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15 Bold Predictions for 2015

15 Bold Predictions for 2015
Jonathan Stewart's the only man in Carolina for the first time and that will lead to big things in 2015

Jonathan Stewart’s the only man in Carolina for the first time and that can lead to big things in 2015

The regular season is just days away and if you’re still drafting, you may be looking for some home run picks. What better place to find those than bold predictions from the most accurate experts in the industry.

Each of our featured experts finished in the top 25 (out of 100+) of our In-Season Accuracy competition last season. So just remember that these are meant to be bold before you start questioning who these crazy people are.

Q. Give us 1 bold prediction for the upcoming NFL season

Jonathan Stewart will be a top-10 back. With DeAngelo Williams finally out of the way, Stewart is ready to recapture the fantasy value he had early in his career. The 28-year-old averaged 99 yards per game over his last six outings in 2014, including the first two rounds of the playoffs. He also saw 20-plus carries per game in four of those six contests. The Panthers will be without their top receiving option, which will force them to turn to the run even more this season. If Stewart doesn’t break down, and that’s a big if, he will post over 1,200 yards and double digit touchdowns.”
Justin Boone (theScore)

“With DeAngelo Williams no longer in the Carolina backfield, Jonathan Stewart is set to become a workhorse back and he’ll recapture the past hype that had him pegged for fantasy stardom. He’ll cruise to career highs in touches and total yards (currently 239 and 1,272 respectively) en route to a top-eight finish among running backs in total fantasy points for STD and PPR scoring.”
Kyle Wachtel (FootballGuys)

“You want a bold-yet-plausible prediction? OK, here it goes: Ben Roethlisberger will be the top-scoring fantasy quarterback of 2015. Pretty much everything you love about Andrew Luck this season — strong supporting cast, sketchy defense, system continuity, etc. — is also true of Ben. The man led the NFL in passing yards last season while tossing 32 touchdowns, so it’s not as if he needs to make a massive leap in value. And the best thing about Ben, of course, is that you don’t need to burn a first round pick in order to secure his services.”
Andy Behrens (Yahoo)

DeVante Parker will be the top fantasy WR in Miami this season. The Dolphins were ultra-aggressive this off-season, doing everything they possibly could to bolster their roster on both sides of the ball. The acquisitions of Jordan Cameron, Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings were all solid moves, but won’t be nearly as impactful as drafting DeVante Parker in the middle of round 1 will be. Jarvis Landry is an excellent route runner and vital to Miami’s offense, but Parker’s size and speed will make him the teams best play-maker sooner than later. He appears ready for Week 1 after suiting up in last night preseason finale, and he’s a steal at his current WR54 rank here on FantasyPros.”
Ryan Noonan (The Fantasy Fix)

“There’s a gem of a wide receiver that is currently ranked outside of FantasyPros’ Consensus Top 50 WR Rankings. He’ll play a huge role for his team and will end up in the Top 20. I am referring to Miami’s rookie DeVante Parker. His huge stride allows him to break free quickly from his opponents. In addition, his hands and size remind me of Megatron. Wallace should be happy he’s moved elsewhere.”
Adrian Pereira (eDraft)

Ronnie Hillman, with 245 career carries and 979 rushing yards across three seasons, knocks out a 1,200 yard season, finishing as a top-12 fantasy back (current ADP RB53). Already entrenched as the #2 ahead of Montee Ball, Hillman had a great summer and the team owes incumbent starter C.J. Anderson nothing. By Week 5 an ineffective Anderson starts ceding carries to Hillman with the 4th year back entering the 20 touch/week range shortly after. Denver’s commitment to the run is clear from Week 1, and Gary Kubiak’s zone blocking scheme opens up holes the likes of which Hillman has never seen, with Denver’s new HC reinvigorating an RB’s career (2014: Justin Forsett) for the second straight season.”
Jon Collins (Fantasy Sports LR)

