By: Aaron May (Twitter: @AaroneousSports)
Drew Brees finishes as a Top 5 Fantasy QB…Again
During 11 seasons with New Orleans, Drew Brees has thrown for more than 5,000 yards 5 times. He has never had less than 4,000 yards. With the emergence of Michael Thomas in his rookie season, the growing confidence of Willie Snead, and the addition of Ted Ginn Jr.; Brees will have plenty of weapons in his arsenal to target through the air. Having Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson in the backfield will also garner the respect of defenses, making this offense a very interesting prospect in the NFC South. I like Drew Brees to eclipse 5,000 yards for the second straight year and finish as the #2 fantasy QB, only behind Aaron Rodgers.
Danny Woodhead gets more receptions than Mike Wallace
In his last two 16 game seasons, Woodhead had 1,360 receiving yards on 156 receptions, and 12 touchdowns. In the last two seasons, Ravens running backs have combined for 862 receiving yards on 135 receptions and 4 touchdowns. Raven’s backs have been targeted 170 times over the past two seasons, so clearly there is room to eat for a player with a skill set like Danny Woodhead possesses. Having a dynamic pass-catching back is a weapon Joe Flacco has lacked in recent years and I think Woodhead is a perfect candidate to help take the Ravens air attack to the next level. Mike Wallace is going to see more coverage in 2017 as the Ravens top receiver, and Danny Woodhead is going to feast. I have Woodhead slated with 71 receptions for 604 yards and 4 touchdowns.
DeVante Parker has 1,000+ yards and double digit touchdowns
It’s no secret that DeVante Parker is a talented Wide Receiver. He was drafted by the Dolphins in the first round, and has shown flashes of great play making ability in his first two seasons in the NFL. With 1,238 yards and 7 touchdowns to his credit, Parker has definitely underwhelmed in his professional career thus far. In his defense, with Jarvis Landry being so heavily targeted in the passing game (407 targets in three seasons), Parker has not had much room flourish. Since Parker has arrived in Miami, however, he has been slowly siphoning some of those targets, gaining confidence, and the trust of Ryan Tannehill. Parker went from a 51-494-3 rookie season to a 90-744-4 sophomore season, which is a healthy increase. So, he is obviously trending in the right direction. It is his second year in the same system and there is a ton of positive talk about his performance in dedication to getting better at his craft this offseason. I see Parker easily passing the 1,000 yard mark and getting to 10 touchdowns this year. He can without a doubt finish in the WR1 conversation.
O.J. Howard scores more touchdowns than any other Tight End this season
O.J. Howard is an absolute beast of an athlete. There, I said it! It’s out in the open. With an unbelievable size and speed combination, he should have an immediate impact on Tampa Bay’s offense. I have Howard projected with 700 yards on 57 catches and a whopping 11 touchdowns! For a more in-depth look at this take, please check out my “Closer Look” article on Howard at the following link:
After reading: All aboard the O.J. Howard hype train!
Jordan Howard has more rushing yards and rushing touchdowns than Le’Veon Bell
One of the biggest stories of the 2016 season was the emergence of Jordan Howard. In his rookie season, he rushed for 1,313 yards and 6 touchdowns, finishing the season with the second most rushing yards in the NFL. Ezekiel Elliott was #1 with 1,631 yards. In 2016, Le’Veon Bell finished 5th in the league in rushing with 1,268 yards. While Howard did play in 15 games to Bell’s 12 in 2016, Bell had 9 more attempts on the ground than Howard. Bell has only played 16 games once in his career (2014), and in that season he finished with 1,361 yards on 290 attempts and 8 touchdowns. That’s 38 more attempts than Howard had last season, and he was only able to produce 48 more yards with those extra attempts. The Chicago Bears have also made some great moves to improve their run blocking abilities and interior in recent years. With Kyle Long and Cody Whitehair both playing well, and the addition of Dion Sims at tight end, Howard should to continue to thrive despite other offensive struggles in Chicago. I think Howard can improve upon an impressive rookie campaign and once again finish with more rushing yards than Bell, and more touchdowns this time around. Look for him to have around 1,400 yards on the ground, and 8 or 9 touchdowns.