Jakobi Meyers Breakout? How Patriots Receiver Could Be Profitable

Meyers led the Patriots in most receiving categories last season


Aug 15, 2022

It’s easy to be bearish about the New England Patriots offense entering the 2022 season, but that doesn’t mean certain individuals still can’t flourish.

There are question marks abound regarding the new-look offense in Foxboro. Optimism isn’t exactly high through the first few weeks of training camp, and the growing uncertainty is legitimately warranted.

And while we’re unsure what we’ll see out of an offense led by Bill Belichick, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, we can acknowledge the Patriots’ offense isn’t devoid of weapons. Mac Jones impressed in his rookie season, and New England does have capable pass-catchers in addition to a solid stable of running backs.

The most dependable skill position player might be receiver Jakobi Meyers.

After going undrafted in 2019, Meyers has improved in each of his three seasons. Jones targeted him 126 times last season, and Meyers hauled in 83 of those passes for 866 yards while also scoring the first two touchdowns of his career.

He figures to once again be a vital piece of the Patriots offense in 2022, regardless of what it looks like, and ESPN.com’s Bill Barnwell included Meyers among his 25 breakout candidates for the upcoming season. Barnwell tiered the list and included Meyers in the third tier, which he dubbed “Solid Starter to Pro Bowler,” a group “for every-down players who are either underappreciated or still developing into impact players at the professional level.”

Despite the Patriots’ heavy investment in its receivers and tight ends, Barnwell notes “they somehow end up relying more and more on their slot target (Meyers).”

Barnwell even compared Meyers to Hunter Renfrow, the Las Vegas Raiders’ blossoming star slot receiver, though it will require some improvement from Meyers (regular season only).

“To follow in Hunter Renfrow’s footsteps to go from being a good slot receiver to a great wide receiver,” Barnwell writes, “(Meyers) must do more in key situations. Renfrow added more after the catch to get 2.0 yards per route run and became a red-zone star, where he scored nine times.”

Meyers might not become Renfrow this season, but making even more of his ample touches might make him not just a worthwhile fantasy stalwart but also someone worth dabbling in the props market.

Here are the latest season-long props for Meyers at DraftKings Sportsbook:

Receiving yards
Over 750.5 (-110)
Under 750.5 (-120)

Regular-season touchdowns
Under 3.5 (-190)
Over 3.5 (+150)

Under 65.5 (-115)
Over 65.5 (-115)

It’s certainly noteworthy that the current market does forecast some negative regression for Meyers. Not only did he blow by that 65.5 reception total last season, but he would also have almost certainly eclipsed it in 2020 when he caught 59 passes (73% of his 81 targets) in just 14 games. Same could be said for the receiving yards where he was 100 yards greater a year ago and just missed in ’20.

So, what gives? There’s probably greater competition for targets this season. New England traded for DeVante Parker and used a top-50 draft pick on speedy wideout Tyquan Thornton. But as Barnwell noted, those two serve different roles in the offense, so it might not affect Meyers too much. A total recommitment to the run game could hurt him, too, though given the issues with the zone-blocking scheme thus far, maybe that’s not the certainty it once seemed.

Improved efficiency, as Barnwell noted, could be a huge key to further success for Meyers. Where Renfrow averaged 1.94 yards per route run (27th among receivers and tight ends with at least 25 targets), Meyers ranked 59th at 1.62.

The most tempting number might be the over on touchdowns, especially at +150. Granted, getting to four touchdowns would require Meyers to double his career total. But Jones targeted him 13 times in the red zone in 2021, which was more than he saw in his first two seasons combined. The duo clearly has chemistry and another year together should strengthen that bond … especially if things go haywire and Jones has to further rely on the guy he trusts the most.

So, while the Patriots might not light up the scoreboard with great frequency this season, there’s a clear path to profitability with Meyers.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images

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