It is early, but some fantasy football slow drafts have already begun taking place. With that said, here are 10 preseason bold predictions for some players who may surprise in a grand way, and for others who may disappoint, royally.
1. David Johnson Will Surpass the 2,000 Total Yard Marker
Will the stud version of David Johnson from 2016 please stand up? That season, Johnson was fantasy gold when he recorded a stunning 2,118 combined yards. Johnson is healthy and should thrive under his new head coach Kliff Kingsbury in what will be a system designed to feature him prominently.
Johnson recently claimed to be the best running back in the NFL. Let’s make him prove it.
2. Dak Prescott Finishes Within the Top 5 Fantasy Quarterbacks
“Prescott” and “trusted fantasy quarterback” are words that sometimes do not mesh. After all, Prescott has yet to repeat the numbers he produced in his gleaming rookie season. But, this could easily change in 2019. Wideout Amari Cooper should help boost Prescott’s value right out of the gate.
Prescott finished last season as the No. 12 fantasy quarterback. Surely, having a true No. 1 wideout to throw to all season will help. Those who want to take a gamble with Prescott in 2019 should be able to score him pretty late in drafting.
3. Eagles Tight Ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert Combine for 2,000 Yards and 16 Touchdowns
This is very bold. However, the Eagles have been practicing a high volume of two tight end formations thus far over camp. Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer had this to say about witnessing Goedert in practices.
“He made waves during his rookie camp, but the tight end looks capable of making a second-year leap into stardom. He’s that good”.
As for Ertz, he’s an animal on the field. He last recorded 1,163 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018. With the Eagles preparing to utilize two tight end sets more often than not, the pair could match my prediction.
In the end, all of this tight end action can only hurt Nelson Agholor’s fantasy value.
4. James Conner Will Not be a Top 10 Running Back
Those who snagged Conner late in drafting last year, got a gem in return. Even with playing in just 13 games, Conner ranked seventh in RB fantasy points. He put up 1,470 combined yards and scored 13 times.
Why would Conner not be a slam dunk to finish as a top 10 back this year? The presence of Jaylen Samuels is why. Conner himself recently said in minicamp that the backfield work will be “spread out pretty evenly.” Unless this plan changes, it knocks Conner out of my previous set of top 10 rankings.
5. Antonio Brown Fails to Record at Least 1,000 Yards or 10 Touchdowns
Brown has been awarding his fantasy drafters stellar points for years. The last time he produced less than 1,000 yards was in 2012. And, he has scored no less than nine touchdowns since 2014. Can these numbers be sustained by Brown in Oakland now? The Raiders offense is a huge work in progress compared to Brown’s former Steelers offense.
Question marks surround quarterback Derek Carr also. This is video proof.
Of the meager 19 touchdowns Carr threw last season, he connected with No. 1 wideout Amari Cooper only once for a score. What if Carr fails to establish chemistry with Brown? Too many unknowns could spell doom for Brown’s fantasy value in 2019.
6. Nick Chubb Makes Kareem Hunt Look Irrelevant
Those who draft Hunt in later rounds, may wind up with chump change. Keep in mind, Hunt will not see field time until Week 10, my friends. By then, the Browns will be heavily invested in Chubb, provided he stays healthy. Chubb is coming off an amazing rookie season when he rushed for 996 yards, at a pace of 5.2 yards per carry. He also scored 10 touchdowns.
If things are not broken when Hunt returns, why try fixing anything by switching gears from Chubb?
7. Drew Brees Tops the League with at Least 5,000 Passing Yards
Brees has been slipping in recent mock drafts which makes him a perfect later-round target. While people will be reaching for Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck and Baker Mayfield once live drafting starts, let Brees fall to you after you stack your roster.
In 2018, Brees passed for the least amount of yards (3,992) than he ever has since playing with the Saints. But, he should be on course for a rebound. Minus Mark Ingram, the Saints could look to make more plays through the air. Tight end Jared Cook joining an already stellar receiving corps, will also help Brees.
The future Hall of Fame quarterback has hit league highs in passing yards seven times in his 18-year career. Why not watch him do it again in 2019?
8. Kerryon Johnson Finishes with a Monster 1,600 Total Yard Season
Johnson’s rookie campaign had a bummer ending when he never returned from an ankle injury he suffered in Week 10. Nonetheless, Johnson impressed when he toted the rock an average of 5.4 yards per carry.
Plus, he also produced a lofty 82.1 percent catch rate. This aligns perfectly with the Lions’ plans to get him more heavily involved in passing plays.
It is speculated by Dave Birkett of Detroit Free Press that Johnson will manage at “at least 60 receptions” this year. Given Johnson’s 6.7 yards per catch last year, Johnson could easily record upwards of 400 receiving yards. And, as the lead back, 75 rushing yards averaged per game is not out of the question. Doing the math, 1,600 total yards is very feasible.
P.S. Don’t worry about C.J. Anderson. He may vulture some touchdowns, but the big fantasy points — especially in PPR scoring — will come from Johnson’s overall touches.
9. Blake Bortles Comes to Jared Goff’s Rescue
Stranger things have happened in the league. The Rams saw some value in adding the Jaguars bust quarterback pick, Bortles to the mix. If Goff struggles, Bortles could be the man under center. Do we need to remind you that Goff was pretty awful towards the end of the 2018 season? And, he was just bad to the bone during his three postseason games.
During that stretch, he completed only 55.7 percent of his passes, while averaging only 237.3 passing yards per game, and a 1:2 touchdown to interception ratio. Yuck. If this trend continues, the king of garbage time (Bortles) will see field time.
10. Calvin Ridley Slides His Way into the Top 10 Wide Receiver Group
This would be quite cool. The Falcons would have two elite fantasy receivers if so. For those who do not want to reach for Julio Jones, Ridley might be your man. He ended last season as the 18th-ranked fantasy wide receiver after tallying 821 yards and 10 touchdowns. Now, Ridley is looking tremendous in camp and primed to keep evolving this fall.
With Tevin Coleman no longer around garnering targets, it leaves all the more for Ridley. If Ridley can squeeze in another 10 touchdowns and top 1,200 yards, he will hit top 10 fantasy pay dirt.