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12 Bold Predictions From the Most Accurate Experts (2019 Fantasy Football)

Aug 28, 2019
Sony Michel

Just how good will Sony Michel be in 2019…

The fantasy football draft prep season wouldn’t be complete without some bold predictions – and we have some doozies courtesy the most accurate experts from the 2018 fantasy season. Granted, bold predictions generally tend to be on the extreme side, as you’ll see below. But the experts have at least provided food for thought when it comes to the ceilings and potential of many fantasy players you’ve either already rostered, or will be considering as you wrap up your fantasy drafts over the next week.

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Q. What is your one bold fantasy prediction for the upcoming season?

Sony Michel will lead the AFC in rushing. Fantasy owners won’t see Michel’s playoff performances in the regular season stat sheets, but Michel went absolutely bonkers in the playoffs putting up 129, 113 and 94 yards while scoring six times on the way to a Super Bowl title. Owners might fear his creaky knees, but Michel is being groomed into a true workhorse for a team that knows exactly what it wants to do to win ballgames. As a former first-round pick, Michel will finish the season as the top rusher in the AFC.”
– Andy Holloway (The Fantasy Footballers)

Mitchell Trubisky finishes as a top 5 QB. It’s not as far-fetched as it might seem. Before a Week 11 shoulder injury last year, Trubisky was sitting 7th at his position in fantasy points. Now he enters his 2nd full season as an NFL starter, in his 2nd season with HC Matt Nagy and with his top 5 target-getters from last year all back. That continuity — plus Trubisky’s rushing ability — gives him big upside.”
– Jared Smola (Draft Sharks)

Chris Carson will be a top 5 RB this year. Seattle will continue being a run heavy team and Rashaad Penny isn’t a threat to overtake Carson anytime soon. More importantly, Carson gets the carries near the goal line. He was 5th in the NFL in rushing attempts inside the 10-yard line last season with 28. They prefer him to handle those carries in order to protect Russell Wilson who only had (3!) attempts inside the 10-yard line in 2018. For perspective that’s only one more than Eric Ebron rush attempts inside the 10 last year. I love Carson’s yardage & TD upside in 2019- not to mention he will see more targets in the passing game with Mike Davis gone.”
– Sean Koerner (The Action Network)

“If you want a fire bold prediction, Austin Ekeler will be a top-12 RB this year. He’s a legitimately good running back. Last year he was 2nd in yards after the catch and 3rd in yards per reception at the RB position. The offense worked just fine last year in games without Gordon. The Chargers averaged the same amount of points with or without him. Ekeler saw nearly 19 opportunities in games that Gordon misses or was knocked out of. We all believe that LA will hand over the starting job to Gordon if he skips 10 games, but that’s removing a lot of human elements to the decision. Ekeler has a real chance to perform this year.”
– Mike Wright (The Fantasy Footballers)

James White will perform as a fantasy RB1 (top 12). Perhaps this is cheating as White finished better than the 12th-best running back in all scoring formats last season. Given his flex-level ADP, however, White could provide owners with plenty of value even if he doesn’t repeat last year’s RB1-level production. Shattering previous career highs, White had 181 touches including 87 receptions, 1,176 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Sony Michel and rookie Damien Harris could get more carries than White, but he should be as involved in the passing game as he was last season with Rob Gronkowski’s retirement.”
– Kevin Hanson (EDSFootball)

Dede Westbrook will finish the 2019 season as a No. 2 fantasy wide receiver. Right now he’s ranked as the PPR WR33 on FantasyPros, but his star is on the rise. It’s already been made clear that Nick Foles likes him; he targeted the third-year wide receiver seven times in the Jags’ third preseason contest. Furthermore, new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo praised Westbrook as the best route-runner he’s coached (DeFilippo has coached Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, among others). He could be bigger, but he’s the best pass-catching option in Jacksonville with a tasty schedule to boot.”
– Zach Greubel (Gridiron Experts)

