Written by Justin Knight, Writer and Contributer, goes by @Justin16Knight on Twitter and @jjknight16 on the Fantasy Life App
Welcome to the FLAFFL house! Justin (@jjknight16) here, bringing you some bold-ish predictions for 2016. It’s the middle of August, the season is less than a month away. So lets jump right in..
1. Melvin Gordon Finishes inside the top 12 RBs
By now everyone and their mother knows that Gordon failed to reach the End zone in his rookie year. On it’s face, the 2015 1st rounder had terrible stats. With only 3.5 yards per carry, he finished as the 56th RB in standard scoring. Dive a little deeper and you’ll see a back who worked behind the worst offensive line we’ve seen in recent years. With Ken Whisenhunt as the new OC, and the chargers bringing in help for their offensive line. Gordon should finally get going. My prediction- 1100 Total yards & 8 Touchdowns
2. DJ finishes outside the top 5 RBs
This won’t be a popular prediction in the fantasy community. David Johnson is a consensus top 5 RB across the board. My problem with DJ comes down to experience. He’s been the lead back for only 5–6 games. He looked great in those games, but I need more of a track record to trust him as one of my top 5 RBs. Consider this, 24% of his points in 2015 came in 1 game. It took an Injury of Chris Johnson for DJ to jump him in the depth chart. I expect CJ and Ellington to still see enough touches to affect DJ’s Ceiling. My Prediction — DJ finishes between RB6–10.
3. Blake Bortles Will not be a top 10 QB
You either loved or hated Bortles last year. Me? I was on the hate spectrum. On more than one occasion my opponent had Bortles putting up terrible numbers at half time. Only to end the day as a top 5 QB for the week. Bortles was playing out of his mind in 2015. He tied for the 2nd most touchdown passes with 35. He also had the most interceptions (18). Regression is in his future. Chasing leads in 2015, the Jags called passing plays 68% of the time. After an off season focused on Defense. (draft and in free agency) I expect the Jags to be more competitive and balanced.My Prediction — Blake Bortles will have 25–30 Touchdowns and 15–20 interceptions. Finishing outside of the top 10 in 2016.
4. Dez Bryant will reclaims his spot as a top 6 WR
Dez was a shadow of himself in 2015. Scoring only 3 touchdowns, he was hampered by foot injuries throughout the season. With a healthy preseason Bryant should be on track to resume business as usual. My Prediction -Barring another Romo collarbone. North of 1000 yards and Double digit touchdowns for Dez in 2016.
5. Eddie Lacy back to a top 5 RB
Let the fat jokes fly, because you won’t be able to use them much longer. In terms of yards per carry in 2015, Lacy wasn’t terrible. Averaging 4.1 even with the offensive problems the Packers experienced. The problem was his inability to stay on the field. Lacy carried the ball 30% less than his first two seasons. The Packers made it a point of emphasis for Lacy to lose the weight that held him back in 2015. Leaner and looking more explosive. Lacy reportedly lost upwards of 20Lbs. He is primed for a bounce back season. My Prediction — 1400 total yards with 12 Touchdowns.
6. Cam Newton will not remain the #1 QB
Cam was the best player in football in 2015. Why should we expect anything different for 2016? For starters, Cam took a huge jump in Touchdowns. Scoring a combined 45. (35 Through the air and 10 on the ground) That’s 36% more than he’s averaged the first 4 seasons of his career. Cam’s rushing skills make his floor extremely high, but 35 passing Touchdowns is unsustainable. His throwing accuracy, yards per attempt and completion percentage are not on par with other elite quarterbacks. My Prediction — 35 Total Touchdowns for Cam Newton in 2016.
7. Sanchez wins the starting job and will be a serviceable QB2
Who is Trevor Siemian anyways? (2015 7th rounder out of Northwestern) What evidence do I have to proclaim Sanchez the starter? Call it a hunch. I don’t believe all the Siemian hype. Sanchez isn’t “that bad”. Right!? Ok he is that bad. Interceptions and ridiculous fumbles. He is a turn over machine. The reason Sanchez ends the season as a QB2 is because of the weapons around him. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are one of the best receiving tandems in the league. Couple that with a strong run game, Sanchez won’t be asked to do much. My Prediction — He will dime and dunk his way to QB 15–20
8. Devante Parker will finish outside the top 30 WRs
The love for Parker this off season has gotten a little absurd. I’ve seen him being drafted as early as the 3rd round in some standard mocks. Standing 6 foot 3 with 4.4 speed, I see the appeal. He has deep threat potential. Four reasons to be wary of Parker this season. 1.) I know Injury concerns are a clutch argument, but I’m going to use it anyway. Parker was battling injuries throughout 2015. He’s already pulled up lame in training camp in 2016. 2.) Inexperienced at the NFL level. 3.) The Dolphins offensive line is so bad, that long passing plays don’t have time to develop. 4.) Ryan Tannehill’s long ball has always been inaccurate. Aside from Dynasty leagues, I’m staying away from Parker this year.
9. Josh Gordon will not be fantasy Relevant in 2016
The 2013 fantasy darling will finally be able to play football again. After his 4 game suspension.. The once league leading receiver has not seen the field since 2014, when he only played 5 games. Gordon will make his season debut in week 5 against the Ravens. I’m expecting a lot of rust, he will be eased back into action. With so much time away from football its hard to say if Gordon can ever get his form back. Let alone if he can stay sober. For his sake, I hope he does. I won’t be holding my breath..
10. Kamar Aiken will be the Ravens top receiver
Aiken is opening the preseason as the #3 WR, but depth charts don’t always tell the whole story. 37 year old Steve Smith Sr. is coming off an Achilles tear, and shouldn’t be relied on as heavily.My Prediction- Kamar Aiken will start opposite Mike Wallace to begin the season and eventually takes that role. With that being said, I don’t expect any Ravens WR to be particularly valuable in 2016.
If you don’t like my predictions, or think they’re too weak. Call me out, then tell me your bold predictions in the FLAFFL house chat on the Fantasy life app. See you there!