Bold Predictions (Redraft)
8/15/20: Once Bold, the rest of the world is now on board 🙂
4/27/20: Ok, so this is going to get massive push-back by some, and a big thumbs up by others. I get it, and I know the doubters reading this will cite "this feels a lot like Darrell Henderson, Smitty". Well, to those comments I humbling reply: "Could it also feel a lot like last year's Dalvin Cook or Aaron Jones calls?" Point is, last year has nothing to do with this year, and I have my Arian Fosters and my Darrell Hendersons, that's the nature of being bolder than the average fantasy football analyst (and, don't put a fork in Henderson yet, I have my concerns about Akers).
Clyde Helaire-Edwards is the real deal if you ask me. Watch this, then continue reading:
Ok, I'm going to assume you watched that entire video, and please do if you skipped it for whatever reason. The points I made about the micro-movements this guy makes is the key predicting this thing. He mirrors Maurice Jones-Drew in so many ways it's insane, and his situation is unreal. It's Maurice Jones-Drew talent meets Priest Holmes' situation. And, this is not a Damien Williams or David Montgomery situation, where both backs had the talent but were not used. Damien Williams is the better example here, as this is his exact coaching staff that neglected using him. This is different for two reasons. Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes. Both love this kid, and Mahomes said that drafting CEH was a must. He was asked. He said I want CEH. Reed fell in love with his film according to reports, and spending a first-round pick on him speaks volumes about Reid's plans to use him. If those two things don't influence you into thinking Edwards-Helaire will for sure get his shot, even if after a slower than expected easing in process due to the coronavirus situation, I don't know how to convince you on this one. I'll leave you with more footage of this human bowling ball (his college film), which should have you drooling all over the place.
8/15/20: Once Bold, now he is becoming a staple in the 4th... expect that to even climb.
(MEMBER ONLY VIDEO)
4/1/20: AJ Brown is insanely-talented. I had him and Nkeal Harry as my clear-cut top-two rookie wide receivers in January of 2019, that was until he landed in Tennessee. As I wrote after the NFL Draft, it was a shame to see him in a situation without a legit QB. I also wrote that in order for Brown to have a quick maturing process, a QB change would have to take place (even though, at the time, no good options appeared on the horizon). But, I also said that QBs emerge all the time, and QB situations can change with a snap of a finger. Wow, did that Titans' QB situation ever change fast and unexpectedly.
Ryan Tannehill looks amazing and you can bet that the Titans will ensure that they lock the dude up for the long-term. He is signed through 2021, so he is cemented in Tennessee for 2020, but I have a feeling Tannehill will not seek to go elsewhere. I think there is little chance that he risks trying to mesh into yet another offense, which would add in the potential of altering his revived career trajectory (his second chance). Tennessee could wait until mid-season next year to address his contract, a kind of test run if you will, but I believe that the Titans will act fast and get something done this off-season; they will want to get to work on 2020. What an offense and what a nice situation for AJ Brown.
Brown looks the part. He has the size of a Calvin Johnson/Terrell Owens, and his rookie numbers were phenomenal:
Regular Season: 52 receptions, 1051 yards, 8TDs (and five 100-yard games).
I won't be shocked at all if Brown drops 1200-1300 yards, 12-14TDs on 80+ catches in 2020. Don't go drafting the guy as the 5th-ranked WR in 2020 fantasy football drafts. He will not be ranked that high on a consensus level, which means his ADP should be well outside the top 5WRs. Think more 10-15 range for now, and if his ADP climbs much like Chris Godwin's did from March (6-7 rounds) to August (3rd) last off-season, we will readjust and determine how high is "too high" (if that's even possible). For now, he isn't sniffing top 5WR rankings, which is why this stands as a bold prediction. Buy Brown in dynasty. Right now.
8/15/2020: Like most of these predictions, this was once crazy and now people are drafting Drake in the top 12. Surprise, surprise, surprise.
