Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes; Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes; and of course bold predictions from Fantasy Football writers—these are a few of my favorite things.
So I asked the SCFE staff to provide me one or two of their bold predictions, but I installed two guidelines.
Our writers had to first say why it was bold, but I didn’t want “Alex Smith is going to throw 70 touchdowns” impossible predictions either, so they also had to say why it was going to happen.
Below are their responses, which I’ve listed in my view of ascending order of boldness.
So let’s see what they had to say.
Bold Prediction: C.J. Anderson will be the best RB in PPR leagues this season.
Why it is bold: Anderson has an ADP of 6.3 in PPR leagues and only has 186 career rushing attempts.
Why it will happen: The Broncos have a new regime that likes to run. They want to use a bell cow back to accomplish this goal. Peyton Manning is on the decline, Julius Thomas is gone and Denver has a very favorable run schedule this season. In my latest article, I discussed the top ranked RBs (PPR) in 2014, and Anderson ranked 10th with limited opportunities.
Bold Prediction: Teddy Bridgewater will finish the season as a Top 10 Quarterback in 2015.
Why it is bold: Bridgewater’s ADP is 16.5 and is set to begin his second season in the league. Let’s not forget that he has not played with Mike Wallace and Adrian Peterson during the regular season.
Why it will happen: Teddy WAS already a Top 10 Quarterback in the last month of 2014. He also completes passes at a very high rate under pressure, in fact he was in the Top Three of the league in this category. I should mention he was under pressure A LOT! With poise in the pocket, new weapons and (fingers crossed) a healthy Kyle Rudolph, Teddy’s second season with Norv Turner could be special!
Bold Prediction: Le’Veon Bell will be an average Fantasy starter — or worse.
Why It Is Bold: Some are already taking him with the No. 1 overall pick.
Why It Will Happen: The Steelers offensive line is pretty good, but with Maurkice Pouncey hurt, they fall to below average. Just like how everyone overreacted to Bell’s 3.5 yards per carry in 2013, they’re overreacting to his breakout 2014. He is suspended for the first two games of the season, which rarely works out well (except for Josh Gordon a couple years ago), and DeAngelo Williams will work better as his backup than anyone the Steelers had in 2014, which means more rest for Bell.
Bold Prediction: Chris Polk is the guy to have in Houston, not Alfred Blue.
Why it is Bold: He’s buried on the depth chart behind “D” Tease Alfred Blue.
Why it will happen: While Arian Foster is on the mend, someone has to step-up. Bill O’Brien has publicly said that this rushing attack is worse than an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. (Yes, I’m paraphrasing.) While, it is only Preseason, Polk has had more attempts, in fact he had almost twice as many. In 2014 he averaged 3.7 yards a clip with Philadelphia, compared to Blue’s 3.1. Polk can score from anywhere, making him much more of a dual threat than Blue.
Bold Prediction: Tevin Coleman will finish as a Top 12 RB in PPR formats.
Why it’s bold: He has an ADP of 31.8.
Why it will happen: The Atlanta offense will be explosive this season, especially with the addition of All-Pro Andy Levitre on the offensive line. Coleman will beat out Devonta Freeman to get 15-20 touches a game, including 4-5 catches. Coleman has big play ability and the Falcons’ schedule is full of bad defenses prone to giving up the big play.
Bold Prediction: The Top Two players in Fantasy (in relative value to their position) will be Antonio Brown and Demaryius Thomas, regardless of standard or PPR format.
Why it’s bold: Running backs have ruled this category for years.
Why it will happen: The running back group is deceivingly deep this season, with 28 solid starting options. The top level of elite receivers is so much more consistent and productive that they will far and away out reach their running back brethren. I would rather have one of these two WRs than any top running back.
Bold Prediction: Owen Daniels will end the season as a Top Five Fantasy tight end.
Why it is Bold: Daniels is currently being drafted as the 14th tight end (per FantasyPros). He’s never had more than six touchdowns in a year and his best season in terms of yards and receptions was 2008, where he had 70 receptions for 862 yards.
Why it will happen: Peyton Manning loves tight ends in the red zone. He and Julius Thomas connected for 12 scores over each of the past two years. Daniels won’t have a ton of receptions or a ton of yards, but the touchdowns will be there. Back working with Gary Kubiak, you can bet Daniels will be an integral part of the red zone attack. I actually wrote about this early in the pre-season and I’m sticking by it now.
Bold Prediction: Odell Beckham Jr. will not finish in the Top 20 of wide receivers in scoring.
Why it is Bold: He won many their league last year and is widely seen as a first or second round pick.
Why it will happen: Beckham has a history of hamstring issues and has already been dealing with “minor” issues in the preseason again this year. After a highlight reel season in which he won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, he is already at his ceiling entering his second year. ODB is also on the cover of Madden this year which pretty much seals his fate. While it would be great to see him duplicate last year’s performance, I think there is significant injury risk here. If he misses time he could fail to perform at the level you paid for on draft day.
Bold Prediction: Rueben Randle will finish with more Fantasy points than Odell Beckham Jr.
