Anyone in Detroit knows that Lions receiver Golden Tate is the “YAC King.” YAC, of course, is short for “yards after the catch” and king is not short for anything. He’s the king, y’all, and he’ll be the first to tell you:
Gamers will say it's fake. #YACKing pic.twitter.com/VZvpq450vm— Golden Tate (@ShowtimeTate) September 29, 2018
But Golden Tate doesn’t just talk the talk. He backs up his claims with superb play. In fact, over the past two years, no wide receiver has more YAC than Tate, and it’s not particularly close (stats via ESPN):
Golden Tate: 751 yards
Antonio Brown: 670
Tyreek HIll: 638
Adam Thielen: 636
Cooper Kupp: 628
But despite the clear statistical evidence, there is a challenger to Tate’s throne, and he’s not even on that list above.
Dolphins receiver Albert Wilson has taken claim of best YAC receiver in the league... according to himself.
Albert Wilson: "I'm the best YAC receiver in the league, for sure"https://t.co/W45NZrmlhn pic.twitter.com/dyztKsNk8v— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) October 16, 2018
To Wilson’s credit, he can certainly claim to be amongst the league’s best in creating yards after the catch. Just look what he did to the Bears last week.
The bubble screen works! I say again, the bubble screen works!!! pic.twitter.com/RQ3YSKCun1— Kevin Nogle (@thephinsider) October 14, 2018
OMG. ALBERT. WILSON.— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) October 14, 2018
» @NFLonFOX#CHIvsMIA #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/amIvd1PPkF
In total, Wilson had 136 yards after the catch on Sunday alone, pushing his total to 196 on the season—still 9 yards behind Golden Tate on the year (205), and Tate has played one fewer game.
Now, as the NFL.com article linked above points out, Wilson leads the league in YAC per reception (14.8). Tate leads the league in YAC, in part, because of the volume of passes he catches. In the past four seasons, Tate has ranked in the top 10 in receptions, grabbing at least 90 in each year. Only five receivers have more catches than Tate since 2014.
It’s obviously not Wilson’s fault that he isn’t getting the ball thrown to him more, but it’s hard to lay claim to the YAC King throne if you’re only catching three or four passes a game. Tate has proven to be effective even with a huge workload. Would Wilson be as efficient if he saw as many targets as Tate? It’s hard to know.
To be clear, Wilson isn’t calling out Tate with his claims, he doesn’t even address Tate. He’s simply just talking himself up. However, the two will face off against each other this upcoming Sunday. Just be warned, Wilson. You come at the YAC King, you best not miss.