It is officially August and the Fantasy Football season has begun. Take it how you want, but boldness is what wins fantasy leagues and today, we are going bold. While most of these predictions are gut-based, they are no shot in the dark either. Without further, below are 16 bold predictions for next year.
Martavis Bryant will record 1,000+ yards and 10+ touchdowns
The Steelers offense holds arguably the best wide receiver and running back in the league with Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. With this, opposing defenses will have to put more into stopping these two, often creating one-on-one situations where Bryant lives. In 11 games in 2015, Bryant put up 765 yards with 6 touchdowns. Not to mention, Bryant is entering a contract year, which gives him even more incentive to play well.
Ameer Abdullah will finish as an RB1
All aboard the Ameer Abdullah hype train again. In week one last year, he had 12 carries for 67 yards along with five receptions for 57 yards, with one touchdown. Then after a foot injury in week two, Abdullah was forced to miss the rest of the season. Abdullah ended the year with 101 rushing yards on just 18 carries (5.6 YPC) which would have been amongst the highest in the league if sustained. The Lion’s team officials have come out and said that they believe Abdullah will be the primary back once again this year. Also note, since college, this was the first year he missed a game, which is pretty impressive for a running back. Reportedly healthy again, look for Abdullah to bring back the running game to Detroit, which was missing last year most of the time.
As a part of New Orleans high-octane offense, Thomas put up 1137 yards with 9 touchdowns. He had 92 receptions and averaged 75.8 yards per game. After the departure of Brandin Cooks and his 117 targets, Thomas will be responsible for even more this year in the Saint’s offense and look for Thomas to take full advantage of this opportunity.
Last season, Tate finished 10th in receptions, with 91. Just 16 behind Larry Fitzgerald, who led the league. Look for Tate to take on a bigger role in the Lion’s offense this year and take the crown for receptions.
Mike Gillislee, who now plays for the Patriots, will be the first person turned towards to fill the void left by the departure of LeGarrette Blount. Blount put up 1161 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns last season with the Patriots. But now Blount is no longer with the Patriots and they will look to Gillislee to help pick up the slack. On 101 rushing attempts last season, Gillislee put up 577 yards and eight touchdowns. His average yard per carry (5.71) led the NFL among rushers with over 100 carries. Look for Gillislee to have a monster season next year.
In 2016, Evans posted 1,321 yards while racking up 12 touchdowns. Incredibly, Evans saw a total of 175 targets on the season, which is a lot. Look for Evans to continue to get his looks from Winston, and as they both grow, look for Evans to put up very high numbers next season.
Seattle has a pretty crowded backfield this year, with Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls, and CJ Prosise. Lacy is currently being ranked as the 28th overall player in Yahoo leagues despite his poor play the last two seasons. Look for Lacy and Rawls to see most of the rushing attempts this season, but where Prosise comes in is what he can do as a receiver. Rawls didn’t see much playing time last season and when he did he was an excellent receiver. On just 17 receptions, Prosise racked up over 208 yards. Now healthy, look for Prosise to have a great year and lead the Seahawks running back core in fantasy points.
Jordan Howard had an amazing season last year, posting 1313 rushing yards and six touchdowns, in the Bears offense, as a rookie. He is currently ranked as the 10th overall player headed into 2017, according to Yahoo’s rankings. But strong rookie season’s don’t always mean next year success, for example, Todd Gurley saw his YPC drop from 4.8 all the way to 3.2. Howard is very similar to Gurley in the fact that they both are bad teams with bad quarterback play. Look for Howard to see defenses scheming to stop him and for them to have more success this year.
Terrelle Pryor finishes as a top 12 wide receiver
Last season, Pryor picked up over 1,000 yards and four touchdowns, in the Browns offense. This year he will see a major increase in quarterback play with Kirk Cousins, as well as in his production. The Browns as a team last year threw for just 3693 yards, while Cousins alone threw 4917 yards. In the Redskins offense look for Pryor to have a great year.
Spencer Ware will open the season as the starter but will struggle to produce, especially in the red-zone. Ware had as many fumbles last season as he did rushing touchdowns (three). Look for Ware to get off to slow start and Hunt to take over and run away with the job.
Now in his third year in the league, Mariota looks to improve upon last year where he passed for 3,426 yards and recorded 26 passing touchdowns. Not to mention his 349 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. To finish in the top four quarterbacks is no easy task with players such as Rodgers, Brady, Brees, Ryan, etc. In the Titans offense with new additions of WRs Corey Davis and Eric Decker look for Mariota to put up quite a bit of fantasy points this year.
Woodhead sadly had his season end too soon last year after tearing his ACL in week two. After signing with the Ravens this off-season him and Flacco look to do big things. Flacco loves to throw to his running backs while Woodhead is one of the best receiving backs in the league. Look for Woodhead to be a huge value pick this year, especially in PPR leagues.
Bennett had 701 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016 with the Patriots. After signing with the Packers this off-season Bennett looks to become one of Rodgers’ favorite targets. Expect for Bennett to easily pass double-digit touchdowns next year while racking up plenty of receiving yards along the way.
In his first year as a Texan, Miller put up 1,073 yards and just five rushing touchdowns on 268 rushing attempts. But this year, with new rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, Miller will have to be even more of a focal point in the offense. Good news too, when teams have running QBs, the defense often has to adjust, leaving holes for Miller to run all over. Look for Miller to be a viable fantasy running back in 2017.
Odell Beckham Jr. racks up over 1,700 receiving yards
In his first three seasons in the league Beckham has racked up over 4,100 yards and 35 touchdowns and this season will be his best ever. With Brandon Marshall lining up on the other side and Eli Manning having a bounce-back season, look for Odell to capitalize.
Moncrief played in just nine games last season, but in those nine games he put up seven receiving touchdowns. He also recorded 307 yards on 30 receptions. In the Colts offense, look for Moncrief to continue with his high touchdown numbers and look for an increase in receiving yards.
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