Thursday, October 30, 2014

Checking in on my Fantasy Football Bold Predictions

It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through the 2014 NFL season already!  And with that, we are MORE than halfway through the fantasy football season.  That means it’s time to check in on my preseason “bold predictions” for each NFL team.  I’m not sure if I said this before, but when I make these predictions I have a standard scoring system in mind:  1pt for 20 yards passing, 4pt passing TDs; 1pt for 10 yards rushing/receiving, 6pt rushing/receiving TDs.  No points per reception.  And I reference the scoring from my long running “Daddy Daycare” league – which uses that “standard” scoring system.  
So, with that said, let’s see how poorly I’ve done so far using a PASS/FAIL/WAIT and SEE approach…
Arizona Cardinals:  My prediction:  WR Michael Floyd will overtake Larry Fitzgerald and finish as a top 15 fantasy WR.  This was looking half-decent until last week when Floyd put up a goose egg (screwing me over in 2 fantasy leagues in the process).  There is still time for him to break out in the 2nd half of the season now that Carson Palmer is healthy, but he’s 49th overall at the position right now.  FAIL
Atlanta Falcons:  My prediction:  WR Julio Jones will stay healthy and finish as the top scoring fantasy WR.  He currently is 10th overall at the WR position and will need a big second half to get to #1.  But it’s possible, and 10th overall is still pretty darn good.  So I’m going with WAIT and SEE. 
Baltimore Ravens:  My prediction:  RB Bernard Pierce will grab the starting RB gig from Ray Rice during his suspension and finish as a top 20 fantasy RB.  Well, SOMEONE grabbed the starting RB gig from Ray Rice during his suspension and is currently the 8th highest scoring RB in fantasy.  Unfortunately, that’s Justin Forsett, not Pierce.  And Pierce was a healthy scratch last week.  FAIL
Buffalo Bills:  My prediction:  Rookie WR Sammy Watkins will finish outside of the top 30 WRs in fantasy.  He’s currently 12th.  He’s a stud, so let’s cut to the chase:  FAIL
Carolina Panthers: My prediction:  Rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin will be a better value than Sammy Watkins and finish as a top 30 WR.  While it may be true that Benjamin is the 13th highest scoring WR, 1 spot behind Watkins, he is firmly inside the top 30 and should remain there all season.  PASS
Chicago Bears:  My prediction:  RB Matt Forte will finish the season as the #1 fantasy RB.  He is currently 3rd, only behind Demarco Murray and his crazy awesome season, and a point behind Arian Foster.  Forte, by far, has the best health track record among these 3 RBs and therefore I’m going to say he still has a legit chance of finishing #1.  PASS
Cincinnati Bengals:  My prediction:  The change in offensive schemes will have a negative impact on WR AJ Green and he will finish outside the top 10 fantasy WRs.  Well, injuries have derailed Green’s season moreso than any change in offensive scheme. However, even when healthy, Green was not putting up top 10 numbers.  He almost certainly will not finish inside the top 10 even if he returns this week and plays awesome.  Therefore, I’m being generous and going with a PASS.
Cleveland Browns:  My prediction:  RB Ben Tate won’t stay healthy, opening the door for rookie RB Terrance West to emerge as a top 25 fantasy RB.  This prediction was looking SO good early in the season.  Tate started the year on the shelf, and West looked great early on, scoring over 35 fantasy points the first 3 weeks of the season.  Since then, Tate has returned, and the other rookie RB Isaiah Crowell has entered the mix.  I could cheat here and say that West is currently only 20 points away from the top 25.  However, he’s scored a TOTAL of 6 points the last 4 weeks.  He’s not the Browns rookie RB you want.  FAIL
Dallas Cowboys:  My prediction:  The Cowboys will have top 10 fantasy performers at QB, RB, WR and TE.  Also, WR Terrance Williams will finish as a top 20 WR.  I guess this is really like 5 predictions in 1, and frankly they are all looking pretty good:  Tony Romo is currently the 12th highest scoring QB, Demarco Murray is the highest scoring RB, Dez Bryant is the 8th highest scoring WR and Jason Witten is the 12th highest scoring TE.  Also, Terrance Williams is the 17th highest scoring WR.  That is a big, emphatic PASS.
