With the NFL regular season done, it is time to take a look back at the bold predictions I made before the first week of the season. It is always interesting to take a look back at what I thought was possible this season. Some went great, while others will leave you wondering what the hell was I thinking. I made one bold prediction for each team in the NFL, giving me plenty of opportunities to make myself look like a genius, and an idiot all at the same time. So without further intro, let's get into those predictions and see how I did on the year.
John Brown will finish inside the top 15 at WR, with 1250 Receiving Yards, and 7 TD's. With the aging Larry Fitzgerald, and the disappointing Michael Floyd the other two receivers being a threat to Brown, I see his skills winning out in the end.
Who knew Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd would come back from the dead? So this one was wrong, as he finished 250 yards shy and 23rd at WR.
Leonard Hankerson finishes the year as a top 25 WR, ahead of teammate Roddy White. Coming up with a bold prediction for the Falcons was tough, but this is one that I feel is bold enough.
Yeah it was bold enough, but also didn't even come close to being right. Hankerson got cut by the Falcons midseason.
Really what can I say about the Ravens that is bold? Well how about nobody on the Ravens finishes inside the 20 at there respective position, except for Justin Tucker. Yes this even means Joe Flacco. I see him being a lot worse this year as Torrey Smith is gone and I just don't see Breshad Perriman being up to the task of filling his role. Justin Forsett will be splitting time with the other two backs at some point in the season, thus having him finish outside the top 20.
So I guess injury luck is on my side for once here. While I didn't say that any of the guys would finish outside of the top 20 because of injuries, it all still counts in the end. The closest guy to the top 20 at their position on the Ravens squad was Crockett Gillmore finishing 23rd out of all TE's. That is the first one right, and hopefully more will follow.
Charles Clay will finish the season inside the top 7 at TE, due to the volume of targets he will see. Tyrod Taylor is a little bit of an unknown, but I think he can do a decent job as the starter, and will look to his safety net in Clay often in games.
Clay just wasn't as involved in the offense as I expected. They featured a heavy run philosophy, severly limiting his targets and ability to get some production. All in all he finished tied for 18th at the position, so he ruined my potential momentum.
Cam Newton will finish the season as the 3rd best QB, only behind Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers. In the process of finishing in the top 3, Newton will set a career high for rushing yards, going for 800 yards, chipping in 11 Rushing TD's on top of the 25 Passing TD's
Not only was Newton top 3 in the position, but he finished as the highest scoring player in all of fantasy football. The rushing stats I predicted were a little high, but he shattered the passing TD's I projected for him. Another winner for me.
Eddie Royal will finish the season as a top 20 WR, on the strength of 10 TD's, and his 80 receptions. He is the number two receiver on the roster, and has played well with Cutler before. The reunion for the both of them could invigorate there careers back to the old Denver days.
Got hurt early in the season, and even when healthy he wasn't good. Just seems wrong looking back at it now, but really would any bold prediction about the Bears have worked this year?
Marvin Jones follows up his great 2013 season with 1200 Receiving Yards and 10 TD's. While Jones still has to show he has recovered from his missed 2014 season, he still has the skills necessary to be a great guy next to Green in the offense. Maybe Andy Dalton can get benched, making primetime Bengals games more bearable to watch with less bad throws by the Bengals starting QB.
Ouch. Not only did I get Marvin Jones wrong, I took an unnecessary shot at Andy Dalton in the process. Luckily I can only mark myself as being wrong for Marvin Jones, but boy did Dalton look great this year. Jones had his useful weeks, but only finished with 816 yards and 4 TD's.
Isaiah Crowell finishes the season as a top 12 RB, as he never relinquishes the starter role. Duke Johnson I think is a good back, and should be when he plays, but that is the problem. Johnson currently isn't set to play in the first week, and after missing a good portion of training camps, he hasn't done himself favors to take the starters role
No, just no. Crowell looked awful in weeks where Johnny Manziel wasn't the starting QB. He wasn't even close to being a top 12 guy, and that is with him being the starter the entire season. Hopefully Duke Johnson does become the starter next year.
Dez Bryant finishes the season as the top WR with 1700 Receiving Yards and 16 TD's. There is no way the Cowboys can run the ball as much as they did last year, so Bryant is destined to benefit from this.
Injuries ruin everything. First Dez gets hurt in week one, and that ended this prediction, and then Romo got hurt anyways, which as we saw, is huge for his production. Get ready for a similar prediction next year.
Emmanuel Sanders finishes the season outside the top 30 WR's. Peyton Manning may not be healthy, and the Broncos will continue the shift into a more run-heavy offense. Sanders would be unfortunately the odd man out with this occurring, as Demaryius will still get his, and Peyton has always loved throwing to his RB's and TE's.
This prediction was looking good going into week 15, but then Sanders exploded that week and the next. He finished as the 18th best receiver. If only Peyton had stayed the starter the entire year, I would have come close to winning this one.
