NFL regular season football is back! And what a year we have ahead. This is going to be one of the best seasons of football ever! Is that a bold prediction?
We saw Trevor Siemian and the Broncos knock off the Panthers, again, on Thursday night. I would not have called that. Though there will be many things I do call this week and every week this season that a lot of you won’t. I will start by saying that the predictions aren’t going to be me saying that Todd Gurley is going to play really well and you should start him. I’m going to try and make predictions that aren’t necessarily unreachable, but bold. If you don’t like them, just read the bottom of this article and see what you can do about it.
I’m not going to prolong this anymore; we have a great week of football ahead and a great season in store for us! It is a great time to be a fan and last night’s game couldn’t have kicked off the season any better! Let’s get to Week 1 of the 2016 “Bold Predictions!”
Tampa Bay at Atlanta
Tampa Bay- Charles Sims may be the 1b to Doug Martin’s 1a and I expect regression from Martin this season. I expect this game to feature plenty of opportunities for both backs, but Sims will be the one to score a touchdown. He will have eight receptions and finish the day with 80 yards overall and a score.
Atlanta- Julio Jones will look to get his 2016 season off to the right start by going for 12 receptions, 210 yards, and two touchdowns. Also, put me down for 15 tackles by rookie linebacker, Deion Jones.
Minnesota at Tennessee
Minnesota- The defense will step-up in this game and prove that they are a team to be reckoned with. I’m looking at this group to produce five turnovers, three of them being interceptions. Also, Adrian Peterson will be force-fed to start the season for him on the right note. As the year wanes on, I like McKinnon to really produce.
Tennessee- Derrick Henry showed really well in the preseason and he will continue to produce in the regular season. He will face a tough test against this amazing defense, but he will still punch in two short-yardage touchdowns to go along with 60 yards all-around.
Cleveland at Philadelphia
Cleveland- I’ve been advocating for Terrelle Pryor since he made the move to wide receiver. He is way too athletically gifted to not work out. This will be the year he shows people what he can do. He starts with a couple of touchdowns and 120 yards against the Eagles.
Philadelphia- I do expect Carson Wentz to have himself a fine first game in 2016. He will toss two scores with 220 yards passing, and I expect one of those touchdowns to go to Darren Sproles with the other going to Zach Ertz.
Cincinnati at New York Jets
Cincinnati- Expect Tyler Boyd to be talked about after going for 90 yards and a score against the Jets. He will see more work after week one.
Jets- Matt Forte will be the highest scoring back in week one and show people that he still has it. I would expect 150 total yards and two touchdowns.
Oakland at New Orleans
Oakland- Luckily Derek Carr will get to start his third season against the Saints’ defense and he will take advantage. He is going to throw for 280 yards and four touchdowns. All four touchdowns will be to four different receivers.
New Orleans- You know who’s going to start their career right in New Orleans? That’s right, Coby Fleener opens the season with 130 yards and two touchdowns.
San Diego at Kansas City
San Diego- One player who is going low that will get some big numbers is going to be Melvin Gordon. With Woodhead around, everyone always talks about him and PPR, but Gordon was the No. 14 overall pick a year ago and will be given every opportunity in the world to make something happen. Watch him run a 40+ yard touchdown and finish with over 100 yards.
Kansas City- Marcus Peters continues to make plays this year and starts his season with two interceptions. There will only be one catch against him all day. If Keenan Allen wants to produce, he will need to be covered by someone else.
Buffalo at Baltimore
Buffalo- With Karlos Williams gone in Buffalo I expect LeSean McCoy to get back to his old self and take more of the load. He will average over 5 YPC and finish with over 130 yards and a score. Add in 60 more reception yards for good measure.
Baltimore- Mike Wallace has been a favorite target of Joe Flacco’s and I expect that to last into this game when he scores a 50+ yard touchdown reception. After that, he will be a disappointment on the year.
Chicago at Houston
Chicago- Remember what Kevin White did at West Virginia? Don’t worry, it’s been a while. White will show you on Sunday when he racks up over 100 yards and a score in his first regular season game in the NFL.
Houston- Do you remember what Arian Foster could do when healthy? Don’t worry; Lamar Miller will remind you when he has 130 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. He is going to have a field day with Chicago. Don’t worry, DeAndre Hopkins will score too.
Green Bay at Jacksonville
Green Bay- I fully expect this Packer defense to dominate the Jaguars’ offensive line and rack up a minimum of six sacks. Cobb will benefit a lot from having Jordy back, and that helps open things up to get him two scores and 80 yards in week one.
Jacksonville- I’m still sticking by my assertion made earlier in training camp that the Jaguars are stealing this game from the Packers. Dante Fowler Jr. will get two sacks of his own in this game. Chris Ivory will score a touchdown, and Allen “AR-15” Robinson will have 160 yards with at least one score, and 12 receptions.
Miami at Seattle
Miami- The only way I see Ryan Tannehill throwing for over 150 yards is if there is garbage time, which I like the odds. I’d say he throws three picks and less than 150 yards. 60 of those will go to Arian Foster.
