The 2020 fantasy football season kicks off this week and what better way to start the season than to get the crew from the Loaded Box Podcast to kick off with some BOLD fantasy football predictions.
Here’s something fun, with solid reasons to back up the prediction, and maybe even something that will make you pass on drafting certain players, or just help you justify the fact that you’ve drafted them to your fantasy team.
Who knows what this 2020 fantasy season will bring us as 2020 will be the year we all just want to forget. But as we inch closer to Thursday night’s kickoff, let’s get
DJ Premo’s (@LoadedBoxDJ) bold predictions are…
Aaron Rodgers finishes as a top-3 QB
The Green Bay Packers drafted a QB with their first-round pick earlier this offseason, and if you don’t think that fires up Aaron Rodgers, then you haven’t paid attention. It’s Rodgers’ second season in this Matt LaFluer offense and he feels much more comfortable with the language and calls. Not only is he more comfortable but so are his young wide receivers. Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown are now going into their third season and my gut tells me you will see a big role for MVS in this Packers offense this year as Rodgers has been praising his play in training camp. Rodgers is happier and more fired up than he has been for a long time with this young and exciting team. Expect a huge year from one of the best fantasy and real-life quarterbacks in the history of football.
Neither Mike Evans nor Chris Godwin finish as a WR1
For me, what this comes down to is very simply. Statistically, this team with Bruce Arians, is better made for Jameis Winston than it is for Tom Brady. Arians’ passing game is based around consistently attacking downfield, and that means that at times the QB has to be able to escape the pocket and move. Brady has great awareness but this offensive line is not near as good as he has had in his career and he isn’t mobile. If people get near him he goes down. This makes me believe he will be getting the ball out quick and Arians will be running the ball more than he has in the past. The players who will benefit from Brady the most are the primary pass-catching running back and tight ends. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are going to take a hit because of the change at QB.
Mikey Ostrowski’s (@FF_Mikey10) bold preditions are…
D’Andre Swift will finish as the rookie RB1 (and win offensive rookie of the year)
It’s going to take D’Andre Swift a game or two, but I think he’s really going to come into his own this year. He is incredibly talented, both as a runner and a receiver, and finds himself in a good situation on a Matt Stafford-led offense. I think 1,250 total yards, 45+ receptions, and 8 touchdowns is well within reach, especially if Kerryon Johnson goes down with injury (again). This offense was top three in the league before Stafford got hurt last year, and I’d expect them to come back and do it again in 2020.
Allen Robinson will be a top-3 WR
Allen Robinson is mega-talented. The issue that he’s always faced with is quarterback play. I don’t hate Mitchell Trubisky nearly as much as the next guy, and I think he’s going to come out this year and surprise a lot of people. With that being said, Robinson can look to repeat his 150+ targets from last year while receiving a bit more help from the guy slinging the rock. If it all comes together, he should return to his career average of around 13 yards per catch, which should be enough to catapult him into the top-three to top-five conversation.
Ryan Miner’s (@RyanMiner_FFB) bold predictions are…
Jerry Jeudy will be a WR1 and a league winner
I am super excited about Jerry Jeudy and his potential, especially this season. He has been getting past all DB’s in Broncos training camp and has been catching everything thrown his way. Sure Courtland Sutton is the WR1 on this team, but I don’t see that lasting too long as Jeudy is the pristine talent on this team. He will lead the Broncos in targets, yards and touchdowns, which no rookie wide receiver has done since Odell Beckham Jr. did back in 2014 when he finished the season with 91 catches, 1,305 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Drew Lock will be put to the test, and Jeudy will be doing his part to make him look good as he is the best player on the roster. The Broncos have the fourth-toughest schedule going into the 2020 season and will be throwing more than what people will expect based on last year’s minimal passing done by Lock. I can see Jeudy dominating the league as he will become the #1 option in Denver faster than expected. Matching what OBJ did back in 2014 might be a tough challenge to meet, but I can see him easily getting around 80 receptions, 1,200 yards and double-digit touchdowns. Currently going in the 10th round based on fantasy football calculator, you will be getting a draft-day steal here for a solid WR1. You will be thanking me by seasons end.