“When a receiver finishes inside the top eight at his position in just his second season, there’s good reason to be excited. When said receiver sees more than 200 targets vacated the following season, there’s good reason to be ecstatic. The argument that JuJu Smith-Schuster is suddenly going to regress because he’s the number one target is a flawed one at best. Antonio Brown didn’t regress when he took the reigns from Mike Wallace. Davante Adams has flourished since Jordy Nelson left. Julio Jones improved and made the jump to the upper echelon of receivers when Roddy White retired. There are quite a few more examples like that. JuJu should be in line for the same 178-target pace that AB was on since 2013. Those targets plus the additional red zone usage is why I’m projecting JuJu to finish as the number one fantasy receiver in 2019.”
– Elisha Twerski (FantasyPros)

“I want to give so many (Jacobs as an RB1, Dede as a Top 25 WR, etc.) but I’ll go with Derrius Guice being an RB2… this year! Guice is a better talent than Leonard Fournette before him at LSU, and I mention that because both are better receivers than you’d think since LSU runs an offense from 2001 (doesn’t pass to RBs). Guice is also ahead of where Dalvin Cook was last year (injury) by a month or more, which means it may take a few weeks, but Guice is going to lead this backfield with Chris Thompson in his role and Adrian Peterson pushed into backup duties. Guice is that talented.”
– Jake Ciely (The Athletic)

“It should be clear at this point that Damien Williams is Kansas City’s unquestioned lead back. Williams’ role has been affirmed throughout the preseason, both by his working exclusively with the first team offense as well as the statements put out by his coaches. Despite this, there remains a collective hesitancy in the fantasy community to fully embrace him as an RB1 and it makes little sense to me. There are plenty of yards, receptions and touchdowns to be had in the Kansas City offense, and Williams will be the primary backfield beneficiary of that Chiefs fantasy gold mine. Damien Williams will finish this season as a top 8 running back.”
– Matthew Hill (DataForce Fantasy Football)

Lamar Jackson will run for over 1,100 yards and finish as a top-five quarterback. I think we’ll eventually be talking about him as the best running quarterback of all time.”
– Pat Fitzmaurice (The Football Girl)

Matt Breida outscores Tevin Coleman and winds up as a low-end RB2 on the season. Kyle Shanahan may be familiar with Coleman but he’s no stranger to Breida’s versatility and burst, having just seen him average 5.3 yards per carry and catch 27-of-31 targets in a down 2018. I say down not only about the offense as a whole sans Jimmy G, but down in that Breida only played 14 games and was seemingly on the injury report every week (he played all 16 in ’17,) yet was still the RB25 in half-PPR last year. Realizing that Coleman was quite good himself on Atlanta in ’18, he doesn’t win the season’s ‘1A RB’ job due to his resume — not while Breida has 79 yards on 11 touches this preseason while Coleman’s 13 touches have generated 42 yards.”
– Nick Mariano (RotoBaller)

“Despite being drafted nearly three rounds and 17 wide receivers later, Curtis Samuel will outscore D.J. Moore in all scoring formats this season. Samuel finished 2018 as the WR45, but played just 13 games, saw just a 55% average snap share, and was losing snaps and targets to Devin Funchess. With the departure of Funchess, Samuel is now locked-in for two-WR sets and should be the main beneficiary to Funchess’ 79 vacated targets. Samuel outscored Moore in fantasy points per game last season, and I expect the same to happen this year. Samuel’s route tree versatility and separation skills, as showcased in Matt Harmon’s 2018 Reception Perception, raises his ceiling beyond that of Moore’s. Cam Newton may be incapable of producing a top-12 WR and has yet to support two top-24 WRs in his career, but if you were looking to yield value and upside in your league, draft the Panthers future top-scoring WR three rounds later-Curtis Samuel.”
– Robert Waziak (The Fantasy Footballers)

Thank you to all the experts for sharing their bold predictions. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter for more great advice. Also, please check out our latest podcast episode below.

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