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Bold Predictions For The 2015 Fantasy Season

Here are Brent's bold predictions for the 2015 fantasy season.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady Will Finish Outside Of The Top 10 In Fantasy

Ever since Tom Brady was drafted in 2000, I have been waiting for his luck to run out.  He earned the starting job in New England, married a supermodel, won four Super Bowls, and was the MVP in three of them.  Finally, after his last championship victory he manages to get suspended and I’ll admit I figured his decade of luck had just about run its course.  Then the suspension was lifted.  This season in fantasy I think I will finally get my wish.  On paper, it looks like the AFC East is going to be the toughest defensive division in football.  I just don’t see how Brady is going to keep from getting deflated when he has to face the Dolphins, and Bills defensive lines twice this season.  I know it sounds like senseless Brady bashing (wait till you see what Suh is going to do), but I truly believe that the AFC East is going to be a very tough division this season.

Larry Fitzgerald Will Return To Fantasy Relevance

Ok for this to come to fruition Carson Palmer is going to have to drink his Ensure, bust out the Ben Gay, and stay healthy for a full season.  The Palmer to Fitzgerald connection was well documented last season.  Carson Palmer was calling the shots between weeks 6-10 last season before he tore his ACL.  During that time, Larry Fitzgerald had 461 of his 784 receiving yards, and he scored his only two touchdowns of the season.  In the four games Palmer played in Fitzgerald was actually fantasy relevant.  Like I said, it all depends on old man Palmer staying healthy.

Jonathan Stewart Will Rush For Over 1,000 Yards

Like my father always said if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.  Last season, the 28-year-old Oregon Duck rushed for over 800 yards with half of that yardage coming in the last five games of the season.  To be fair the competition during that time frame wasn’t anything special, but the offensive line was starting to click, and Stewart was the healthy lone back in Carolina.  If the preseason is any measure of success than the Panthers offensive line has improved from last season.  I know Stewart has been a lame duck the past few seasons, but this is bold predictions…Right?

Tyler Lockett Will Be Rookie Of The Year

Just when you thought you heard the boldest prediction.  Lockett is an incredibly special player, but more importantly he is in a great situation in Seattle.  If you think about every other rookie’s situation so far this season they are all looking pretty dim.  You have Todd Gurley, Devante Parker, and Breshad Perriman losing snaps due to injuries.  Kevin White is done for the season.  Jameis Winston is playing injured and struggling early.  The rest of the rookie class is buried on their team’s depth charts.  Tyler Lockett is an exceptional receiver and special teams combo that landed on a Super Bowl caliber team in need of both of those things.  Currently, Lockett is the third wide receiver behind Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse neither of which are huge names.  The other things I like about Lockett’s situation is the philosophy of the Seahawks offense.  Everyone knows that the real threat on this team is running back Marshawn Lynch, and with teams playing the Seahawks close to the line to stop the run Lockett will have several big play opportunities down the field.  Finally, if you include Lockett’s ability as a return threat on special teams, you are looking at a legitimate contender for ROY.

Teddy Bridgewater Will Be A Top 5 Fantasy QB

Like a Bridge over troubled water, Teddy will ease your quarterback woes if you become a victim of mid season injuries or bite on the wrong pass thrower in the draft.  It wasn’t a question of Bridgewater’s talent last season.  All of the questions lied with the talent around Bridgewater.  This season Bridgewater is more comfortable in the offense, and the supporting cast is much better.  Charles Johnson and Mike Wallace at wide receiver and Adrian Peterson is back to resume running the ball.  Bridgewater finished the preseason with an 111.3 passer rating with 295 yards and one touchdown.  Is Bridgewater becoming a top 5 quarterback?  I have certainly said crazier things thus far.

Justin Forsett Will Be The Biggest Bust Of The Season

No offense to Forsett, but I am struggling with the idea of drafting a running back in the second round who has one season of work to base it off of.  When you have a rookie like Odell Beckham Jr. going in the second round it truly is a gamble.  Even though his rookie season was amazing, you only have one season in the NFL to base that on.  A Justin Forsett pickup in the second round isn’t a gamble it’s fantasy suicide.   Forsett has been in the league since 2008, and he has played for five different teams.  Until last season he had never rushed for over 700 yards in a season, and he hadn’t scored more than one touchdown in a season since 2010.  I am trying to understand who is making this Kool-Aid that everyone is drinking because as of right now Justin Forsett is a 29-year-old flash in the pan.  I honestly hope he proves me wrong, but he still has a lot to prove before I draft him in the second round.

This Season We Will Finally See A Drop In Marshawn Lynch's Numbers

I just don’t see how its possible for Lynch’s numbers not to drop after the monster season he had last year.  I think the most noticeable drop in production will be seen in his touchdown numbers.  In 2014, Lynch rushed for 13 touchdowns and caught an additional four.  He accounted for well over half of the teams total touchdowns on the season, and he was undoubtedly the biggest fantasy producer on the team.  This season with the addition of the red zone expertise of Jimmy Graham I don’t see Lynch having to shoulder all of the red zone duties.  I also think (clearly) that rookie Tyler Lockett is going to provide some big-play potential, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he eats into "skittles" touchdown numbers as well.  I’m not saying that Marshawn Lynch is going to be a bust for owners.  I just don’t think he is going to have Madden type touchdown stats this season.

Arian Foster Will Be A Top 5 Fantasy Running Back

He will also be one of the biggest steals of the draft.  Right now, due to Fosters injured groin the Texans running back is being draft outside the top 50 overall, and he is the 25th running back.  Everyone is scared about Foster’s health, and I guess I can understand, injuries are a scary thing for a fantasy owner, but why does Foster scare you.  Foster only played in 13 games last season, and he still finished the year as a top-five fantasy running back.  This accomplishment was due, in part, to the Texan’s strength of schedule for running backs last year.  The only teams that had it easier for their running backs were the Jets and the Jaguars.  This season the Houston Texans are going to enjoy another season with the third easiest schedule for running backs.  Right now it’s looking like Arian Foster will only be out for a few weeks, so if you managed to pick up Foster late in your draft then congrats!  You probably got the steal of the draft.

Brandin Cooks Will Pass 1,000 Yards And Catch 8 Touchdowns

I was ready for Cooks to play to his potential last season, but with Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills still hanging around that was easier said than done. The Saints need someone to step up, and I believe that Brandin Cooks will be that guy.