Ah, this is a day that I look forward to more than Christmas day; with the football season right around the corner, we await to see a full year full of unpredictable playmakers emerge and salvage fantasy teams, and destroy others. Welcome back everyone. To get things started, I just wanted to make a quick list of some bold predictions leading into the fantasy season. When I mean bold, I really mean BOLD. Is it really bold to say that Devante Adams is going to tear it up? Is it bold to say that Antonio Brown will have 100+ receptions this year? Nope, what I am going to say is going to sound a bit far fetched, but who knows: anything can happen.
Before I start, it is important that all of you guys know of all the big injuries that happened this off season. The biggest ones are probably season ending injuries to Kelvin Benjamin and Jordy Nelson; Arian Foster also had a severe groin injury which lead him to get surgery just a few weeks ago. Some reported that he would be out all year but now, he is projected to be back within the next 3-5 weeks; how you ask? I have no idea. It must his vegan powers.
Jason Pierre-Paul also decided to blow off his index finger with fireworks this off season and his time table to return is still unknown (not that anyone is planning to draft the Giants’ defense) and there are a few rookies that also sustained some injuries. Breshad Perriman injured his knee on the first day of training camp which kept him sidelined all preseason and Kevin White need surgery on his shin which may keep him from seeing the field all year.
Also, Geno Smith got punched by this truck known as IK Enemkpali so he is expected to be out for around 4-6 weeks, but who cares. Now lets get on to some real bold predictions.
1. Brandin Cooks will be a top 5 Receiver
“What? Tommy, of course Brandin Cooks is going to be good!” I know, I know. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Cooks is primed for a huge year but I don’t think he is only going to be good; he is going to be great. In a division with Mike Evans, Julio Jones and Funchess, I believe that Cooks will be right at the top with Julio.
With Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills wearing different jerseys this season, Cooks is going to generate lots of targets. To put it into perspective, Cooks only played for 10 games last year and was targeted 70 times and he caught 53 of them for 550 yards and 3 touchdowns. Although these numbers don’t jump out at the page, his 4.3 speed and athleticism will surely change your mind.
The Saints are obviously going to become a more run-oriented team but if Brees is still under center and Sean Payton is calling the plays, an aerial attack will still be the bread and butter for The Saints. Drew Brees averages 628 pass attempts and 4,900 yards per season since he arrived in New Orleans in 2006. Even if there is a drop off, I cannot imagine it dropping by a significant margin.
With Colston past his prime and Graham out of the picture, it is Cooks time to shine and I will predict that he will have 100+ catches and 1,300+ yards with 8-11 touchdowns; oh it also doesn’t hurt that he trained with Randy Moss this off season and he stated that Cooks was one of the most talented receiver he has ever practiced with. Cooks is going to tear the league up and you shouldn’t be surprised; I expect him to be like Antonio Brown Jr
2. Justin Forsett will be a top 5 Back
It baffles me to see how late Forsett goes in many leagues. He finished in the top 5 last year in rushing yards and finished with 8 touchdown with his first year in Baltimore. He isn’t a one trick pony either, he also had 44 catches for almost 300 yards.
In case you guys haven’t gotten the memo, Marc Trestman was recently hired as the Ravens’ Offensive Coordinator; lets have a flash back to last season: Marc Trestman becomes the head coach of the Chicago Bears and sees a struggling offense with a strong armed QB and a versatile running back in Matt Forte. Does that sound familiar? Guess what happened next? Forte broke the receptions record for a running back with 102 catches. 102. One hundred and two.
Forsett ended the year as the 8th overall running back in fantasy so it is hard to believe how late he is still available in many drafts. Not only do I see him surpassing the amount of points he achieved last year, I expect him to propel up to the top 5.
3. Kyle Rudolph will be the best Tight End in the NFL
Here is where things get crazy. Kyle Rudolph will not only be a good tight end, but he will out perform Gronk, Graham, Olsen, Kelce, everyone. Now I know what you guys must be thinking: “Who the hell is Kyle Rudolph?” “Okay, this who list is trash. Tommy has no idea what he is talking about,” “Wait is that the guy who gets hurt every year?” Well…you’re not wrong with any of these accusations.
Here are some facts: Rudolph has been inactive for nearly half of the games in the past 2 seasons with the Vikings, he has never surpassed 500 yards in a season, and he is obviously constantly injured. Now why may I be so high on good ol’ Rudolph now?
Kyle stands at a staggering 6’6″ and 265 pounds. Teddy Bridgewater is coming off of a great rookie year and he has looked sharp all preseason so he is looking to avoid the sophomore slump. The Vikings are in a great situation for someone like Rudolph to shine. Adrian Peterson is back in Minnesota and he is going to make is presense known. With the running game back, play actions will work efficiently and the 6’6″ Rudolph is a huge red-zone target. Bridgewater is still a developing quarterback and young QBs love to have a safety blanket to check down too and that’s where Rudolph comes in.
If Rudolph can stay healthy all 2015, I can see him with 12+ touchdowns and leading all tight ends in fantasy points. Like I said, I’m here to be bold.
Angry Rant Conclusion
Now as I wrap up this post, I just wanted to get something off my chest. I was so high on the Carolina Panthers this season. With Cam having Kelvin and rookie Devin Funchess, I was excited to see the Panthers compete for the NFC South titles. Now with Benjamin out for the season, I am so salty because I drafted Newton for one of my leagues before Benjamin got hurt.
Now tell me what you think? Do you think I am out of my mind? Do you agree with what I said? Let me know.
Written by: Tommy Yu