Continuing in our 10 bold predictions series, here are 10 things that would literally make me shit my pants if they came true.
1. Jerick McKinnon Outscores Adrian Peterson in PPR Leagues
Outrageous scenario: In this scenario Peterson pulls a hamstring in Week 2 and is out for a few weeks. But McKinnon is so good in AP’s absence that when the greatest RB in a generation (who has fewer 300-point PPR seasons than Matt Forte) comes back, he’s in a full-on timeshare with a young back. AP gets the rushing yards, but McKinnon becomes a key part of Norv Turner’s passing offense.
Kernel of Truth: McKinnon’s receiving success at the end of 2015 could point to a very high ceiling if AP goes down. I am not getting caught up in what he did in 2014 when he was a rookie and playing only his second year at running back. If you go back through Norv Turner’s history you’ll find some pretty amazing receiving years by running backs. In 2005 LaMont Jordan saw 103 targets, while Turner funneled 93 targets to Larry Centers during the 2000 season. In fact AP might actually be a drag on Norv’s offense.
2. Mike Evans is the Overall WR1
Outrageous scenario: The 17 (or more) target games that Evans put up three times in 2015 become a regular occurrence, he holds onto a few more of those passes. As a result, DraftKings eventually has to set his salary at $15,000 just to make sure he’s not 80 percent owned. Evans finishes the season as the WR1 and he becomes worth “two Odell Beckham Jrs” in the Dynasty App.
Kernel of Truth: Look it up, Evans had games of 17 targets twice and also a game of 19 targets. If that becomes more common and if he holds on to some of them, he really will be the top WR in fantasy.
3. Christine Michael Tops Marshawn Lynch’s Best Fantasy Season
Outrageous scenario: Thomas Rawls has trouble coming back from his ankle injury and Michael becomes the feature back for the highest scoring offense in the NFL. Russell Wilson continues the blistering pace he was on to end 2015 and the team leads the NFL in plays run inside the five yard line. Christine Michael doubters have to eat a big fat dick.
Kernel of Truth: The Seahawks probably will have an awesome offense. Whichever RB plays for them will probably score a lot – unless they both play and vulture each other’s touches.
4. A Robert Griffin III / Josh Gordon Stack Takes Down the Draftkings Milly Maker in Week 6
Outrageous scenario: Gordon comes back from suspension in Week 5 and lays a total egg, while RGIII takes 10 sacks in the game. This results in a $4,000 salary for Gordon on DraftKings. Only the real sickos fire up the RGIII/Gordon stack for Week 6 and they’re rewarded with the biggest GPP week of their lives when RGIII throws three touchdowns to Gordon and while Griffin adds 80 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown.
Kernel of Truth: Does me wanting this to happen count as evidence that it could happen? No?
5. Damien Williams is the MIA RB to Own
Outrageous scenario: Arian Foster is a ligament waiting to pop, while Jay Ajayi has already sat out training camp practices with a knee injury. The ticking time bombs eventually go off, and Damien Williams ends up leading the backfield by default almost the same way that Foster himself ended up at the top of the depth chart in HOU in 2009!
Kernel of Truth: Seriously, Foster and Ajayi have some issues.
6. Devin Funchess Scores More Touchdowns Than Amari Cooper, While Cooper Racks Up 600 More Yards Than Funchess
Outrageous scenario: Devin Funchess ends up being out-targeted by Ted Ginn and Kelvin Benjamin, but plays almost every red zone play and cleans up in the short area of the field. He improves on his touchdown rate from 2015 and scores on 10 percent of his targets, giving him 10 touchdowns on the year to Cooper’s eight. However, Cooper ends the season with 150 targets for 1,500 yards, outpacing Funchess’ 900 yards.
Kernel of Truth: Funchess did have an outstanding TD rate last year, and it’s also possible that Michael Crabtree continues to soak up the red zone work in OAK.
7. Derrick Henry Narrowly Outscores DeMarco Murray
Outrageous scenario: Despite being in an incredibly friendly running system, Murray picks up where he left off in 2015 and he totally sucks. Meanwhile the coaches continue to play him even though the rookie Henry is killing him in efficiency. Fantasy owners absolutely lose their shit. At the end of the season Murray has a volume dependent 176 PPR points while Henry gets there on a combination of long plays and efficient goal line work. Psychotic fantasy owners accidentally burn down the house of former Titans head coach Mike Muchak when they think they’re committing an act of terror against current Titans coach Mike Mularkey.
Kernel of Truth: Murray’s career average rush attempts is 225, so if you give him 3.6 yards per carry on that many rushes it’s under 800 yards. Henry could get there by averaging 5.2 yards per carry on 150 rushes. Then if you just negate Murray’s receptions with more touchdowns for Henry it’s not crazy to think he could outscore Murray. It’s also possible the carry tally could be closer. It’s all conditioned on Murray being toast, and it might be too early to say that. Actually as I typed this I realized that this scenario isn’t even close to being as insane as the rest of my predictions.
8. Trevor Siemian Wins the Broncos Starting QB Job, Plays Well But is Eventually Replaced by Paxton Lynch, Then Gets a Brock Osweiler Contract in the Offseason
Outrageous scenario: Despite having collegiate stats that make Blaine Gabbert look like Peyton Manning, Siemian overcomes all odds to be an out of nowhere legitimate NFL starter. But despite his relative success the team still wants to play Paxton Lynch so Siemian is benched when the defending Super Bowl Champions are eliminated from playoff contention in Week 13. However, the Eagles end up liking what they see in Siemian and they sign him to be their QB, at which point the depth chart in Philly goes: Siemian, Bradford, Daniel, Wentz.
Kernel of Truth: If I’m handicapping the DEN QB battle, I would say that the fact that Sanchez hasn’t already won it gives the edge to Siemian. We also can’t be sure that the Eagles are any smarter than they seem in my outrageous scenario.
9. Vance McDonald Outscores Tyler Eifert… On a Per Game Basis!
Outrageous scenario: Tyler Eifert misses three games due to injury, during which time the team realizes what they have in Tyler Boyd, and Eifert is relagated to a Julius Thomas-esque low volume role. But the touchdowns don’t go his way (they never did before 2015) and he underwhelms all year. Meanwhile Vance McDonald rides a combo of good touchdown luck and high volume Chip Kelly offense to a 600-yard, 12-touchdown season.
Kernel of Truth: Maybe Tyler Eifert is awesome at scoring touchdowns, although luck is probably as good of an explanation for his 2015 season. Consider that the 13 TDs he scored last year are as many as he’d scored in total as a pro or collegian up to that point.
10. Rueben Randle Fails to Make the Eagles 53 Man Roster, Gets Picked Up by San Francisco and Leads the Team in Receiving Yards
Outrageous scenario: In the most dramatic version of sucking your way to the top ever (narrowly outpacing James Jones getting cut by the Giants and then scoring like Randy Moss to start the 2015 season), Randle gets cut from the wildly underwhelming Eagles receiver corps and it looks like his career is over… until he gets a call from Chip Kelly who asks him to come on out to the Big Bell Bottom and be the star of his offense. Roob says “hell why not, I got nothin’ else going on” and accepts the invitation. The combo of Blaine Gabbert, Rueben Randle, and Shaun Draughn become known as “Triplets West.”
Kernel of Truth: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