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Odell Beckham Jr. total receiving yards and touchdowns during 2017-18 NFL regular season

NFL Lines Online

Without a doubt Odell Beckham Jr. makes the New York Giants offense better. But given the antics the fourth-year player has displayed, some might wonder if his production is worth the headache. There was the infamous boat party before last season’s playoff flameout. Now there is talk of a new contract with two years left on his rookie deal. How Beckham handles the situation heading into 2017 will have a lot to do with whether or not he’s able to put up huge numbers once again.

Odell Beckham Jr. total receiving touchdowns during 2017-18 NFL regular season

Over 12 (-105)

Under 12 (-125)

Odell Beckham Jr. total receiving yards during 2017-18 NFL regular season

Over 1,350 (-120)

Under 1,350 (-110)

The Giants offense wasn’t very good last season, which makes the season Beckham turned in all the more amazing. OBJ was one of only three receivers to have over 100 catches last season, placing third in the NFL behind Larry Fitzgerald and Antonio Brown with 101. He also ranked third with 1,367 receiving yards and was fifth with 10 touchdown receptions.

With the lack of a running game, the Giants were forced to throw and Beckham was the No. 1 target of Eli Manning, doubling the yardage total of the team’s second-leading receiver Sterling Shepard. Beckham made a name for himself with circus-style catches and he has the numbers to back up his performance. But we saw his yards per reception in 2016 decrease by a yard-and-a-half from the previous year and his yards after catch were also down.

Key Factor

Beckham was the only option for Manning last season and he was targeted 169 times, the most in OBJ’s career and the second-highest total in the league last season. The Giants averaged fewer than 90 yards per game on the ground and had to resort to the forward pass in an attempt to keep the chains moving.

Entering 2017 the Giants will have a new look on offense. Draft picks from the previous year are expected to have more of an impact. Paul Perkins has emerged as the lead back, Shane Vereen is back after an injury-plagued 2016 and the G-Men drafted Clemson’s Wayne Gallman. The backfield should be much stronger, and if it is Manning will not chuck the ball 600 times.

The Giants also upgraded the tight end spot by signing Rhett Ellison and drafting Evan Engram with their first pick. That was another weak spot last season and those guys should get some passes their way, further limiting OBJ’s touches. The biggest factor, though, is the addition of Brandon Marshall to work alongside Beckham. The trickle-down effect will only help the receiving corps with Shepard in more of a complementary role.

NFL Free Picks

Beckham has had over 90 catches and 1,300 yards in each of his first three seasons, but he’s entering 2017 with a cloud hanging over him. He was a non-factor in the Giants playoff loss to Green Bay and dropped a potential touchdown pass in the game. Many blamed his lack of production on the boat party he and several teammates took part in just days before that game.

We can’t definitively say the two are related, but it looks bad. And perception is everything. Now, Beckham wants his rookie contract renegotiated and missed offseason OTAs in what the media is calling a mini-boycott. It’s obvious OBJ’s priorities are elsewhere and that can only be a detriment to the team. Of course everything can change by the time training camp rolls around, but it’s hard to imagine Beckham thinking of something other than Beckham.

OBJ is a gifted athlete and it’s easy to see him reaching the over in both receiving yards and touchdown catches given how low the totals in both categories appear to be. He eclipsed 1,350 yards in each of the past two seasons and had double-digit touchdown totals in all three seasons with a high of 13 in 2015. He will get his share of targets as the No. 1 option, but the Giants are looking to diversify their attack.

There is more of an emphasis on improving the run game and getting tight ends more involved in the passing game. Manning tossed 16 interceptions last season, his most in three years, and his busiest seasons in terms of pass attempts have been in the last three, and he isn’t getting any younger. OBJ is still very much an integral part of the offense and if he enters the season determined to be a team player, the over in both categories is attainable. But I don’t think that happens.

NFL Prediction: Odell Beckham Jr. UNDER 12 total receiving touchdowns
NFL Prediction: Odell Beckham Jr. UNDER 1,350 total receiving yards