Bold Predictions for 2016

Andrew Brennan

Fantasy Life App Username: Andrew9

Andrew Brennan is a guest writer for us at The County Fantasy Sports.  Please do not hesitate to contact him with questions, comments, or opportunities you may have.
1. Michael Floyd is a top 15 WR- Okay I might have a slight fever, I might need medical attention. But my infatuation for Floyd will always get me excited.  Floyd has been someone that I have been in love with since watching him in his days at Notre Dame.   His physical prowess is impressive standing at 6'3, 220 and running a 4.47 "40" he certainly has all of the raw tools to dominate.  Floyd has a great ability to physically beat smaller CB’s and high point the ball.  He did have a minor breakout last year after finishing as the WR 32 in standard scoring leagues despite doing virtually nothing in the first 5 weeks and missing week 11.  This small breakout proves his skills are real, and he can build on last season in this upcoming one. The decline of Larry Fitzgerald will most likely clear up more targets for Floyd and hopefully more targets in the Red Zone where he looks so good.  He looks like a poor man's Dez Bryant to me with similar physical skills and his ability to dominate over CB’s, high pointing the ball.  That is exactly what I said about Allen Robinson this time last year and we seen how that turned out. I can't rank Floyd as a top 15 WR but I could easily see it happen  and will have him on as many teams as possible.

2. Ryan Mathews is a RB1-  Last year I had Mathews on my bench for the entire season.  I was waiting for one Demarco Murray injury to have what I kept on saying would be a top 8 RB.  It seemed abundantly clear to even  a casual football fan that Mathews was a much better fit for Chip Kelly’s pistol offense than Murray.  Even though Kelly is now gone into the hills of San Francisco, the RB miracle worker, Doug Pederson now fills his shoes.  Pederson has showed an extreme willingness run in KC, obviously because he had one of the best RB in the game in Jamaal Charles, but he proved without Charles running the ball was still a priorty in his offense.  When Charles went down with a brutal knee injury panic set in.  We all assumed the chiefs were done and then something unexpected happened.  Charcandrick West dominated for the next 3 weeks and appeared to be another stud RB.  Then West got injured passing the torch onto Spencer Ware who then destroyed defenses for the next three weeks.  The RB success in KC gives reasonable hope for Mathews to continue the chain with Pederson.  I truly believe in Mathews and that he is an extremely talented player that can provide great fantasy value, given the right opportunity. The one blemish on Mathews upcoming season is his injury history, but we are being bold so we can assume he pays at least 14 games. Remember 6 months from now, who told you to draft him.

3. Rashad Jennings WELL out produces Jeremy Langford- First of all, let me remind you that Rashad Jennings was the number 20 fantasy RB in standard scoring leagues.  RB20 is a very good year for a RB. Okay, now that we got that out of the way let's really get going.  Jennings took the role of the Giants bell cow RB from weeks 14-17.  In those 4 weeks, he carried the ball 79 times prorate that over 16 games and  you get a crazy 316 carries (In a crazy 2015 Murray had 392 carries).  Prorating stats can get a little fuzzy but that's just to make the point of the Giant's commitment to Jennings late in the year.  I think they give him the bell cow job again this year, Shane Vereen will play the same 3rd down back, Andre Williams is simply terrible, and Paul Perkins is looking to be more of a long term project.  Rashad has the ability to be a real fantasy contributor and Langford has some blemishes.  Among the 44 RB with at least 100 carries Langford placed 40th in YPC with a miniscule 3.6 number.  Langford also proved to not be at all elusive forcing only 7 missed tackles on 148 carries in contrast Carlos Hyde forced 32 missed tackles on just 115 carries.  Besides his terrible running last year Langford now is joined by a very talented RB Jordan Howard from Indiana.  Howard is an exciting back who was profiled by some as one of the best RB values in the NFL draft.  He now poses a real threat to the less talented Langford.  Even the head coach of the bears, John Fox, said they would “ride the hot hand” at RB.  Jennings seems both more talented and in a better situation.  My only worry with Jennings is health or the Giants making a dumb decision by playing Williams more than I hope.

4. Aaron Rodgers is the #1 QB- Aaron Rodgers was the consensus #1 QB off the draft board last year, similar to the way Cam Newton is this year.  Last year wasn’t really fair to judge Rodgers on though, with the injury to his best receiver(and security blanket), along with several offensive line injuries.  Rodgers also dealt with an out of shape and inefficient Eddie Lacy.  This led to more attention being put on stopping Green Bay's potentially potent passing game and little put on their putrid run game. Everything fell wrong for Rodgers last year but this year it seems those things are being corrected. Nelson along with Green Bay's offensive line is healthy, Eddie Lacy seems to have shed some weight, and the Packers receivers seemed to have gotten better with the addition of Jared Cook and the added development of young WR like Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery.  Rodgers skills are still most likely the best in the league and everything around him seems to have improved.  I would not be at all surprised if Aaron Rodgers out produces Newton and am fine with drafting Rodgers over Newton if you choose to do so. It’s more of a coin flip than people think.

5. By week 8, Kenneth Dixon will be a must start RB- The Baltimore backfield seems very murky right now with Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen, and the new kid in town, Kenneth Dixon, all vying for carries.  It seems that Justin Forsett is old and broken down and more than likely won't be able to  put up the kind of numbers he once did.  Although Javorius Allen had a modestly good rookie campaign it seems Baltimore does not feel that he is the future star RB because they drafted a new one as a 4th round steal.  Kenneth Dixon in my opinion seems to be the most talented RB in the bunch and I think that the Ravens are smart enough to figure it out as well.  On 802 carries he gained 4,483 yards 5.6 YPC, with 87 TD’s over his 4 years at Louisiana Tech.  His talent is recognizable even though he did played a lesser level of competition.  He has an ability to burst through holes, accelerate in the open field, and to make secondary players miss.  He could easily translate into a star in this league especially with Baltimore's quality offensive line and run base offensive style.  Even if your draft is too shallow to draft Dixon, at the very least keep your eye on him on the wire and be ready to pounce.