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4 Fantasy Football Bold Predictions (2024)

4 Fantasy Football Bold Predictions (2024)

I want to make sure that I have these predictions on record.

These predictions are bold. They are not obvious ones where I have a near-100% of getting them right. Rather, these predictions are meant to be both outlandish enough to be somewhat noteworthy, yet likely enough that they fall in the range of outcomes for each player.

Should you take these fantasy football bold predictions to the bank? No. Should you consider them in the range of possible outcomes for each player? I would say yes.

Fantasy Football Bold Predictions for 2024

Before we begin, I recommend this exercise to everyone; try to come up with your own bold predictions before each fantasy football season. If you get any of them right, you’ll remember it for the rest of your fantasy football career. In fact, I recommend you share your predictions with friends. That way you can spend years rubbing in their faces how smart you are.

Ja’Marr Chase (CIN), Currently Ranked WR3, Will Have an All-Time Great Fantasy Football Season

To be clear, I’m not saying that Ja’Marr Chase will have the greatest fantasy season of all time for a wide receiver. I am saying his season will be “one of” the All-Time Greats.

For this to happen, it helps if Tee Higgins is traded. According to Adam Thompson of Bookies.com, Tee Higgins only has a 33% chance of being on the Bengals’ roster come Week 1 this season.

What will the Bengals look like if they don’t have Tee Higgins on the roster? As I run through these observations, keep in mind two teams that featured All-Time Great fantasy seasons for their star WRs: the 2012 Detroit Lions and the 2015 Atlanta Falcons.

  • Talented quarterback firmly in his prime? Compare 2024 Joe Burrow to 2012 Matthew Stafford and 2015 Matt Ryan.
  • Super talented wide receivers, also in their primes? Compare Chase to 2012 Calvin Johnson and 2015 Julio Jones.
  • Running backs that aren’t going to command a ton of carries? Zack Moss fits right in with 2012 Mikel LeShoure and 2015 Devonta Freeman.
  • Outside of the star, a receiving corps that would disappoint the fans of a Canadian Jr. High School team. Sans Higgins, I dare you to name the #2 WR for any of these 3 teams.

If Joe Burrow plays a full season in 2024, he will be throwing the ball over 600 times. That much is certain. If there were ever a safe bet for a single player to have a target share above 30%, this is it. Since 2011, receivers with over 180 targets in a season average nearly 350 fantasy points per season. Ja’Marr is also explosive enough that he already has an 18 yards-per-reception season under his belt (2021). There is a chance for 23+ PPR Points Per Game, and that would qualify as an all-time great season by anyone’s definition.

Justin Fields (PIT), Currently Ranked QB32, Will be a Better Fantasy Asset than Caleb Williams (CHI), Ranked QB13

There are three aspects to this prediction – the Caleb Williams part, the Justin Fields part, and the “Better Fantasy Asset” definition.

Caleb Williams being a middling fantasy quarterback prospect for 2024 is a very uncontroversial take. We can safely expect him to be a below-average starting fantasy QB, presumably with upside and risk baked in, as he’s never played in the NFL before.

Part 2 of this argument is the instability around the Steelers’ QB room. Generally, you don’t trade for the man that will be the highest-profile backup QB in the league if you’re confident that you already have your long term starter in-house. There is a reason that the consensus fantasy rank for Russell Wilson is only QB28, only 4 spots ahead of Fields.

The last part more about how players actually help you win fantasy games. I discuss this ad nauseam when talking Fantasy Games Won, but it bears repeating here: starting a player that performs poorly hurts your team more than the player you never started in the first place.

My prediction is that Justin Fields will see the field in 2024 for the Steelers, and when he does, he’ll be a reliable fantasy asset. If he’s on your fantasy roster, you’re going to keep him on your bench until the day he’s in the starting lineup. Meanwhile, Caleb Williams will have, at best, a mix of ups and downs, and those will likely bring your team up and down with it.

Derrick Henry (BAL), Currently Ranked RB9, Will Finish Outside the Top 20

Derrick Henry is currently the consensus RB9 for the 2024 season. If Henry were to finish in the Top 10 at RB in 2024, he would join the following list of players since 2008 that have finished in the Top 10 at RB after starting the season with over 2,000 career rushing attempts:

If we expand that to finishing in the Top 20, there are a few more hits: Frank Gore did it 4 times, Steven Jackson did it once, Marshawn Lynch did it once after coming back from retirement, and AD tacked on an RB16 finish in 2018.

But the list of players that started a season with more than 2,000 carries and never cracked RB20 is quite long: LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, Chris Johnson, Thomas Jones, Warrick Dunn, Jamal Lewis, Ricky Williams, and Clinton Portis combined all went 0-16 in attempts to do so.

Add in the uncertainty that comes with a player changing teams, and I’m predicting the cliff for the man I used to call The Terminator.

Anthony Richardson (IND), Currently Ranked QB6, Will Finish as QB1

In Anthony Richardson’s first three full games as an NFL quarterback, he averaged 23.8 Fantasy Points Per Game. That pace would have put him at QB3 to end his rookie season.

Despite having Gardner Minshew start 13 games, the 2023 Colts won nine games with first-year head coach Shane Steichen.

The Colts drafted WR Adonai Mitchell in the 2nd round and expect to have Jonathan Taylor ready for Week 1 (this time).

If you’re concerned about a player’s durability, injury-prone players do log full seasons from time to time. Not to mention, younger humans heal faster than old humans, and Richardson will be 22 for 2024.

It’s not often that you get to grab an ascending player before he becomes a fantasy juggernaut. There was a window in which you could draft Lamar Jackson before he was the QB1. There was a window for Josh Allen. Same with all eventual QB1s and I believe this is the window for Richardson.

Go Boldly in the Direction of Data

I want to reiterate my earlier point, just in a different way.

It’s easy to get lost in the “consensus” opinion on fantasy football players. Especially in 2024, when it seems like every potential opinion on every player is somewhere on the internet. There’s a temptation to optimize to the sum of all human knowledge. Thankfully, fantasy football has so much variance that being 1% better with your predictions doesn’t mean you’ll win 100% of the time. It’s more like you’ll win 51% of the time.

That 1% isn’t worth the cost of your own personal crystal ball. Fantasy football is more fun when you break away from the consensus. It feels like more is at stake, and when you win, the victory is twice as sweet. After all, it wasn’t the consensus that won, it was you.

Playing around with data can help immensely when making your own opinions. If you want to use Excel to do that, check out my latest Excel tutorial. Let’s slice an dice some data together as the fantasy season approaches, and you can develop some bold predictions of your own.

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