2/17/20: I love Kenyan Drake heading into 2020.
Talented: He has the makings of a top 5RB.
Situationally: I think the same can be said, and I think that AZ coaching staff is telegraphing their desire to use him as the team's RB1 in 2019. At a glance, this prediction could become an "obvious call" several months from now (ex: AZ trades away David Johnson somehow, and Drake goes from a player with a 3rd- to 4th-round ADP, current guess, to a top 15 overall pick), something that happens when people start catching up on players rising like this...or, the large amount of doubters out there could remain skeptical and hold his ADP back. It's tough to say.
For now, outside of SleeperU communities, he's going to be a rounds 3-4 type of guy, and the risk is extremely low, especially if you cuff him to Chase Edmonds (I suppose David Johnson if he is still in AZ and said to be a factor). The cuffed duo, whether that's Drake with Edmonds, or Drake with DJ, is one of the craftiest RB2s one can secure in 2020 fantasy football.
For those willing to claim that Drake failed in Miami (and that he is a career back-up), you're letting the noise cloud your evaluation process. Let me hit you with the facts. In 2016, Drake averaged 5.4 YPC (first year).. in 2017, he averaged 4.8 YPC.. in 2018, he averaged 4.5 YPC. Any questions? Yeah, that's what I thought.. How about the fact that he only got 33, 133 and 120 carries? That's the only thing that held him back with those YPC stats. It's laughable. Make sure you grab the backup in AZ, Edmonds is really, really good, and this situation is even more impressive than Drake's skill set. Let me repeat that.. this bold prediction requires Drake + his backup. Now, go get some!
8/15/20: Like so many of these early-dropped bold predictions, all these guys' ADPs have climbed so far. Now, this isn't that bold lol.
6/28: Look, this is simple. Many will want to make it complicated, and many will want to make it about Nick Chubb getting unseated. I don't think Chubb will be unseated by Kareem Hunt.
First the prediction, then the scenarios and breakdown:
Kareem Hunt will start more than a handful of games in 2020 and win leagues; he will be a top 10-15RB end of season.
Let's back up now that the prediction is out of the way, and let's break this all down. Let's assume Chubb starts 16 games in 2002... even if that holds true, Hunt will have more than a role in this Browns' offense in 2020, and even if he doesn't start a single game, he will earn anyone back their investment. The kicker here is... if Hunt starts multiple games in 2020, and I think he will (I explain why below), he can win leagues for people.
Nick Chubb walked into 2019 tagged, some would say unfairly, as one of the more injury-capable runners. Let me first start by saying, predicting injury is a risky business, but Chubb has three things going against him that I think shouldn't be overlooked when you add them all together: 1) Overworked 2019, 2) huge, huge knee injury in college, something that could create later knee issues due to the damage that he for sure suffered... 3) his style of play is one of the more aggressive styles in the league for RBs.
Here is the confusing part.. I love Chubb per start, and I think owning both Chubb and Hunt together is gold. The problem is that owning both is hard, because if you already own Chubb at first-round value, it is actually tough grabbing a player on the same team (that is in theory the handcuff) before you have your 5th-drafted player. And, make no mistake about it, Hunt is climbing into the 5.10-6.06 ADP range. It's almost easier to take a risky stab at him there if you don't already own Chubb, but you will find that most Chubb owners can't stomach or make that move when it leaves them very Browns reliant. This means, if you own Chubb in 2020, you may have a hell of a time cuffing him, and that leaves you super exposed if you ask me. I'd rather own every one of Dalvin Cook (holdout risk and all), Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry, Austin Ekeler and Kenyan Drake over Nick Chubb if you tell me I will not also own Hunt later in that draft. If you promise me both, I can tell you Chubb feels very 6-10 overall worthy. But, I am starting to fade Chubb entirely in the first-round because I feel multiple missed games is somewhat likely, and I feel Hunt is too hard to cuff. Call that gut-driven, that's fine. A lot of variables are leading to that gut call, so I feel confident in the thinking. But, that's me.
