2019 Fantasy Football Season Preview: Bold predictions, Super Bowl picks, and award winners

The prediction business is a tough one to get in. By publishing this, we are ensuring we'll have angry people in our twitter mentions, yelling at us about why we hate their favorite player/team/alma mater. And then, come the end of the season, we'll have people pointing out all of the things we got wrong. It's tough to win on either end.

But the nature of bold predictions is they aren't necessarily supposed to be likely to happen. We've been telling you what we think is likely to happen in 2019 all preseason long — you can find it all here — and we've got plenty of Week 1 preview content telling you what we think is likely to happen in the next few days, too.

This isn't about what we think is most likely to happen then: This is us going out on a limb. We're planting flags in this piece, declaring our strongest possible takes, so nobody can mistake where we stand. And, with 21 players covered in our bald predictions, there are plenty of places for us to be right — and wrong.

We're also going into our Super Bowl and Award picks for 2019. For those of you who want to yell at us, here's the CBS Fantasy staff who took part in putting this together:

2019 Staff Picks
Bold Predictions
Jamey Eisenberg's Bold Predictions
CLE Cleveland • #24
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
996
REC
20
REYDS
149
TD
10
FPTS/G
12.1
Nick Chubb will be the best Fantasy running back for the first eight weeks of the season. Until Kareem Hunt (suspended) is active, Chubb will dominate — and maybe even after Hunt is on the field.
BAL Baltimore • #8
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
1201
RUYDS
695
TD
11
INT
3
FPTS/G
10.6
Lamar Jackson will be a top five Fantasy quarterback in leagues with four points for passing touchdowns. He will pass for at least 3,000 yards and run for at least 1,000 yards.
NYG N.Y. Giants • #88
Age: 25 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
45
TAR
64
REYDS
577
TD
3
FPTS/G
11.4
Evan Engram will finish with better stats than Zach Ertz and George Kittle. He's headed for a big season with Odell Beckham gone.
Dave Richard's Bold Predictions
ARI Arizona • #1
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
2018 Stats
PAYDS
4361
RUYDS
1001
TD
54
INT
7
Kyler Murray will outperform Lamar Jackson -- and finish as a top-12 quarterback. I've been on Murray since the Cardinals picked him and I'm not stopping now. Arizona's defense stinks, its O-line is average at best and its receiving corps is deep but not other-worldly. I'm counting on Murray to dazzle through the air and on the ground as the Cardinals' up-tempo offense keeps their team in several high-scoring games. You'll be glad you drafted him.
JAC Jacksonville • #27
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
439
REC
22
REYDS
185
TD
6
FPTS/G
14.9
Leonard Fournette will total 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns. You would be insane to draft Fournette with a top-12 pick because of his injury concerns, but he'll realize his upside in a Jaguars offense that turns out to be better than expected. One key for his success: catching passes. Bank on career-highs there as Nick Foles leans on him as a three-down player.
LAR L.A. Rams • #18
Age: 26 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
40
TAR
56
REYDS
566
TD
6
FPTS/G
16.8
Cooper Kupp finishes 2019 as the Rams' best Fantasy receiver. While Brandin Cooks continues his streak of 1,200-yard, 6-plus-score seasons, it'll be Kupp who proves to be more consistent and more lucrative. Not only wil Kupp pick up where he left off before tearing his ACL last year, but he'll help shoulder the offense once it's realized that the Rams run game is a detriment, not a catalyst.
Heath Cummings' Bold Predictions
BAL Baltimore • #8
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
1201
RUYDS
695
TD
11
INT
3
FPTS/G
10.6
Lamar Jackson will be a top 5 QB in all formats. He'll excel in Greg Roman's new system, throwing for 3,500 yards and running for another 800 with 30 combined passing and rushing touchdowns.
PIT Pittsburgh • #19
Age: 22 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
111
TAR
166
REYDS
1426
TD
7
FPTS/G
18.5
JuJu Smith-Schuster breaks Rob Moore's record (208) for most targets in a season and finishes as the No. 1 receiver in PPR. Ben Roethlisberger wants to prove a point to someone on the other side of the country so he peppers Smith-Schuster with targets. Smith-Schuster responds by proving to the doubters that he can handle double teams just fine.
JAC Jacksonville • #27
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
439
REC
22
REYDS
185
TD
6
FPTS/G
14.9
Leonard Fournette stays healthy for 16 games and does his best Ezekiel Elliott impersonation, accumulating 380 touches, topping 2,000 total yards and scoring double-digit touchdowns. He's a top-three running back on a Jaguars offense that is surprisingly good.
Adam Aizer's Bold Predictions
SF San Francisco • #10
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
718
RUYDS
33
TD
5
INT
3
FPTS/G
19
