It’s time to get ready for the Fantasy Football season. Rookie drafts are underway and we are a month or so away from re-draft leagues picking up steam. Without any further ado let’s get into my 5 Bold Predictions for the 2019 Fantasy Football season and we are talking running backs.
DAVID MONTGOMERY – Chicago Bears
Bold Prediction – Leads all rookie running backs in rushing yards and TDs and finishes the fantasy season as an RB1 in a 12-team format.
Let’s start with a rookie bold prediction and I am going to the Windy City with Bears rookie RB David Montgomery. Watching his tape at Iowa St, it shows that Montgomery is a perfect fit for Matt Nagy’s offense. Montgomery is a true 3-down player with dual-threat ability; that can catch passes out of the backfield and run the ball at a high level. He will give Bears fans shades of Matt Forte as he is a silky smooth runner that almost always makes the first guy miss. His vision is a plus, he drives through tackles always falling forward, and is difficult to bring down. His elusiveness is elite and I saw him do things that only Saquon does. Jordan Howard is out the door which opens up 250 carries on the Bears offense from last season. Montgomery wont get all 250 but I project that he will finish the season with 200 of those carries for 1000 yards and 10 TDs. Tarik Cohen will get his share of touches but Montgomery will lead the Bears in carries and usurp some of Cohen’s receiving production. Montgomery is going a full 2 rounds after fellow rookie Josh Jacobs with his 6th round ADP and will definitely be worth the 2 round wait.
DEVONTA FREEMAN – Atlanta Falcons
Bold Prediction – Plays all 16 regular season games, rushes for over 1000 yards, and leads the NFC in rushing TDs.
Let me be the first to tell you all that the “Free” is back! After only playing 2 games last year, Freeman regains his 2015, 2016 form and rushes for over 1000 yards with double digit TDs. Why you ask? His running mate Tevin Coleman just signed a multi-year deal to join ex-Falcons coordinator Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. Ito Smith is a favorite but it will be hard to take Freeman off the field as he is a tone setter and the emotional leader for the Falcons offense. Also the Falcons off-season speaks volumes on what kind of offense Dan Quinn wants for his football team, acquiring ex-coordinator Dirk Koetter, signing 2 veteran guards in Free Agency, and drafting both offensive guard Chris Lindstrom and offensive tackle Kaleb McGary in the first round. Some folks may not want to take a chance on the injury riddled Freeman with his 3rd round ADP but I’m here to tell you that you can have first round value with a 3rd round pick.
AARON JONES – Green Bay Packers
Bold Prediction – Surpasses his career totals of 214 carries and 1176 yards and finishes as a top 5 running back in PPR leagues.
Aaron Jones finally becoming a volume ball carrier with new head coach Matt LaFleur in town. LaFleur has come forward to say that backfield touches will be spread among a committee but if LaFleur wants to begin his Packers coaching career with Aaron Rodgers on a good note then he will keep Rodgers fave Aaron Jones on the field a lot more than last year. Last season Rodgers and former head coach Mike McCarthy had a spat with the amount of opportunities Jones was receiving so the new coaching change impacts Jones and his fantasy production. Called out by his GM to improve his conditioning, Jones showed up to camp with a body fat percentage of 5.3%. I am no body fat expert but this is a sign that Jones is taking his conditioning and football seriously so that he can dominate for our fantasy football teams. Jones is another running back that has a 3rd round average draft position that can provide you first round value.
MARLON MACK – Indianapolis Colts
Bold Prediction – Eclipses his career rushing yards of 1266 and leads the AFC in rushing.
Next up on the running back bold prediction I have Mr. Marlon Mack. Coming out of USF, I questioned his ability to run between the tackles but he checked that box off early in his career and is poised to have a huge season behind one of the best offensive lines in football. Frank Reich and the coaching staff has this offense humming and with a healthy Andrew Luck and Quentin Nelson leading a tough physical offensive line, Mack will have daylight all season long to gain huge chunks of yardage. Obviously Mack has to stay healthy but after an off-season with reports of the Colts entertaining a Le’Veon Bell signing, the team decided not to go in that direction and doubled down by not drafting a rookie running back to compete with Mack. It’s Mack’s backfield this season to carry the load as Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines will complement him but aren’t threats to Mack’s volume totals and his late second round ADP is a steal that I will be trying to take advantage of.
JOE MIXON – Cincinnati Bengals
Bold Prediction – Finishes as the number 1 running back in fantasy.
My last running back bold prediction will be Joe Mixon finishes as the number 1 running back in fantasy. I’ve always been a fan of Mixon’s talent and this is the season where he stakes his claim as an elite running back. Why you ask? First and foremost there is a new head coach in town Zac Taylor that knows a thing or two about top fantasy running backs as he was in the coaching room in Los Angeles the last two seasons with Todd Gurley. Yes, Sean McVay gets most of the credit for coaching and scheming up running plays but there’s no doubt in my mind that Taylor will try and implement a lot of the same running concepts from LA in Cincinnati. This means a lot of down-to-down deception while presenting the same look, pre and post snap movements, misdirection, and an outside zone running scheme. The perfect offense for Mixon to get on the edge and showcase his talents. Another reason for optimism is what the Bengals did in the draft by selecting my number top ranked offensive tackle Jonah Williams and who folks are calling the best blocking tight end in the class Drew Sample. The Bengals want to run the football folks and Mixon will benefit and can elevate a fantasy football team to Championship status.