Golden Tate finishes outside the top 35 at WR. This one is solely based on my belief that Calvin Johnson will be healthy for all 16 games this season. If that ends up being the case, Tate loses a lot of his value, as he was only a pedestrian fantasy wide out in games where both guys were on the field.
So close. Tate finished as the 34th best receiver. Yeah one spot! You know what, I am counting it anyways. He was unplayable for the first 10 weeks, so when he actually started to play well for a 4 week stretch, you couldn't trust to play him.
Randall Cobb finishes the season with 120 receptions, 1500 yards, and 15 TD's. With Jordy Nelson out, Cobb is one of the few targets Rodgers has had multiple seasons throwing the football to. As long as Cobb doesn't get hurt any further, He has a great chance of getting a large volume of targets this season.
Cobb finished with just 129 targets, and I thought he would get 120 receptions. The stats were ugly, as the entire Packers offense was a shell of itself this year. Please help us in 2016 Jordy.
DeAndre Hopkins finishes the season as a top 5 WR, by accumulating 1400 Receiving yards, and 12 TD's. He looked great last year opposite of Andre Johnson, and now he is the true number one receiver on the roster. Whether Brian Hoyer is the QB all year, or Ryan Mallett takes over, it won't matter as Hopkins has the skills that will make him successful with any QB at the helm.
Hopkins finished the year with 1521 yards and 11 TD's, finishing as the 6th best receiver. So one TD short, but he overproduced in yards, so another one right. I was right about it not mattering who his QB is, as he was dominate with all four of the guys who threw him the ball.
Speaking of Andre Johnson, he will have one of the worst years of his career, finishing outside the top 40 WR's, and getting surpassed by Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief in the process. I think the wheels have been coming loose for him over the years, and now with younger and more athletic receivers on the roster, it won't be too hard to envision him not seeing the targets he has been accustomed to.
Going on a run! Yeah two in a row here, and this one felt great to get right. It felt as though almost everyone loved Andre Johnson this year, but I was right in thinking his career was done. He finished as the 61st best receiver.
Even with being hurt to start the season, Julius Thomas proves he can be good anywhere he plays, scoring 11 TD's and finishing in the top 5 in the position. Now looking at his stats from last year, this really isn't all that bold, but the hate on him is just too much for someone who can dominate in the redzone.
While Thomas was involved in the offense quite a bit when healthy, he just didn't get the numbers. He is a member of that large middle tier of TE's that are startable, but nothing spectacular. Finished with 5 TD's, which is nice in 12 games, but not enough.
Alex Smith will finish the season as a top 10 QB. So not much to say about this, other than Andy Dalton has done it before, so why can't Alex Smith? He has some great receiving targets in Maclin, Kelce and Charles.
Okay I have a problem. I took yet another shot at Dalton, and once again this isn't about him. Alex Smith was his usual self, finishing 15th at the position. I guess I should have known he can't finish anywhere else but that spot.
DeVante Parker after the Dolphins bye week in week 5, finishes the season out with 1200 receiving yards and 10 TD's over that 12 game span. Give him a few weeks to get fully healthy, and implemented into the offense, and then watch as his natural skills should lead him to stardom.
Wow, just wow! This is a year too early I guess. As you saw for the last few weeks, the upside for this kind of production is real. Remember that I was on the Parker bandwagon before most, and will continue to be a popular breakout candidate of mine next year. Until then though, I have to mark this one wrong for being so far off.
Kyle Rudolph stays healthy for all 16 games, finishing with 1000 Receiving Yards and 12 TD's. Norv Turner has always been good for his TE's, and Teddy Bridgewater is a very accurate passer.
Rudolph did stay healthy, but was rarely used in the offense. Not a good idea to pick a TE to put up these numbers on a run first team.
Rob Gronkowski finishes with the best season known to TE's, and even for most receivers, as he goes for 1600 Yards and 18 TD's. Gronk is just a great player, and with no concerns for injury as of right now, the sky truly is the limit for him.
While Gronk yet again finished as the top TE, he wasn't otherworldly. 1176 yards and 11 TD's is great for a TE, but nowhere near that prediction.
Brandon Coleman finishes the season as a top 25 WR, and over the last half, he is a top 15 WR. He only needs to pass Marques Colston and prove he is a better athlete than he is, and can also hold onto a ball when thrown to him.
Again just far from being right. Willie Snead overtook the WR2 role on the team, leaving Coleman to barely be on the field for much of the season.
Eli Manning finishes the season outside the top 20 at QB. Doesn't all of this Eli Manning hype over the preseason remind you of something similar from last year? Jay Cutler was the hot sleeper last year, and flamed out in true Jay Cutler fashion
Can we forget I said this? Manning wasn't the Jay Cutler of the year, he actually lived up to the hype for the most part, finishing as the 10th best QB. Manning next year though I am staying away from at this moment.
Chris Ivory finishes the season outside the top 50 RB's after getting benched in week 5.