Seattle- What better way to welcome Byron Maxwell back to Century Link Field than to torch him for three scores? One of those goes to Baldwin, and the other two are going to the explosive Tyler Lockette.
New York Giants at Dallas
Giants- The relationship continues to flourish with Eli Manning and Ben McAdoo when the season starts with Eli throwing for five touchdowns. Odell and Sterling with both have two of those scores.
Dallas- After missing most of last season, Dez Bryant is going to go off this year. Dak Prescott seems to already look for him and find him. Bryant is scoring three scores in this game and Prescott is throwing for 250 yards to go with his 50 rushing yards.
Detroit at Indianapolis
Detroit- There is a lot of speculation on whether Golden Tate or Marvin Jones will be the No. 1 guy in Detroit. I think it will depend on the week. This week I have Tate going for 10 catches, 80 yards, and two touchdowns.
Indianapolis- Donte Moncrief is going to emerge this year as an elite level talent and it all starts in week one. He starts the season with 140 yards and a touchdown.
New England at Arizona
New England- This game is going to have a defensive theme to it. Recently acquired Barkevious Mingo is going to have himself two sacks, one interception, and 10 tackles.
Arizona- This team is going to go sack crazy in week one and rack up 10 total sacks. Chandler Jones will have three and rookie Robert Nkemdiche will have two.
Pittsburgh at Washington
Pittsburgh- I’ve got Eli Rogers breaking off a 60-yard score in this game as Washington gets caught rolling coverage to Antonio Brown.
Washington- I’m not sure why everyone was so low on Matt Jones this year. I don’t forget what he did to the Rams last year. For that, I see him going for 140 all-purpose yards in this one with no fumbles.
Los Angeles at San Francisco
Los Angeles- Robert Quinn is back and ready to announce return. He will finish the night with three sacks and the Rams defense will pitch a shutout. Also, Tavon Austin will have three touchdowns.
San Francisco- Since there won’t be any scoring, I will say that Vance McDonald leads the 49ers in yards with 85 and Blaine Gabbert throws for under 200 yards with two interceptions.
That is all for the Week 1 edition of “Bold Predictions.” As always, you are free to email me and let me know what you if you hate what I think, or if you want to be nice. My email is email@example.com, or you can find me on Twitter @FantasyBold.
AFC East- Even with the four games suspension, it’s hard to pick against the Patriots. Tom Brady is going to come back with a vengeance, and Bill Belichik is going to play Dr. Evil any chance he can get. I thought the Jets had a strong chance, but I would like them more with Ryan Fitzpatrick under center, though Geno Smith has shown flashes before.
AFC North- I’m sticking with my pick of the Steelers to narrowly eek this one out. I believe this division is a three-team race with the Bengals and Ravens and I don’t see this division being won by more than a game lead.
AFC South- Colts take the division with a returning Andrew Luck and a better line. Their defense will still be their Achilles heel, but I expect a potent offense this season.
ACF West- I’m giving the division to the Raiders this season with the question marks in Denver at QB, even though they will have a dominating defense.
AFC Playoff Teams: Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Raiders, Broncos, and Jaguars
NFC East- The Giants are going to be one explosive offense, especially if they can get the running game going and I think Paul Perkins makes it dynamic when he gets his shot. Their defense is going to be much improved and if Cruz is healthy, that will be a deadly attack with ODB and Sterling Shepard.
NFC North- I want to say the Vikings repeat this year, but I just see the Packers out to prove something and their defense should improve again this year. This will come down to the two teams and that week two matchup on Sunday night is very important to start the year.
NFC South- I just don’t see how that Saints defense can allow them to win this division with such explosive players within the division. I give the nod to the Panthers again this year with a dominating defense and dangerous offense.
NFC West- This one belongs to the Cardinals again this year, as they are a very dangerous team on both sides of the ball and a very good coach. That pass rush is going to be nasty and with a back-end like they have, there should be many interceptions in 2016, possibly a record setting year. The Seahawks will be very good as well, but the Cardinals will take it. Luckily they get a Tom Brady-less Patriots team in week one.
NFC Playoff Teams: Giants, Packers, Panthers, Cardinals, Seahawks, and Vikings.
AFC Wild Card Round:
Jaguars at Raiders – Raiders Win
Broncos at Steelers – Steelers Win
NFC Wild Card Round:
Giants at Seahawks – Seahawks Win
Vikings at Panthers – Vikings Win
AFC Divisional Round:
Steelers at Patriots – Patriots Win
Raiders at Colts – Colts Win
NFC Divisional Round:
Vikings at Cardinals – Cardinals Win
Seahawks at Packers – Seahawks Win
Colts at Patriots – Patriots Win
Seahawks at Cardinals – Cardinals Win
Cardinals vs Patriots- Cardinals will claim the Lombardi trophy this year and go out with a top-3 defense and top-3 offense.
