By Marc Lande
Background: This writer’s guess: many-a-stat geeks (in an endearing way to stat geeks everywhere) know the best targets to receptions percentages all-time for receivers and each season. This writer does not know or has any desire to get that complex with numbers.
Numbers can prove almost anything…the number to know for today’s NFL, 2020: the New England Patriots, 6, most championships this century and 2003-2004 (no team has repeat as NFL champions since the New England Patriots,, 2003-2004). Without researching NFL Next generation stats, a great target to reception percentage must be at least at 75%.
The Best Hands (last decade):
Last decade, this writer’s favorite set of hands went to all decade receiver, Antonio Brown. Actually, give me one game and my favorite duo was a young Pittsburgh Steeler Ben Roethlisberger to a young Pittsburgh Steeler Antonio Brown connection.
During the height of their teamed sync-ness the MNF dissection of WFT this writer attended as a fan to start the 2016 season at Fed Ex Field where every last fan in the stadium saw beauty and grace and a GOAT performance in Brown and sort of cemented everything that is wrong with the culture and environment out there.
One of the 1st times this writer has noticed there definitely were more visiting fans in the lower bowl than WFT fans, Brown put on one of the great performances this writer has ever seen in a stadium.
The day WFT Art Monk broke the then all-time single season reception mark in 1986 (and later created a new standard for the NFL at 106), LA Raider Cliff Branch taking a Jim Plunkett pass 99 yards against the 1983 WFT 14-2 squad.
Philadelphia Eagles Mike Quick and Harold Carmichael putting on dominant performances or even Michael Irvin dissecting Darrell Green in crunch time, Brown’s game ranks up there as a GOAT performance any receiver this writer has witnessed: 8 receptions (11 targets), 126 yds, 2 tds.
Brown, in the previous season, set a standard of greatness for the any receiver in today’s pass happy game with 136 receptions on 193 targets, 1834 yards, 10 tds, and 13.5 average yards. GOATs like Tom Brady and coaches like KCC Andy Reid look for such a set of hands: best in the game!
Best hands NFL, 2020 (Marc’s favorites, unscientific):
De Andre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals 2020 stats: 67 rec. (88 targets) 861 yards, 4 tds, 12.9 average.
Brian Mitchell today on his show (yes, fans, please continue to pick the athletes and former athletes minds for knowledge on super human stuff on the field) describing Hopkins as an incredible ball hawk praising the hail mary catch of Kyler Murray’s as extraordinary.
Mitchell verbatim described Hopkins as being one of the receivers who is able to be “going one direction while reaching out and pick the ball from another direction.”
Odell Beckham, Cleveland Browns (currently IR), WR
This writer wonder if Beckham is hype and being on IR pray for a full recovery…but like many in the WFT NYG rival, Beckham did have his days against our squad. When I think of a one-handed catch, this writer thinks of Odell.
Supposedly, Odell practices one handed catching from his days in college. Like a new dance move or the beginning of break dance, Beckham is helping to bring in a new style of catching which is less and less rare in today’s NFL.
Sims are you working on your right!
These 2 are sure fire—modern day Art Monks especially when you need 10 yards!
Mike Thomas, New Orleans Saints, WR—Thomas holds the record for receptions in an NFL season with 149 set in 2019. Adios, 2010s.
Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, WR 40 receptions, 63 targets 514 yards, 12.9 avg, 8 tds.
Evans is the closes thing to ‘the pro-typical’ possession receiver in the NFL. Putting speedsters opposite a receiver with sure hands is an excellent choice in the NFL. This writer loves watching when Evans takes over in a game: unstoppable.
Zach Ertz, Philadelphia Eagles, TE (currently IR, week 7) 24 receptions, 45 targets, 178 yards, 7.4 average, 1 td—Ertz looked like Ditka this past decade against WFT. New decade though as WFT shut him down week 1, 2020. How many plays did WFT let the Eagles best target run free this past decade, way too many.
Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs, TE 58 receptions, 80 targets, 769 yards, 13.3 avg., 8 tds—Kelce is another player that has a knack for the ball in key moments. A great player in a great coached system, Reid has been an offensive wizards for decades.
Mark Andrews, Baltimore Ravens, TE…33 receptions, 53 targets, 358 yards, 10.8 avg, 5 tds—This writer was quite unfamiliar with Andrews before the Ravens onslaught of WFT early this year. Sorry, this writer stopped playing fantasy football around Y2K.
Greg Kittle, San Francisco 49ers, TE 37 reception, 49 targets, 474 yards, 12.8 avg, 2 td—The highest paid tight end (from March 5th, 2020) signing a $75 million dollar extension; hopefully, Logan Thomas will be signing one like that one day.
Unstoppable, game plan for 9 reception, 100 yards and a td when WFT plays the 49ers. It is not a matter of stopping Kittle it is a matter of stopping their other options and containing.
WFT best hands, unscientific. Terry McLaurin, Antonio Gibson and Logan Thomas.
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