Jimmy Garoppolo will be a Top 5 QB. Kyle Shanahan has a track record and Garoppolo has averaged an outstanding 8.5 yards per attempt with San Francisco thus far. This offense is a sleeping giant.
TEN Tennessee • #22
Age: 25 • Experience: 4 yrs.
2018 Stats
RUYDS
1059
REC
15
REYDS
99
TD
12
FPTS/G
12.4
Derrick Henry is less than 60% owned by Week 8. Basically, he's a massive bust. Running backs who don't catch passes on below average offenses are set up for failure.
ATL Atlanta • #18
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
64
TAR
93
REYDS
821
TD
10
FPTS/G
12.9
Calvin Ridley is a Top 10 WR. The talent is so obvious and he's about to go all Juju Smith-Schuster on us. Sophomore season breakout!
Chris Towers' Bold Predictions
HOU Houston • #4
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
4165
RUYDS
551
TD
31
INT
9
FPTS/G
23.9
Deshaun Watson is Fantasy's No. 1 QB. Mahomes will finish just short of 40 total touchdowns, while Watson carries an ever-larger load for the Texans, who are forced to become a pass-first team. He combines 4,500 passing yards with 600 rushing yards and tops 40 total touchdowns — including a league-high seven from 50-plus yards.
ATL Atlanta • #11
Age: 30 • Experience: 9 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
113
TAR
170
REYDS
1677
TD
8
FPTS/G
20.3
Julio Jones finishes with 15 touchdowns. A shot across the bow to the #NeverJulio truthers. Jones famously hasn't scored double digits in touchdowns since 2012, or the same season James Jones last did it. However, he had eight in the team's final nine games in 2018, as opposing defenses realized they couldn't devote all of their attention to him with Calvin Ridley feasting. Meet your WR1.
GB Green Bay • #17
Age: 26 • Experience: 6 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
111
TAR
169
REYDS
1386
TD
13
FPTS/G
21.9
Davante Adams doesn't finish as a top-10 WR. A bounceback season for Jimmy Graham (eight touchdowns), plus breakouts from Marquez Valdes-Scantling (seven) and Geronimo Allison (six), leaves Adams with his first single-digit touchdown total since 2015. With less than 1,100 yards and only eight touchdowns, he finishes closer to 15th than fifth.
Ben Gretch's Bold Predictions
CAR Carolina • #12
Age: 22 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
55
TAR
82
REYDS
788
TD
2
FPTS/G
9.8
D.J. Moore is a top 12 PPR wide receiver. Moore was incredible last season at turning the opportunity he got into yardage. He wasn't great at scoring touchdowns, but I expect that to rebound, and didn't play quite enough snaps, but he will this year. Curtis Samuel has kept Moore cheap, but don't get it twisted - he's going to explode.
TB Tampa Bay • #80
Age: 24 • Experience: 3 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
34
TAR
48
REYDS
565
TD
5
FPTS/G
12
O.J. Howard will finish higher than both George Kittle and Zach Ertz. Kittle can't repeat the YAC and Ertz will lose targets, but it's not about them. While analyzing Fantasy Football requires flexibility and not being certain about anything, there are few things I believe more strongly than O.J. Howard will be an elite Fantasy tight end, at some point. Why not this season?
CLE Cleveland • #6
Age: 24 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
PAYDS
3725
RUYDS
131
TD
27
INT
14
FPTS/G
21
Baker Mayfield throws 40 touchdowns; Mahomes throws 45. After Mayfield and the Browns start the season hot, Mahomes and the Chiefs will find themselves engaged in a back-and-forth battle that would make Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa blush, with Mahomes ultimately winning and — despite what we've been hearing all offseason — not regressing much, at all.
Ben Schragger's Bold Predictions
CHI Chicago • #32
Age: 22 • Experience: Rookie
2018 Stats
RUYDS
1216
REC
22
REYDS
157
TD
13
David Montgomery won't finish as a top 40 RB. Sharing touches in an "ok" offense with a proven pass-catching RB and rotating with serviceable Mike Davis won't provide Montgomery with enough opportunity for Fantasy relevance in year 1.
TEN Tennessee • #82
Age: 35 • Experience: 14 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
4
TAR
7
REYDS
52
TD
0
FPTS/G
9
Delanie Walker will be a top 4 TE. A consistent top 5 TE 2015-2017, Walker is set to be the focal point of the Titans passing attack on a team bound to be playing from behind.
DAL Dallas • #13
Age: 23 • Experience: 2 yrs.
2018 Stats
REC
33
TAR
68
REYDS
507
TD
2
FPTS/G
6.1
Michael Gallup outscores Amari Cooper. With a production increase last season once Cooper arrived in Dallas, Gallup is set to break out, especially with Cooper hobbled to start the season.
2019 Staff Picks
Super Bowl
2019 Staff Picks
Award Picks

Most Valuable Player

Offensive Player of the Year

Defensive Player of the Year

Offensive Rookie of the Year

  • Jamey's pick: Josh Jacobs
  • Dave's pick: Kyler Murray
  • Heath's pick: Josh Jacobs
  • Aizer's pick: Josh Jacobs
  • Chris' pick: Kyler Murray
  • Ben G.'s pick: Kyler Murray
  • Ben S' pick: Josh Jacobs

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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