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Fantasy Football: Bold Predictions for Each AFC Team

Picking up where I left off in the Fantasy Football NFC Bold Predictions, I will be saying one bold prediction for each team in the AFC by division. This doesn’t mean that these are guaranteed to happen, but they are possibilities that could happen that would completely go against most rankings and projections.

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Mark Ingram Finishes Outside the Top 30 Runningbacks

Ingram is a very solid runningback; don’t get me wrong. Ingram was awesome during his time in New Orleans even splitting time with the versatile Alvin Kamara. The problem here is that Ingram is basically one of four solid runners Baltimore has. Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards, and rookie Justice Hill will all be fighting for a lot of touches in this offence. One week, Ingram could take the touches, and the next it could be Hill. It’s just a mess in that backfield.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Donte Moncrief Finishes as a Top 20 Wide Receiver

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Donte Moncrief (11)

Steelers have a lot of vacated targets after Antonio Brown and his drama got traded to the Oakland Raiders. To replace Brown, the Steelers added Moncrief and rookie Diontae Johnson. The Steelers also have second-year wideout James Washington to fight for targets. The word out of camp is that Moncrief is the lead dog to take the second wide receiver role alongside JuJu Smith-Schuster. Just last season, the Steelers had two wide receivers finish as top 10 wide receivers, so I could see Moncrief finishing in the top 20.

Cleveland Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. Finishes as the Best Wide Receiver in Fantasy

Odell Beckham has been very good when he played in New York. He makes the craziest catches seem easy and possesses the traits to be one of the best wide receivers to ever play in the NFL. The past few seasons, old and washed up Eli Manning has been throwing him the ball, and he still has performed at a very high level. Barring injury, I could see offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens and Quarterback Baker Mayfield elevating him to the best wide receiver in the fantasy football.

Cincinnati Bengals

Tyler Boyd Finishes as a Top 15 Wide Receiver

With A.J. Green now sidelined due to injury, it is very possible Boyd picks up the slack and plays as a top 12 wide receiver. There aren’t a lot of other good options in Cincinnati at wide receiver. Even when Green comes back, he won’t be perfect, and Boyd could still demand targets.

AFC East

New England Patriots

Josh Gordon Plays and Balls Out

Josh Gordon may not even play in 2019. He is still technically on the Patriots, and he was awesome last season when he played last season. He has filed for reinstatement, therefore he is trying his best to get back onto the field. Tom Brady loved throwing him the ball, and he could be a top fantasy performer week-to-week if he were to come back.

Miami Dolphins

DeVante Parker Finishes as a Top 24 Wide Receiver

DeVante Parker every season gets hyped up and fails miserably. I believe that was due to his mistreatment from head coach Adam Gase. Parker has had “60+ receiving yards in 20 out of 32 games where he played 75% or more snaps” (@bobbyfantasypro). The only players that have posted a rate similar or higher than him are being drafted in the first four rounds. Now he has a quarterback that loves to throw the ball, and he no longer is held captive by Gase, Parker has a shot to explode in fantasy now that everyone is finally giving up on him.

Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen finishes as a Top 15 Quarterback

ORCHARD PARK, NY – AUGUST 08: Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills drops back to pass during the first quarter of a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts at New Era Field on August 8, 2019 in Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo defeats Indianapolis 24 -16. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Josh Allen doesn’t perform very well when you watch him, but in fantasy, he lit up the scoreboard. He was the best overall player in fantasy from weeks 12 to 17 when he was healthy. Allen was averaging 24.2 points per game during that range. He ran the ball extremely well during that stretch and takes shots down the field frequently with his strong arm. Pair his strong arm with great deep threat John Brown, and that combo could tear up fantasy football.

New York Jets

Le’Veon Bell Finishes Outside the Top 10 Runningbacks

In seasons past, Bell won leagues (outside of last season) for a lot of fantasy owners. He always performs as a top fantasy back each season. Now, he joins the New York Jets to try and be a top fantasy back once again. The problem here is that Bell thrived behind a great line in Pittsburgh and now transitions to a poor line in New York. He also is going to be in one of the slowest paced offenses in the NFL. It’s a recipe for disaster in New York, and he may suffer because of it.