David Johnson returns to 2016 form and finishes as top-3 RB
David Johnson was the RB6 in half PPR leagues over the first six weeks of the 2019 fantasy football season. The injury bug hit him and he was basically dead to all of fantasy, especially when the Arizona Cardinals traded for Kenyan Drake and made him the lead back. Johnson barely saw the field from then on and was a player to be forgotten going into the offseason. Then the unthinkable happened as Johnson was traded to the Houston Texans for DeAndre Hopkins. Now in a new offense with a better offensive line, a hungry and in-shape Johnson should put up and will put up top stats once again. If journey-man Carlos Hyde can post a 1,000-yard rushing season on this team just think of what Johnson will be able to do. He is still hell bent on getting that 1,000/1,000 rushing and receiving yard campaign that he promised us a couple years ago and I can for sure see that happening in his first year with the Texans. If you don’t believe me just look at his receiving totals over last year’s first six games and go ahead and compare them with Christian McCaffrey’s. With the amount of money Johnson is making and the mentality he currently has, his 5th-round STEAL value will vault him back into the RB1 territory and will be pushing McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley for that top spot as he should finish no lower than #3.
Ben Morgan’s (@LoadedBox_Ben) bold predictions are…
Preston Williams finishes as a top-24 wide receiver
If you subscribe to the Loaded Box Podcast, you know that I sound like a broken record when it comes to talking about Preston Williams. While I typically tread lightly on players returning from significant knee surgery, I’m willing to risk it this year with Williams. Reports out of Dolphins camp claim that Williams is often the best player on the field, and in an offense that will likely once again finish in the top third of the league in passing attempts this year, Williams and DeVante Parker are truly the only proven options at receiver in this offense. I do believe Parker will put together another solid fantasy season, but as we saw last year prior to Williams’ injury, these two receivers can both be fantasy relevant and thrive in an up-and-coming passing offense. I recently saw some of “fantasy twitter” asking where the Williams truthers were after Miami traded for Lynn Bowden Jr., and I proceeded to reply that I’m still right here, basically flying the Preston Williams hype plane. The addition of Bowden will have little-to-no impact on Williams’ fantasy numbers in 2020. Bowden will primarily play the slot and be featured in gadget plays. Williams and Parker are nearly guaranteed to lead all Dolphins’ receivers in snaps on a weekly basis, and it’s just a matter of time before Preston Williams becomes a household name. Buy now if you’re able to in dynasty, and go ahead and draft him a round earlier than you think you should in your redraft leagues. He’ll be a guy you can use with confidence on a weekly basis that you don’t have to break the bank for.
Odell Beckham Jr. returns to WR1 status
Even though Odell Beckham Jr. posted one of his worst statistical season last year in Cleveland, I’m not concerned about a repeat performance and I’m gobbling up OBJ in as many leagues as possible. Keep in mind that when Beckham was healthy and playing with a consistent quarterback his first three years in the league, he never finished with under 1,300 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in a single season. Yes, we’ve now seen three seasons where he hasn’t come close to these numbers, but he only appeared in four games in 2017, just 12 games in 2018, and was part of a fairly dysfunctional offensive unit last year in Cleveland. Now in year two with Baker Mayfield, I see this entire Browns offense taking a giant step forward, and no one will benefit more than Beckham. He’ll flirt with 1,200 yards and double-digit touchdowns, and he’ll finish as a top-12 fantasy receiver, easily living up to and surpassing his fourth-round average draft position.
Patrick Doyle’s (@MoeFFDoyle) bold predictions are…
Michael Gallup leads the league in receiving touchdown
There are many variables that make this possible for Michael Gallup this season. Dak Prescott is due to see positive TD regression after only having a 5% TD percentage last year. Seeing how new head coach Mike McCarthy speaks about Gallup and the assumption that he can play 16 games should make this a huge possibility. Looking at the Cowboys strength of schedule, they are outside of the top 20 in RB SOS on the season but inside of the top 7 in both QB and WR. They will have a much harder time rushing in the redzone and will without a doubt have to throw at a higher rate. With my projection that Prescott will one again throw the ball close to 600 times, his TD% rising, and Zeke Elliott seeing TD regression, there will be a bunch of receiving touchdowns to go around. I see at least 10 TD’s for Gallup, which will place him top 3, if not #1 overall in receiving touchdowns.
Chase Edmonds will outscore Kenyan Drake
We all know that a high pace of play is what coach Kliff Kingsbury is aiming for when running his offense. The more plays that are run based, the more Chase Edmonds will find himself on the field. Kenyan Drake has never played a season where he rushed more than 170 times. No one knows if Drake can even withstand a workhorse role in the NFL. I predict more of a split workload for the Cardinals backfield. All it will take for Edmonds to produce more than Drake is a more efficient receiving game and to find the end zone as both a rusher and a receiver. The split between these players is so much closer than is perceived. The only reason this take is bold is because of the draft position of each player as one is a boarder line first rounder and the other is going after the 8th round.
Were these bold enough for you? What are your bold predictions? Hit us up on the comments below or on Twitter where you can always find me.
Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as we give out our 2020 NFL season predictions including division winners, playoff predictions and Super Bowl champions!