Bold Predictions (Redraft)
To explain this, check out this 2/6/19 video:
This is less bold after Todd Gurley played badly in the 2019 NFL Super Bowl, however, we posted this back in the middle of January, and have been talking about it for over a month. We know it's still bold because I'm getting a bit of push back on it on social media, as I've posted on this topic a ton. So, here it is, our first 'bust' bold prediction for 2019.
Watch my January 21st video on this topic:
The more I watch the film on Darrell Henderson, the more excited I get. His landing spot was critical, and as I wrote in my original rookie write-up on the guy, he could climb my rankings FAST. And, well, that's what you're witnessing here today with this Bold Prediction.
The speedy rookie rusher isn't a big guy, as he stands at 5-9, 200 pounds... but, he plays like a monster. He runs as if he is fired out of a cannon on very play, and he led the nation in 40+ rushes (14 of them), making him arguably the biggest home-run-hitting running back inside this 2019 NFL Draft class.
His landing spot is ideal, slotted behind the biggest bust candidate entering 2019 (Todd Gurley), who will clearly be declining (at the very least) moving forward... this arguably makes the Rams one of the most ideal landing spots for a rookie running back in 2019 and beyond. It's not just a solid spot, it's one of the VERY BEST spots. Gurley, at best, would survive the year giving up more and more and more usage to Henderson as the season moved along. That's the BEST scenario I can imagine for a guy that looked like he hit that wall already in the Super Bowl (and has yet to bounce-back).
Look at these career stats at Memphis, where Hendy ran for 1900+ yards and 22TDs in 2019 (with 25 total touchdowns on the year). He looks very DeAngelo Williams (in his prime) like, with a touch of Alvin Kamara.
... for those that like the story, by me, told in video format, here you go (keep reading after the video, I'm not quite done):
... and, if you're like me and you are more 'eye test' driven with your fantasy football analysis/process... just watch this film and tell me you aren't blown away and excited to see this guy get carries in that Rams offensive attack?
Update: The drafting of Benny Snell only changes one thing... it makes the prediction (adding in Snell) even more secure if you ask me. Now, just like last year's prediction, that Conner/Samuels would win leagues for people, the same thing applies here with Samuels/Snell. Be CERTAIN to cuff both Samuels and Snell together on this, as it's the situation (and red flags for Conner) that makes the back-up most appealing, and Snell now is in the mix (and very cheap to acquire)!
Just like last year, there is a Sleeping Giant fantasy football rusher on that Steelers' roster, and it's not James Conner. In fact, this prediction is that James Conner busts in 2019, as he currently sits at top 6-10 overall value on February ADPs. In fact, he might bust before August, if the team slowly downplays his kung-fu grip on the starting job. We just saw Nick Chubb's fantasy value go from top 10 overall to destroyed overnight, so if anyone thinks they know exactly what Pittsburgh is thinking with two runners that both thrived last year, you have another thing coming (well, I predict you will). This prediction is also suggesting that, like last year with James Conner, Jaylen Samuels will help fantasy owners win leagues in 2019. Watch:
2/5/19: Dalvin Cook is a top 5RB trapped in the value of a player that will cost you late 2nd-round value. If in dynasty, try buying at this value. If in redraft, hopefully his value stays near where it currently is, which is the 18-28 range. I've seen him go in the middle of the 2nd-round in a few mocks, but as late as the top of the 3rd-round in others. He has not just top 5RB appeal, he has 1-5RB appeal. He failed so many last year, he will, by default, be a value grab in 2019. Take full advantage, you will rarely find a potential top 1-5RB ranked this low, but the key is to bake the risk right in (so take him near that ADP only).
I feel extremely passionate about this one, folks. Not that I don't get that warm and fuzzy feeling about all these calls, but I think George Kittle absolutely explodes in 2019. He had 1300+ yards and 80+ receptions in SF last season with a QB carousel of garbage. Imagine if he can just muster up those same reception and yardage totals, but with double-digit touchdowns! I believe he will. I think 80-85 receptions for 1,300-1,350 yards and 10-13TDs is truly in the cards. And, given that Travis Kelce was on this Bold Predictions board last year, with similar projections, I think it's safe to say that when a TE hits this Bold Predictions board, I/we mean business. If you owned Kelce last year at his 'steal' of an ADP ranking, you had something like a 15% chance increase of winning your league. I think if you own Kittle at this 3rd-round value in 2019, you will likely be looking at an even greater % chance increase. Be CERTAIN to draft him as late as possible, meaning use his 3.01-3.08 ADP to your advantage. Taking my prediction and then forcing his selection at 15-20 overall value is just wasting the upside. At the right price, you can win your league in 2019 by drafting this guy. And, in dynasty, trade for Kittle at this 3rd-round value... this will not last.