AFC South

Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson Finishes as the Best Quarterback in Fantasy

Watson finished as the fourth-best quarterback in fantasy last season while playing hurt down the stretch. DeAndre Hopkins played banged up, Keke Coutee was hurt, Will Fuller was hurt, and Demaryius Thomas got injured right away in Houston. He really had no help around him near the end of the season, and his stats showed for it. Now healthy with the rest of his team healthy (for the most part), and the addition of very good receiving runningback in Duke Johnson, Watson has the possibility to outperform Patrick Mahomes this season.

Indianapolis Colts

T.Y. Hilton Finishes Outside the Top 20

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) runs after a catch against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Andrew Luck is projected to miss some time. With that alone, Hilton’s value should drop when Jacoby Brissett plays. In addition to that injury, the Colts bolstered their receiving core this offseason adding solid red zone threat Devin Funchess and playmaker Parris Campbell. They also return their main tight end Jack Doyle who will likely eat up some targets.

Tennessee Titans

Corey Davis Finishes as a Top 24 Wide Receiver

Corey Davis has disappointed in the past two seasons. Some games he flashes crazy potential and people go wild. Others, he looks like he busted like Kevin White. This season though, I believe he hits his third-year breakout potential and balls out. This team will be a run-first team, so his breakout won’t be major like Chris Godwin’s will, but he will play at a much higher level than he has since he entered the league.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Dede Westbrook Finishes as a Top 20 Wide Receiver

With Marqise Lee currently sidelined due to injury, Nick Foles has been finding a reliable target in Westbrook. Westbrook is a very solid slot receiver that could take advantage of Nick Foles this season now that he has an above-average quarterback throwing him the ball. The only other receiving option here is Chris Conley. Dede could be the main target for Foles.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

Chiefs Don’t Get a Top 24 Runningback in Fantasy

Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams (26) takes the handoff from quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

This is pretty crazy to think of knowing how Andy Reid always has a top runningback in fantasy. The problem this season lies in the runningback options Reid has. Reid has Damien Williams who has never played a full season, inefficient Carlos Hyde, and a rookie in Darwin Thompson buried beneath the both of them. By the end of the season, all three of these backs could start at least four games a piece leaving not one of them to be a top 24 finisher in fantasy this season.

San Diego Chargers

Mike Williams Outperforms Keenan Allen

Nov 19, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams (81) on the field during the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

This may be the year Mike Williams finishes ahead of Keenan Allen. With Tyrell Williams gone, Mike Williams could see a surplus of targets to compete with Allen for the most yards on the team. Allen will most likely have more yards, but what will separate Mike Williams is his touchdowns. Williams is a great red zone threat and turned 43 receptions into 10 touchdowns last season which is just absurd. He most likely won’t have a rate like that again, but if he has double-digit touchdowns again, and sees an increase in yards, he could easily finish ahead of Keenan Allen.

Denver Broncos

Royce Freeman Becomes the Main Back

Phillip Lindsay is extremely talented and blew away many people last season. He was a pro bowler as an undrafted rookie. The problem here is that he really doesn’t fit the new scheme the way Royce Freeman does. Royce Freeman could win the main back job while Lindsay becomes the change-of-pace back.

Oakland Raiders

Derek Carr Finishes as a Top 15 Fantasy Quarterback

This might be the boldest take on my whole lists. In years past, Carr has faced a lot of unnecessary hate. Last season his main wide receiver was Jordy Nelson who is no longer in the lead. He had no one to throw the ball to, a sub par running game behind him, and a poor offensive line. Now, the Raiders completely revamped their receiving core adding one of the best receivers in the game in Antonio Brown via trade, Tyrell Williams via free agency, and Hunter Renfrow in the draft. The Raiders also used a first round selection to grab versatile runningback Josh Jacobs. Their line still isn’t great, but with some help, Derek Carr could finish top 15.

Be sure to check out my NFC Bold Predictions, Sleepers, Busts, and Breakout Candidates for the 2019 Fantasy Football Season. Also, check out the Forums Page on Overtime Heroics for great discussion and debate on any sports topic you would like. Lastly, follow me on twitter @FF_JoeH for more great fantasy content and advice.

Joseph Herff
College student trying to make a name for myself in the sports writing industry.

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