Can we forget this one as well? I thought Ivory had a great chance of getting hurt and missing time, which didn't happen, and I also thought he was going to play like he did in the middle of the season for the first 5 weeks. I still don't think Ivory is a good back, but when you finish as the 9th best RB, I have to show him some respect.
Roy Helu Jr. will become the starting RB for at least half the games when Murray gets hurt early on in the season. Helu will then ride being the starter to a top 20 finish among RB's
Helu wasn't used in the offense, accounting for 17 rushing attempts. Yeah let's move on.
Ryan Mathews finishes the season as a top 15 back, with DeMarco Murray missing 6 games due to injury. Even with only 6 games as a starter, he will see a lot of work in that Chip Kelly Offense.
So Mathews got hurt in the season, but even when he wasn't, he just wasn't good enough. DeMarco Murray also didn't miss 6 games due to injury, but I am sure his owners were wishing that he did late in the season.
Martavis Bryant is a top 15 WR despite his suspension. Bryant has looked great in the preseason, and not even a 4 game suspension will stop him from being great when he comes back.
Can someone end this horrible streak I am on right now? This is now 11 straight wrong predictions. Bryant had his weeks where he looked like a top 10 guy, but then had stretches where he goes two weeks to end the season of 2 receptions for 6 yards in total.
Danny Woodhead finishes the year with more rushing TD's than Melvin Gordon, and then goes on to outscore Gordon in all scoring formats. Woodhead was used as a goaline back two years ago in San Diego, and they have done it in the preseason too, so why would they stop doing what works?
Finally got another one right. Granted I don't think anybody would have thought Woodhead wins with a grand total of 3 to Melvin Gordon's 0. Like Gordon scoring 0 TD's is crazy. It still works for me as a win, but that is just crazy a guy who was supposed to be great doesn't score a single rushing TD in a season.
Carlos Hyde struggles to get anything going in the terrible 49er offense, and to no fault of his own, but rather the team, he gets benched by week 10 for Reggie Bush. Even though he gets benched for Bush, neither guy all season will be worth starting expect if you randomly choose the right week they score a TD.
I guess that this is right, as Hyde didn't start after week 7. Hyde was also only good in his first week, as that accounted for close to 44% of his total fantasy points in those first 7 games.
Todd Gurley proves that he isn't Adrian Peterson, and can't have a monster season after an ACL injury. Because of this he will finish outside the top 40, never fully getting the starting spot from Tre Mason due to his nagging pain and the Rams seeing no point in playing him a lot when the team gets eliminated from playoff contention.
Todd Gurley I think is Adrian Peterson. He came back from that ACL tear and looked great. This guy is a future stud, and I was foolish to think that he needed a full year to recover. I won't make the same mistake next year.
Newly acquired Fred Jackson scores 10 TD's, and is FLEX worthy. Lynch can't stay healthy after all of his workload again can he? I mean I hope that he can, but at a certain point it has to catch up to him
Jackson scored a total of 2 TD's on the year. I was right about Lynch not being able to stay healthy, but Thomas Rawls was the guy who benefited from it. Jackson was an afterthought in this Seahawks offense, and still is with them signing guys late in the season who were sitting on their couch after getting cut by previous teams.
Jameis Winston finishes the season as a top 12 QB, scoring 5 TD's on the ground and using the targets that he has to propel him into starting QB relevance right away. He also should have a great first week going up against the bad Titans pass defense, so that doesn't hurt his overall outlook.
I was close on this one, but I can't count it. He finished as the 14th best QB, although he did run for 6 TD's on the year. I love him going into next year, and think with a new Head Coach he has a great chance of being in charge of shouldering a larger role in the offense.
As much as I don't want to see this happen, Bishop Sankey is the leading back for the Titans the entire season, causing no Titans back to finish in the top 40 of RB's. Now this one may not be that bold, but a lot of people see David Cobb taking over as the starting back at some point in the season, but that is kind of hard when you are hurt.
The highest scoring RB on the Titans was Antonio Andrews, finishing in 46th. So that part is right, even if Sankey wasn't the starter for the entire season. Either way, all of the Titans RB's if avoided was the right play.
With Robert Griffin III getting benched, Alfred Morris has a terrible season, finishing outside the top 40 in the position, and getting benched for Matt Jones by week 8. Morris has struggled in the past with Cousins as his QB, and that trend will continue
Yes! I was able to end on a good note here, as Alfred Morris was awful with Kirk Cousins. He finished one spot ahead of Antonio Andrews as the 45th best RB. Morris scored one TD all year, and averaged just 3.7 YPC. He was bad, and unstartable pretty much every week.
To summarize, my bold predictions went 9-23, for a 28% win percentage. I am thrilled with this result, as bold predictions aren't supposed to have a high win percentage. This just goes to show what can happen over a full NFL season. Those thoughts you have may seem crazy at the beginning of the year, and quite a few as we found are going to be crazy, but they can also be proven to actually come true. With 28% right, do I need to try and be even more bold next year, or am I in a good sweet spot with what I had predicted above?