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 wide receivers.
DEEBO SAMUEL – San Francisco 49ers
Bold Prediction – Leads all rookie wide receivers in receiving yards and finishes the fantasy season as a top 30 wide receiver.
First among my bold predictions, a rookie, and I’m going with a forgotten man in Deebo Samuel. I’ve noticed Samuel being passed up a lot in fantasy rookie drafts and even saw folks project his rookie teammate Jalen Hurd to out produce him this year. Barring injury, and yes soft tissue injuries have been a concern for Samuel at the collegiate level… but barring injury Samuel will lead all rookie WRs in receiving yards and finish as a top 30 wide receiver. I love his tape at South Carolina as Deebo is a pit bull playing the wide receiver position. His route running acumen coupled with his yards after the catch prowess makes him a perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Deebo can eat from the slot but also has the skill-set to be effective on the outside due to his quick feet allowing him to get open easily. I also expect a lot of manufactured touches to get him going in the offense. Shanahan’s offense in the past has produced excellent receiving production whether it was Andre Johnson, Julio Jones or Pierre Garçon. Obviously Samuel is a rookie and not the caliber of those guys yet, but I believe he’s the 49ers best receiver over Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin and Jalen Hurd. Samuel is a difference maker that will be an asset to fantasy owners that draft him.
JULIO JONES – Atlanta Falcons
Bold Prediction – Surpasses his 2017 and 2018 TD total (11) and catches 12 touchdowns.
This will be the year that Julio Jones reaches the double digit TD mark. A yards monster throughout his career, Jones leads is the NFL All-time leader in receiving yards per game at 96.7 but has only reached double digit TDs once in his illustrious career. Yes, opponents game plan to stop Jones in the red zone, but a healthy Devonta Freeman coupled with Calvin Ridley leading the Falcons in TD receptions last year may free up Jones more to eat in the red zone. Also I am going with the momentum from last season as Julio caught all 8 of his touchdowns in the final 9 games of the season, including a streak of 4 straight games with a receiving TD. I say he continues his hot streak in the end zone and reaches his career high 12 TDs in 2019.
MIKE WILLIAMS – Los Angeles Chargers
Bold Prediction – Leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns
Before you say I am out of my mind, let’s not forget that Williams caught 10 TDs last year on only 66 targets. In all likelihood Williams will not sustain catching a TD for every 6 targets he receivers but with the departure of Tyrell Williams, Mike Williams will be thrust into starting in 2 wide receiver sets and reap the benefits of teams doubling Keenan Allen. After ranking 6th in points, 8th in passing touchdowns, and 5th in number of drives ending with scores last year, the Chargers offense is poised to have yet another productive season with Big Mike Williams dominating in the red zone.
ADAM THIELEN – Minnesota Vikings
Bold Prediction – Breaks the Vikings single season reception record and scores more fantasy points than TY Hilton, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham Jr.
Fourth among my 2019 Bold Predictions is a wide receiver that’s not getting enough respect with his 3rd round ADP. Thielen was well on his way to breaking the Vikings single season reception mark (122 catches) last season until a second half production dip which imagine is the reason why folks are sleeping on him a bit. The Vikings offensive line is much improved this year which will give Kirk Cousins more time to get the ball to Thielen. Also the Vikings receiver depth behind Diggs and Thielen leaves a lot to be desired, therefore Cousins will be targeting his two stud receivers early and often.
JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER – Pittsburgh Steelers
Bold Prediction – Finishes as the number 1 wide receiver in fantasy.
You know I have to save the best for last and give you my bold prediction on the WR1 in fantasy football. With Antonio Brown in Oakland there are a lot of targets and opportunities up for grabs in the Steelers offense. Sure AB makes everyone better, but the volume alone gives JuJu a leg up on being the sneaky receiver king in 2019. Donte Moncrief and James Washington are also great names to target, but JuJu is the man in Pittsburgh. If you’re on the clock towards the end of the first round you should strongly consider JuJu as he can be a championship winner for your team.