, he is the favourite for this market, best priced 7/2 at Redzone. It’s 1/4 odds for EW, top 3, so this all depends on how safe you want to be. I will be recommending straight in on AB – Antonio Brown – 7/2 – RedZoneSports – 4 points
Julio is always up around the top 5 as well, even in an apparent down year last year he finished 2nd, and he’s been over 1,400 in the last 4 years. would have been 5 years, but he only played 5 games in the season before that one. If you were to design a WR it would look like this guy. – For the record, I hate him in fantasy, drives me fucking crazy going for 13 yards one week then following it with 250 in a game, but over a season, he’s hard to look away from! One downpoint for him, he’ll be double teamed on a lot of occasions, but he can negate them fairly easily as he’s a beast – He’s best priced at RedzoneSports again at 6/1 – It’s not for me but I wouldn’t be shocked to see him top the league this year.
Next up in the betting is either Odell Beckham or DeAndre Hopkins – I know that because he’s such a public figure Mr. Beckham tends to divide opinions. He tries too many one-handed catches for no real reason, he pretends to try to marry kicking nets. He’s a bit of a narcissist, but… He’s great to watch! He’s one of very few guys in the league who can take a 10 yard slant to the house on a regular basis and let’s be fair, the one-handed catches do look good! He missed most of last year with injury, but I feel he’s in probably the best position he’s been to make a big impact this year. He’s got an extremely good running back, they improved their offensive line, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram are good targets who will need defending too. It’s basically all down to whether Eli has still got it or not frankly! – He’s another one I wouldn’t tell someone to ignore at 10/1, and even more so at 12/1 on Bet365! If they did EW I would be recommending it. I could still see him taking this title straight up tbh. His previous years? 2016 – 3rd, 5th, 10th.
DeAndre ‘Nuk’ Hopkins is next up, for good reason, he was amazing last year given some of the trash who was throwing the ball it’s remarkable that he had as many yards as he finished with. BUT… the counterpoint to that is that the backup QBs will mainly target the one guy they trust. That was Hopkins last year. This year is very interesting with Deshaun Watson coming back. I’ll be honest, I can’t judge how their season will go. Watson at QB will come back towards the mean for a QB, he can’t carry on the way he played last year, statistically it’s not possible. I’ll be honest, i’m conflicted on this one. 4th, 29th, 3rd, 12th. It’s not exactly convincing. One big plus for him, he’s only missed 1 game in his career. I was all for Hopkins as the top guy a few weeks ago, 10/1 EW on Sky and Fred, or 12/1 straight up on PP? DeAndre Hopkins – 10/1 – Skybet/Betfred – 1pt EW
Keenan Allen will be up there again this year, his main detraction coming into last season was his “injury prone” status, but they weren’t connected injuries, and he proved his health to me by playing the whole season and finishing in 3rd in yards, and given the fact I’ve recommended his QB to be top 3 in passing yards, logic dictates that Allen will be up there again this year. And I think he will. The season-ending injury to Hunter Henry frees up a few targets for Allen, the fact their offensive line should be stronger this year means a lot too. Rivers is a damn good QB, give him the time and he’ll find the man. At 14/1 on Skybet? I’ll add him to the portfolio – Keenan Allen – 14/1 – Skybet – 1pt EW
Adam Thielen? Made the top 5 last year. I don’t think he will this year. New QB Kirk Cousins isn’t the type of guy to lock in on one player, and has a lot of weapons in the Vikings offense. I also think they’ll get favourable field positions for a lot of the season, so there shouldn’t be a need to throw to one guy a lot. Even at 20/1 (Skybet/Fred) It’s not one I like.
That’s the top 5 done, who else – Well… I may have mentioned I’m a Bengals fan. It’s only been one pre-season game, BUT… The Bengals offense really excites me this year! If John Ross and Tyler Eifert are fit it really is an exciting collection of players and one that should open things up for AJ. He’s topped 1,000 yards in every year of his career (other than the year he played 10 games where he missed out by 36 yards) It is perfectly acceptable for him to finish top 3 this year. I won’t take it as I think I’m being biased, but if you fancied 20/1 EW you can find it at BetFred
T.Y. Hilton is one you need to look at this year at bigger odds. IF Andrew Luck is back fit, and he seems to be heading that way, then TY becomes a man of interest, he’s another who has topped 1,000 yards for the past 5 years (give or take 40 odd yards last year) He led the league in 2016 with Luck at QB. They still haven’t really addressed their defense which isn’t very good, have improved their offensive line though. So in theory, they will be conceding points and having to throw the ball. He may well be my third dart throw and given the fact that he’s as low as 14/1 win only I think 25s if OK – TY Hilton – 25/1 EW – Skybet – 1pt EW
I took Doug Baldwin at 80/1 over the summer. It was win only. Would I take him EW at 50s? Possibly. He’s practically the only target that Russell Wilson has in Seattle. BUT he’s already reporting injured and may miss the whole of the off-season with a knee injury. That’s not the kind of thing that just disappears unfortunately so I get the feeling he may be playing injured all year. However, at 50/1 EW? It’s not the 150/1 win only that was once on offer at Ladbrokes, but it’s not awful. Doug Baldwin – 50/1 EW – Betfred – 0.5pt EW
There’s not a whole much outside of these guys, Davante Adams at 40/1 EW at Redzone? It’s a good price, especially considering he’s at 16s in some places, but he’s not topped 1,000 yards in his career.
Stefon Diggs is a possible, you can get as high as 80/1 on him. If Cousins prefers him to Thielen he should get some of the ball, but as I said with Thielen, the main detraction may be the short fields.
Amari Cooper? Will he be peppered with targets in Grudens offense? Possibly, but I don’t trust him
Mike Evans? Nah. They’ve got a horrible schedule, and I don’t trust Fitzpartick or Jameis frankly.
Demaryius Thomas? I think he’ll be pretty much irrelevant come the end of the year, I don’t rate the Broncos much, and I certainly don’t rate him despite the positive change in QB.
In summary –
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- Antonio Brown – 7/2 – RedZoneSports – 4 points
- DeAndre Hopkins – 10/1 – Skybet/Betfred – 1pt EW
- Keenan Allen – 14/1 – Skybet – 1pt EW
- TY Hilton – 25/1 EW – Skybet – 1pt EW
- Doug Baldwin – 50/1 EW – Betfred – 0.5pt EW
Total – 11 points