Can you believe it faithful followers; we are 7 weeks into the “Words of Ingram” and still going strong! Thank you to everyone who continues to support me by clicking, reading, commenting, emailing and taking time out of your busy schedules to participate in my little piece of the literary world. It has been a hell of a ride thus far, and we are only getting started. Now, if I could be serious for a moment (Lance Storm), I’d like to let everyone know that in only a few short weeks, the very talented writers of majorleaguefantasysports.com will begin their rankings for the upcoming fantasy football season! These are truly some of the most enjoyable times in fantasy sports, as we’re all able to share our viewpoints on a vast number of players.
Since things will be getting quite focused soon, I wanted to take the next two weeks and have a little bit of fun.
This week, I want to talk about making some bold predictions. I will preface this by saying most of these predictions are going to be quite ostentatious and I am really hoping the result of this article will be more participation and feedback by the readers. Hell, I would love to make some friendly $1 bets with my fellow readers about some bold predictions. If we want to be humanitarians, we can even donate winnings to a charity of the winners choosing.
So, with the intro out-of-the-way, allow me to begin my bold predictions, “The Positive Edition!”
QB – Jay Cutler finishes the year in the top 5 at QB
If I were gambling, this would be one that I would jump all over. However, we’re trying to be bold right, and not much could be more bold (within reason) than this prediction. It’s not that we question the abilities of Jay Cutler as he averages about 3000 yards and 20 touchdowns a season. He has a very big arm and touts one of the best offenses in the NFL. The general knock on Jay Cutler is that he’s very, very soft. Cutler will always be remembered for his “injury” in the NFC game in 2011 when he had an MCL sprain, but spent the next 10 minutes riding the stationary bike. The belief is that the Bears offensive line should be significantly improved, as the four new starters they had last season are now able to gel with one another more; and continue to provide support for Cutler. Consider the 50% reduction in sacks that Cutler took from last year to 2012. I do understand that he missed 5 games, so if you do the math, he would have taken roughly 29, down from the 38 of the year before. One cannot ignore the receiving ability and production of Matt Forte as well as the emergence of Alshon Jeffery and arguably the best receiver in the NFL in Brandon Marshall. Well, maybe not the best, but the second best for my money. If I were to give my bold prediction on Cutler’s numbers at the end of the year: 3500 yards, 35 touchdowns, 8 interceptions.
RB – Zac Stacy finishes as the #3 running back
Is this one bold enough for you? I almost feel that I should have done my negative bold predictions prior to an article on positive predictions; however I’m this far into the article so onward we march! Zac Stacy proved to be the breakout star of fantasy football last year. The early parts of the year were spent discussing which of the three Rams running backs could make the biggest impact. In just 12 starts, Zac Stacy had over 1000 yards from scrimmage and 8 scores. Stacy is a large, bruising back who will be running behind a top 10 offensive line. The Rams spent the first overall pick on the incredibly talented Greg Robinson, will have healthy Jake Long and also re-signed Rodger Safford. The Rams lack much of a passing attack, which will only serve to increase the amount of touches that Zac Stacy should see. As well as a strong offensive line, the Rams also have a top 10 ranked defense which should allow them to play a clock control type offense. My predictions for Stacy: 1300 yards rushing, 12 rushing TD’s, 300 yards receiving, 40 receptions and 3 passing touchdowns. Zac Stacy is my bold pick at the running back position.
WR – Desean Jackson finishes in the top 3
While maybe not incredibly bold, I still believe that anytime you’re putting someone above Thomas, Marshall or Bryant it’s a big deal. I’m anticipating huge things from a player I generally dislike, which seems to be par for the course in terms of my positive bold predictions. Desean Jackson was always a bit of a head case in Philadelphia, but was still productive none the less. Since his coming out party in 2009, Jackson had been regressing statistically until last season. Last season was the first time he had been healthy since ’09, and the results were a career high in receptions and yards. What we didn’t see, however, were more running plays. Early in his career, Jackson was able to run for 100 yards a year, however those numbers were greatly reduced due to injury. I don’t anticipate seeing running numbers like those considering his health, and also the offensive scheme of the Redskins. However, I do believe we will see some rushing as the ‘Skins do enjoy running the option and Jackson can represent a threat. Many people believe Pierre Garcon to be the primary option for RG3, however I’m in the camp that believes Jackson will reap the rewards, while Garcon will see a big reduction. Jackson is the type of player whom feels the need to be wanted, accepted and appreciated. Philly is notorious for being vicious, and I don’t think Desean felt those things because of it. This will be the year that Deasean Jackson reminds everyone why he is one of the most feared receivers in all of football. His production should be staggering and he will lead the ‘Skins to a division title, and possibly take them deep into the playoffs. If you haven’t noticed by now, I am all in on the ‘Skins this year. My bold predictions for Desean Jackson: 98 receptions, 1476 yards, 11 touchdowns, 85 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown.
TE – Scott Chandler finishes as a top 10 TE
I was going to rank him a bit higher, but I would like this bold prediction to have merit to it. Scott Chandler is a player whom I’ve always liked, and have absolutely owned every single year. He has always been an incredibly serviceable #2 tight end, and I anticipate his numbers to continue increasing. To point, Chandler has seen an increase in production each season in terms of receptions, targets and yards. Last season he saw a reduction from his 6 touchdown average, however I believe this will not be the case in 2014. The Buffalo Bills parted ways with Stevie Johnson, leaving rookie Sammy Watkins and incumbent Mike Williams as the primary receiving backs. Each player will be new to the scheme in Buffalo, leaving Chandler as the “veteran”. This should be fantastic for EJ Manuel as he will need a safety valve as he returns from injury and will continue to make his mark on the NFL. I’m not a huge believer in his abilities, which generally means an upswing in production for the TE. One could point at Mike Williams and his general value as a red zone target as a reduction in points for Chandler. After all, the Bills spent all that money to bring in an end zone guy, so why would we see Chandler getting these points? It’s true that Williams will take some value away from Chandler, but I believe that the value will still exist and still exist in the form of a top 10 TE. If you can’t score one of the big boys, you should feel comfort in knowing you’ll get a fairly consistent player in Chandler. My bold prediction for Chandler: 67 receptions, 875 yards, 5 touchdowns.
Thus concludes my positive bold predictions. Next week, I’ll take the time to throw four negative bold predictions out there, some of which may shock you and others you may say, “You know, he has a point there.” As always, I would love to see YOUR bold predictions in the comments. Thanks for reading and see you next week!
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