Bold predictions are predictions that might surprise other people. They shouldn't be meant to shock or purposely draw attention, and they should be things that the predictor believes in. Period. For Fantasy, it means the rankings should reflect the prediction. Because what good does it do to offer such a thing and not have it reflected in the most impactful content we as analysts create?
So count on my rankings being up to speed with my predictions. It's up to you to determine how bold they are.
Here are my five bold predictions I have for 2020:
1. Odell Beckham will be even worse in 2020
Beckham's unavailability has started to overshadow his talent. Injuries have impacted him each of the past three seasons, costing him playing time and, in the case of 2019, limiting his unique athleticism. The Browns offense is transitioning to a more conservative approach that will utilize running backs and tight ends even more than in the past. It's great for them but bad for Beckham, who already saw his target average dip by two per game in 2019. He also finished 2019 with ONE (1!) red-zone catch. Beckham won't return value on a top-40 pick.
2. We're going to draft Miles Sanders as a top-5 running back in 2021
After finishing 2019 with a 16-game pace of 296 touches, 1,526-yards and eight scores over his final eight, Sanders is set to soar to major Fantasy relevancy. The Eagles have done nothing to add to their running back corps, paving the way for Sanders to be at least the primary ball carrier, if not ultimately a workhorse back. It especially helps Sanders that he's running behind a strong O-line and has speedy young (and old) receivers who will force defenses to play deep, creating some good rushing lanes. As for the whole "Doug Pederson uses multiple backs" narrative, only one running back has over 1,000 total yards and five games with 100-plus yards in a single season under Pederson. His name rhymes with Manders.
3. Tyler Higbee will finish as a top-5 tight end
Higbee averaged 8.6 targets and over 100 yards per game in his final five games of 2019. Even I think that's impossible to repeat. But the Rams would be stupid to let the 6-foot-6 behemoth waste away as a pure blocker. His size and underrated quickness makes him an easy target for Jared Goff to throw to week in and week out, and the way the Rams schemed him into their offense in and out of the red zone last season was brilliant. If McVay doesn't build on that, particularly in a division that featured some terrible defenses against tight ends (the Niners, Seahawks and Cardinals all allowed a 71% catch rate to tight ends), then he's not the brilliant coordinator we thought he was.
4. CeeDee Lamb will finish with more Fantasy points than Michael Gallup
I'll never call Gallup underrated — I liked him so much coming out of college that I put him on as many Fantasy teams as I could. But I think Lamb is the better receiver and the likely cause for a dip in targets for Gallup AND Amari Cooper in 2020. In terms of ability, Lamb is better now than when Gallup came out. He's going to challenge defenses, particularly because he won't draw many (any) double-teams. He can also line up anywhere whereas Gallup figures to be an outside fixture. And as good as Gallup was in 2019, he still had a 58% catch rate in part because he dropped 13 passes. Don't think that didn't weigh on the Cowboys staff when they rated Lamb as the sixth-best prospect in the draft.
5. Josh Allen won't make the jump
Rooting against Allen isn't something I want to do, but I trust my eyes and they tell me he's got a ways to go to be an effective passer. He improved his completion percentage to 58.8% in 2019, but that was still dead last among quarterbacks with at least 240 pass attempts. He's also rough as a deep-ball thrower (26.5% completion rate in 2019, sorry Stefon Diggs) and ranked 29th in completion rate on passes inside of 15 air yards according to Sports Info Solutions. He has zero career games with 275 or more yards and only four career games with over 250 yards. His rushing stats will save him in Fantasy, but perhaps not to the degree it has before. Of his nine rush scores last year, four were from a yard away. Of those four, three were directly preceded by Frank Gore not getting in. Gore's gone, and if the Bills find a short-yardage solution in rookie Zack Moss or Devin Singletary, it'll mean fewer touchdowns for Allen. Not such a rosy outlook for a dude who had just one game with over 26 Fantasy points in 2019.