Super Bowl MVP: Carson Palmer
Offensive Rookie of the Year – Laquon Treadwell, Vikings WR
Defensive Rookie of the Year – Deion Jones, Falcons LB
Coach of the Year – Mike Zimmer, Vikings
Comeback Player of the Year – Andrew Luck, Colts QB
Offensive Player of the Year – Odell Beckham Jr., Giants WR
Defensive Player of the Year – Aaron Donald, Rams DT
MVP: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants WR
This is kind of going away from the “Bold Predictions” style of article I normally do, but more so of how I really feel confident in. For the record, I had the Vikings going to the Super Bowl against the Patriots and then changed my mind. I do see them being a very good team this year and like the possibility of that happening. With J.J. Watt possible not 100 percent or possibly not ready for the start of the year, Aaron Donald can finally show that he was the best defensive player last year and this year. This is going to be a great 2016 season and as I write this, the Packers are about to be starting the first practice of training camp! Football is upon us and it is time to celebrate.
As always, you can voice your displeasure in my personal thoughts or voice your gratitude for these articles by emailing me, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @FantasyBold.
This time next week, we will have rookies in mini-camps! Yes, that wait is finally over and football is back. With that, I will be closing out my “Bold Predictions” for the 2016 season. I will be ending with the division that boasts the defending Super Bowl Champions, the AFC West. Here’s a little sneak peak for the week, we have a new division winner. With that being said, let’s get right into the predictions!
Denver Broncos- Other than the defense here, it’s going to be tough to figure out whom to trust. The running backs have always been hyped and then split carries. There will be three quarterbacks playing in Denver at some point this season, which should murky up the offense some more. Your leading receiver is going to be Emmanuel Sanders. He will be the security blanket for all three signal callers this season and he should see over 12 yards and nine touchdowns. Another blanket of security will be Virgil Green at tight end. He has never had more than 12 receptions in a season, but he will have over 50 catches in 2016, which should translate into 675 yards and seven touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas will still be a threat to score when he gets the ball, but I just see Sanders outperforming him this season working out of the slot. Just hope that he doesn’t get that contract before the season starts.
Kansas City Chiefs- I want to believe that Jamaal Charles is going to be a beast again, but with the play of Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware, I have to believe they will run Charles a lot less; though he does have the opportunity to go the distance every time he touches the ball. I would imagine the back-up duos combines for 12 touchdowns on the season and that Knile Davis is released from the team when cuts are being made. This year I believe Albert Wilson is moved to the slot and doubles his numbers from last season. Look for him to contribute 65 receptions and turn them into 900 yards and six touchdowns. You know how Eric Berry sticks it to Kansas City? He goes out and has five interceptions with two of them going back for touchdowns and 80 tackles. After the season, he signs elsewhere.
Oakland Raiders- This is the team that will boast the best quarterback in the division in terms of production. Derek Carr made a huge leap from year one to year two by throwing for over 700 more yards and 12 more touchdowns. This year he will reach the 4,000 yard mark and remain with over 30 touchdowns. The main beneficiary is going to be a man by the name of Amari Cooper. Cooper will average over 90 yards-per-game and finish the season with over 1,400 yards and 12 touchdowns. Look for rookie safety Karl Joseph to be in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2016, as he will be a force with Khalil Mack rushing the quarterback. Also, Mack will lead the entire NFL in tackles this season.
San Diego Chargers- As I said when the Rams were approved to move to Los Angeles, the Chargers will stay in San Diego and the Raiders will not go to LA. That being said, draft Keenan Allen if you can. In only eight games of action last season, Allen had 67 receptions for 725 yards and four touchdowns. You know what he averaged in his first two seasons? 15 Games played 74 receptions, 915 yards, and six touchdowns. The last two numbers are skewed because of his eight touchdowns and 1,046 yards his rookie year. What I’m saying is this guy was on track for 134 receptions, 1,450 yards, and eight touchdowns. So I’m saying he has 110 catches this year for 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns. Melvin Gordon will be given every chance to be the man in 2016 and if he doesn’t show it, expect Danny Woodhead to be a monster again, especially in PPR formats. I still expect him to crack over 1,000 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns, but he needs to be grabbed on the cheap.
I believe that the Raiders did a lot to shore up their back-end on the defense and that offensive line should be deadly as well. That being said, I see them taking the division and getting back to the playoffs. For the record, that makes me having the Raiders and Jaguars both in the 2016 playoffs. I do honestly see this being anyone’s division and they all play one another extremely well. It is also a very “fair” year in terms of strength of schedule, as these teams are ranked No. 13-16 respectively. This should be a very competitive division in 2016 and it’s up for grabs. If the Broncos can have one of those quarterbacks stick, they could take the division with that outstanding defense, but we shall see.
As always, feel free to contact me by email, email@example.com or on Twitter @FantasyBold to tell me what you do and don’t like.
Well folks, we’re about 15 days away from rookies reporting to mini-camps! Football season is almost upon us and what a glorious time it is. I have two more divisions remaining in the 2016 “Bold Predictions.” This week we will take a look at the ultra-competitive NFC West and see who comes out on top this year.
