The Lions’ Calvin Johnson
“Megatron,” like last year, set a new NFL single-season reception yardage record with 1,964 yards.
He led the league in receptions the previous two seasons with 122, and he now has 218 career regular-season catches.
He became the first player in history to accomplish both feats at the same time after eight straight games with at least 100 receiving yards and 10 catches.
Johnson has been the top wide receiver in fantasy points for the past two years in a row. He has averaged 157.2 targets per season over the last five seasons as of this year.
Johnson has averaged 10 touchdown catches over the last five years. He’s a rare and exceptional talent at the pinnacle of his abilities.
Bengals wide receiver AJ Green
Former University of Georgia standout AJ McCarron has quickly established himself as one of the NFL’s best receivers and offensive weapons.
He had 162 receptions for 2,407 yards and 18 touchdowns two seasons later. Green was the fourth-best fantasy WR scorer in 2012, moving up from 14th as a rookie.
He finished fourth in the league in touchdown catches, seventh in receptions, and tenth in receiving yards last season.
Green now has nine career 100-yard games after having nine straight games with at least one touchdown catch last year.
The numbers should improve as the young star approaches the pinnacle of his career.
Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears
Last season, Marshall was a high-volume target for the Bears, and that’s an understatement.
In terms of WR fantasy scoring, his 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns on 118 receptions were second only to Calvin Johnson’s.
Marshall accounted for 41.1 percent of the Bears’ catches and 45.7 percent of their receiving yards last season.
Marshall has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons and has caught more than 100 passes four times in his seven-year career.
Marshall has a great relationship with Jay Cutler, his former Denver Broncos teammate, and current Bears quarterback.
Marc Trestman, the team’s new offensive coordinator, is poised to revitalize the team’s stale passing attack.
Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos
Thomas’ third season was a flash in the pan, as he set career highs in nearly every statistical category.
He was among the top ten in the NFL in terms of receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown catches.
Only in his seven 100-yard games last season did Thomas’ receiving yardage fall below 77 yards.
Peyton Manning is likely to continue to rely heavily on the dynamic young wideout in the coming season, thanks to an instant connection between the two.
With Wes Welker in the slot, defenses will be forced to roll coverage toward Thomas.
Atlanta Falcons’ Julio Jones
Jones has undeniably high potential. He caught 133 passes for 2,157 yards and 18 touchdowns in his first two NFL seasons, for a total of 18 touchdowns.
It’s unusual to find a player of Jones’ stature and speed on the same team. At the age of 23, he finished ninth in WR fantasy scoring last year, and his potential appears to be limitless.
Jones has only caught two touchdown passes five times in his career, and he has nine 100-yard receiving games.
Opponents are discouraged from double-teaming Jones, who works with a top quarterback, thanks to Matt Ryan, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez.
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