Growing up as a kid, one of my favorite movies was Dumb & Dumber. It was released in 1994 and by the turn of the century, I had seen this movie a bunch of times. It is a raunchy, goofy, hilarious movie that was portrayed perfectly by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. It is frequently on television on different stations and I always put it on even if it’s just for a few minutes. It’s one of those movies that never gets old. There is a quote from this movie that can be used in many every day conversations from people who are fans of the movie. Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey), was alone in a room with the woman he had a major crush on, Mary Swanson (Lauren Holly), and decided to ask her what the chances were of the two of them ending up together. Mary responds with a stern “Not good,” which is followed by Lloyd saying “You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?” Mary then says, “I’d say more like one out of a million.” Lloyd pauses and clearly cannot process how miniscule his chances really are and says, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance? YEAH!!!!” So, yes Lloyd, there is a chance, but the odds aren’t great to say the least. Like I mentioned, this quote can be applied to many things in life, specifically fantasy football. Player projections for NFL players are everywhere these days. As fantasy players, we value these projections because it gives us a rough idea of what a player’s perceived value is. So to put it vaguely, a common projection for a player like Ezekiel Elliott for the 2018 season would be somewhere around 1,300 rushing yards, 300 receiving yards and 12 total touchdowns. What you don’t see very often is a “So you’re telling there’s a chance?” projection for a player like Ezekiel Elliott. For instance, I think Elliott could finish the year with 1,700 rushing yards, 500 receiving yards and 17 total touchdowns. While Elliott likely won’t accumulate those type of numbers, there is still a chance he does because he has proven himself as an immensely talented Running Back. The point I’m trying to drive home with these projections is to think outside the box and give you projections for players that are far and away beyond your typical projections, but still have a chance of happening. So, without further ado, let’s get to it, and I’ll preface these predictions by saying these are based on a PPR scoring system.
Kirk Cousins will throw for 4,800 passing yards, 45 passing TD’s and finish as the best fantasy QB this season.
-Man, that Minnesota Vikings team could be scary good this season. I’ve always been a believer in Kirk Cousins and no offense to Jay Gruden, but I just don’t think he ever reached his full potential in Washington. Now at the helm of the Minnesota Vikings offense, Cousins has a plethora of weapons around him which should make his transition to a new offense that much easier. Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph are all solid football players and I can see this offense finishing in the top 5 in terms of PPG in 2018.
Mitch Trubisky have 4,400 passing yards, 34 passing TD’s and will finish as a top 5 fantasy QB this season.
-Finishing as a top 5 fantasy QB will be tough for a 2nd year QB, but I’m a big fan of Trubisky and think he’s going to continue to progress in 2018. Like Kirk Cousins, Trubisky has all kinds of talent surrounding him in the Bears offense. From Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton and rookie Anthony Miller, the sky is the limit for this offense. I’m expecting Trubisky to easily outperform his current ADP.
-BONUS Bold Prediction – The NFC North will have 3 teams make the playoffs this season (Vikings, Packers, Bears)
Jimmy Garoppolo will finish outside the top 15 at the QB position this season.
-Womp, womp, womp. Sound the sirens! Alert the media! Someone is talking negatively about the golden boy! That’s right. While I think Jimmy Garoppolo will go on to have a successful NFL career, I think 2018 is going to be a bit of a struggle. As teams start to see more of his tape, I think teams will start to adjust to his game. Expectations are so high and I think they need to be tempered a bit. There are a lot of solid fantasy QB’s out there and I just don’t see Garoppolo finishing inside the top 15 this season. Oh, not to mention, the 49ers really didn’t do anything significant this offseason to surround Garoppolo with any legitimate offensive weapons. 31-year-old Pierre Garcon? Marquise Goodwin? Jerick McKinnon? Sorry, but I have a hard time seeing Garoppolo put up big numbers with the players he has around him.
Carson Wentz will finish outside the top 15 at the QB position this season.
-Carson Wentz is a solid NFL QB. Is he an elite NFL QB? That remains to be seen in my opinion. Many QB’s have had breakout seasons (Derek Anderson in 2007, Robert Griffin III in 2012, Nick Foles in 2013) and then went on to be mediocre at best the rest of their careers. Personally, I think Wentz will be a solid NFL QB and not like the QB’s I mentioned, but I do not think he will be an elite one. I think 2017 will end up being one of the best seasons of his entire career. Don’t expect the best ROI if you draft Wentz this season.
Kareem Hunt will finish outside the top 25 at the RB position this season.
-I don’t know why I dislike Kareem Hunt so much. It’s more of a gut instinct thing than anything. Spencer Ware will be back after missing the entire 2017 season. For those that forgot, Ware was in line to be the starting RB for the Chiefs before he got injured last season. I sense we’ll see a timeshare in the Chiefs backfield. I foresee a rough year ahead for Hunt and I want no part of him this season at his current 1st/2nd round price tag.
