It’s been 29 long weeks but the NFL offseason is finally almost over! We’ve had tons of offseason transactions with new coaching landing spots, free agency, and the NFL draft in full swing. It was a lot to dissect but we are fully prepared. In this article, we are going to go over my 5 bold predictions for the 2018 season. Let’s get straight to it.
1. Geronimo Allison will be a top-20 WR this season:
My favorite sleeper this season checks in currently as the WR69 based on ADP consensus. First thing, you don’t have to have an elite skill set to be fantasy relevant under an Aaron Rodgers led offense. I think Davante Adams takes a step back due to the fact that he’s going to see one of the hardest schedules for a WR this season. For example, we have a stretch where Adams goes against Rhodes/Norman/White/Slay/Sherman 5 weeks straight. This allows Allison to get one-on-one coverage against worse corners. Randall Cobb (whom everyone loves this season), is coming off ankle surgery, isn’t 100%, and has been made available via trade by the Green Bay Packers. Why is he being drafted as the WR39, compared to Allison as the WR69? Grab him in the last round of your drafts and thank me later.
2. Cam Newton is the QB1 Overall:
Yes, I know that Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady didn’t retire, but hear me out! Newton has 5 to-3QB fantasy seasons in his 7-year career. Getting QB whisperer Norv Turner as the team’s new offensive coordinator will do wonders for Newtons mechanics (which needed work). Next thing is that Cam Newton has never had the amount of sheer talent with the receiving core of Christian Mccaffrey, Greg Olsen, Devin Funchess, and rookie DJ Moore. Lastly, Newton’s reliable floor with rushing yards and touchdowns sure doesn’t hurt either. I can easily see 4,000 passing yards, 600 rush yards, and 32 total touchdowns.
3. Joe Mixon will be a top-10 RB this season:
Mixon this year reminds me of Todd Gurley last year. A talented RB getting written off due to a bad previous year. Mixon wasn’t as bad last season as people believe. As a backup last season, Mixon had 7 weeks being an RB2 or better in the 14 games played. The best stat to get you hyped about Mixon is that he averaged 5 yards per carry over the final 4 games of the season which was during the stretch Jeremy Hill was injured. This offseason could not have been better for Mixon. The former Oklahoma back has slimmed down to 218 pounds (12 pounds lighter than last season), they traded for Corey Glenn and drafted Billy Price so they vastly improved the teams o-line. Most importantly, Jeremy Hill left the Cincinnati Bengals for the New England Patriots, so Mixon will be the teams bellcow. No Giovani Bernard will not be the bellcow this season. When Hill was injured last season, Mixon saw 75% of the team’s carries over that stretch. This guy is going to go bonkers this year. He is a free space currently being drafted in round 3 of drafts.
4. Trey Burton will be the TE2 overall:
I love Rob Gronkowski way too much to ever bet against him. Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz on the other hand, not so much. I honestly don’t think Kelce and new QB Pat Mahomes will have the connection that Kelce and Alex Smith once had and with Sammy Watkins now in the mix, Kelce could be the 3rd or 4th option on the team. As for Zach Ertz, I’m just worried about getting 16 games out of Carson Wentz (still unaware if he will be ready for the Atlanta Falcons week one). Burton just makes a lot of sense this season. After the signing of new HC Mike Nagy, Trey Burton was one of the first free agent signings of the period (they got their guy). Not only did we see Burton’s ability in last years super bowl, but we got a small sample size last season. During the 2 games Zach Ertz missed last season, Burton was the TE1 for both of those weeks. He is an absolute steal in round 9 of drafts right now.
5. Amari Cooper has league winning upside:
No, no, no! don’t leave this site because I mentioned Cooper. After being a colossal bust in 2017 (WR31), Cooper’s ADP plummeted to the WR14. That’s a solid price to pay for the season he could have in store. With Michael Crabtree now a Baltimore Raven, Cooper only has to share targets with 33-year-old Jordy Nelson and it looks like Seth Roberts now that Martavis Bryant just got cut. Here’s a fun fact for you, new coach Jon Gruden has always had at least one 1,000 yard receiver every season he has coached. Gruden also mentioned that they will use the Alabama alumni like he used Sterling Sharpe back in the day which led to 4 seasons of 90+ catches and 5 seasons of 1,100 yards. Lastly, we haven’t even mentioned how terrible the Oakland Raiders defense is (I really think they will trade Khalil Mack- Update: #HeGone (Traded to the Chicago Bears). With that being said, the Raiders are going to have to score a ton of points to hope to get some wins= Hello Amari Cooper breakout season.