Denver Broncos:  My prediction:  RB Montee Ball will finish the season as a top 5 fantasy RB.  Really happy I hung my fantasy hat on this one as well.  FAIL
Detroit Lions:  My prediction:  WR Golden Tate will finish as a top 15 fantasy WR.  Boom, roasted.  I nailed this one, as Tate is currently the 7th highest scoring fantasy WR.  It will be interesting to see how he performs once Calvin Johnson is healthy, but I don’t see any reason for him to fall out of the top 15.  PASS
Green Bay Packers:  My prediction:  WR Randall Cobb will break out and have a top 10 fantasy WR season.  I nailed this one as well.  Cobb is currently the 2nd highest scoring fantasy WR and if you think that’s a fluke, consider that WR Jordy Nelson is 4th.  There are plenty of targets to go around in Green Bay.  PASS
Houston Texans:  My prediction:  Well, I had a lot of them.  I said RB Arian Foster and WR Andre Johnson would both bounce back and have top 10 seasons at their respective positions.  Foster is on track, Johnson is not.  I also said that the Texas D/ST would finish as the #1 scoring unit in the league; they are currently 5th.  And finally, I said that WR DeAndre Hopkins would break out and finish as a top 20 fantasy WR.  Hopkins is currently the 18th highest scoring fantasy WR and his stock is tracking up.  PASS
Indianapolis Colts:  My prediction:  RB Trent Richardson bounces back and finishes as a top 10 fantasy RB.  Richardson has actually looked better this year, but the presence of Ahmad Bradshaw (currently the 5th highest scoring RB!) has kept him in check.  Well, that and the fact that he just isn’t that good.  Richardson is actually the 23rd highest scoring RB right now and frankly, an injury to Bradshaw could push him significantly higher on the list.  But for now, facts are facts.  FAIL
Jacksonville Jaguars:  My prediction:  RB Toby Gerhart will finish as a top 15 fantasy RB.  This was bad.  Like, really bad.  Gerhart has been banged up, but even when healthy, he’s looked awful.  And now RB/WR Denard Robinson has taken over the gig and doesn’t appear to be looking back.  This one hurt me in fantasy as well.  FAIL
Kansas City Chiefs:  My prediction:  RB Jamaal Charles will finish outside of the top 15 fantasy RBs.  I’ll be honest; when I did my prediction for the Chiefs I had absolutely nothing to go on.  I decided to just randomly predict that Charles wouldn’t be good this year, even though I had no reasons or stats to back it up.  Well, I got lucky.  Charles has dealt with a few injuries and mixed in some disappointing performances.  All of that adds up to Charles being the 15th highest scoring fantasy RB right now.  Considering he was drafted as a top 3 pick in EVERY league, I think this qualifies as a PASS.  However, I expect it to be a fail by the end of the season….
Miami Dolphins:  My prediction:  RB Lamar Miller will hold off Knowshon Moreno and finish as a top 15 fantasy RB.  It took a Moreno injury, but nevertheless Miller has been great this year.  He’s currently the 12th highest scoring fantasy RB, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he finished in the top 10.  He’s legit.  PASS
Minnesota Vikings:  My prediction:  PAIN.  Ok, that wasn’t my prediction here.  But it might as well have been.  Not only did I say that I still liked RB Adrian Peterson as the #1 overall pick, but I also said that WR Cordarelle Patterson and TE Kyle Rudolph would both finish in the top 10 at their positions.  Ouch.  We all know the story on Peterson by now.  And Rudolph got hurt, which is a semi-excuse.  But man, Patterson has been super disappointing.  They finally got him more involved last week, but too little too late.  FAIL
New England Patriots:  My prediction:  Don’t draft TE Rob Gronkowski because he won’t finish as a top 10 TE and you’ll need to draft him in round 3 or 4.  Man, this was looking SO good…until last week.  Gronk is finally healthy, and I don’t think anything can stop him other than another fluke injury.  Before last week, Gronk was hovering around the top 10.  Now, he’s #1.  A 9-149-3 line will do that.  FAIL
New Orleans Saints:  My prediction:  Draft your Saints early and often because QB Drew Brees will finish as the #1 QB, WR Marques Colston as a top 20 WR, rookie WR Brandin Cooks a top 30 WR, RB Pierre Thomas a top 20 RB and TE Jimmy Graham as the #1 TE.  Not good.  The Saints have struggled as a team, and therefore so have their fantasy options.  Brees is 11th, Colston isn’t in the top 50, Thomas is 35th and Graham is 8th.  Only Brandin Cooks, inside the top 25 WRs, has made me look good.  That’s not enough.  FAIL
New York Giants:  My prediction:  WR Victor Cruz returns to elite status and finishes as a top 10 fantasy WR.  Nope.  Not only is Cruz out for the season with an injury, but he was struggling even before the injury.  Move along, nothing to see here.  FAIL
New York Jets:  My prediction:  I’m not even sure I can type this without my keyboard catching on fire and burning down my house.  I said that RB Chris Johnson, yes, THAT Chris Johnson, would finish as a top 10 fantasy RB.  He’s barely in the top 50 right now, and with RB Chris Ivory currently the 8th highest scoring fantasy RB, I don’t see Johnson improving.  FAIL
Oakland Raiders:  My prediction:  RB Latavius Murray will end up leading the Raiders RBs in fantasy points.  Well, certainly this cannot qualify as a pass right now.  However, I’m not going to call it a fail either.  Jones-Drew is basically irrelevant now, with less than 9 TOTAL fantasy points to date.  McFadden has a decent 55, but that ranks just inside the top 30.  The Raiders are winless, and I could totally see them starting to work Murray in more often.  We are going with a WAIT and SEE here.  I still have faith.
