10 Fearless Predictions For The 2013 NFL Season
The season is nearly here, and there’s no better time to make some fearless fantasy football predictions. These predictions keep it to the big names you’ve been hearing about all off-season. So what do I think?
For starters, I don’t think Calvin Johnson ends as the number one fantasy receiver, nor do I think Adrian Peterson scores the most points among running backs. And fantasy’s best quarterback won’t be Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, or Peyton Manning. Let’s get to the predictions.
1 — LeSean McCoy ends the season as the best running back in fantasy football
Why? Chip Kelly’s fast-pace offense means once McCoy is on the field, he’s not coming off. The combination of a refocused Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson means this offense becomes explosive once again. A 15-touchdown season from McCoy isn’t out of the question.
2 — Dez Bryant, not Calvin Johnson, ends as the best fantasy wide receiver
Maybe I’ll regret not going with Calvin Johnson—and in no way, shape, or form am I saying that Megatron isn’t a foolproof fantasy option—I just think Bryant eeks him out this year. Over the last 10 games of last season, Bryant averaged over 100 yards and a touchdown per outing. He was the second best receiver behind…yes, Megatron.
While the head says Calvin, the heart says Dez.
3 — Trent Richardson ends as top-five fantasy running back
Yeah, I know. He only averaged 3.6 YPC and rushed for less than 1,000 yards. But did you actually watch him play last season? He was a powerful, downhill runner that still scored 11 touchdowns on a terrible offense. Brandon Weeden had a PFF grade of -30 last season. While that was (by far) the worst among quarterbacks, he has looked much better leading up to 2013.
Point being: everyone around Richardson is better, he’s in his second season, and he’s going to get over 300 carries.
4 — Danny Amendola ends as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver
I don’t just think Amendola steps into Welker’s role, I think he excels in it. It was just the preseason, but Amendola looked bigger (he is) and faster (he is) than Welker. And he has better hands.
Welker averaged over 165 targets a season in 2011 and 2012, so I think it’s reasonable to expect at least 130 for Amendola. He will get his and make the most of it. Remember, these predictions are dealing with PPR leagues.
5 — Cam Newton ends as the best fantasy quarterback
From week 7 on (the last 11 games of the season), no quarterback scored more fantasy points than Cam Newton. Yeah, he did it in a somewhat inconsistent fashion, but he scored the most nonetheless.
Over the last seven games of the season, he threw 11 touchdowns, rushed for four more, and threw just two interceptions. Tom Brady and Drew Brees combined for 15 interceptions in that same span.
6 — Robert Griffin III ends as a top-five fantasy quarterback
He was simply dominant last season when on the field, and, surprise! He’s going to be on the field starting Monday night.
He was, on average, the 10th quarterback drafted in fantasy leagues this year. It was logical for him to fall given his injury risk, but both he and coach Mike Shanahan will be smarter with his health this season. RGIII scored 0.70 fantasy points per drop back last season, best among all quarterbacks. And it’s not like he doesn’t have legs anymore. He’s still going to run. Well.
7 — Michael Floyd becomes a weekly starter
I can’t remember last year’s starting quarterback for Arizona. Carson Palmer is now their quarterback. Andre Roberts, Arizona’s No. 2 last season, still managed to be the 34th best fantasy wide receiver. Floyd will be the new No. 2.
See where I’m going with this? If Roberts achieved 34th with nobody throwing him the ball, a top-24 finish isn’t out of the picture for Floyd.
8 — Wes Welker ain’t nothing but a flex
There are many mouths to feed (or hands to…touch?) in Denver, and Welker isn’t going to see the volume fantasy players have grown accustomed to.
9 — The Jordan Cameron hype ends up being real
He doesn’t turn into an elite option, but those that took him late in drafts as the 13th tight end off the board have landed themselves a top-eight option.
10 — Andre Johnson proves he isn’t too old
I think his predicted slide is premature. He finished with 1,598 yards last season, second most in the league. DeAndre Hopkins might be the future, but Andre Johnson is still the present.
Bonus — E.J. Manuel ends as a top-15 quarterback
In other words, I think he goes through the season as one of the best backup options.
What are your fearless fantasy predictions for this season? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.