Arizona Cardinals- There’s going to be two stars in Arizona this year, David Johnson and John Brown. Johnson only had 125 rushes to go along with 36 receptions last season after playing in just over 43 percent of the Cardinals’ offensive snaps on the year. I would be that he has a massive increase in the amount of touches he gets this season and bet he sees 225+ and 50+ receptions. This is going to be a big year for Johnson and he is going to pay off big for those that grab him. Consider yourself lucky if he falls to you in the early second. I’m looking for 1,700 yards of total offense to go with 13 touchdowns. Brown made a significant leap in year two from his rookie season, and I expect him to take on a larger role this season for the Cardinals. Larry Fitzgerald was magical last season, but he wants to win and that will create more opportunities for Brown to produce. Expect and 85 reception season to go along with 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns. One thing I was bummed about over the off-season was the Cardinals lucking into Robert Nkemdiche. This guy is going to absolutely flourish with this team and I expect him to get a minimum of seven sacks this year and be in the talk for DROY.
Los Angeles Rams- Well if you go running back in the first round this year, make it Todd Gurley. Todd Gurley is going to be the No. 1 back in fantasy land this season. The Rams have hired former Bears’ wide receiver coach Mike Groh and former running backs coach in Skip Peete. I fully expect Gurley to be more involved in the passing game this year, especially with Jared Goff in his rookie season and loaded boxes. Gurley had 21 receptions and 229 rushing attempts in only 11 games last year and in three of those games he had single digit touches. He will see well over 300 total touches this season and will reward those who take him high. He will be in the top-5 overall non-QB scorers in 2016. If you’re in a Dynasty league, make sure you grab Tyler Higbee. This guy is going to be a stud and be compared to Rob Gronkowski, you watch. Another sleeper to grab is running back Aaron Greene out of TCU. I think he takes Tre Mason’s spot on the roster and sees a healthy amount of action this season.
San Francisco 49ers- Besides Carlos Hyde, I expect Vance McDonald to be a pleasant surprise in 2016. McDonald started the final eight games of the season in 2015 and became a favorite target for Blaine Gabbert. With Gabbert being slated at the starter come week 1, I would expect that relationship to grow and expect him to be one of the more consistent weapons on offense. Grab him later and get a decent return of 750 yards and eight touchdowns. Though I expect big things from Carlos Hyde, I don’t trust that he can stay healthy so make sure you have a back-up. I like Shaun Draughn for his passing game abilities regardless of the situation with Hyde. Hyde has never had more than 16 catches, even in his college career. Expect Draughn to have 40+ receptions this season and for Jeff Driskel to see some playing time.
Seattle Seahawks- One guy that is going to be absolutely stolen in fantasy drafts this year is Tyler Lockett. I expect him to make a huge splash for the offense and special teams in 2016. Look for him to combine rushing, receiving, and returns for 15 touchdowns. His reception yards should increase too at just over 1,000 yards for the season. This guy will be in the top-20 receivers by the time the year is over and maybe top-15. Also, don’t be scared of Thomas Rawls because of his injury last season. I’d be more scared due to all the picks the Seahawks used on running backs. There will be a Christine Michael hype train again this season, but Rawls should still be warranted as a RB1 or very high-end RB2. I would still expect double-digit scores and 1,200 all-around yards from him.
This year is going to be another great battle, but I think it comes down to two consistent teams. I’m looking at the Cardinals to take the NFC West again this year and for their defense to dominate the league. This could be a closing of a window for Carson Palmer and his health is what may dictate the season and future. Bruce Arians is a great coach and I think he brings his team back hungrier than ever after their embarrassing loss to the Panthers last post-season. Seahawks will be No. 2 even though the Rams are going 16-0!
As always, feel free to give me your feedback through email, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @FantasyBold.
Due to the holiday weekend this past week, I am getting to “Bold Predictions a little later than usual. That being said, I hope everyone had a great time and enjoyed some good quality time celebrating our independence and some quality food and beverage. As we move along, it’s time to take a look at the AFC North, which is always a battle and fun to watch these teams Duke it out. A little bit of foreshadowing there. That being said, let’s get right into the predictions for 2016!
Baltimore Ravens- Look out for the Ravens’ backfield this year and hope that you hit a home-run if you select any of the running backs there. I fully expect Kenneth Dixon to be the man on the Ravens, but not right away. It will take a few weeks, but then he will start to see an uptick in opportunities, but don’t expect a payoff right away. The guy I want to talk about going into 2016 is Kamar Aiken. The Ravens did add Mike Wallace and do have Steve Smith Sr. returning this season, and who knows what’s going on with Breshad Perriman, but don’t forget that Aiken had 75 receptions last season and I don’t see him going under 1,000 yards this year with a minimum of eight touchdowns. There’s going to be a lot of mouths to feed and some frustration, but Aiken will be the most productive player in that offense, come 2016.
Cincinnati Bengals- With so much opportunity in Cincinnati, I’m looking at Giovani Bernard to have 75-80 receptions this year to go along with another 200 carries. He should see upwards of 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016 with Hue Jackson gone and no one there to harp on Hill until he produces with large volume. Bernard will be stolen in fantasy leagues in 2016 and will be the reason a lot of teams win their championship. Think Devonta Freeman in 2015, except you’ll have to draft Bernard to cash in on this ticket. I also see A.J. Green grabbing 15 touchdowns this season to go with 1,600 yards with a ridiculous amount of targets coming his way with the potential of Eifert being out for some games.
