<
>
Get ESPN+

Predicting NFL stat leaders in 2018: Top passers, rushers, receivers

play
Berry has no issue taking Gronk in mid-to-late 2nd round (1:45)

With Rob Gronkowski being healthy heading into Week 1, Matthew Berry offers his fantasy outlook for the Patriots' All-Pro tight end. (1:45)

We asked three of our NFL Insiders to predict the 2018 stat leaders in 23 categories and explain their picks in depth. Then we had an anonymous NFL executive give his picks for every category.

Here are their projections for the top passer, rusher, receiver and more this season.


Which QB will have the most passing yards?

Matt Bowen, NFL writer: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers. Rivers topped the 4,500-yard mark in '17 and has thrown for more than 4,200 yards in each of the past five seasons. With his aggressive style in the pocket, and a wide receiver corps led by the clean route running of Keenan Allen, look for Rivers to edge out Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford for the passing crown this season.

Mike Sando, senior NFL writer: Brady, New England Patriots. Rivers was a tempting choice as well. However, the Patriots' defense isn't as good as the Chargers' defense, which could force Brady to throw the ball a little more than Rivers throws it in an effort to outscore opponents.

Field Yates, NFL Insider: Brady. The Patriots' pass-catching group has a different mix to it this year, but is still filled with run-after-catch athletes. Look for Brady to surpass 4,500 yards.

Anonymous NFL exec: Rivers.

Which QB will have the most touchdown passes?

Bowen: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers. In his past three full seasons, Rodgers has racked up 109 touchdown passes. And that meshes with Mike McCarthy's playbook when Green Bay moves the ball into the deep red zone. Quick passing and rub routes. Plus, Rodgers' ability to create off-scheduled plays in scoring position is unmatched.

Sando: Rodgers. He had 40 in his last full season (2017) and should be back in similar form following his injury.

Yates: Rodgers. In his past five full seasons, Rodgers has thrown 40, 31, 38, 39 and 45 scores. Provided he's on the field, no quarterback has a greater propensity for touchdown throws.

Anonymous NFL exec: Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles.

Which QB will throw the most interceptions?

Bowen: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens. I'll go with Flacco because of the numbers. In his past five seasons, Flacco has thrown a total of 74 interceptions. And his career low for a season is 10.

Sando: Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans. He put the ball in harm's way quite a bit last season. If he does that again and plays a full season, he could throw 20 picks (and even more TDs).

Yates: Eli Manning, New York Giants. He threw 13 last season, continuing a streak of at least 10 picks for the 13th straight season. Between his interception rate in the past and the fact that he's not a threat to be benched by his team (others considered for this pick might not be 16-game starters), Manning could lead the league in this category in 2018.

Anonymous NFL exec: Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills.