Marshal Hickman’s 5 Bold Predictions
Jameis Winston Finishes as the QB1
I know what you’re probably thinking: Jameis Winston is an interception-prone moron; there’s just no way he could be the QB1.
I’ll admit that my bold QB1 pick isn’t the best decision-maker and apparently struggles to engage in mundane goods-and-services exchanges without incident. Fortunately, stupidity has no effect on fantasy scores.
Consider his situation: Jameis leads an offense with an established Mike Evans, emerging Chris Godwin, and O.J. “Due-For-a-Breakout-Any-Day-Now” Howard. The Bucs’ running backs and defense are less than great and Bruce Arians is now at the helm, which should benefit the team as a whole.
As you probably already know, Winston split starts with Ryan Fitzpatrick last year. The two combined for 5,358 passing yards and 36 TDs. Even with a combined 26 interceptions, “Bucs QB” would have been a very close 2nd place finisher in total points scored behind Patrick Mahomes in 2018.
Now that Fitzmagic is going to spend 2019 repping everyone’s favorite aquatic mascot, Jameis is the unquestioned starter in Tampa.
Buy in now so you can, uh, eat some W’s, I guess…
Parris Campbell is the Highest Scoring Rookie WR
While the intrigue of a first-year player in a powerful offense is often overwhelming, it is important to remember that rookie WRs almost never live up to their hype.
It takes time for receivers to carve out a consistent role on an offense and even longer for players to get acclimated to the speed of the NFL.
With that said, Parris Campbell has a very real opportunity to be the exception to the rule. He boasts a 6′, 205 lb. frame and an eye-boggling 4.31 40-yard-dash time.
Insert that kind of tangible talent alongside T.Y. Hilton with Andrew Luck throwing the ball and you’ve got a recipe for a fantastic fantasy fling.
Devin Funchess is there, sure, but he lacks the kind of game-breaking speed that Campbell possesses. Campbell has a very real shot at seeing the field often in the Colts’ offense in 2019, and very few other rookie WRs have the potential that he does.
Feel free to invest in N’Keal Harry, D.K. Metcalf, and whichever other comparatively sluggish rookie pass-catcher you’ve got your heart set on. I’ll be laughing to the bank when Parris Campbell outscores them all this year.
P.S.: I’m aware of the injury talk surrounding both Campbell and Luck. I can’t hear it over Campbell flying up my draft boards. Na-na-na-na, I can’t hear you!
Melvin Gordon Plays 16 Games but Finishes Outside the Top 12 RBs
Melvin Gordon is a JAG.
There, I said it.
We live in a world where elite running back talent comes at a premium now that the most elite players know that they can hold out to get the money that they deserve.
Melvin Gordon is not an elite running back talent.
In 2016, he averaged 3.9 yards per carry.
In 2017, again, he averaged 3.9 yards per carry.
His value came from being a volume-heavy bell-cow back in a very strong offense.
I will admit he had a great 2018. He bumped up his YPC to 5.1 and continued to demonstrate his receiving prowess. However, that one season is not enough to justify his current holdout threats and trade demands, especially considering his injury history.
What this means is that the Chargers likely will not pay him the money he demands and ship him off to another team. Changing teams at this point in the year will not benefit his future fantasy production. Add on the fact that he’ll likely land in a less potent offense and he’s destined for regression.
Regression for a volume-dependent JAG will leave you with a sub-12 RB finish, even if he miraculously stays healthy for a full 16 games. Good luck if you add him to your roster.
Darrell Henderson Finishes as a Top 15 RB with Todd Gurley Starting 16 Games
Todd Gurley is playing this year. He will be the starter for the Rams, and you will be furious that your buddy in your home league was able to grab him in the second round because you didn’t want to take the risk on him.
Darrell Henderson is going to spell Todd Gurley this year.
Darrell Henderson can do things like this:
He makes it look so easy.
“So what? The defense blew their assignment and he made a big play against a bad team”, I hear you exclaim behind your keyboard.
You’re not wrong, but he made similar plays constantly throughout his college career.
He had 22 rushing touchdowns in 2018, and he averaged 8.9 yards per carry in both 2017 and 2018. That isn’t just efficient, that’s insane.
Not to mention, putting defenses into a position to blow their assignment is kind of Sean McVay’s thing.
Henderson was ultra-efficient during his final year at Memphis, and if there’s any team that can make an immediate NFL contributor out of him it’s the Rams.
I’m envisioning a Kamara-Ingram-esque backfield for the Rams this year, and I think Henderson returns top 15 RB value in the process. He’s just too good of a football player in too good of a situation.
Saquon Barkley Breaks the Single Season Rushing Yardage Record
Saquon Barkley is basically the entire Giants offense.
He’s the most physically gifted player in the league bar none. 230+ pounds, 4.4 40 speed, and some of the most impressive balance and athleticism the league has ever seen.
Saquon Barkley is special.
Now, couple that with the fact that the Giants’ roster has little else in the way of star offensive talent, and it is very likely that the offense runs almost entirely through Saquon in 2019.
When that happens, Saquon will see a ton of stacked boxes, but he has the pure physical ability to overcome them.
Seriously, it’s kind of ridiculous:
It’s a very real possibility that Saquon sees the kind of volume to break Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 single-season rushing yardage record.
He’s just that good.
(Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire)