Fantasy football 2012: Time to make some bold predictions

Finally, it is the time of year where we can tap our inner Star Trek. The season is so close, you can smell it like a finely grilled brat at a tailgating party.

The rankings are done, many of our respective fantasy teams are drafted and we can continue an annual tradition here at Chinstrap Ninjas. It’s time to make a few bold predictions for the 2012 season. It’s time to boldly go where no predictor has gone before.

But first things first, making bold predictions is easy. Being accurate with them is something else entirely.

Last year, I hit on five of my ten bold predictions. I was 32 points away from getting six correct (I suggested Brandon Lloyd would be the top receiver fantasy-wise in the AFC West. He wound up coming in 32 points behind Dwayne Bowe). While a 50 percent won’t help you pass Algebra class, it is a very good percentage when you are making big proclamations that many people are quick to discount.

So what are the bold predictions for 2012?

1. As I stated in my team defense draft strategy post, Buffalo will be a top-5 fantasy team defense. For more on why I feel that way, check out the column.

2. Echoing my fantasy tight end rankings, Jared Cook, the tight end from Tennessee, will be a top-5 fantasy tight end. For more on that, read my rankings.

3. Also referencing my tight end rankings, Vernon Davis will not be a top-5 fantasy tight end this year.

4. As mentioned in my receiver rankings, Brandon Lloyd will outscore Wes Welker in fantasy points this year.

5. While I couldn’t bring myself to be bold enough when compiling my quarterback rankings for 2012, I will take the stand here. Matt Ryan will finish the season as a top-5 fantasy quarterback.

6. Nick Foles will put up fantasy-starter-worthy pointage at some point this season. This prediction recipe is created from one part Foles’ under-rated talent and two-parts Michael Vick’s tendency to get injured.

7. The Buffalo Bills will make the playoffs.

8. The New Orleans Saints will not.

9. I know that Maurice Jones-Drew recently ended his holdout, but I still believe Rashad Jennings scores more fantasy points than MJD this year. Star running backs coming off lengthy holdouts have a history of underperforming, and in this case, the Jags went to a totally new system under a new coach while MJD was sipping martinis on the beach waiting for a paycheck that never came.

10. Vick Ballard outscores Donald Brown in fantasy points this season.

11. Ryan Mathews will not be the starting a football game for the Chargers after Week 13. Yes, I know he’s dinged up right now and expected back in a week or two. Just don’t think he’ll magically come back and play healthy the rest of the way.

12. Doug Martin will be the fantasy football rookie of the year. Yes, that means Trent Richardson will not. And as good as Andrew Luck and RGIII look to be, I still see Doug Martin being the most valuable rookie fantasy piece out of all of them …

13. … in fact, let’s get a little more bold. I expect Russell Wilson to lead all rookie quarterbacks in fantasy points this season.

14. Jonathan Dwyer finishes the season as the best fantasy back for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

15. The Houston Texans beat the Atlanta Falcons in the next Super Bowl.

16. Brandon Marshall leapfrogs Larry Fitzgerald as the second-best fantasy receiver this year outside of that Calvin Johnson guy.

17. Alex Henery finishes the season as the NFL’s top fantasy kicker.

18. The Detroit Lions starting running back for their Week 17 game is not currently on their roster. It isn’t that I don’t like the upside for guys like Kevin Smith, Mikel LeShoure, Jahvid Best, etc. What I don’t like is their collective ability to wind up in the trainers room.

19. The Miami Dolphins win fewer games than Penn State this season.

20. I will have a higher percentage of bold predictions that come true than ESPN’s Matthew Berry. You can find his here.

What are your bold predictions for the 2012 season? Share them below and we’ll have some fun looking back at them next year.

7 Responses to “Fantasy football 2012: Time to make some bold predictions”


  1. Sam Davis

    I am just not on this Brandon Marshall bandwagon. Maybe its because I am a Miami fan and watched him drop so many good passes. Yes he wasnt getting thrown to by a top tier QB, but when a good pass comes your way you have to catch it, especially in the end zone and he couldnt do it. A WR that leads the league in dropped passes doesn’t need a new QB, he needs to wipe that butter off his fingers.

  2. Joe

    5 out of 10? I must have miscounted, but I give you 4.5 at best (and thats if you look at AP in total points and not points per games played)

  3. Tom

    Few very bold predictions of my own to add:

    With the emergence of Matt Ryan comes the introduction of the very “Sproles-like” Jacquizz Rodgers. He’ll be starting in a lot of flex slots this year. Saying it now, he’s top 20 or better. PPR stud.

    AP goes crazy upon his return and is a top 8 back. Ryan Matthews over/under for games played is 8. (I really agree with you on Matthews.)

    Roddy White outscores Julio Jones. The hype is crazy out of control.

    MJD Surprises. Jacksonville stinks. Top 10 RB.

    Thanks Jzak for your great articles. keep em coming!

  4. jzak

    Sam: For me, the extra love for Brandon Marshall this year is his re-merging with Jay Cutler. The two go together like peas and carrots, and Marshall was a bonafide stud when he was with Cutler before. How much of those drops were because of bad attitude and a checked-out mentality? Did you see how well Cutler and Marshall did together this preseason?

    Joe: The prediction was that Peterson would fall out of the top 10 in points overall … there was no mention in my prediction last year of points per game. My concern last year was that he’d break down and get injured at some point looking at his massive workloads in the past.

    Tom: Liking your bold predictions. Not too shabby. I could see all of them coming true.

  5. Joe

    still not 5… lol

  6. Sam Davis

    @jzak: That jerk Marshall did look good week 1, blah.

  7. jzak

    Yeah. Good for him and my bold predictions. Not so good for my Packers … like the hated Bears need another dimension on offense.