Sports fans, it’s been a miserable year to say the least. It seems like it’s taken 15 years to get from March to September. Gone was March Madness. Gone was baseball, basketball and hockey for months.
I completely understand that sports aren’t the most important thing right now in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, so that relaxed my rage on the matter quite a bit. But still, when sports started to come back, things started to feel “normal” again.
And as we come into September, while there may not be the entire landscape of college football taking place, one thing that is continuing is the National Football League. Ladies and gentlemen, bring on the 2020 season.
Much like 2020 up until this point, I’m sure the NFL season will be full of weird twists and turns — if we even get a complete season. Who knows what the rest of the year will bring us. But regardless, I’ve taken part in four fantasy football drafts and I’m beyond thrilled to take part in some thing “normal” once again.
As far as predicting this season, it’ll be harder to do than any other year. Sure, you’ll always have your guys that you know will do well. But with no preseason games, for me, it was that much harder to try and figure out the middle to late rounds in terms of potential breakout candidates.
For our main league — the West Branch Football League — I ended up with the 10th overall pick out of 14. While I wasn’t thrilled with that, I did know I felt I had a shot at a good RB1 at that spot. When it came around to me, I ended up taking Chiefs rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Had I gotten my way, I really wanted Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon, but he went two spots ahead of me. Not complaining, though, but I still hate the uncertainty of what to expect.
Raheem Mostert is my RB2 and backups are rookie J.K. Dobbins and the plodding Sony Michel (quantity over quality is what I looked at here). For wideouts, I’m happy with my starters DeAndre Hopkins and D.J. Moore. I’ve also got Jamison Crowder and N’Keal Harry as backups. Darren Waller is my lone TE and at QB, I’ve got Aaron Rodgers and Daniel Jones. Justin Tucker is my K and I took the 49ers defense. So hopes are high that I break my two-year WBFL playoff drought.
As in previous years, I’ve made five bold predictions going into the season, so let’s revisit and see how I did. Out of the five picks, I hit the nail on the head with two of them. I said Lamar Jackson would rush for over 1,000 yards and, welp, did he ever — 1,206 yards to be exact. That was actually the sixth highest rushing total in the league, yet he’s a quarterback. If you had Jackson last year, odds are you wiped up the competition.
The other prediction I hit on? That would be Christian McCaffrey finishing as the top fantasy RB and is the consensus overall #1 pick in 2020. If you didn’t have the top pick this year, you didn’t get the Carolina RB — simple as that.
If someone was at #1 and drafted ANYONE other than McCaffrey, please get your brain checked ASAP and I fear for your well-being.
Ok so now I’ll have my slice of humble pie and admit my bad predictions — three slices of humble pie to be exact. The first two? I said Sam Darnold would be a top 10 fantasy QB and David Montgomery would be a top 8 RB. Darnold ended up missing three games with mono and was QB27 on the year.
Just a reminder, there are only 32 teams. Yeah, not great. I have officially leaped off of the Sam Darnold Hype Train that I stubbornly rode out these past couple of years.
Montgomery had a couple flashes of brilliance but with Mitchell Trubisky leading that Bears offense, he essentially started the 2019 race of the NFL season a lap down before he even took the green flag, winding up at RB25.
I’ve saved the worst prediction for last. I said that “Antonio Brown will be just fine and be a top 3 WR.” Oh boy. At the time I made that prediction, Brown was still a Raider. He ended up getting cut due to the circus that ensued, signed as a Patriot, played one game and the aforementioned circus became too much for New England and they parted ways.
Here’s to hoping I get more than two right this year for my 2020 bold predictions and next week, I’ll bring back the weekly studs and duds format.
Joe Mixon will be a top 5 RB. Mixon couldn’t have started out 2019 any worse, running behind a line that was virtually nonexistent. But towards the second half of the year, Mixon showed signs of life with three out of the final four games rushing for over 135 yards. With a beefed up O-line and the Bengals’ keys to the kingdom handed to rookie QB Joe Burrow, there’s optimism in Cincy, especially with fantasy football diehards.
Daniel Jones will be a top 10 QB. There are just so many weapons for Jones to utilize in his sophomore season. From Saquon Barkley, to receivers Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton and Golden Tate, to TE Evan Engram. That talent alone will make Jones at worst, a great streaming option each week. I think he’ll show why the Giants front office fell in love with the guy last year and used the 6th overall pick on him in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Allen Robinson II will have over 110 receptions. Last season, the former Nittany Lion had 97 receptions as Trubisky still struggled. This season, I think it’s a mix of Trubisky’s struggles — and therefore, short routes and receptions — and the potential of Nick Foles replacing Trubisky, at which, Robinson could be worth that top 6 WR pick that many drafted him for.
Melvin Gordon III will finish outside the top 20 for RBs. Gordon’s career average yards per carry is a ho-hum 4.0 for his career — essentially the Mendoza line of running back production. It’s not like he doesn’t have a body of work to make this prediction. Four out the five years he’s played, he’s been below 4.0, with the lone year above being 5.1 in 2018. While he’s with a new team in Denver, I don’t expect him to set the world on fire, especially since he’ll be sharing duties there with Philip Lindsay.
Derrick Henry will rush for over 2,000 yards. The former Alabama Crimson Tide back has been a monster at times over the past two seasons. Last year, Henry carried the Titans to upset win after upset win, knocking off New England and then top seed Baltimore in the AFC playoffs before falling to the eventual champion Kansas City Chiefs. In the 12 games that Ryan Tannehill was starting QB — three of which were playoff games — Henry averaged 130.8 yards a game. Multiply that over a 16-game season? You get 2,093. He’d become the eighth player in NFL history to accomplish the feat and the first since Adrian Peterson did it in 2012.