Now, let's make another point clear. The only back-up running back in the NFL that is actually better than the starter is Kareem Hunt (this obviously assumes Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the starter, etc.). Yes, I actually think Hunt is better than Chubb. Chubb might be better between the tackles, but I think that's arguable. Hunt is better at everything else. He has a better nose for the end zone, he is a better receiver, and he is just flat-out more versatile, so much so the team is ready to use him at the WR3 spot on occasion in 2020. That alone opens the door up a ton for his standalone RB2-type value (even if Chubb starts all 16 games). Chubb will ball if starting 16 games, and the thing is, Stefanski runs everything through his RB, so much so that Hunt being a quality RB2 all year in a so called 'back-up' role won't even chip away at Chubb's upside. That's what Chubb owners need to understand. Stefanski, who came from MIN (who just turned Dalvin Cook into a beast in 2019), will utilize the starter so much that the back-up will have value.
Again, this comes full circle back to the health of Chubb. If Chubb stays healthy all year, Chubb shines just like last year, earns top 6-10 RB value, and Hunt walks into low-end RB2 value and earns you every bit of investment back that you paid at 5.10-6.06. That's low risk. Yes, Hunt is low risk at that range. Crazy to think, but the volume should be there, especially with the talk of him playing WR.
The prediction: If Kareem Hunt starts multiple games, and I predict it's more than a few, he absolutely wins leagues for fantasy owners in 2020. I predict that Hunt finishes as a top 10-15RB in 2020 (and the only reason he is not higher is because he could be in his 'side role' for a big chunk of the year. The top 10-15RB numbers will be amazing when all is said and done because he will have done that with half a season (or less) outside of the 'starting role.'
8/15/20: Tom Brady will win leagues for people in 2020, and he will be a top 3-5QB in fantasy football in 2020. Like most every single Bold Prediction I've dropped since Dec/Jan... this guy will climb people's boards heading into late August. As of now, Brady is going in the 8-11 round range, which is insane. He has Godwin, Evans, Gronk, Rojo/Vaughn, and a defense that will be much improved... he has a coach that turned a horrible Winston into a top 5QB, that's how much Tampa passes under Arians. The writing is on the wall on this one, yet so many people hear others say that Brady has declined or has a noodle arm. Watch the video last year. The guy has a strong enough arm to throw 50 yards down the field with ease. And, with weapons like Godwin (knifing across the field) and Evans (pulling in jump 50/50 balls), how the hell will Brady not throw for 34-35TDs (or way more) in 2020? If you miss out on Mahomes or Lamar this year, my favorite advice for late QB drafting strategies is to grab Brady. Draft Brady, win a league. I'm gonna make that into a t-shirt for 2020.
I love both Terry McLaurin and Hollywood Brown. Hell, I love AJ Brown way more than either. That 2019 WR class was insane! Hollywood should mature a ton in 2020, and he has one of the most exciting QBs in Lamar Jackson passing him the football. And, given how explosive Lamar is both via the air and the run, and given the Ravens will have continued success on the ground between the tackles, Hollywood Brown will be super-tough to contain and focus on in 2020. This will make his life easy as he progresses through his second year. He should have a lot of big play opportunities and he should haul in a lot of very deep passes in early 2020 as defenses truly game plan for Lamar.
I have Hollywood Brown pegged for 80+ receptions/1100+/6-9TDs in 2020.
8/20/20: Darren Waller dropped 1145 yards and 3TDs on 90 receptions in 2020. That is an insane season. Why aren't more people talking about the fact that this Raiders' tight end caught 90 passes for 1145 yards? Imagine if the guy gets 7-9TDs, which I think is entirely possible in 2020. Give him 85-90 receptions again for 1,100+ yards... but at 6-6, 245 pounds, the guy can absolutely be a TD monster. He plays like a WR in many ways, and he reminds me a ton of Antonio Gates and George Kittle. At 6-7 round value, which is where I have been getting him in recent drafts (like clockwork), Waller has win-a-league potential. I know most want Mark Andrews slotted 3, and I'm not saying to draft Waller over Andrews... but I quietly like Waller better because Andrews is taking on 2020 with type-1 diabetes, which could have him checking his glucose levels over 30 times per game.