Cleveland Browns- I’ve got a couple of players that are going to be surprises this season. The first one shouldn’t be a surprise, Duke Johnson. This guy is going to be a complete stud under Hue Jackson. Think of a more powerful Giovani Bernard that will be utilized more than he did Bernard. I like him as a top-12 running back in PPR leagues in 2016, where he should be double-digit touchdowns and over 1,400 all-purpose yards. Now who is going to come out and play at the receive position? I know, Terrelle Pryor. Let’s not forget that this guy is a complete athletic freak and now has one year under his belt learning the receiver position. People want to anoint Braxton Miller a freak, which he is in his own right, but Pryor also was a quarterback who played at Ohio State and is 6’4, 225 lbs. Oh, and did I forget to mention he blazed a 4.38 40-yard dash? This guy is going to become a target for whoever throws the ball in Cleveland this season. Since he only had one reception last season, I’m going to say a bold prediction is to the tune of 55 catches, 750 yards, and seven touchdowns. One guy I want everyone to keep an eye on is Seth DeValve. Gary Barnidge is getting up there in age and has had some head injuries, and I expect Jackson to mold DeValve into his Tyler Eifert in Cleveland. It may not be soon, but he will be a player to watch for dynasty.
Pittsburgh Steelers- So much potential here in this offense that you never know who’s going to produce. Well yes we do, Antonio Brown is. He is going to be the No. 1 pick in a lot of leagues and doesn’t need mention here. I think one guy who will disappoint this season will be Ladarius Green since the Steelers have never really done a good job getting their tight end involved, though I will admit that this is a bold prediction because they are without Martavis Bryant this year and need to do new things to keep this offense moving. Don’t be surprised if his yards total is way down and his touchdowns are at 10. For the record, I did say he is scoring 10 touchdowns. Le’Veon Bell scares me with his injury history, but if he plays all 16 games this year, He will be top-5 in all fantasy formats, no doubt. That being said, make sure you have DeAngelo Williams on your team even if you don’t own Bell, but if you draft bell, reach on Williams if you have to. Many people are trying to figure out who is going to pick up the slack behind Brown this season with Bryant out, but look no further. Sammie Coates is going to be Martavis Bryant 2.0. Look for a nice 65+ receptions to go along with 850 yards and nine touchdowns. This offense is going to be cruising still.
The AFC North is always a battle to watch, but I have to look at it as the Steeler’s division to lose. Their defense has improved and their offense was always deadly. Who knows how the Eifert injury affects the Bengal offense and they also lost their No. 2 and 3 receivers in the off-season. Not to mention the amazing play calling of Hue Jackson. I do expect a hard fought battle between three of the teams, and a major improvement from the Browns. This will not be a cake-walk for the Steelers and I would not be surprised to see the Bengals or Ravens knock them off.
As always, I appreciate those of you who read this and if you have any feedback, good or bad, feel free to reach out to me via email, email@example.com or on Twitter @FantasyBold.
As I keep rolling through all of the divisions to bring you the 2016 edition of “Bold Predictions,” it’s time to move onto the NFC North. We’ve got some good football here and there should be a battle for the top spot in the division between two teams. Before I get into that, let’s get the predictions done for each team. Here we go!
Chicago Bears- I fully expect Jeremy Langford to get the starting job and flourish with the Bears this season. There may be times where John Fox makes you want to rip your hair out with his committee approach, but have no fear. Jay Cutler will step in and make it known that he will throw three picks a game if he can’t use Langford like he did Matt Forte. Langford needs to get his receiving game up, because he only averaged 3.6 yards-per-carry last year, but that should change in 2016. I think 1,300+ all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns sounds about right for this young runner. I would also expect Alshon Jeffery to be force-fed 15 touchdowns this year if he can stay healthy for a big majority of the season.
Detroit Lions- We’re to believe that Ameer Abdullah is going to be the man in Detroit, but I think we have to look at what Theo Riddick did last year and expect him to be heavily involved this upcoming season. I don’t expect him to match his 80 catch effort from last season, but I do expect him to be a lot more involved in the running game and close to matching his receptions from last season. I would bet on a 1,300 yards from scrimmage year with double digit touchdowns as they figure out L.A.M., or, Life After Megatron. To go along with that thought, Golden Tate should go over the 1,000 yard mark this season and also double digit touchdowns. Look for Corey Fuller to get involved and bring in over 600 yards this season after a four reception season in 2015.
Green Bay Packers- It should be expected that Eddie Lacy bounces back this year, and I think he will, but I think Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy have an agenda this season and are going to try and prove something after all of the criticism they received last year about the offense. Rogers is going over 5,000 yards and 45 touchdowns this season. They are going to try and throw for as many touchdowns as possible this year and Lacy will need to catch a few to get his total in double digits. I still think Lacy finishes in the top-10 for running backs, but look out for the passing attack. Both Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson are going to have double digit touchdown totals and over 1,000 yards as well. This team is going to be scary.
