Did you know that all a player needs to average is 63 yards a game, and they will eclipse the 1,000-yard threshold? It doesn’t seem like much and yet not everyone can accomplish this feat. Some players accomplish this mark year after year and some never will.
Last season there were 13 players that achieved at least 1,000yards receiving. Two of them were on the same team, so that means there were 20 teams last season without a 1,000-yard receiver; one of those teams was the 49ers. In fact, the 49ers have not had a 1,000-yard receiver since Anquan Boldin in 2014; but that is in the past and we’re looking ahead into 2018. Are they going to have a 1,000-yard receiver?
First, I had to decide who could reach the mark of 1,000 yards and I came up with 4 possibilities: Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor, and Dante Pettis.
First let’s talk about Garçon. His season was cut short in 2017 due to a neck injury that placed him on injured reserve, but prior to his injury he was on pace for exactly 1,000 yards. Garçon never had the opportunity to play with Jimmy Garoppolo last year, so I have no baseline for him with Garoppolo under center, and Garçon has eclipsed 1,000 yards only twice in his ten-year career; so, we cannot exactly call it an automatic thing. The first of those 1,000 receiving years, 2013, he was with the Washington Redskins, and his offensive coordinator was Kyle Shanahan.
I do think he will have his third 1,000-yard season in 2018, and the fact that he will be 32 before the start of the next season means nothing, in fact 42 times there has been receiversat least 32 years or olderwho has had at least 1,000 yards in a single season.
In fact, the last 49ers receiver to have 1,000 yards, Anquan Boldin, was 33. Steve Smith (35), Reggie Wayne (34), and Andre Johnson (32) all have had at least 1,000 yards receiving within the last 5 NFL seasons.
Unlike with Garçon I have a Garoppolo-to-Goodwin baseline that I can work with for this exercise. In the five games with Garoppolo under center, Goodwin caught 29 receptions on 43 targets, for 384 yards. Goodwin was close to 1,000 yards last season, he finished with 962, just 38 yards shy. But if we take the time he was with Garoppolo and calculate his numbers for an entire season, he would have 93 receptions on 137 targets for 1,228 yards.
But of course, the final games were without a true number one wide receiver like Garçon, and if you calculate the eight games Goodwin played with Garçon over a 16-game season, it would have been just shy of 700 yards.
If Goodwin doesn’t hit 1,000 yards in 2018, he’ll be very close. Kyle Shanahan said before Jimmy Garoppolo signed his big contract that he hadn’t even seen the whole playbook, he said last season he would tell Garoppolo memorize these plays by Sunday. If you take what Garoppolo did over the final games and calculate that over an entire season it would have been over 4900 yards, someone has to catch the ball right.
Trent Taylor, the fifth-round pick from Louisiana Tech last season, shined a few times last season, including converting on third down 18 times. It’s rare for rookies to have 1,000 in their first seasons, it has happened only ten times since 2002, so I’m not surprised he didn’t hit the mark last season, but he wasn’t even close. Taylor had just 43 receptions for 430 yards on 60 targets, I honestly do not expect him to come close to 1,000 yards this upcoming season.
As I said earlier, there have been only ten rookie wide receivers since 2002 to gain more than 1,000 yards. So, the deck is already stacked up against Dante Pettis, not to mention there is three other receivers ahead of him on the depth chart right now. Jay Moore of the 49ersHub broke down Pettis’ skill set in an article he wrote last month. I very much expect Dante Pettis to get 1,000 yards. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he becomes the heir apparent to Pierre Garçon, but in 2018, I do not see him as becoming the 11th player since 2002 to gain 1,000 yards in his rookie season.
Does it even matter?
Well yes and no, if you play fantasy football and have any of these receivers on your team then it matters a great deal to you. Since 2002, there have been 231 teams that have won at least nine games in a single season. Of those 231 teams, 94 of them were without a 1000-yard receiver; yards alone do not win games, scoring more points than your opponent does.
In that same time frame 103 times has a player had over 1,000 yards and yet have no more than seven wins. In fact, over the course of 32 games-two seasons-Calvin Johnson had 3,295 yards and managed only four wins, including a 0-16 season.
Again, yards alone do not win games, but scoring points does.
All stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com
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