Projections: 85-90 receptions, 1100+ yards and 6-9TDs
Everyone wants to assume that Chris Godwin will for sure be the #1WR in Tampa in 2020, but Mike Evans is Mr. Consistent in the 1,000-yard department, and he already has massively-good rapport with Tom Brady right now. I realize Brady is no spring chicken, but he still has the arm strength. He does. If you disagree, I don't blame you, but you are likely falling victim to hearing so many others say this and it has become fact in your own mind. I urge any doubters to watch film on Brady from last year, where he tossed 45-50 yard passes with ease. Evans is the guy that can go get any 50/50 ball and that will be the receiver Brady slings it too when he needs a play to happen. Extending a play with Evans' catch radius and vertical skill set will be unmatched. I wouldn't be shocked if both Godwin and Evans were top 10WRs with one, and I think it's Evans, being top 3-5. Brady, as you can read on the Bold Predictions above, is also in for a top 3-5QB season.
By season's end, I firmly believe that DK Metcalf will be sitting in the 7-10WR range for fantasy WRs in 2020. He has 12+TD appeal in an offense that will have plenty of big play opportunities heading DK's direction. He is impossible to contain one-on-one, and Russell Wilson is going to lean on him more than ever. What is funny to me is when people try to come to conclusions on his potential workload, or his skill set, or his target volume... after one rookie season, are people that naive? To assume rookies won't get better? To assume a sophomore season can't be full of way more growth and targets? Give me a break. When people say this about both DK and AJ Brown, I laugh. I laugh hard. Judging both of these elite studs off of their rookie seasons, which were PHENOMENAL I might add, it's just plain laughable. DK will explode if healthy in 2020.
2/1/20: I love Kyler Murray in 2020. Not only is he in an offense that exactly fits his style of play, his coaching staff will ensure that it's tailor-made for him for as long as they are coaching the kid. Murray had a phenomenal rookie season, and the team has made some bold moves over the last year when you think about it. Not only did they scratch the Josh Rosen experiment and boldly go all-in on Murray in 2019, they made an aggressive trade to go get Kenyan Drake. I believe they will do their very best to retain Drake, and I think he helps this offense stay on track in terms of the momentum they've collected coming out of a very successful 2019 campaign. My point with all the bold stuff is that this coaching staff wants to get aggressive and they firmly believe in the direction this offense is going, and they 100 percent believe in their commander (Murray). The Cards are so bold now, I wouldn't be shocked at all if they aggressively drafted one of my top 2-4 rookie WRs in this 2020 NFL Draft. This would make Murray climb draft boards, though, so prepare for that. Let's say they don't get a big name rookie WR, though.. that's fine, Christian Kirk could be a top 15ish WR in 2020. For now, Murray has crazy-late value. Should he climb high in the coming months in terms of ADP value, I will surely circle back with an update. However, even with an uptick from let's say the NFL Draft, I still think that he ranks in WAY low given his appeal. Let's say he climbed to 6th-round value, he will still crush that value. But, know you can likely get him much later as of right now. Buy!
DJ Chark already broke out in 2019, but for whatever reason he qualifies as a sleeper/breakout in 2020. Why? Because of his ADP. Look, sleeper and breakout can be defined 100 different ways, and it makes me laugh when people suggest I cannot call Tom Brady a sleeper at 8th- to 10th-round value, or Chark a sleeper at 5.01. I can define Sleeper however I want 🙂 and I do. Here at SleeperU, that's the speciality course, and Chark fits the bill. Chark at 5.01 ish ADP screams upside. Don't even hesidate making him your WR1 in a zero WR draft strategy. Drafting Chark and DK Metcalf together, or AJ Brown and Chark makes for the sneakiest WR duo for those loving the late-build WR approach.
