1. LeSean McCoy breaks the yards from scrimmage record.
Chris Johnson’s 2,509 yards in 2009 gets broken by Shady in 2014. In his first year in Chip Kelly’s fast paced high tempo offense McCoy totaled 2,146 yards from scrimmage, with another year learning the offense I think Shady goes nuts this season.
2. Julio Jones leads all WRs in fantasy points.
After tearing his ACL Julio has a monster 2014. With the departure of Tony Gonzalez, and Steven Jackson already having injury concerns, I think Matt Ryan is going to look to Jones and Roddy White a ton. This preseason, Jones has looked just as good as ever. He’s poised for a big comeback.
3. Rob Gronkowski leads all TEs in fantasy points.
The Gronk bounces back from an injury plagued 2013 to being fantasy’s #1 TE. The reason for the Patriots’ scoring troubles last season was their lack of a red-zone threat. It was just 2011 that Gronkowski had 17 TDs so it’s certainly not crazy to think he could have a similar season in 2014.
4. Justin Hunter becomes this year’s Alshon Jeffery.
Jeffery was available in the late rounds of all drafts last year, after finishing 9th among receivers though, he’s not getting out of the 3rd this year. A guy I think breaks out like that is Justin Hunter of the Titans. At 6’4 203lbs Hunter ran a 4.44 40 and had a 39.5 vertical at his combine out of Tennessee last year. Obviously a physical freak, with some opportunity, I think he could be a stud.
5. Jeremy Hill wins Offensive Rookie of the Year.
On Monday in my article: Fantasy: 16 rounds of guys I’m drafting in most leagues, I wrote that Hill “should be taking over Benjarvus Green-Ellis’ role in the Bengals’ offense”, well with Green-Ellis’ release yesterday that ‘should’ became a certainty. At the very least, I expect Hill to have numbers similar to Joique Bell’s last season. Starter Giovani Bernard will probably be used a lot like the Lions used Bell’s teammate, Reggie Bush, last year. Bernard and Hill have completely different skill-sets so don’t be at all shy to own both, since both will get a ton of work on a run heavy team.
6. Mike Wallace finishes a top 10 WR in fantasy points.
After a hugely disappointing season in which he didn’t even finishing in the top 25, Wallace breaks out in his second year with the Dolphins. This offseason Miami hired Chip Kelly’s assistant coach, Bill Lazor, as their offensive coordinator. I’m sure Lazor plans to use Wallace how Kelly used DeSean Jackson… with his ridiculous speed, Wallace should be on the receiving end of a lot of big plays.
7. Cam Newton does not finish a top 10 QB.
Not only did Newton lose his top 3 WRs from last season (Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, and Ted Ginn) but he lost his long-time LT, Jordan Gross. Their new LT gave up 9 sacks last season as the team’s RT and their LG is coming off a torn ACL suffered in week 4 last year. With the exception of Cam, this is easily looking like one of the worst offensive units in the NFL. They did draft rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin in the 1st round and rookie RG Trai Turner in the 3rd round this past draft, but it’s never good for rookies to be counted on so heavily. Not to mention Newton cracked his rib this preseason. Cam has been a top 5 fantasy QB each of his first 3 years in the league, but it’s not looking good for him this season.
8. Frank Gore does not finish a top 20 RB.
At age 31 and with over 2,000 carries in his career, I think this is the year Gore breaks down. The 49ers drafted workhorse Carlos Hyde in the 2nd round this past draft, so whether it’s by injury or the rookie just out plays him, I don’t see it being Gore’s year.