Baker Mayfield might have a 40TD season in 2019, and I thought this was possible prior to the Odell Beckham trade. Imagine how high I am on him now!
I said this leading into the weekend Odell Beckham Jr. was traded to the Browns:
I love Odell Beckham this year, and I think he finally stays healthy. He was in an awful offense for a long time, and many have speculated that Odell wasn't always so banged up in NY. I'm not suggesting that he faked big injuries, but it's not hard to imagine him questioning his rush to return to that offense when banged up. He's happy now, though, as he is reunited with his best friend Jarvis Landry; he has one of the best up-and-coming QBs tossing him the ball in Baker Mayfield. Baker could toss over 36-39TDs in 2019, and I see no reason why Odell can't pull in 12-15 of those. Cleveland will be one of the most aggressive offenses in the league in 2019. They will not only live near the red zone, they will be so hard to plan for defenses. Like the Chiefs, the plethora of weapons will lead to everyone eating, at least I think Chubb, Njoku and Odell will do all kinds of scoring in 2019. I like Landry, but I think this is Odell's team. A happy Odell will be a hard-working Odell; he will be motivated to stay on the field all year and win games. The hard work will lead to a better shot at staying healthy, and if healthy, the targets will surely be there for Odell to walk into top 1-4WR numbers in 2019. I predict Odell finishes as the #1 WR in fantasy football in 2019.
This gets less bold every day that passes, so I need to toss this up on the Bold Predictions before the 'boldness' wears off. The thing is, as much as we already like this guy around these parts, out in the real world he has mediocre value. That could change fast, as he shows flashes of stud-like ability. Below is a click of such ability. Guys, this rusher is elite and he is a tackle-breaking machine (to a NCAA leading tune). Get ready for top 4-7RB numbers in 2019 and beyond!
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David Montgomery has top 5-10RB upside for the now and future. . You’re going to hear a lot of people start claiming to have called the rise of #DavidMontgomery .. but you won’t find anyone this bullish on him dating back to January. . My followers, especially on my SleeperU.com forum, won’t be shy about telling you who really called this guy’s rise before anyone else got on board. . @thefantasyfootballshow #thefantasyfootballshow
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This one is deep, everyone. Super deep. This is one of the deepest Bold Predictions I've pulled out of my bag of tricks in some time. I've made it no secret that Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt together are one of my top 5-10RB locks for 2019 fantasy football. I have received a ton of criticism on my advice of drafting Hunt at all, as he is out half a season... but it's never been about Hunt replacing Chubb, but merely just protecting that top 5-10RB slot if Chubb were to get hurt. But, my new favorite deep sleeper is Dontrell Hilliard. He is the No.2 in CLE with Duke Johnson now in Houston, and the Browns coaching staff has already made it super clear that this guy is going to immediately replace Duke in that old role, which should be filled with good PPR opportunities even as the team's back-up. Now, Hilliard and Chubb can co-exist, I don't see my excitement for Hilliard affecting my top 5-10RB predictions out of Chubb. Hilliard would, however, explode in value if Chubb ever got hurt, and my goal in this bold prediction is to A) either prepare you in smaller leagues to have this guy on speed dial, B) have you immediately pick him up in larger leagues because you will regret it if you miss out on him later (should Chubb go down, or should the team use Hilliard a lot out of the gate).
Hilliard is a very good receiver and on the Browns' very successful opening drive during Week 2 of the preseason, Hilliard was used super efficiently with the starters (he can Chubb co-existed brilliantly).
This is a deep stash/potential RB4 type play, folks. I have a funny feeling about Hilliard, guys. I can't shake it. Get him.