Philadelphia Eagles:  My prediction:  TE Zach Ertz will finish as a top 5 fantasy TE.  I also hinted at WR Jeremy Maclin finishing as a top 15 fantasy WR, but I couldn’t pull the trigger on that one because of his injury history.  Bad mistake, as he’s currently the 5th highest scoring WR!  Oh, as for my actual prediction, it hasn’t been a good one so far.  Chip Kelly just doesn’t feature the TE in his offense.  Hence Ertz’ place as the 13th highest scoring fantasy TE to date.  I can’t see him climbing into the top 5.  FAIL
Pittsburgh Steelers:  My prediction:  WR Antonio Brown finishes as a top 5 fantasy WR.  He is currently #1.  So yeah, I think this one deserves a PASS.
San Diego Chargers:  My prediction:  WR Keenan Allen will finish as a top 10 fantasy WR and RB Ryan Mathews will struggle to be fantasy relevant.  Ok, so the Allen prediction was the real one, but I had to mention Mathews since I kinda got that one right.  But back to Allen and his disappointing first half of the season.  He had a nice game last week, but even if he continues that pace for the remainder of the season, there is no way he’s cracking the top 10.  FAIL
San Francisco 49ers:  My prediction:  WR Michael Crabtree will greatly exceed his draft value and finish as a top 10 fantasy WR.  And of course, I drafted him based on this prediction.  Not a great decision.  He’s barely useable in fantasy right now, even as a flex.  I do like him to have a better second half, but no chance he gets into the top 10.  FAIL
Seattle Seahawks:  My prediction:  WR Percy Harvin will finish outside of the top 30 fantasy WRs.  The fact that the Seahawks traded him to the Jets for a bag of peanuts is all you need to know about this prediction.  Harvin has been nothing short of a disaster from a fantasy perspective (and pretty much a real life one as well).  I don’t see things improving with the Michael Vick led Jets.  PASS
St. Louis Rams:  My prediction:  RB Zach Stacy isn’t worth his draft stock (top 15 RB) and will fight with rookie RB Tre Mason for carries as the season wears on.  I might give myself two passes for this one.  A few weeks back the Rams started giving Mason carries, and while he is far from a workhorse lead back, he definitely has the upper hand at the RB position.  In fact, Stacy is probably 3rd on the depth chart behind both Mason and Benny Cunningham.  PASS
Tampa Bay Bucs:  My prediction:  RB Doug Martin isn’t any good and will finish outside of the top 20 fantasy RBs.  I gotta say, I’m doing better on these predictions that I thought I would.  Martin has been the definition of average this season.  He’s been banged up a little, but that is certainly not an excuse for his poor performance.  Tiny RB Bobby Rainey has outperformed Martin on less touches.  And now rookie RB Charles Sims is coming off the IR.  Like Stacy in St. Louis, Martin is likely now 3rd on the Bucs depth chart at RB.  I don’t see him bouncing back.  PASS
Tennessee Titans:  My prediction:  RB Shonn Greene will hang onto the starting RB job and post top 25 RB numbers.  I have no idea why I predicted this.  I even drafted Greene in multiple fantasy leagues.  Turrible.  As everyone ELSE predicted, rookie RB Bishop Sankey has taken over the starting RB job and Greene isn’t even rosterable in fantasy.  FAIL
Washington Redskins:  My prediction:  RGIII will be the 2nd highest scoring player in all of fantasy football.  This was another one where I had no clue what to predict and went with this ridiculous prediction that I never, ever, ever thought would happen.  Massive FAIL
I have to say, I did a lot better with these then I remembered.   Certainly, some are still up in the air and others that I called a PASS could quickly turn into a FAIL.  But all in all, not bad.
I may or may not check back in on these at the end of the season.  Maybe I’ll just touch on them briefly in a future blog post on the Daddy Daycare league, because that league needs its own post at this point.  Who knew that expanding to 12 teams would changes things up so drastically?!  Stay tuned, and good luck the rest of the season!