CFL Insights: Catching some Z’s

CFL

TORONTO — Brandon Zylstra has been the CFL’s best receiver the last calendar year, at least statistically speaking — and it’s not even particularly close.

In 18 games since joining the Eskimos’ lineup, the 24-year-old has recorded 1,843 yards — a whopping average of 102.4 yards per game — while this year ranking second in the league with 1,335 receiving yards.

The super sophomore is coming off the best game of his career, becoming the third player this season to go over 200 yards on a rainy Thanksgiving Day in Montreal:

With the 200-yard effort, Zylstra became one of six active players to achieve the accomplishment, joining Nick Moore, Greg Ellingson, S.J. Green, Bryan Burnham and Andy Fantuz.

Next, Zylstra looks to become the 21st player to go over 200 yards in a game multiple times in a career. Ten players have done it three or more times, including current Edmonton teammate Adarius Bowman (3) and all-time leader Brian Kelly, a former Eskimo who had six 200-plus yard games in his career.

Zylstra likely has more big performances in his future, but his trademark has been his consistency. In 12 games this season, he’s gone over 100 yards eight times. Meanwhile, Zylstra’s 102.4-yard average is among the best ever over an 18-game stretch.

If you isolate Zylstra’s 2017 season, in which he’s averaged 111.3 yards per game, his single-season production currently ranks sixth all-time:

PLAYER

TEAM

YEAR

AVG

YARDS

GAMES

Hal Patterson

MTL

1956

147.2

1,914

13

Terry Greer

TOR

1983

125.2

2,003

16

Brian Kelly

EDM

1983

113.3

1,812

16

Allen Pitts

CGY

1994

113.1

2,036

18

Al Pfeifer

TOR

1955

111.8

1,342

12

Brandon Zylstra

EDM

2017

111.3

1,335

12

Derrell Mitchell

TOR

1998

111.1

2,000

18

 

Is 102.4 yards per game sustainable in a career? Maybe not, but either way, Zylstra should be one to watch for the long-time coming.

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