Fighting Chance 2018 NFL Predictions


The NFL season starts tomorrow and what better way to kick it off then to try to predict what is going to happen. I mean if anything we all know that the NFL is very predictable! I hope you read into the sarcasm there. Each of us at Fighting Chance took the time to predict division winners, wild cards, and the Super Bowl teams so you have something to look back at later and laugh at us, so be sure to bookmark this page. However, since this is a fantasy football site, we didn't stop there. We came up with phony fantasy awards, and then predicted who would win these fake trophies. I know, we all need a life! Anyway, here it is without further ado, the picker, their Twitter handle, and their picks. Any feedback on Twitter is always appreciated. 

Kacey’s Picks (@thekaceykasem)

AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South: Houston Texans
AFC West: Kansas City Chiefs

AFC Wildcard Teams: Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts

NFC East: New York Giants
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC West: Los Angeles Rams

NFC Wildcard Teams: Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers

Super Bowl: Minnesota Vikings over New England Patriots

Fantasy MVP
David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals.  Dude will be back this season.  After sustaining a wrist injury last season, he’ll be rested and ready to go.  I look for him to get back to his 2016 ways.  He has proven he can do it, and I’m sure he’ll be able to do it again.  Look out... this guy will be a force to be reckoned with.

Fantasy Rookie of the Year
Jordan Wilkins, RB, Indianapolis Colts. I’m thinking outside of the box here and taking a large shot on my guy Jordan Wilkins to be the Fantasy Rookie of the Year.  A longshot, but I have a feeling the guy will do good things this season.

Comeback Player of the Year
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos. Better quarterback play will be key here.  Sanders had a disappointing 2017, but watch out for him in 2018. Prior to last season, Sanders had over 1,000 yards in three straight seasons.  Look for him to bounce back in this new year.

Breakout Player of the Year
Jamison Crowder, WR, Washington Redskins. He was a beast for the second half of the season last year.  I look for him to carry that into 2018 with Alex Smith throwing him tons of passes.

Biggest Bust
Jerick McKinnon, RB, San Francisco 49ers . I just don’t think he’s proven himself to be a number one running back.  He’s had injury concerns, and I also feel Alfred Morris is going to have a bigger role in that offense than we think. (this was written before the injury, Kacey wins!)

Waiver Wire Add of the Year
Cole Beasley, WR, Dallas Cowboys. I’ve already written about him this off-season.  I know there are plenty of options there in Dallas, but I feel like Beasley is going to be that security blanket for Dak Prescott.  He’s already said they have a connection and in 2016 were looking good together.

Steve’s Picks (@fantasygeek37)

AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars
AFC West: Los Angeles Chargers

AFC Wildcard Winners: Houston Texans and Denver Broncos

NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC West: Los Angeles Rams

NFC Wildcard Winners: Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers

Super Bowl: Los Angeles Rams over New England Patriots

Fantasy MVP
Rob Gronkowski, TE New England Patriots. The Patriots just rewarded Rob Gronkowski with a boost in his contract. Not a new contract. Instead they added incentives to his current contract where he can make big bonuses if he achieves 70 receptions, 1,085 yards, and nine or more touchdowns this year. I think he crushes these to earn more party money and he will give you a big enough advantage over all other tight ends that he could be a league winner for a lot of fantasy squads.

Fantasy Rookie of the Year
Saquon Barkley, RB NY Giants. I really don’t want to pick Barkley because he’s the obvious choice, but he has the most talent among rookies and will likely receive the heaviest workload as well. If you want an honorable mention, I would go with Sony Michel from the Pats, but I honestly don’t see any rookies touching Barkley in this category.

Comeback Player of the Year
Andrew Luck, QB Indianapolis Colts. I’m partly doing this because of my partner Ryan Hallam’s, “Anti-Andy Luck” campaign, but mostly I’m doing it because Luck is a stud and if he can stay on the field, he has all the skill to finish as a top-five fantasy quarterback.

Breakout Player of the Year
Corey Davis, WR Tennessee Titans. Davis’ rookie season was hampered with injuries, but he’s back healthy in 2018 and has the physical abilities to be one of the top wide receivers in the game. While I question the ability of Marcus Mariota a bit, I like the addition of offensive coordinator, Matt Lafleur and think he will make every attempt to feature Davis in this offensive.