8/15/20: Not so crazy anymore? Now Fournette has a 3rd-round ADP if he's lucky.
3/20/20: Leonard Fournette is a touchy subject for many. I know, he did well last year and I said stay away. I missed. But, I am not convinced. He was one of my top Bold Prediction calls (as a bust) in 2018, and he flat-out failed fantasy owners that season. He dropped a grip of weight that year, which I screamed was an awful idea for a runner with his rushing style (and injury concerns). His good season in 2019 doesn't convince me for many reasons... for starters, even the Jaguars aren't willing (as of now) to pick up his 5th year... ask yourself why... The Jaguars, on more than one occasion, have come close to writing him off.. So for dynasty, there are even more reasons to avoid or sell high... Mix in the fact that he is an injury risk with what many call 'spotty' conditioning (which with a big frame concerns me to an extreme degree). I know predicting injury is a risky business, but the guy has a smash mouth rushing style and a massive frame to carry around, and if you say he isn't injury prone, ask yourself why he has changed his playing weight here and there in order to try and stay more healthy. Mix in occasional poor on/off-the-field decision making and Fournette screams avoid for me. Screams! I don't care if he pulled in 70 passes last year... He never had more than 30 in one season prior, and John Defilippo came in for one year and made Fournette productive in the passing game. It's clear as day that this had everything to do with Filippo, but after one year he was fired, and I think Fournette will likely return to what he has been doing in the passing game the years prior (nothing over 30 receptions). He is a must-sell in dynasty at his current top 15 overall dynasty value... cash in on that and run! And, in redraft, at near top 12-13 overall value, he is one of my absolute biggest avoids for 2020.
I love Terry McLaurin. He reminds me of Steve Smith. In fact, I'll make it known now... he is the next Steve Smith. The dude has some obstacles, sure... Most all of which relate to Dwayne Haskins... but, I think that McLaurin will be fine long-term and he will find a way to score big points even with some potential ups and downs at the QB position. I say potential ups and downs because Haskins still should be given a shot. And, it's important to keep in mind that everyone thought that Tennessee had no QB options on the bench. Tannehill played fantastic. I'm not saying Case Keenum is the answer like Tannehill appears to be, but it's possible he does ok if called upon, and it's also possible that WAS makes a bold move via draft or trade. It's also possible Haskins was just getting his feet under him and he could still develop. Either way, McLaurin feels like the kind of receiver that can survive and make his QB better. Some WRs can't weather a QB storm, Amari Cooper as one example... others can, DeAndre Hopkins being an example. While I'm not calling McLaurin a Hopkins, I'm suggesting that they are both WRs that create space and make their QBs better. Cooper is made better by his QB not the other way around.
I predict an 80 reception, 1200+/7-10TD season out of McLaurin in 2020.
8/10/20: TJ Hockenson is a beast in the making. He dropped 100 yards and a TD in Week 1 during his rookie debut in 2019. Then he got hurt. Injury is his only worry, and he still is kinda banged up right now. So, don't buy him high, but if you can snag him offer waivers or get him tossed into a deal, you might be securing yourself a hidden gem that could quickly turn into the next Mark Andrews. Hock has the size, the athletic ability, and the situation (assuming Stafford stays healthy this year). Hock has all of the tools I saw in Kittle, and he will only get better. I love when people judge a player by their rookie year. You catch people sleeping that way. He is no lock, I can't emphasize enough to buy him at the right price if you do go shopping via trade. The upside is huge if that price is in fact right!
Note: The following were bumped not because I don't like the player, but I just liked another prediction more. Still use this info because I still see these as runner-up players.