2/2019: Updated ADP Data (heading into Feb) suggests that Calvin Ridley is slotting into the 65-70 overall range. That’s around players like Lamar Miller, Tyler Lockett, Corey Davis and Alshon Jeffery types. Folks, this could be one of the bigger steals outside of the top 50 overall… honestly, this kid could flirt with low-end WR1-type numbers in 2019. Of course, do not draft or trade for him at WR1 value, that defeats the purpose of making him a Bold Prediction on this list… buy low, expect big, and if he disappoints, well, you ‘should’ still easily get back the value you invested (as top 65-ish overall value is nothing given the upside).
So what do I love about the kid? Where do I begin? Speed. Quickness. The fact that he runs the ball gives him some Tyreek Hill to his game, and he THRIVED as a rookie (64/821/10TDs), which happens periodically (a rookie exploding), and usually when a rookie breaks out in a massive way, it's usually no fluke. It’s just super tough to blow up at the WR position as a rookie; doing so just proves how ready that player is.
One awesome stat is that after the bye week, the guy was on pace for 104 targets (for those eight straight games). That would have put him in the top 20 for all WRs. With his big play ability, that can make him a much higher finisher than 20.
In his second season here in 2019, I predict the kid pulls in 75-80 receptions for 1100+ yards and 10 or more TDs.
Want some video footage on this speed specialist?
Aaron Jones has massive upside in 2019. The risk here is injury. The guy has struggled with injury, especially with the MCL, in the past, but the upside has always been there. There is no legit competition if Jones stays healthy, and he has bulked up a ton and taken his off-season work to the next level. Finally. His offense is set to bounce-back into a Super Bowl contending one, too... potent, electric... So, while I'd call him risky if his ADP was inside the 2nd-round... it's not. At 3.08-4.03 value, which is about where his ADP fluctuates... well, let's just say the risk is built in and the upside is monstrous. Just be certain you don't ride this train in all of your leagues, as he is equal parts risk/reward... and, with players like that, it's fun/ok to own shares, but not all over. Try your best to draft this guy as your 4th-drafted player, as he will sometimes fall that far... and, if you get him that late, it's win-a-league material.. in the third, he still has close to that appeal, but landing him in the 4th is how you can maximize the result here, and it's also how you can ensure you aren't owning too many shares in the guy.
Smitty's Take: Right now, he isn't in the top 5RBs according to most all fantasy football sites out there.. but, he's my #1 rookie running back in this 2019 NFL Draft Class! His nickname is "Motor" and for good reason. Watch the very first TD run in the clip below, which showcases a glimpse of Barry Sanders-like start and stop. If I had to call-out one skill that separates this kid from all the other rookies and all of the other rushers ALREADY in the NFL, it would be.... start-stop skills. His start-stop game is off the hook.
Devin Singletary (5-9/200) was a beast in 2017, rushing for 32 touchdowns and 1920 yards (he also pulled in 19/198/1TD via the air). This past year in 2018, he ran for 1348 yards and 22TDs (pulling in just 6/36/0TDs through the air). He averaged 5.2 YPC this season, and 6.4 and 6.7 the two year's prior. He has relatively low mileage and extremely-underrated receiving skills (proven by his 26 and 19 reception-seasons in '16 and '17.
When I watch this kid run, I see a mix between about 10 former and current elite running backs in the NFL... names like LaDainian Tomlinson, Frank Gore, Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara come to mind, and not just a little.... this kid is loaded with play that has shades of all these players mixed into one.
Prediction: If drafted into the right spot, Devin Singletary could be as good as any running back already in the NFL, and his 2020 start-up draft ADP could be top 5 overall. Ink it!
Ok, I know what the doubters will say right out of the gate, so let's address it... Are there a ton of mouths to feed in Cleveland in 2019? Sure, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in Kansas City. And, how does Travis Kelce do? And, if you think the two offenses are not comparable, well, then that's where the disagreement sits, and that's fine... differing opinions are ok. All of this stuff we call fantasy football prediction-driven and gut instinct. But, I think that this Browns' offense will be in the top three offenses in the NFL, both in stats/numbers and in aggressiveness. The volume will be there for Njoku, and more importantly, the TD chances will be present.
Question: what do you want most for your starting fantasy tight end?
