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15 Fantasy Predictions Everyone Is Making (That Are Totally Wrong)

Where do we go when we die? 

Let me take a step back.

In writing, one of the most effective ways to make a point is to begin with a universal statement. Something that everyone can agree with, like “breathing is essential for good health,” or “beer is best served in a chilled glass.” Then, bit by bit, the writer shows how this general statement relates to his or her much more specific point. So, rest assured, fantasy football strategy is intrinsically connected to my spiritually ponderous opening statement…

So, where do we go when we die?

We don’t have any evidence related to the answer for this question. Yet, if you were to ask the average Earth person, they would give you a definitive answer. More than half the people in the world would even insist that their statement on the afterlife is correct, even though many of these statements directly contradict the firmly believed statements of others. How does that happen? How does our speculation on a future situation become, in the minds of many, an incontrovertible fact?

It all starts with an event, or a school of thought.

Frequently, someone witnesses what they believe to be a miracle, and that becomes the foundation for a belief. Others hear of this miracle, and subscribe to the belief even though they themselves didn’t witness the miracle.

Other times, someone comes to a firm belief based on a set of logical rules. For instance, if we desire nothing, the afterlife will not be disappointment since we have no desires to become unfulfilled.

The key thing these have in common is the element of hope. It is human nature, when confronted with pure ambiguity, to be inclined to believe in a school of thought that provides hope. This is true whether we are talking about the afterlife or fantasy football.

Before the football season begins, all we have is ambiguity. No one knows for sure how the season will play out, statistically. So it is only natural that we should crave some sort of event or system of rules that gives us hope. A player makes a miraculous preseason play, which gives us hope for a breakout year, even if we didn’t witness the play ourselves, but heard about it from someone else. Or someone comes up with a rule that brings order into the swirling miasma that is the speculative fantasy football landscape. This is how we get ideas like “Derrius Heyward-Bey isn’t a complete waste job of a fantasy pick,” or, “zero-RB is always the best strategy this season.”

But, as the preseason drags on and news gets slow, people tend to conglomerate toward a few schools of thought, a few reasons for hope. After a few weeks of watching third stringers play football with less gusto than my three-year-old twins have when they put cardboard boxes on their heads and run full speed into each other, people need their hopes to become true, lest they go crazy. This is how these amazing plays and new-era strategies make the leap from optimistic speculation into unfounded certainty.

With that in mind, I took a look at 15 currently popular fantasy football opinions that made the leap from theory to popular certainty for no other reason than the formula of small sample sizes plus time increases unjustified feelings of confidence.



Blake Bortles

Blake Bortles will disappoint his owner. Sure, when people were getting him as a top 5 QB at the beginning of the preseason, the fantasy world decided to collectively (and correctly) take a step back. But now his price (~$5-10, 7th/8th round) will be a good value for this third year QB who is surrounded by a solid team

Torrey Smith

Torrey Smith will prove that having him on your team wasn’t a mistake. He can’t run routes. He’s on a garbage team. He’ll be one of those low target, deep ball guys that scores unreliably, and seemingly only when he’s on your bench

Kevin White

Kevin White will be fantasy relevant. Like, at all. Chicago looks scary bad, this year. White is still, for all intents and purposes, a rookie. So he still suffers from the overhype that is given to rookie WRs. He’s not in sync with Cutler, who is probably the least flexible QB in the league right now. He is not great at cutting routes, which is what a RB opposite Alshon Jeffrey Needs to be. He is a developing WR2 on a team that has offensive problems, rarely what anyone looks for in even a flex position

Ameer Abdullah

Ameer Abdullah will take a step up this year. He’s emerged as a great special teams player and change-of-pace back. But Theo Riddick is better between the tackles and on third down. Plus, it doesn’t even matter when the offense is going to throw the ball 650 times

Arian Foster

Arian Foster is a good fantasy option. I’ll expand that, any combination of Miami rushers is a decent fantasy option. FALSE! Foster hasn’t looked good in the preseason, or frankly any recent Houston game where they haven’t tried to pass him the ball a gimmicky number of times. Miami hasn’t looked good, except when Tannehill is leaning on Landry as a binky (A record number of receptions in his first two years). Also Ajayi isn’t good