Fantasy Bust of the Year
Jay Ajayi, RB Philadelphia Eagles. I’m not ready to spend a late-third or early-fourth round pick on Jay Ajayi. The dude had a total of only one touchdown on over 200 rushing attempts last season, and with Corey Clement and Darren Sproles likely to have roles in this offense, I think Ajayi’s price is way too rich for my liking.

Waiver Wire Add of the Year
Ryan Grant, WR Indianapolis Colts. This goes along with my Andrew Luck prediction for Comeback player of the year, but Luck has to have someone other than TY Hilton to throw to, and Ryan Grant appears to have locked down the number two receiver role in Indy. With a questionable running attack and a defense that could force the offense to be in a lot of shoot-outs, I think Grant could be a very nice fantasy wide receiver in 2018.

Patrick’s Picks (Polka-Damas @polkapat)

AFC East- New England Patriots
AFC North- Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South- Jacksonville Jaguars
AFC West- Oakland Raiders

AFC Wild Cards – Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs

NFC East- Philadelphia Eagles
NFC North – Minnesota Vikings
NFC South- Carolina Panthers
NFC West- Los Angeles Rams

NFC Wild Cards- Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions

Super Bowl - Minnesota Vikings over New England Patriots

Fantasy MVP
Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville Jaguars. I absolutely love Len this year, and have many shares of him already and still have at least three drafts left to do.  Jacksonville has a very favorable schedule against the run this year, and we all know B.B. Gun Bortles isn’t scaring anyone, yet even with eight in the box Fournette destroys.

Rookie of the Year
Royce Freeman, Denver Broncos. Everyone else enjoy your Saquon with some fava beans and a fine chianti, I’ll be taking Royce, who pretty much walked into an open backfield, as Devonte Booker has done very little in the way of stopping Freeman from taking over the show, which he will do.

Waiver Wire Pick-Up
Geronimo Allison, Green Bay Packers.  Say Geronimo, hey hey Geronimo.  Geronimo….for God and country. Yes, Geronimo is in my eyes already a better receiving option than the continual disappointment Randall Cobb. There are plenty of old Jordy Nelson targets to go around and Geronimo is my pick to shine in Green Bay.

Comeback Player
Andrew Luck,  Indianapolis Colts. I was torn between Mr. Direct TV and limp wristed David Johnson here, and they both seem chalk to me, but Luck has bigger expectations on his shoulders, well his healthy one anyway. I’ll take choppers as my Comebacker, but D.J. will garner plenty of votes as he goes for a 2000 total yards season.

Biggest Bust
Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans. Sorry everyone, Polka is not drinking all this Kool-Aid, and am certainly not wasting such a high pick on garbage time TDs from last year.  Watson is not in my top five QBs off the board, and these are big expectations on someone coming off such a bad knee injury, maybe next year Deshaun, they say the second year removed from this surgery is the better year.

Breakout Player
Allen Hurns, Dallas Cowboys. Hurns is coming off the WR list around number 50, but I see plenty of chance for opportunity in the now bulimic Dallas passing game.  Without Dez Bryant in the house and Jason Witten being 807 years old and no longer in town Hurns is now the Defacto Numero Uno in Dallas, and will see over 100 targets easily.

Jim’s Picks (@fantasytaz)

AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
AFC South: Houston Texans
AFC West: Low Angeles Chargers

AFC Wildcard Teams: Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers

NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings 
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC West: Los Angeles Rams

NFC Wildcard Teams: Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants

Super Bowl: Los Angeles Chargers over Los Angeles Rams

Fantasy MVP

Odell Beckham Jr. WR New York Giants. Beckham got paid and will show everyone why. He will top 1,500 receiving yards and reach the golden land 15 times in 2018 and lead all receivers in both categories. 

Fantasy Rookie of the Year

Royce Freeman RB Denver Broncos. Saquon Barkley seems like too easy an answer here, so I will go with Royce Freeman. He hits it out of the park with !,300 total yards and 12 TDs. 

Comeback Player of the Year

Dalvin Cook RB Minnesota Vikings. Cook was off to an amazing start in 2017 when he tore his ACL in Week 5. He’s back, healthy and ready to try again. This time he fully succeeds.

Breakout Player of the Year

Mike Williams WR Los Angeles Chargers. After doing nothing as a rookie Williams makes his presence known in year 2 with 850 yards and 10 TDs. Next year we will be drafting him in the late 3rd, early 4th round.

Biggest Bust

Kareem Hunt RB Kansas City Chiefs. Andy Reid quickly forgot what Hunt did for him in 2017 and all of a sudden Spencer Ware is the new workhorse for KC. Hunt becomes an afterthought.

