Top 5 European League of Football WRs heading into Week 9

At the start of the preseason, I examined certain receivers that were expected to be a big impact on their teams for the European League of Football 2023 season. The sad reality of the league is that many have been injured, released, or simply not met expectations.  It’s only right at this part of the season to examine the top five at the position and review how they have been successful. There have been a fair few surprise stars this year it’s safe to say. Let’s get straight into it.

1. Markell Castle – Munich Ravens

Photo: Steve Bunkahle

Castle was not mentioned on the initial examination, this has proven to be a huge oversight. The Ravens receiver leads the league in yards and is the first to crack 1,000 this season. He’s had one game where he didn’t go over 100 yards and the magnum opus of his season is a 242-yard and four-touchdown performance in week 3 against the Guards. His elaborate routes and big play ability are the key to his success. His 94-yard catch is the longest of the season, but he’s also accumulated 60, 55 and 53-yard catches on individual occasions. As a volume catch player, he’s also exhibited solid hands, having a single game with less than a 70% catch rate and a 70.89% catch rate on the season. This becomes more impressive when he has had between 7 and 20 targets in his 7 games this season.

2. Tony Tate – Wroclaw Panthers

Photo: Lukasz Skwiot Fotografia Sportowa

Tate is 17th in the league for total catches, yet he leads in touchdowns and is currently 3rd in yards for all receivers. If that doesn’t speak to his deep threat and big play ability, what does? He has scored in all but one game this season and has four games in which he has scored multiple times. Tate holds tremendous value within the Panthers, and it could be argued that without his output they wouldn’t have been able to be the surprise contender that they’ve become. His catch rate % is a knock on his portfolio for the number one spot, at 55.93% it is the lowest in the top 8. Many variables can be in play for the catch rate, therefore, it shouldn’t be cause for concern. Tate has shown he is a reliable catcher with standout performances on the Enthroners, Lions and Sea Devils.

3. Jarvis McClam

Photo: Tirol Raiders.

The Raiders have recently released their quarterback, Christian Strong, and the domino effect of his decision led to the departure of McClam. Although technically a free agent at this point, it wouldn’t be a reputable list without the inclusion of the former Raider. In his 8 games, he ranks as 1st in catches, 2nd for yards and 4th for touchdowns. The run after the catch and extension of the plays is largely what has earned him these stats. Without even mentioning his feats as a return specialist, he has been a weapon on a variety of concepts. He doesn’t fit into the mold of a deep threat or a short-play extender because he has such a balanced set of skills, from his routes to his play speed, he remains consistently elite.

4. Jean Constant – Milano Seamen

Photo: Milano Seamen

Constant is a magnet for the ball, the definition of a value catcher. He leads in targets and has had standout games on the Guards and Surge, but his performance against the Galaxy was one for the record books as he accumulated 25 targets for 15 catches and 238 yards. He and Markell Castle have extreme similarities in their game. However, where Castle is a deep threat who takes the top off, Constant is a player who is a chain mover and a reliable target when in important situations. He hasn’t often scored this season, only having 3 on the year and is projected to have a career low in that category, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that he has done a lot of the heavy lifting in the Milano offense.

5. Anthony Mahoungou – Rhein Fire

Photo: Justin DerondeauThe lone European player on this top 5 list. Mahoungou hasn’t been mentioned as much as other receivers because of the many successful players on the Fire team. However, he is 5th for yards and tied 4th with McClam in touchdowns. The lengthy receiver hasn’t had the 200-yard performances of his peers, he hasn’t gotten above 150 in any of the games this season. He is, however, the picture of consistency. He has never been held below 58 yards and 5 catches in any game, there are very few DBs that have been able to deal with his catch radius and the capacity for the spectacular. Truly an underrated star.

Honorable Mentions

Many honorable mentions have to be talked about, given the competitive nature of the league, one performance can catapult a player into the top 5 at any point. Both the Berlin stars in Robin Wilzeck and Aaron Jackson have shared the stats between the two of them. Jackson has the slight edge given his touchdowns (11). Joshua Johnston and Theo Landström have been an excellent duo in Barcelona. Landström could claim to be a top 2 European receiver. Finally, Kyle Sweet (Paris Musketeers) and Reece Horn (Frankfurt Galaxy) deserve to be mentioned. Sweet has had a dip in form but is still elite and Horn hasn’t been able to be super consistent but has been gradually improving week by week.