This will be my full team dive for the year. No long rants about any long snappers or 3rd string Centers in this one. This is literally a prediction-based article that ends with regular season awards and a Super Bowl prediction. These predictions come from the projections I do every year and it is a grind. I hope you enjoy it. At the end of the article, I will touch on some fantasy results from these projections as well. Ah hell, this is a fantasy website so lets also give fantasy breakout, sleeper, bust, and MVP of the year as well!
The hardest thing I have found when doing record predictions is that I don't know anything about any team any more than the best expert. We can't predict injuries, usage by coaches or Antonio Brown walking off mid-game. There are some things that are projectible with advanced metrics and that is what I have used along with gut feelings and opinions on certain players, coaches, and teams in general.
There weren't a lot of surprises to me once I got down to it. The four biggest things I took from this though are:
NFC Playoff seeding
AFC Playoff seeding
The seeding for the playoffs falls into place when you do the regular season predictions so it's only right to lay out the playoff field and see how it plays out. I am sure I am making more fan bases mad again with results here.
NFC Wildcard Weekend
Saints @ Buccaneers
49ers @ Rams
Vikings @ Eagles
AFC Wildcard Weekend
Dolphins @ Bengals
Ravens @ Chargers
Chiefs @ Colts
NFC Divisional Weekend
Vikings @ Packers
Rams @ Buccaneers
AFC Divisional Weekend
Chiefs @ Bills
Chargers @ Bengals
Before we get to the Super Bowl prediction I wanted to talk about how I feel heading into the last two games. Excited!!! We get an NFC Championship rematch from a couple of years ago and we get two explosive offenses with a ton of young talent in the AFC Championship game. I believe this is both Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers last run while on the other side I think the Bills and Bengals are just beginning. I feel the same with the Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Dolphins, 49ers, and Eagles as young, explosive offenses.
NFC Conference Championship
Buccaneers @ Packers
AFC Conference Championship
Bengals @ Bills
Packers over Bills with a final score of 38 - 37
I get it, most don't have the Packers making the playoffs with what their roster looks like on paper. Well, I think by midseason some of those young players will be playing well and it will be a well-oiled machine headed into the playoffs. The Bills looked dominant against the Rams as many thought they would. The surprise was their pass defense to me. They are loaded on both sides and I wanted to get Aaron one more Super Bowl so he can ride off into the sunset.
Now, should we talk fantasy? Let's go!
Breakout of the Year - Rashod Bateman
Based on my projections for him I had him as a top 20 WR. With the recent news of JK Dobbins and the overall concern of their running backs, I predict Lamar Jackson leans on him and Mark Andrews. Bateman finishes top 12 this year.
Sleeper of the Year - Chris Olave
He was the consensus number two wide receiver in this year's NFL Draft for a reason. He is great, especially at intermediate and long routes. His separation skills are elite already and all of this should make him the number one target on the Saints for years to come.
Bust of the Year- Michael Pittman
I think the Colts end up more run-heavy than most think and maybe even what the Colts think. I see a declining Matt Ryan as well throwing the ball to him. I project him for 140 targets, but with a YPC of 11.5 and a catch percentage of 63% he won't be a top 15 wide receiver this year.
Fantasy MVP - Josh Allen
He keeps developing and his weapons keep developing. I think he is just in a sweet spot right now in his career that he will have 50+ total touchdowns in 2022. If I had to go with a second place it would be Lamar Jackson followed closely by Jalen Hurts. I think both have the rushing ability to break fantasy along with the offenses revolving around them.
With a full slate of games Sunday I think we are all ready to see how well we drafted and to see how our opinions on certain players play out. Good luck to everyone in season-long, dynasty, and DFS! Tis' the season!!!!