The Houston Texans rode a first-time NFL head coach and a highly touted rookie quarterback to a surprising AFC South division title in the 2023-24 NFL season. But the team also got good value at another critical position.
Third-year pro Nico Collins and rookie Tank Dell were the two top wide receivers for the Texans, with 1,297 yards and 709 yards, respectively, though the air. Folks would have made a fair bit of money at Texas sports betting operators had they been able to put down prop wagers on Collins and Dell this season, not to mention quarterback CJ Stroud.
How good of a value were Dell and Collins leaguewide? To answer that, we used ProFootball-Reference.com to add up the combined receiving and rushing yards (not including return yardage) for each wide receiver in the 2023-24 NFL regular season. Then we checked their salary cap figures and calculated the cost per combined yard (rounded to the nearest dollar). That gave us this list of the 10 most value-driven wide receivers all season.
Best Value NFL WRs of 2023-24 Season
Two Texans Rank In Top Five For Value
Both Collins and Dell were in the top five in our WR dollar-per-yard calculations. This kind of analysis would not be available at Texas sportsbooks apps if they were legal and regulated; this chart was prepared exclusively for BetTexas.com.
Collins, a third-round selection out of Michigan in the 2021 NFL Draft, blossomed this year with 80 receptions (on 109 targets, a 73.4% rate) and eight touchdowns. Combined with his 7 rushing yards on one carry, he had 1,304 yards this season. With his salary cap hit of $1,328,595, that works out to $1,019 per yards, ranking him third on our list of receivers delivering the most value. Only rookie Puka Nacua of the Rams ($515 per yard) and Amon-Ra St. Brown of the Lions ($738) are higher on our list. St. Brown has helped Detroit reach Sunday’s NFC Championship Game; they’re 7-point underdogs against the San Francisco 49ers, according to ESPN BET Sportsbook odds.
Dell, a third-round pick out of the University of Houston in the 2023 draft, had 760 combined yards (709 receiving and 51 rushing) this season before breaking his left fibula in December. Dell missed the final five regular-season games plus both of Houston’s playoff contests. Still, his value of $1,251 per yard (based on a cap figure of $951,049) places him fifth on our list. Rashid Shaheed of the New Orleans Saints ($1,151 per yard) was fourth.
The production that the Texans got out of some very young players, especially on offense, was a major reason that they made the playoffs and advanced to the division round, one year after going 3-13-1. Dell and Collins were two key factors in leading that turnaround under first-year coach DeMeco Ryans. It’s small wonder that the Texans exceeded preseason win total odds (as did the Dallas Cowboys) for wagering.