10 Wide Receivers Who Thrived in Bad Situations Last Year

Anquan Boldin rarely gets the love he deserves in real and fantasy football.

Not every wide receiver is fortunate enough to play with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. And while some wideouts can make noise in not-so-great situations, there's no doubt that it's more difficult to be efficient with someone like Blake Bortles than, say, Drew Brees.

It's tougher for wide receivers in poor offenses to be truly efficient and productive. That's not really debatable. But when you have a successful wide receiver in a bad passing offense? That's when you know he's got something going for him.

The table below shows the top 10 wide receivers last year who were on bottom-half passing offenses -- in terms of schedule-adjusted Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) -- with 50 or more catches, sorted by Reception NEP per target. This per-target metric measures the number of expected points a player adds on catches only, and divides by the number of targets that same player sees. It's a way to gauge efficiency.

Big-play receivers can often benefit within this metric, but there are still some surprises in the table below.

RankPlayerReception NEP per Target
1DeSean Jackson0.94
2Odell Beckham0.91
3Mike Evans0.82
4Eric Decker0.78
5Greg Jennings0.76
6DeAndre Hopkins0.76
7Anquan Boldin0.73
8Alshon Jeffery0.73
9Dwayne Bowe0.72
10AJ Green0.69

Two receivers on the list above changed teams this offseason: Greg Jennings and Dwayne Bowe. Jennings' moved into a less favorable spot given wide receiver competition, while Bowe will see volume, but more than likely drop in efficiency given his new quarterback.

The two takeaways in this chart that I think are important for fantasy owners: Anquan Boldin and Eric Decker. Both are being drafted in the 10th round according to, and each of them finished strong in PPR leagues last year -- Boldin was 18th, while Decker was 26th.

Some may be turned off by Decker, but the presence of Brandon Marshall may not be all that bad for him. And given the fact that last year was easily the worst one in quarterback Colin Kaepernick's career, some regression could be ahead of the 49ers passing game, especially with field-stretcher Torrey Smith.