Minnesota Vikings- This will be the year that Teddy Bridgewater takes a step forward and takes more control of this team from Adrian Peterson. This will likely cause the talks of wanting to be traded and all that great drama. I’m not yet ready to go overboard with his projections, but he will finish in the top half of the league for quarterback performance. He’s got some good receivers to throw to and make life easier, not to mention a better line to protect him. I’m looking at rookie Laquon Treadwell to go over 700 yards and 10 touchdowns to take some pressure off Peterson and the rest of the offense. Don’t be surprised when he makes people upset for passing on him, especially the teams that took receivers ahead of him. Also, expect the Vikings defense to be in the top-6 in the entire league.
This division should be a battle between the Packers and Vikings to finish in the top spot, but I find it hard to go against the Packers after a “down” year last year. Their defense should also be improved from a season ago, but I fully expect both of these rivals to make it into the playoffs this year. There should be a battle for third between the Bears and Lions, but I’m not ready to anoint a “winner.” This division should make for an entertaining year, but a reward for last season to the Packers is one of the easiest strength of schedules among the league and they will cash in.
As always, feel free to tell me how bad you think I am or how much you enjoy the read by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @FantasyBold.
As the fourth edition of “Bold Predictions” rolls out, it is time to move to the NFC South counterpart, the AFC South. Last year was interesting in the AFC South, as Andrew Luck missed most of the year and there were some receiving juggernauts that came out to play from the Jaguars and Texans. This is going to be another year of battling for the No. 1 seed, but there is a chance that two teams come out of the AFC South this year for a playoff spot. Let’s get on with the predictions!
Houston Texans- Now that Lamar Miller is out of Miami he can finally be utilized to his potential. My only concern now is his ability to stay healthy with a large workload. Not only will his carries increase, but he should figure into the passing game a lot. Miller has only had over 200 carries once in his career, but he has a lot of tread on the tires and Houston will thank Miami for that. Barring an injury, I expect Miller to have over 1,300 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. Package that with another 400+ receiving yards and four touchdowns through the air, and you have yourself a great grab at the running back position. I don’t expect Brock Osweiler to be the quarterback he was paid to be, but more of a game manager. I’m thinking he finishes in the bottom half of the league for QB position, but he does have DeAndre Hopkins to throw to. One last thought, should Jadeveon Clowney stay healthy this year, he will reach 12 sacks and look like the player he was drafted to be as the No. 1 overall pick.
Indianapolis Colts- This year I expect Donte Moncrief to outplay T.Y. Hilton after Hilton got paid. Moncrief is only 22 years-old, but is a big wide receiver that can play. I think he establishes himself as Andrew Luck’s favorite target and Hilton finds himself to be a DeSean Jackson. You should expect him to catch around 80 passes and go over 1,100 yards in 2016. Once he adds 9-11 touchdowns to his receiving total, you can be happy with your return on investment, which will probably be cheap. I fully expect Gore to be the man in Indy, but Josh Ferguson will carve out a larger than expected role for the Colts and gain over 500 all-purpose yards on the year.
Jacksonville Jaguars- My prediction will come in the form of the whole team. I am expecting the Jaguars to double their win total from last season and go 10-6 this season. Their offense showed what it could do last year and I really like what they did on defense in the offseason. We can’t forget that they get back their No. 3 overall pick from 2015 after missing his whole rookie season after tearing his ACL. The offensive line will be the key to the Jaguars’ success this season, as they will control keeping Blake Bortles upright and healthy, as well as getting that run game going to balance the offense out. The Jaguars start things off right in week one with a surprise victory over the Green Bay Packers. They end the season making the playoffs for the first time since 1998.
Tennessee Titans- It’s been said that the Titans have a thunder and thunder combo in running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. Well, come next season, they won’t have one half of that thunder combo. That’s right, Murray will not be back with the Titans next season after he power-houses 10 touchdowns this season and runs through people like kids. I expect Murray to lead the team in rushing yards if healthy, but that isn’t a guarantee and I would see it more likely that the yards are within 200 of one another. Look for Dorial Green-Beckham to also have himself 10 touchdowns, but I don’t see him being there quite yet in terms of 1,000 yards. He will get there and he is growing with a young Marcus Mariota, so he is a dynasty asset.
The only thing I see as easy for me to predict with the AFC south this season is that the Titans will finish last in the division. I feel it is going to be a battle for spots 1-3 and it’s hard to go against a healthy Andrew Luck and company, but that defense is still a work in progress. The Texans defense should be pretty good this season, but their quarterback play will be the X-factor in their season. Should the Jaguars get their run game going and secondary play where it needs to be, they will take this division, but I have a hard time going against the Colts with Luck. I take the Colts to win the AFC South and back-up my prediction saying that the Jaguars grab a wild card spot this year.
As always, whether it’s good or bad, feel free to reach out and tell me how I’m doing. You can email me at email@example.com or on Twitter @FantasyBold.
