20 shocking fantasy football predictions for 2018


The moment when Darth Vader proclaimed to Luke Skywalker, “No, I am your father,” in “The Empire Strikes Back.” The reveal of what was in the box in the closing moments of the “Se7en.” How disappointing “Justice League” was despite all of those great superheroes being on screen together.

“What are things that were shocking, Alex?”

Odd things always seem to happen in our world, whether in entertainment or sports, so sometimes you have to think outside of the box when you’re in the prediction business. With that said, here are 20 potential scenarios that would not shock me if they came true during the course of the 2018 fantasy football campaign.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Jarvis Landry is a fantasy bust in Cleveland: The Browns have a ton of mouths to feed, including one of the most athletic wideouts in the league in Josh Gordon. Plus, Landry is coming off a “magical” campaign that will be hard to repeat with decreased targets.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Aaron Jones is the top fantasy back in Green Bay: Jamaal Williams is projected to be the starter, but Jones was a better back during their respective rookie seasons before he went down with an injured knee. I’d rather have Jones based on his draft price, too.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Patrick Mahomes throws for 4,000-plus yards: The kid has a rocket arm and some of the best offensive talent in the NFL around him in Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Travis Kelce. And let’s not forget the Andy Reid factor. Mahomes is a great sleeper.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Doug Baldwin has a big bounce-back campaign: Gone are Jimmy Graham and Paul Richardson, and in their places are Ed Dickson, Jaron Brown and 34-year-old Brandon Marshall. The angry one should see a boatload of targets in the passing game from Russell Wilson.

It wouldn’t shock me if … the Dolphins backfield is a split committee: Don’t get me wrong, I like Kenyan Drake as a potential breakout player this season. However, we might be overlooking Frank Gore‘s impact. Honestly, would anyone be that shocked if he is the Week 1 starter?

It wouldn’t shock me if … Trey Burton is as a top-10 fantasy tight end: Burton is in a great position to succeed with the Bears, as he will fill the Travis Kelce role in the offense of coach Matt Nagy. He’s a high-upside player you can get late if you like to wait to pick a tight end.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Chris Hogan scores 10 touchdowns in 2018: With the Julian Edelman facing a four-game suspension and Brandin Cooks getting traded, the Patriots don’t have a true No. 1 wide receiver. And while Hogan is not a No. 1 either, he should see more opportunities until Edelman is back out on the field.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Royce Freeman is this season’s Kareem Hunt: I like everything about Freeman, including his landing spot in Denver. The rookie should pass Devonate Booker on the depth chart in the near future, and his skill set makes him a serious breakout fantasy candidate.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Marlon Mack isn’t the Colts top fantasy back: Mack can be an explosive playmaker with the ball in his hands, but his low yards per attempt average and issues in pass protection as a rookie make him a bit vulnerable to newbies Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Jameis Winston is a top-10 fantasy quarterback: You might not know it, but Winston scored 18-plus fantasy points in six of his 13 games last season. He left two of those games early due to injuries but was a top-10 weekly scorer among quarterbacks in six of those 11 full starts.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Chester Rogers emerges into a deep sleeper: If we assume that Andrew Luck is under center for the Colts in Week 1, then I can definitely see a scenario where Rogers becomes one of the better late-round picks or waiver-wire pickups of the 2018 fantasy season.

It wouldn’t shock me if … D.J. Moore is the top rookie wide receiver: There are a lot of mouths to feed in the Carolina pass attack, but Moore has the most upside of any wide receiver on their roster. In fact, I can easily see him leading the team in targets at the position as a rookie.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Corey Clement becomes a PPR asset this season: The re-signing of Darren Sproles threw a bit of cold water on Clement’s fantasy value, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that he could be second on the Eagles‘ depth chart behind Jay Ajayi to open the season.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Christian Kirk leads rookie wideouts in targets: While no one is going to out-target Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona, Kirk has a shot to be No. 2 if he can earn a starting spot in the team’s pass attack. I believe there’s a great shot that will happen this season.

It wouldn’t shock me if … the Rams don’t have a top-20 fantasy wideout: While their offense looks stellar overall, there are a lot of options in the passing game between Cooks, Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. Oh, and let’s not forget Todd Gurley who finished with 64 receptions a season ago.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Carlos Hyde‘s scoring output drops 130-plus points from 2017: Last season’s RB9, Hyde scored 233.8 PPR points in his final season in San Francisco. Now in Cleveland, he’ll be forced to share work with Duke Johnson and rookie Nick Chubb. He’s just a late-rounder in drafts.

It wouldn’t shock me if … George Kittle becomes a late-round bargain: Kittle showed some flashes of potential and a rapport with Jimmy Garoppolo at the end of last season, making him one of this year’s more popular deep sleepers among tight ends. Like Burton, he’s a solid late target.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Sony Michel sees 225-plus touches this season: Dion Lewis, now in Tennessee, finished last season with 212 touches. Enter Michel, an electric rookie who has drawn comparisons to Alvin Kamara. The Pats didn’t draft him in Round 1 to sit him on the sidelines.

It wouldn’t shock me if … Chris Godwin makes an impact for Tampa Bay: While he is behind Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson in the targets carousel, Godwin has earned the right for more chances in the pass attack this season. He could wind up being this year’s version of Nelson Agholor.

It wouldn’t shock me if … your draft didn’t have a top-50 quarterback: Plenty of owners will wait longer and longer to pick their No. 1 starter because the position is so deep and there’s so little demand in standard leagues that start just one quarterback.


Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Do you want the most up-to-date fantasy news and analysis? You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!





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