These are some “bold” predictions for fantasy (and real) football for 2011. Just fodder for you to rip apart, but fun to check back on in 2011. These are just gut feelings and you know we don’t make cut predictions. Again, just for fun!
1. Matt Ryan: 4500+ yards and 36 TDs
- Offensive assistant Andrew Weidinger reiterated that the Falcons are changing their identity this season to an up-tempo, vertical passing game for the 2012 season
- 8th best schedule for fantasy QBs
- Finished in seventh place in number of drop-backs, attempts, and completions in 2011 BEFORE this new offense
2. Trent Richardson: Less than 100 rushing yds per game and less than 5 total TDs. making him finish out of the top 20
- Was drafted behind the 26th rated run blocking offensive line
- Two knee operations on the same knee before he ever took a snap
3. Randall Cobb: 8 total scores (return and receiving) and 750+ yards receiving
- Cobb was the Packers wideout with the best receptions-per-target percentage last year.
- Cobb caught 25 of his 31 targets (80.6 percent) and led Packers receivers with 7.5 yards after the catch.
4. Donald Brown: Top 15 running back in 2012
- His 3.1 yards after contact was fourth best in the NFL among runners with at least 100 carries and averaged 2.9 yards after contact in 2010 as well.
- Top 10 fantasy schedule for RBs
5. Seattle Seahwks: Sleeper DST. finish in top 12
- Arizona is the homecoming matchup of the 2012 season and they play them twice
- Currently on your waiver wire
- signed defensive lineman Jason Jones and picked up linebacker Barrett Ruud
- Last season they were very good against opposing fantasy QBs (top 8) and (top 6) WRs, but they didn’t face any strong producers. This year they face even fewer of them, yet drop in personnel ratings vs QBs.
- They lose some grades against the rush (last year top 12), but also face one of the easiest sets of RBs in the NFL this year.
6. Antonio Brown: Outscores Mike Wallace in fantasy points
- Starting with his Week 7 breakout game against Arizona (seven catches, 102 yards), he was 12th in the NFL in targets and tied for 17th in receptions, and he had the eighth-most receiving yards.
7. Jared Cook: Finishes as a top 10 TE
- Thirty-six of his 83 points last year were tallied in weeks 15-17, so he started to really get it together down the stretch.
- It should be noted that Jake Locker was the QB for those three games and out of Locker’s 580 passing yards, 335 of those (and a TD) went to Cook.
- Of Cook’s 74 targets, 49 came from the slot position last year.
8. Jacquizz Rodgers: Finishes as the starting RB in Atlanta
- Turner has a lot of wear on his treads in the four years he’s been a Falcon starter, carrying the ball 300+ times three out of the last four years, which included a whopping 377 in 2008.
- He’s certainly a better fit for the new, up-tempo offense
- Mike Smith believes Rodgers is a “three-down back” capable of handling a bigger workload than a complementary player
9. Justin Blackmon: Finishes as a top 20 fantasy WR
- 3rd easiest schedule for fantasy WRs
- Led the Jags in targets in the preseason
- Jaguars appear poised to run a quick-hitting, short-passing based offense in order to minimize Gabbert’s poor pocket presence and an inconsistent offensive line. As a physical run-after-catch receiver, Blackmon could benefit from that kind of scheme
10. Victor Cruz: Finishes outside the top 10 as a fantasy WR
- He faces a league leading 9 red cornerback matchups this season including two in the fantasy postseason
- Last season Cruz only faced two red cornerback matchups last season and averaged 13 fantays points against them, while averaging over 20 fantasy points a game against green corners.
These are just our bold predictions and off the radar thoughts. Check back at the end of the season or feel free to leave your comments or your own bold predictions.