I love Daniel Jones. I didn't. I admit this. I was one of the many that laughed when the Giants grabbed the guy in the first-round in the 2019 NFL Draft. I was wrong. This kid looks legit, and more importantly, he's in a fantastic situation for the now and long-term. Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Darius Slayton, that is some darn good talent surrounding the rising star of a QB. Add in my prediction that the Giants sign a big name WR from this 2020 rookie NFL Draft class, and I think Jones will be setup nicely to be one of the biggest QB surprises in 2020. Trade for him now in dynasty, and expect to see him in later rounds in 2020 August drafts, as QBs naturally fall by default (and he isn't on most people's radar for top 5-8 material.
Dynasty Bold Predictions: Jeudy, Lamb, Harry
9/10/20: This is on the dynasty bold predictions because it has a lot of 2021 appeal, but you could call this a 2020 prediction in part as well. Jerry Jeudy has such a big 2020, I predict, he walks into 2021 drafts as a top 12 fantasy football WR. While most rookie WRs not named AJ Brown will have ups and downs, I think believe Jeudy will finish lights out, which will have him scoring maybe better than an elite flex or WR3, and it will have him in the 2nd-round convo in 2021 drafts, or at least 3rd-round range. He looks SO polished right now. It's crazy. His quickness, route running, work ethic... it's all off the charts. This kid screams breakout in 2021 and even a bit in 2020. In fact, he is quickly becoming my favorite 4th WR with the full intention of eventually using him as my regular WR3. I am playing it safe putting him in the top 12... the dude could be way better than that in 1.5 seasons from now.
6/13/20: Ceedee Lamb is a beast. He is just under 200 pounds, but he is 6-2, and I think he will put on some important weight at the pro level. I don't think it will slow him down either, many wide receivers gain weight at the next level, and it helps them because the competition is just stronger and quicker. Lamb dropped some serious lines at Oklahoma.. in 2018, he pulled in 65/1158/11TDs and in 2019, he pulled in 62/1327/14TDs. This guy is probably the closest thing to DeAndre Hopkins out of all the 2020 NFL rookie wide receivers. I love Jerry Jeudy a lot, but his situation is much more crowded. Lamb has an open path to the Cowboys top wide receiver spot. I know that's not what Amari Cooper owners want to hear, but the truth is, Cooper has vanished before and has been known to let his situation affect him (drops, drive). He can't get out of his own head when things go wrong, and Cooper, unlike receivers like Kenny Golladay, must have everything going smoothly in his offense in order to deliver. Now, I do not expect things to be inefficient in Dallas, so from that standpoint, things will be smooth. However, watching his team draft the future WR1 is something that I predict will affect Cooper. I think Cooper can still be high-end WR2-capable in 2020, so be sure not to twist that up; however, this is Lamb's team by 2021, and we may see Lamb in full WR1 mode in the final weeks of 2020 (if not at least showing flashes of brilliance often). I predict that Lamb has such a strong rookie campaign, overall, he walks into all 2021 drafts as a top 15 overall pick... and I think he is considered a top 5-6WR in dynasty heading into all 2021 drafts/off-seasons. While many first thought that this situation was iffy for Lamb, that his long-term value was in question due to the landing spot, I'm here to tell you that the reality is that his situation couldn't be better. In the end, Dak will be in DAL long-term, and Lamb is embedded in an amazing offense that will make it hard for defenses to ever fully focus on shutting him down. And, Lamb has a big spotlight to drive him to shine. What more can you ask for?
I know last year, NKeal Harry's first year in the NFL, was a disappointing one. He got hurt, he wasn't used properly, it was painful to watch to be honest. No, not because he didn't live up to the hype, he actually looks amazing. The little that he played near the end of 2019 proved to me that he has the talent I talked up all off-season long in 2019. The question still remains, will New England use him properly and right away in 2020? I don't know. I honestly do not. I could guess, but it would be exactly that, a guess. I venture to say that we will have a good indication what is likely to happen in 2020 as we head into the NFL Draft, or slightly after. So, expect an update from me then... but, for now, given how awesome the guy looked in short doses at the end of 2019, I'm excited.