The Alien Cometh

“Even if the aliens are short, dour, and sexually obsessed—if they’re here, I want to know about them.”

― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

 

The Alien Cometh

I wanted to do this article because I recently did a PPR experts draft with the guys from Pyromaniacs. I was picking from the 2 hole and like a good boy I did what I was supposed to, and took whoever was left between Bell and Johnson, I got Johnson. When it came back to me at 23 and 26 I took the next 2 receivers, Baldwin and D. Thomas. Both were 90 plus catch guys and clear #1 WRs. I go into any draft with targets I like and one target I am very interested in this year is Martavis Bryant. I knew his ADP was 4th round and my plan was to take him if he was there when my spot came back. Instead he went 3rd round I was a little shocked until I realized if you are picking in the 11 hole you better take him there or you won’t get him.

I have heard all the reports this offseason. He looks great, he has added 15 lbs. of muscle, he catches everything, he caught a bird that flew to close, yada yada yada. That is all well and good but part of me has a hard time believing he should be that high in the first place. I mean after all he is still the #2 option in Pittsburg, behind the best WR in the game today. How much is there for him to get?

I started my stat look up for teams that supported (2) 1,000-yard receivers. I found just 4 for 2016 they are Denver, New Orleans, Oakland, and Washington. The four #2 guys averaged 74 receptions. The number 1 guy was Michael Thomas with 83. My premise going in was how much production can Bryant get on, being generous, 85 catches. I went back to his 2015 numbers and found he had 15.3 per catch and .12 TDs per catch. If he maintained that number over the season he would finish with 1300 and 10. Those numbers would put him 5th in yards behind Evans and 6th in TD’s behind Beckham. Can he get 85 receptions this season? I am not sure; the below table is a breakdown of the Steelers receptions for 2016.

Antonio Brown 106 1284 12
Le’Veon Bell 75 616 2
Eli Rogers 48 594 3
Sammie Coates 21 435 2
Jesse James 39 338 3
Ladarius Green 18 304 1
Cobi Hamilton 17 234 2
DeAngelo Williams 18 118 2
Xavier Grimble 11 118 2
Darrius Heyward-Bey 6 114 2
DeMarcus Ayers 6 53 1
Markus Wheaton 4 51 1
Fitzgerald Toussaint 3 33 0

With what they already had they also add Trojan stand out JuJu Smith-Shuster, a big body strong player who has drawn comparison to Anquan Boldan. I could see him eating into Coates and Rogers numbers for sure. If we figure the overall catches go up say 10% to 409 for the team. I am giving the following breakdown.

Antonio Brown 105
Martavis Bryant 80
Le’Veon Bell 60
Eli Rogers 25
JuJu Smith Schuster 25
Sammie Coates 8
Cobi Hamilton 5
DeMarcus Ayers 5
Justin Hunter 5
Darrius Heyward-Bey 5
Jesse James 40
Xavier Grimble 15
James Conner 15

 

That is 393 and you figure maybe 15 or 16 misc. to go to unknown. Ok so that is 80 for Bryant with that number then he ends with 1,224 and 9. Just behind Nelson in yards and Beckham in TD’s. The possibilities are crazy. A guy with this much talent could be huge. He could also be a big bust.

While we sing Glory to the Alien and bow before his greatness let us remember one thing. He is coming back from an entire year on the pine for something that was incredibly dumb. He was busted for multiple violations of the NFL drug policy. Anyone who knows what the policy is and still can’t seem to get away from it clearly has an issue greater than Football.

Weather agree with the policy or not is irrelevant. If your employee tells you to wear a blue shirt or mandates the length of your hair your hair, you better do it. My issue is not the legalization of it. Personally, I believe it should be, however, a rule is a rule and to ignore it and jeopardize a million-dollar career. Is at its core one of the single dumbest things you can do.

I do expect a big year from Bryant. I think there is a better than average chance that he could get WR1 numbers but if you can get him as your 2 all the better. If the Alien can stay away from the Chronic he and Brown could put together a record setting year for a duo.

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