Waiver Wire Add of the Year

Dallas Goedert TE Philadelphia Eagles. Goedert is the best TE in this year’s draft class but has been a relatively forgotten man after landing in Philly behind Zach Ertz. But when Ertz misses time to injuries Goedert steps right in and shows that he is the future at TE for Philly and Philly lets Ertz walk in the offseason.

Brian’s Picks (@drakefantasy)

AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC South: Jacksonville Jaguars
AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC West: Los Angeles Chargers

Wild Cards: Houston Texans and Denver Broncos 

NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles
NFC South: Atlanta Falcons
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings
NFC West: Los Angeles Rams

Wild Cards:  Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints

Super Bowl:  Los Angeles Rams over Jacksonville Jaguars

Fantasy MVP
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings. Loaded offense.  Great defense.  Positive game scripts.  It all lines up for Cook to run and catch his way to being the best player in fantasy.

Rookie Of The Year
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles are thin are receiving weapons early on and something tells me this monster of a man will find his way into a MAJOR role.  If he's on your waiver wire go add him immediately.

Comeback Player of the Year
Eli Manning, New York Giants. If all of his weapons are ranked so high doesn't it mean he has to also produce?  30 TD's easy

Breakout Player of the Year
Dion Lewis, Tennessee Titans. The Titans will be behind a lot and that means he's going to be on the field a ton.  People know him as a good player, this year he becomes elite.

Fantasy Bust of the Year
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals. The line is "improved" well I don't see it.  Awful YPC in the preseason and a bad team overall won't lead to Mixon getting tons of carries.  Steer clear.

Waiver Pickup of the Year
Quincy Enunwa, New York Jets. This guy was once the Jets WR1 and is sitting on waiver wires around fantasy.  Jets have no TE and a rookie QB who loves the intermediate throw.  Will be starting on championship teams in December.

Ryan’s Picks (@fightingchance)

AFC East: New England Patriots
AFC North: Baltimore Ravens
AFC South: Houston Texans
AFC West: Los Angeles Chargers

Wild Cards: Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs

NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles
NFC North: Minnesota Vikings
NFC South: New Orleans Saints
NFC West: Los Angeles Rams

Wild Cards: Green Bay Packers and New York Giants

Super Bowl: Minnesota Vikings over New England Patriots

Fantasy MVP
Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings. Cook looked dynamic before a torn ACL ended his rookie season early. But he is a great runner behind a great offensive line, he is strong at catching passes out of the backfield, and his offense should score plenty of touchdowns. I’m looking for a monster season from Dalvin in 2018.

Rookie of the Year
Saquon Barkley, New York Giants. I know it’s chalk, but it seems legit. He was one of the better running back prospects in a number of years and went to a team with no one to compete with him for carries, and what should be an improved offensive line and scoring total. This should be an easy one for Saquon. If I had to pick a second it would be Royce Freeman.

Comeback Player of the Year
Jordy Nelson, Oakland Raiders. Jordy looked like a hot pile of mess last year, but I’m chalking it up to coming off an injury and having Brett Hundley at quarterback for the Packers. A change of scenery with a solid quarterback should again make Nelson not only fantasy relevant, but fantasy excitement!

Breakout Player of the Year
Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville Jaguars. Westbrook missed the first ten games of his rookie season and came back and had a pretty solid finish considering how much time he missed, and it being his first year. Now he has a full offseason, is completely healthy, and the Jags lost their top receiver in Marqise Lee. Jacksonville does still have a few decent receivers, but the opportunity is there for Westbrook to become a household name this season.

Biggest Bust
Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys. Going out a bit on a limb on this one. The offensive line is in shambles, so we will see now if Elliott was a product of that immense group in front of him. The Cowboys passing game also looks to be shaky this  year, meaning defenses can really key in on stopping Zeke. I had a hard time picking this one, but all of the signs are not pointing towards Elliott being a top five overall pick in fantasy in 2018.

Waiver Wire Add of the Year
Kenneth Dixon, Baltimore Ravens. Injury is a huge concern for Dixon, and he acts the fool sometimes, but if he can get the opportunity, Dixon can be a player. He will have to beat out Alex Collins at some point or hope for an injury, but it isn’t like Collins had some All World pedigree when he broke on the scene for Baltimore last year. It isn’t impossible to think that Dixon could be toting the rock for the Ravens before too long.


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