There were a number of huge performances in the NFL in 2014. As we get ready for the upcoming season, let’s take a look back at the top performances of the 2014 season. Here are the top 5 fantasy football games by wide receivers in 2014.
Also, be sure to check out the other positions in this series:
5. DeAndre Hopkins – Houston Texans – Week 13 vs. Titans
I wrote up Ryan Fitzpatrick as having a top 5 Fantasy Football performance in week 13, so it is only fair to mention his primary recipient- beneficiary that week. Nuk caught two of Fitzpatrick’s six touchdown passes en route to a day where he had 9 receptions for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Hopkins also caught all nine targets thrown in his direction. Heading into the season Hopkins was playing second fiddle to the great Andre Johnson, but this game made it clear to football fans who was going to be the #1 wide receiver in Houston for years to come. The second year pro gave fantasy owners in season long leagues a boost heading into the playoffs if a win was needed in week 13.
4. Julio Jones – Atlanta falcons – Week 14 vs. Packers
Week 14 Julio Jones looked like a cross between a young Willie Mays and Terrell Owens plucking 11 receptions for 259 yards and a touchdown out of the sky. The Packers secondary looked like Swiss cheese as Jones sat in zone coverage and did whatever he wanted. It was the best receiving day ever against the Packers, a record set by Calvin Johnson (244 yards) week 17 of 2011. Had Jones not suffered a hip injury in the second half of this game, he could have probably amassed 300 yards. Statistically it was the second best individual performance by a wide receiver in 2014. He was tackled near the goal line on a potential second touchdown of the game which would have put him higher on my top performances list.
3. Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles – Week 8 vs. Cardinals
Patrick Peterson is an over rated and over paid NFL cover corner back. Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, Jeremy Maclin, to name a few, made him look like the best version of me on several occasions in 2014. Week 8 Jeremy Maclin had 12 receptions for 187 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. There were many outstanding individual performances by wide receivers in 2014 and this was among the top five. Maclin left the game temporarily with a head injury but returned shortly after. T.Y Hilton, A.J. Green, and Dez Bryant all receive honorable mention for similar performances in 2014. Maclin generated forty two Fantasy points which ranked third among wide receivers in 2014.
2. Demaryius Thomas – Denver Broncos – Week 5 vs. Cardinals
D-Thomas set a Broncos team-record Week 5 at home against the Arizona Cardinals. Thomas had 226 yards and two touchdowns, which broke Shannon Sharpe’s previous record of 214 yards that was set against the Chiefs in 2002. Peyton Manning carved the Arizona Cardinal secondary finishing the day with 479 yards and four touchdown passes. Thomas’s touchdowns came by way of the big play resulting in 31 and 86 yard touchdowns. He showed his yards after the catch skills were still intact after a slow start to the season. By Fantasy Football numbers this game for Thomas was among the top-three individual games by a wide out in 2014.
1. Odell Beckham – New York Giants – Week 15 vs. Redskins
As Americans we want flash, we want glitter and glitz, and we also want one handed circus catches on Sunday’s while couching it. Odell Beckham gave us that and much more. The Giants drafted him at pick 20 and they got the result they wanted. It is said that Beckham’s rookie year was the best by a wide receiver since Randy Moss’s in 1998. Personally I want to see a full season and a larger sample size. Week 15 he had 12 receptions, 143 yards, and three touchdowns coming in as the best performance by a wide out all season. It was also the second most receptions by a Giants wide receiver in the organization’s history. The Redskins secondary was hopeless as he did whatever he wanted even when they did decide to cover him. Beckham set the bar so high in 2014 we might need to temper expectations just a little in 2015.