Rashad Jennings

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Rashad Jennings is like he used to be: A flex at best. Hey he’s 31, we’ve seen everything we’ll see from this back, right? Well, his last 4 games were stellar, and the management has overwhelmingly shown they plan to lean on him, this year, particularly an oral devotion to making him the feature back and cutting frequent distraction Andre Williams. I predict he will be a RB1 at his position. You heard it right, Jennings will be a top 12 back at the end of the year. Rashad Jennings will win you your fantasy league

Frank Gore

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Frank Gore isn’t a fantasy starter. He had a top 12 RB season last year with no blocking and spotty QB play. Frank Gore might be a better blocker than all 5 of Indy’s offensive line, so we expect him to see almost every offensive snap. With Indy’s offense taking a step forward, we think Gore is among the safest bets for a top 20 season

Ryan Mathews

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Ryan Mathews is a fantasy starter. Who is even starting QB for the Eagles? I don’t know nor care, and neither do defenses stacking eight in the box. Too much pressure on Mathews will lead to a few plays where he gets run over, hard, and time has shown his body can’t withstand that

Kelvin Benjamin

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Kelvin Benjamin will have more than 1,000 yards. He’s out of shape and still healing. Carolina was not known for high octane passing in… well ever. I expect those who reached for Benjamin to be sad at the end of the year

Carlos Hyde

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Carlos Hyde will benefit from Chip Kelly’s high octance offense. Kelly has proven himself to be overrated, and San Francisco is the worst fantasy team in the league. Also Hyde’s QBs have the yips on backfield passes, and he’s already been injured in the head, this preseason

Devonta Freeman

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Devonta Freeman will take a step back. Sure, he had a sluggish second half to the season. However, “sluggish” was still borderline top 12 back. Tevin Coleman certainly seems preferred by the new Atlanta management. But the eye test is what I rely on, Coleman doesn’t look good, especially on blocking, whereas Freeman is the complete package. Matt Ryan needs nothing, if not blitz pickup

Adrian Peterson

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Adrian Peterson will be worth his first round ADP ($50+). Also bonus wrong prediction: He will break down and be a total bust. With all the defensive pressure coming for the running game, I’d expect to see closer to a 50/50 split between Peterson and fellow athletic freak Jerick McKinnon

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Matt Forte will be a decent fantasy pick. Please note: I'm not saying he's not worth his stupid high ADP of 48 (~$20). I'm saying he will end up being borderling useless even as a flex. Forte went to the Jets, where RBs go to die. Ivory's breakout last year has people fooled. We expect Bilal Powell to quickly emerge as the Jets top back, sending Forte to the grave among all fantasy teams who aren't totally desperate to work the name "Forte and a Blount" into their repertoire

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Matt Forte will be a decent fantasy pick. Please note: I’m not saying he’s not worth his stupid high ADP of 48 (~$20). I’m saying he will end up being borderling useless even as a flex. Forte went to the Jets, where RBs go to die. Ivory’s breakout last year has people fooled. We expect Bilal Powell to quickly emerge as the Jets top back, sending Forte to the grave among all fantasy teams who aren’t totally desperate to work the name “Forte and a Blount” into their repertoire

Tajae Sharpe

Overwhelmingly Popular Fantasy Prediction: Tajae Sharpe will be the #1 receiver on Tennessee. Sharpe enters the season as perhaps the most hyped sleeper. However, WRs get overhyped every preseason, especially with the blowout 2014 season affecting everyone’s radars. Sharpe plays for a team whose top 3 WRs scored under a combined 1,400 receiving yards, last year. We expect Rishard Matthews to take a step forward, and even if he doesn’t calling the Titans top receiver the WR1 is hyperbole

For more great galleries, click these links while egotistically relating the biggest questions of the universe to your own hobby:

10 Universally Recommended Pieces of Fantasy Football Auction Advice (That Are TOTALLY WRONG)

13 High-Rated Fantasy Football Players (That Are Flat-out Bad at Football)

12 Stats That Will Totally Change Your Fantasy Football Auction Strategy

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