Matt Jones will be a top-35 fantasy running back in 2015. The rookie from Florida impressed Redskins coaches this spring with his pass blocking and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, earning Jones the role of third-down back in Washington and primary backup to Alfred Morris. The pass-catching back in Jay Gruden’s offense tends to be very involved, as evidenced by Roy Helu’s 47 targets in 13 games last season in Washington and Giovani Bernard’s 71 targets for Cincinnati in 2013. But Jones is more than just a change-of-pace back. At 6’2” and 231 pounds, the rookie is actually bigger than Morris, and he’s racked up almost seven yards per carry on 20 rushes this preseason. The Washington Post is calling for a “physical tandem” in the Redskins backfield, but Jones is the third-round pick selected by this coaching staff while Morris is a holdover from the previous regime that has seen his total attempts and YPC numbers decline steadily since his rookie year. Jones will initially have value as a pass-catcher and short-yardage/goal-line back, but I expect him to eventually claim a more consistent role in Washington’s offense and prove to be an asset for fantasy owners. ”
Jason Willan (Gridiron Experts)

Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t finish in the top 12 WRs. Defenses will scheme to stop Beckham and it’ll be enough to inhibit his production. The potential return of Cruz, growth of Donnell, and investment in Vereen will also cut into his targets. Add in the likelihood of a hammy flare-up and Beckham struggles to crack WR1 numbers this year.”
Nathan Miller (Revelation Sports)

“This is the year of the non-household name WRs: John Brown, Davante Adams, Charles Johnson, Markus Wheaton, Stevie Johnson, Jarvis Landry, Kendall Wright and Nelson Agholor. Go ahead and build your WR core around these gentlemen and enjoy the ride.”
James Hatfield (Hatty Waiver Wire Guru)

“It shouldn’t come as a surprise at this point if you’ve followed me at all, but C.J. Anderson will be the No. 1 running back in 2015. After dominating in eight games (plus one playoff game), Anderson will stand alongside Peyton Manning in the backfield once again. Gary Kubiak loves bell cow running backs, and Arian Foster carried the ball 326 and 351 times in his two 16-game seasons. Carries, not touches! Even if Anderson only has around 300, he’ll be extremely productive and put up the numbers to have him atop the running back perch.”
Jake Ciely (RotoExperts)

Tony Romo will finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback. Dallas will see a jump from the league’s 30th-highest pass rating due to an uncertain backfield, and fewer late leads (112 fourth quarter passes; 31st-most) than they had while enjoying the NFL’s easiest schedule. Romo had the third-most fantasy points per attempt and is a top-three passer with a clean pocket. He will have, by far, the best protection of his career, and that will offset any efficiency decline that comes with increased passing volume.”
Patrick Thorman (Pro Football Focus)

“My bold prediction is that Giants’ running back Shane Vereen will finish with 50+ receptions and 1,000 total yards while putting up at least RB2 production in PPR leagues. He’s the best running back on the roster and even though he won’t handle early down work, I see the Giants using him often in their up-tempo, quick hitting offense throughout the season.”
Chet Gresham (WalterFootball)

Larry Fitzgerald bucks the odds and finishes in the top 20 in PPR formats. As the #28 receiver off the board in PPR leagues, people aren’t expecting much from ol’ Fitz. But in 22 games over two seasons with Carson Palmer under center, he has averaged 5.2 catches for 65 yards and 0.55 TD. That extrapolates to #14 WR-type numbers over the course of a full season. He’s my favorite target in the 7th round.”
John Paulsen (

Latavius Murray finishes as a RB1. How confident am I in this bold prediction? Not very. The Raiders may fall behind too often in games for Murray to run enough to reach RB1 status. Murray’s size and speed are a rare combination for a running back, though. Derek Carr, Amari Cooper should force defenses to respect the pass enough to give Murray more room to run. Oakland also has an underrated offensive line Murray can blast through. If he stays healthy, he has the ability to finish in RB1 territory. ”
Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)

Frank Gore will finish 2015 as top-five back in PPR leagues. The Colts utilized their running backs heavily in 2014, targeting them 113 times. Long considered one of the game’s premier pass-catching backs before being underutilized in recent years, Gore promises to be one of the most targeted backs this season. A floor of fifty-plus receptions, combined with ample goal-line opportunities in the league’s top offense, makes Gore a draft-day steal at his current 3rd-round ADP.”
Matthew Hill (Fantasy Team Advice)

Andre Johnson will outperform TY Hilton in Indianapolis this season and finish as a top 12 WR. Hilton will certainly get his targets, but not as many as 2014 and will also lose targets to rookie Dorsett. Hilton finishes as a WR2 this season.”
Ken Zalis (Pressbox)

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Thank you to the experts for making their bold prediction. For more advice, be sure to follow them on Twitter.

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