Answer: The answer should be... an offense that lives near the goal line and inside the red zone.
Wouldn't you agree that Cleveland will be in scoring position more than most offenses? They will be exciting. They will be dynamic. They will be potent. All of this, my friends, leads to TD chances. So, whether he can get 70 receptions in this spread-out offense, that won't necessarily determine whether Njoku is a stud in 2019... his TD chances will, and I see him having an easy shot at 6-9TDs in 2019. I think he has a chance to crush 6-9TDs, too, that's my safe 'Hey, Smitty, don't get crazy and drive people away' leash that I am putting on myself.
Watch My Video On This:
Ok, so heading into Week 1's Sunday games, my final locked-in bold prediction will be trade related, as all of you have drafted by now. So, let's win you a league via trade.
Go get Melvin Gordon right now at what would equate to his draft value if you were drafting right now. That value is 5th to 6th round value. That is a WR3 or your flex. It's worth it.
Could you lose your league if this doesn't land? No, but you can certainly win your league if this lands. Plus, the current worst-case scenario feels like Gordon playing half a season. U-Crew Nation, that means that even if it plays out like that, you probably earn the value back that costs you 5-6 round value right now. But, if he returns in week 2-3, something I feel is likely (even if it is not trade related, but especially if it's trade related for the Chargers)... you win your league. You get a top 6 ish overall player in fantasy.
This is the best advice I think I can give right now. Acquire. Acquire. Aquire!
Why are these players bumped? I don't lock these Bold Predictions in until kickoff of Week 1, this way you get the best predictions possible. Don't worry, once kickoff happens, I do lock them for the record, but news breaks, guys get hurt, the NFL Draft dishes out landing spots we may not love, so there needs to be room to add/remove to make sure the list is updated. So, know that I do occasionally take a player off, but list that prediction still... but i do lock them at kickoff. Enjoy the 'bumped list' below:
#11 - Robert Woods will post WR1 numbers in 2019 (with 10+TDs)
I'll be honest, Robert Woods is a guy I didn't envision having the season he had in 2018. He pulled in 86 receptions for 1,219 yards and 6TDs. That's quite a year for a guy not many saw coming. There are a ton of mouths to feed on that Rams' roster, no doubt, but Brandin Cooks, while awesome, is both inconsistent and a tad injury prone... and, while there is an argument to be made that Cooper Kupp will take away a lot of targets in 2019 that Woods saw in 2018, well, I say I will believe it when I see it. I think Kupp has to break away from his own injury-prone label, and I don't think the label is a reckless tag on a player that has only played two years... he plays aggressive, and much like Julian Edelman and Mike Evans, Kupp might be a tad bit more susceptible to getting banged up given the style of play. Now, what is bold about liking Woods in 2019? Well, I think his current ADP (Average Draft Position) value is venturing into the 41-28 overall territory, and that places him next to names like Aaron Jones, Jarvis Landry, Stefon Diggs, a grip of QBs and TEs like Rob Gronkowski and Eric Ebron. Now, this isn't to say that those aren't good players. In fact, I like all those names, and all should have good 2019 fantasy football seasons. That said, none of those guys will likely tower over Woods even if the guy kinda falls short of expectations in 2019. In fact, he will likely equal all of those guys listed on a somewhat disappointing 2019 campaign. However, I think out of all of the players just mentioned, Woods is the only one with tail-end top 10WR ceiling value. He was top 13 in targets for WRs and I think that kind of usage will continue in 2019 and beyond.
Prediction: He can be a WR1 in 2019. That's my take. I think that 90-95 receptors for 1,300+ yards and 10-11TDs is easily in the cards for Robert Woods, numbers that would easily have him sitting in the low-end WR1 range for fantasy (if not higher).
I will posted a video on the guy soon, and I will post it here below once it's done (look for it in 24-48 hours).
It's time to be humble first. I believe Swampies and RabidBucFan, two of our Mod Generals here at U-Crew Nation, have been on Robert Foster longer than I have. But, when looking at ADP and general thinking in the fantasy football world, this guy isn't being talked about. Not only did the Bills leave the 2019 NFL Draft without drafting a huge threat to his WR1 #s in Buffalo, the guy is good enough to still be the Bills' future stud WR. Someone is going to shine, and Josh Allen is way, way better than people think. His running alone makes him a top 7-10 fantasy capable QB in 2019, but no one is giving him time to improve his accuracy, or get a running game going to help him improve his overall game. He has at least a top 3 arm in the league in terms of strength, behind maybe only Aaron Rodgers and Pat Mahomes.