Mini-camps are wrapping up and we are about to hit the worst time of the year in terms of football news and coverage. As that time hits, I will be diving into the third edition of "Bold Predictions" and look at the NFC South. So, let's get right to it and start with the Dirty Birds.
Atlanta Falcons- Many people forget that Tevin Coleman was hand-picked by the Falcons' current regime and expect Devonta Freeman to be the clear-cut back in Atlanta. Not so fast. Freeman has battled with soft-tissue injuries early in his career, but so has Coleman. I believe this backfield becomes one of those RBBC situations to preserve them both. Don't be surprised if you get some coach speak of, "hot hand" being thrown around. I'm saying that Coleman outgains Freeman this year by way of ground and by air. I'm sure that will be a very unpopular declaration, but that's the way it goes. Also, I look for LSU linebacker Deion Jones to be talks for the Rookie Defensive Player of the Year award in 2016.
Carolina Panthers- Everyone is looking at Kelvin Benjamin's return, and for good reason. He had over 1,000 yards in his rookie season and nine touchdowns. Upon his return, he is going to light it up with Cam Newton at the helm. As long as he can get his drops in order, I would not expect less than 90 catches for 14 touchdowns and 1,500 yards receiving. I'm also going to throw in that UDFA Keyarris Garrett from Tulsa will make the team and score five touchdowns of his own after leading the FBS in reception yards in 2015.
New Orleans Saints- As we head over to New Orleans, I focus on two pass catchers that are making their debuts with the Saints this season. First, I look at Coby Fleener to bring in eight touchdowns and 750 yards receiving in an offense that likes to find its tight end in the red zone. The other that I think makes in impact on the scoreboard is Michael Thomas. I don't necessarily think his yardage is what stands out, but I do believe that he catches at least 10 touchdowns this season. He will be the security blanket that Marques Colston held down for so long and he will put himself in the Offensive Rookie of the Year talks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers- This is the part where I swallow my pride and admit that I was wrong for being down on Jameis Winston last year coming out of FSU. I do believe that he improves and performs great in 2016. I'm looking for 4,400 passing yards to go with 400 rushing yards and a total of 37 touchdowns to 15 interceptions. He is going to be a quarterback that someone lucks into late in the draft this year after they held out for a long time to draft one. Also, look for Cameron Brate to make a big leap this year and bring in six touchdowns with over 600 yards receiving after Austin Seferian-Jenkins continues to rub his coaches the wrong way.
This division is always anyone’s guess with the explosive offenses and quarterback play, but I would give the Panthers the edge with their defense being ahead of the others in the south. This will make the Panthers win their third-straight NFC South title in as many years. They begin their NFC defense with redemption against the Broncos in week 1, which I expect them to hang 40 points that night.
*Bonus Prediction: Since I missed it in my first edition of "Bold Predictions", I wanted to state that Jason Pierre-Paul will have at least 20 sacks this season. Hell, he's going to break the sack record this year and laugh at everyone for laughing at him and his hand accident. Joke's on you!
As always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @FantasyBold, and yell at me for the terrible predictions or even give me words of encouragement, if people still do that these days.
Now that we have had our first set of “Bold Predictions” that saw the outlook of the NFC East, I will transition over to the AFC East where a Potential Tom Brady suspension looms over the division. With his newest appeal, I expect him to get out of his suspension again until the matter can be finalized, we can hope. There are some interesting young players in the AFC East and I expect a couple of teams to have some breakouts at the wide receiver position. For that reason, I will stick to the receiver position for all four teams in this week’s Edition of “Bold Predictions.”
Buffalo Bills- Now we all know the talent that Sammy Watkins has and the upside he brings on every play, but this will be the year he absolutely kills it. He has averaged only 62.5 receptions in his first two seasons, but has still averaged 1,014.5 yards per-season. This year he is going to be making you kick yourself for missing out on him. Look for 1,600+ yards with 14 or more touchdowns. He did have the foot surgery, but I fully expect him back and ready by the time the season rolls around.
Miami Dolphins- As everyone is so high on Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker is the guy that you will want in Miami. When he was coming out of college, I had him as my No. 1, even over Amari Cooper. I really like his talent and the way that he carried himself. His sophomore season will see him making a name for himself among the receivers in the league. Look for him to put up 1,300 yards with 12 touchdowns. The only way I don’t see this happening is if Ryan Tannehill takes a total nose dive, but with Adam Gase in Town, I expect him to get the ball in Parkers hands. I will add that Jay Ajayi will likely get hosed when the Dolphins sign another back or use one on their roster to steal carries or receptions from him. Buyer beware with the running game here.
New England Patriots- the Patriots’ receiving corps is always a crapshoot and even touching on this is bold. I’m putting my attention on a rookie out of Georgia who is known for his precise route running and route savviness. Malcom Mitchell will set a Bill Belichick-led Patriots rookie record for receptions. The current record for rookies under his reign is 43 receptions by Deion Branch in 2002. Mitchell will have over 50 receptions and take those for 800 yards and seven touchdowns. Another Malcolm I expect big things from is Malcolm Butler. He will be next off-season’s Josh Norman, where he puts up some very impressive numbers and people act like they didn’t know who he was before. He is going to get paid next year and the Patriots will have a tough off-season with Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower also set to hit free agency next year.