Why it is Bold: Odell Beckham Jr. is a first or second-round pick while Randle is selected near the end of most drafts.
Why it will Happen: I thought it was really weird when Ben Roethlisberger said Markus Wheaton would have a breakout season. Martavis Bryant has blazing speed, spent the offseason training in MMA, running in sand and reportedly added about 10-pounds of muscle. Then Bryant got hit with his suspension, which made Big Ben’s comments make sense. Why is this interesting to note?
Eli Manning stated he believes Randle will have a breakout season this year. While there aren’t any receivers on the Giants facing suspensions, it stood out that Manning picked Randle to breakout and not say he expected Beckham Jr. to somehow improve upon his numbers from last season. Victor Cruz’s effort to return to action is very commendable, but it’s hard to imagine the 28-year old receiver could still have the same kind of impact he did in his 2011-2012 season. I thought Larry Donnell was going to be in for a big year, but he is struggling with injuries of his own and reportedly hasn’t improved his blocking skills (which is why his production took a big hit as the 2014 season went on).
While Beckham should have a bright future in the league, it’s difficult to imagine he could improve on his numbers from last season. He averaged 7.58 receptions per game last season, which will be difficult to improve upon or even repeat. Since Beckham Jr. will be heavily shadowed, Randle is going to soak up a ton of targets. Randle finished the last two games of the 2014 season with a total of 12 receptions and 290 yards and put up 930 receiving yards for the year. He only scored three touchdowns, but he’s a decent target at 6-foot-2, 208 pounds. I also love the fact that Randle is just 24, and statistically speaking, wide receivers normally put up their best numbers between ages 26-28. He hasn’t even hit his prime.
Bold Prediction: I was tempted to say Justin Hardy does an Odell Beckham Jr. impersonation, but I already highlighted him in my deep sleeper piece. But I’ll continue to go deep and say Brock Osweiler will be a viable Fantasy starter this year.
Why it is Bold: He’s had 30 total passing attempts over the last 3 years. And because the starter is a guy known as Peyton Manning.
Why it will happen: The offensive line is a shadow of its former self with Ryan Clady out for the season, which means the not-so-mobile and nearly AARP-eligible Manning is in trouble. With Manning on the sidelines, Osweiler steps in and with two quality receivers in Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas at this disposal, he’s able to put up multiple passing TDs week after week.
Bold Prediction: Colin Kaepernick will finish among the Top 10 QBs this year.
Why it is bold: Kaepernick is rarely even being picked within the Top 15 QBs, often going in the 16-18 range.
Why it will happen: The 49ers will be a bad team this year, mostly due to their defense. The team had a horrible offseason to say the least, but it was entirely on the defensive side of the football. They actually upgraded the passing options for Kaepernick with their additions of deep threat Torrey Smith and pass catching back Reggie Bush. Volume will be his friend as the Niners will often be trailing, forcing Kaep to chuck the pigskin often. A season of 3,500 passing yards with 20 TDs, 10 INTs, along with 600 yards on the ground and four rushing TDs is not unreasonable. That would have placed him in the Top 10 last year.
Bold Prediction: James Jones will outperform Davante Adams.
Why it is Bold: Adams has suddenly sky rocketed to a mid-3rd round ADP while James Jones has, obviously, gone undrafted prior to Sunday’s signing.
Why it will happen: Jones and Rodgers already have a rapport and Jones has proven to be a top end red zone target in Green Bay’s offense. Despite essentially falling off the face of the Earth since his 14 touchdown performance in 2012, Jones only actually left Green Bay for one season, and caught 73 passes for Oakland last year.
Adams, meanwhile, has yet to prove anything in the NFL, and instead of “earning” his current role, he was essentially thrust into it. If Green Bay trusted the young receivers they had, they would not have signed Jones to begin with after his disappointing campaign in Oakland. Randall Cobb will get all the yards he can handle, but when they get in the red zone, Rodgers will turn to Jones, not Adams, for the touchdown strike.
Bold Prediction: Bishop Sankey will finish as a Top 20 RB.
Why it is Bold: Sankey currently has an average ADP of 42.8, while the first 20 RBs are currently going, on average, in the first four rounds.
Why it will happen: Who is Sankey’s competition in Tennessee right now? The answer: Terrance West, Dexter McCluster and Antonio Andrews. David Cobb is now out until week 10 at the earliest, so of the remaining four, Sankey on paper seems like the far superior talent. In addition, Cobb is a fifth-round pick to begin with, so even if Sankey isn’t Le’Veon Bell, Cobb probably won’t immediately steal away significant carries when he returns. If Tennessee wants any shot at being a “legitimate” NFL team, they will need to run the ball and keep rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota standing up straight. Mariota’s agility should open up some running lanes for Sankey this season as teams have to protect themselves against bootlegs and play-actions. If Sankey can show ability in the pass game, Tennessee may finally remember what caused them to draft Sankey so high in 2014.
Got your own bold prediction? Leave it in the comments section below or send it to us and we’ll highlight the best of the bold predictions from our readers at the end of the season, especially if they’re right! As always, continue to visit SoCalledFantasyExperts for the latest and greatest Fantasy Football content.
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