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Bold Predictions for Every NFL Team for 2017 Fantasy Football

RotoExperts Staff June 14, 2017 5:20AM EDT
We all love bold predictions, mainly because it stirs up arguments. I could easily make 32 bold-ish claims that are likely to come true, but there is no fun in that, especially when looking back on the ones that hit. Full disclosure time. I hit on 44 percent of the bold predictions from last year (12 of the 27 that were quantifiable). Unfortunately, we had five that I left a little too vague and/or were eliminated due to injuries, etc. There were some big hits too, such as Michael Thomas, Jordan Howard, Cole Beasley, etc., but I had my fair share of misses (here’s looking at you Sammie Coates and Michael Floyd). So there you go. Now you know that a little less than half of these will come true, and it’s your job to decide which ones I’m drinking too much Kool-Aid on and which look like stone cold locks.

Arizona Cardinals – John Brown bounces back and tops his 2015 season

Hear me out: Both of Brown’s 2016 issues have been addressed this offseason: spinal cyst removed and a plan to handle his sickle cell trait in place. Floyd is gone, J.J. Nelson is deep-field threat and David Johnson will have defenses scrambling to stop him. Oh, and Larry Fitzgerald is going to continually slow down, as seen in the second half of last year. Brown has the ability to be the team’s top receiver, and back at 100 percent, he’ll be just that in 2017.

Update: This is already blown thanks to Brown nursing injuries. If Brown somehow plays 16 games, this prediction would come true. However, if Brown misses time again, look for Nelson to make a big impact, as he had at least seven targets in each game without Michael Floyd already.

Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan is a Top 5 quarterback again

Hear me out: You may be concerned about the transition from Kyle Shanahan to Steve Sarkisian, but Sarkisian plans to run the same offense, and everyone is back. Plus, Ryan finishing fifth would actually be a three-spot decrease from 2016. Julio Jones will enter the season back at 100 percent, Mohamed Sanu is healthy again, the team found a dynamic threat in Taylor Gabriel and Austin Hooper has breakout potential. Don’t forget about Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman out of the backfield. This offense and Matt Ryan simply have too many weapons, which will keep Ryan in the Top 5.

Baltimore Ravens – Jeremy Maclin is back in the Top 25 for receivers

Hear me out: The Ravens made the late offseason move to add Maclin to a needy receiving group. Mike Wallace performed admirably last year as the Ravens No. 1 option, but he’s purely an outside receiver and better for the deep-field plays. Maclin has the ability to line up in various formations, and he’s dangerous out of the slot. The Ravens have seen success with much lesser receivers in that offense and in that role (Kamar Aiken). Maclin wasn’t 100 percent last year, and in the two previous years, he was WR17 (2015) and WR9 (2014). He still has great potential given his ability, and Maclin will see more opportunities with a stronger quarterback. As the Ravens No. 1 receiver, Maclin is going to be a terrific draft value in a bounce-back year.

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