The best fantasy RB on the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 will be Kenneth Dixon.
-Yes, Alex Collins was a pleasant surprise for the Ravens offense in 2017. Yes, he is still on their depth chart, and yes, Kenneth Dixon is coming back for the 2018 season. I’ve been a fan of Dixon since he was drafted out of Louisiana Tech back in 2016. He’s got all kinds of potential and I think once he gets rolling, Baltimore will stick with him for good.
Aaron Jones will have 1,200 rushing yards, 10 rushing TD’s and finish as a top 10 fantasy RB this season.
-Another gut call here. The Green Bay Packers offense is a wagon, plain and simple. We saw Eddie Lacy (albeit for a short period of time) have some great seasons as the Packers #1 RB and I think Jones will ultimately be the go-to guy and goal line back for Aaron Rodgers and company.
Kenyan Drake will finish outside the top 40 at the RB position this season.
-To put it very simply, I think 2017 was a fluke. I don’t see Drake continuing his success into 2018. Not to mention, I also think the Dolphins are going to be a very poor team this season. They’ll be behind in the 2nd half in most games and won’t have any use for running the ball with Drake.
Devonta Freeman will have 1,800 combined rushing/receiving yards, 50+ receptions, 15 total TD’s and finish as the best fantasy RB this season.
-Why not, right? I know the Atlanta backfield is a 2 man show with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, but Freeman is so talented and, in my opinion, can handle a full workload. If Tevin Coleman struggles early on and is not effective as a runner, Atlanta could start to give Freeman 20+ touches a game. Or, if Coleman happens to get injured, Freeman will have full control of the Falcons backfield. Yes, I just predicted an injury to happen. I can be an awful human being sometimes. Anyway, Freeman has done it before (see his 2015 stat line) and there’s no reason why he can’t do it again if he’s given the opportunity.
Davante Adams will have 100 receptions, 1,500 receiving yards, 16 receiving TD’s and finish as the best fantasy WR this season.
-I’m all in on Adams this season. I’ll be targeting him in the 2nd round in all of my drafts this season. Adams is now the #1 WR for the Packers and we all know how successful Jordy Nelson was for many years in that position. Just to be clear, Jimmy Graham does not worry me one bit. Not one, single, bit. The last time a Green Bay Packer TE had 700 receiving yards was Jermichael Finley in 2011. An aging, deteriorating Jimmy Graham will not be a legitimate threat to Adams’ target share. Green Bay just doesn’t utilize the TE all that often. Adams has had at least 10 receiving TD’s in each of the last two seasons. He hauled in 4 TD’s in the 5 full games Aaron Rodgers played last season. A career season is on the horizon for Adams.
Julio Jones will have 90 receptions, 1,700 receiving yards, 12 receiving TD’s this season and finish as the 2nd best fantasy WR this season.
-Julio Jones hasn’t had more than 8 receiving TD’s since 2012. Touchdowns are a fluky statistic and it’s difficult to project how many TD’s a player will score. Jones is a freak of an athlete and one of the most gifted WR’s in the NFL. With some extra red zone targets, Jones could tally 10+ TD’s.
Josh Doctson will finish as a top 15 fantasy WR this season.
-Josh Doctson is now the de-facto #1 WR in the Redskins offense. I think the Redskins are going to be behind on the scoreboard more often than not and while Alex Smith is not the best QB, he’s more than capable of getting the ball to his most talented WR in garbage time. That WR is Josh Doctson.
Robert Woods will finish as a top 10 fantasy WR this season.
-Robert Woods was on pace for 1,100 receiving yards when he got injured last season. He and Jared Goff have developed a chemistry that I believe will continue to evolve in 2018. Woods is going to be the steal of your draft this season. Don’t be worried about the arrival of Brandin Cooks and don’t miss out on Woods this draft season.
Jarvis Landry will have less than 70 receptions and finish outside the top 25 at the WR position this season.
-I want no part of the Cleveland Browns offense this season. Landry has had at least 94 receptions in each of the past 3 seasons as a member of the Miami Dolphins. I don’t see him surpassing 75 receptions in what is going to be a crowded Cleveland Browns offense in 2018.
Allen Robinson will have 90 receptions, 1,300 receiving yards, 10 receiving TD’s and finished as a top 5 fantasy WR this season.
-Yup, you heard it here first. Going from Blake Bortles to Mitchell Trubisky is going to turn Allen Robinson’s career around. In case you don’t know, Robinson is just 24 years old. He’s entering his prime right now. I love what the Bears have done this offseason to surround Trubisky with talent. Robinson is talented, there’s no doubt about it in my mind. Now that he has what I believe to be a solid QB throwing him the ball, expect Robinson to have a huge bounce back season and become a permanent top 10 fantasy WR for the foreseeable future.
Follow me on Twitter @EvanReardonH8
Also follow the show @thehateful8ff
Don't forget to checkout the show via iTunes, Googleplay, Stitcher and Youtube.