Bold predictions are common among this time of year but don’t get these confused that these are things that I believe will happen or have a high likelihood of happening. There is a reason they are BOLD predictions. That is not to say that there is absolutely no chance of them occurring. Here is a list of bold predictions for each team.
Arizona Cardinals – David Johnson breaks the single season yards from scrimmage record set by Chris Johnson in 2009 by running for 1600 yards and adding on another 950 yards receiving.
Atlanta Falcons – The offense cannot take the loss of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan as they fail to put up the numbers they did a season ago. Matt Ryan and co. take a similar step back to the 2016 Bengals when they lost OC Hue Jackson.
Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco rushes back from his back injury and it proves to be costly. Ryan Mallett struggles when they turn to him, which causes the Ravens to sign Colin Kaepernick.
Buffalo Bills – Tyrod Taylor struggles out of the gate and never gets things going. Rookie Nathan Peterman takes over and shows promise as a potential franchise quarterback.
Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton recaptures his magic from 2015 and runs for 7 touchdowns on his way to a top-3 fantasy season, only behind Rodgers and Brady.
Chicago Bears – Mike Glennon makes it through 3 games before being benched for Mitch Trubisky, who shows everyone why the Bears grabbed their franchise QB.
Cincinnati Bengals – Even with stars A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, rookie Joe Mixon leads the team in touchdowns taking control of the backfield early on in the season.
Cleveland Browns – Even with the confidence from Hue Jackson, DeShone Kizer can’t fix his accuracy issues and the Browns head into the offseason without a clear plan at the league’s most important position, yet again.
Dallas Cowboys – Ezekiel Elliott suspension is not reduced and Dak tries to do too much during that span leading to a sophomore slump. The Cowboys start the season 2-4 and Dak never fully gets back his confidence as the Cowboys fail to build on last season’s success.
Denver Broncos – The highly-touted defense starts to look old and cannot continue to win games with a bad offense. The Broncos falter under first-year head coach Vance Joseph and finish last in the AFC West.
Detroit Lions – The Matt Stafford contract is a conversation all year as the offense struggles more than expected. Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick cannot get a consistent run game going and the Lions fail to get above .500.
Green Bay Packers – The Packers top running back is one playing the position at this level for the first time for a full season. It is not Ty Montgomery. Jamaal Williams becomes the darling rookie of the draft giving the Packers the running game they need to help Aaron Rodgers and more importantly, their defense.
Houston Texans – Tom Savage starts the year, struggles, which leads to the arrival of Deshawn Watson. Watson puts on his best Dak Prescott impersonation and leads the Texans to a division title despite starting 2-5.
Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck’s shoulder never gets to 100% and Scott Tolzien starts the entire year. The Colts win 3 games and get a top two pick in the draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Leonard Fournette continues to have foot issues, and the Jags offense continues their miserable ways. The Jags are picking in the top 5 for yet another year and take one of the three quarterbacks.
Kansas City Chiefs – Taking Tyreek Hill off of returns is proven to be a mistake, as Hill can’t be relied on as a number one receiver and finishes outside the top-50 WRs in fantasy.
Los Angeles Chargers – Playing in front of 30,000 in year one in LA, the Chargers unlikely stadium proves to be a huge home-field advantage as they finish the season 8-0 at home.
Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff shocks us all putting together a top-16 fantasy season as the Rams win 8 games and set up a bright future, which includes Sammy Watkins.
Miami Dolphins – DeVante Parker becomes the latest third-year wide receiver to break out. With Jay Cutler throwing the ball, Parker is force fed every game leading to an 80 catch, 1,100-yard season.
Minnesota Vikings – Last year Sam Bradford broke the NFL record for completion percentage in a season. In year two, he does it again, completing over 72% of his passes despite not gaining a playoff berth, which leads to the firing of Mike Zimmer, who heads back to Cincy to become the Head Coach.
New England Patriots – Julian Edelman who? Brandin Cooks has a monster first year in NE and becomes a top-6 fantasy wideout catching passes from the greatest to ever do it.
New Orleans Saints – Even with two bonafide NFL backs ahead of him, Alvin Kamara leads all running backs to catches.
New York Giants – The Giants have put so much money into their defense and it pays off. The secondary becomes Legion of Boom like and they finish as the top fantasy defense.
New York Jets – Josh McCown gets hurt, and Christian Hackenberg is forced into significant playing time, which leads the Jets to the 2nd 0-16 season in NFL history.
Oakland Raiders – The Raiders 2016 season proves to be an outlier and their defense cannot stop anyone. Derek Carr takes a step back as the Raiders go back to their losing ways.
Philadelphia Eagles – Without a consistent run game, the Eagles rely on 2nd year pro Carson Wentz, who like his 2016 counterpart, Jared Goff, takes a big step to stardom throwing for 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Pittsburgh Steelers – With Martavis Bryant back, Antonio Brown sees less double teams and breaks Marvin Harrison’s record for catches in a season with 145.
San Francisco 49ers – Brian Hoyer becomes a solid option a QB and the defense plays way above expectations to a top-12 fantasy option. The Niners are out of reach of the top QBs in the draft, but Kyle Shanahan convinces Kirk Cousins to come to the Bay.
Seattle Seahawks – Eddie Lacy may still look big and fat, but the one-time star in Green Bay runs over the NFC on his way to an RB1 season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Famous Jameis puts it all together and finishes the year as the number one fantasy quarterback. The additions of DeSean Jackson and O.J. Howard free up Mike Evans for big time production all season long.
Tennessee Titans – DeMarco Murray becomes the latest RB to hit the 29-year-old wall and gets hurt. Derrick Henry becomes the starter and leads the league in yards over the 2nd half of the year.
Washington Redskins – Kirk Cousins continues to shove it in the face of Dan Snyder and the rest of the Redskin front office by playing his best year of football yet. He finishes top five in the MVP race, but due to the strained relationship, leaves for former coordinator Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. You like that!?