New York Jets- Full disclosure here, I expect Ryan Fitzpatrick back with the team for the 2016 season and it will greatly increase the effectiveness of the receiving corps. I expect both Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall to hit the 1,000 yard mark again, but I’m looking at another receiver to step up and add to that duo. If not for the late 2015 ACL tear, I’d be looking at Devin Smith, but it’s likely that he is on the PUP list to start the year. This should make way for Charon Peake to earn a spot on the roster and become another Clemson receiver to dominate in the league. The large 6’2”, 209 lb. receiver ran a 4.45 40-yard dash at the combine and has all the tools to play in the NFL. Though he lacked film, it was a surprise that he didn’t go until the seventh round. If he can carve out a role this season, he should see 40 catches for 730 yards and six touchdowns. This will be a team that surprises with its elite passing game and don’t forget that Matt Forte was added to the mix.
I honestly wouldn’t be surprised is all but the Dolphins were fighting to win this division, especially if Brady were to be suspended for the first four games. At this point though, how can you go against the Patriots? I will. This is the year that the Jets take over the AFC East and fight for home-field advantage through the playoffs. However, if they can’t figure this out with Fitzpatrick, I turn right back to the Patriots to take this division once again. As always, I hope these provide entertainment and fun for all and if you ever want to tell me how much you like or hate my thoughts, you can email me at email@example.com or on Twitter @FantasyBold.
As OTAs are going on for about the next week, we are about to hit that terrible six weeks, or so, of nothing to report and the anxiety of the NFL season that comes with it. I figure what better time to start releasing my Bold Predictions for the 2016 season? I will be releasing one division a week leading up to the Hall of Fame Game on August 7th between the Packers and Colts.
For the first week, I wanted to kick it off by going really bold, so I started with the
NFC East. Here you will find one record breaking prediction for the 2016 season. I'd like to welcome everybody back for 2016 Bold Predictions and hope that these provide entertainment for those who read it. Without further ado, I bring you the 2016 Bold
Predictions for the NFC East.
Dallas Cowboys- Part of this prediction is that Tony Romo will play all 16 games this season. I'm sure most of the posts you see will be about Ezekiel Elliot going nuts behind that offensive line, but I don't think he's going to be as great as everyone thinks in terms of rushing. I do believe he has 40+ receptions this year and totals over 1,000 yards, but 400 of those yards are going to be from receptions. Not a bad year, but not first round fantasy draft talent, unless it's a dynasty. That being said, I believe that
Alfred Morris is going to get cut at some point before the season and Elliot is going to open things up for a Dez Bryant looking to tear it up after missing most of 2015 with a foot injury.
Philadelphia Eagles- Though Jordan Matthews had a decent year in 2015, this will be the year he cracks 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns. He will go for 1,400 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016. Also, don't forget that Ryan Mathews is an injury waiting to happen and Sproles is skipping OTAs after reports surfaced that he could have been shopped at the draft. Look for Wendell Smallwood to take over at some point this season and produce 40+ receptions to add to his 650+ yards rushing. Bonus prediction here, I expect Rodney McLeod to account for at least 12 of the Philadelphia defenses turnovers and grade out as a top-5 safety this season.
New York Giants- This one is going to set the tone for the Bold Predictions in 2016. When talking about Odell Beckham Jr., I have to shoot for the moon in order for it to be bold.
This is the year that a receiver goes over 2,000 yards receiving. Yes, he is going to smash the reception yards in a season record, as well as the receptions in a season record. Chalk him up for 150+ receptions and 20 touchdowns. Now to give you something other than Odell is amazing, I will say that Paul Perkins will be starting for the Giants at some point this season and is the guy that produces the most in that backfield. Pro
Football Focus had him graded as the second draft-eligible running back in college last season, and fifth among all backs. He was also the most elusive back in the draft and second among all backs in the nation. This is going to be a monster early, but Perkins should take over and become a fantasy asset. Let's just be glad that we can watch Odell
Beckham Jr. face-off against Josh Norman twice a year now.
Washington Redskins- I am very high on Matt Jones after watching him shred the Rams' defense in week two last season and have high hopes for him in 2016. As it stands now, he doesn't have any real competition and if Washington doesn't add an outside help, Arian
Foster, he should be in line for a big year. Look for him to have 250+ carries to go with another 40-50 receptions for a grand total of over 1,600 total yards and 10 touchdowns. Kirk Cousins likes that! Here's where I might lose you though, Vernon Davis will score a touchdown this year...
All-in-all, the NFC East is always entertaining and the teams have always played one another well throughout the years. This division appears to be any of the four teams' for the taking, but I would say that the Giants have the upper-hand here with their explosive offense and their signings to shore up the cornerback position and defensive line in free agency. If you like or dislike anything you read throughout the year, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or get at me on Twitter @FantasyBold.