Foster only caught two passes through nine weeks, and then he exploded when the Bills started playing him all the time. From Week 10 on, Foster caught 25-of-35 targets for 511 yards and 3TDS, and in that timeframe, he led all WRs with a 23.6-yard average depth of target. He pulled in nine passes of 20+ yards and led all NFL receivers with four catches of 40-plus yards over that period.
Watch his film, guys, as the resume is hard to judge on its own, despite those stats I just spat out at you being damn impressive. Here is the dude on film. A rising star? You be the judge!
Ok, so let me address the 'elephant' in the room. The elephant being change. I have been talking up AJ Brown as the second-best wide receiver from this 2019 NFL Draft class, and honestly, I still think skill-set wise he is... however, situation matters a lot, and it can often make a great receiver slow-maturing, and that could be what we are looking at with Brown in TEN. I'm hopeful that they build around him, and for those that think a QB situation cannot change fast, just take a look at Arizona and how Rosen was just drafted and appeared to be the franchise passer, and one year later he is gone and the Cards have what many believe to be a dynasty QB that can take them to the promise land (Kyler Murray). So, Brown could see such a change in situation, just give him time. For those that don't have time, for those that want the now... I give you Deebo Samuel!
Deebo Samuel was my third-ranked WR from this 2019 NFL Draft class before the draft occurred, so clearly I was high on him before his wonderful landing spot was made known. I don't you will find many that had him at the 3 spot. Well, he moves to my 2 spot now that he lands in San Fran, and after watching even more film on him, I'm really feeling like this is a situation that produces one of those eventual top 10WRs for the future. Will he be that good in 2019? Probably not consistently, no, but he will show flashes of that upside, and I think he could drop fantastic WR3 numbers in fantasy during his first year.
As you can see below, his college stats won't wow you, as he never even had a 1,000-yard season. But, don't let that scare you off... he had 11TDs in 2018, and sometimes gut instinct and the 'eye' test is more important than anything. Mix in situation, and the fact that this guy is already hard at work (I love that about him)... I'm getting extremely excited about this rookie.
I have two vides for you below.. 1) My video on him, 2) His game film ... watch both if you can!
AJ Brown will be a top 4-10WR in 1-2 years.
March 2018: This draft class is so much better than people realize (in my opinion). From the WRs to the RBs, I think it will produce some studs in fantasy football for years to come. And, this is especially he case at WR, as I have both NKeal Harry and AJ Brown becoming fantasy football monsters in 1-2 years. You can read all about Harry above, as he sits atop the Bold Predictions list at #1. But, Brown is gonna be a stud, and I mean fantasy WR1-type stuff. He plays a lot like an Antonio Brown-type, and he is so polished and smooth looking when running routes, something that will have him translating quickly into the NFL game/speed.
He can go up and get a ball against anyone at his size (6-1/230), and he still has enough speed to separate. His biggest strengths are his massive size, his ability to run both smooth and crisp routes… In the right situation, this WR could be a fantasy WR1 at the next level, no question about it. He totaled 85 receptions for 1,320 yards and 6TDs in 2018.
I predict that in 1-2 years, AJ Brown is a top 4-10 fantasy WR.
Dynasty Bold Predictions
N'Keal Harry is explosive. Harry stands out as a player that could be special, and when I say special, I mean Calvin Johnson special, or Terrell Owens special, and he has both styles to his game. In the right spot, I think Harry can be a top 5-10 fantasy football WR.
Prediction: N'Keal Harry will be a top 5-10 fantasy WR by mid-way through his second NFL season. He will be the next Terrell Owens.
Size, strength, the ability to get any jump ball... and when it isn't a jump ball he is going after, he can muscle his way through any defender's arm or mild attempt to get in his way. I'm not sure how this guy isn't everyone's top-ranked rookie WR heading into 2019.
Checkout his solid career stats below, followed by video footage of the beast-in-the-making.