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Yahoo's 2018 Bold Fantasy Football Predictions: Saquon to extend rookie RB streak

Brad Evans
Yahoo Sports
Fantasy players who spend a first-round pick on Saquon Barkley are about to run roughshod through their league. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Call them “The Bold and the Disputable.” This time each year every fantasy player young or old, seasoned or novice, decorated or defeated extends their neck and mouths a long-odd prediction. That, my friends, is totally #TeamHuevos. We at Yahoo Fantasy are no exception. Here are our biggest, baddest and most unlikely calls for the 2018 Fantasy Football season:

Ballyhooed Barkley to win rushing title

Three predictions from Andy Behrens (@AndyBehrens)

1. Saquon Barkley becomes the third straight rookie to lead the NFL in rushing, following Ezekiel Elliott and Kareem Hunt. Barkley’s talent is beyond question and he’ll see all the carries he can handle.

Brad’s chance of happening: 63%

2. Drew Brees leads the NFL in touchdown passes. No one should consider this particularly bold, because Brees has done it four times already and he just led the league in Y/A and completion percentage. But many of you seem to think he’ll be a low-volume bust.

Brad’s chance of happening: 31%

3. Jimmy Garoppolo will lose a game as a starting QB, eventually. Pretty bold call, since it’s never happened.

Brad’s chance of happening: 99.9999999%

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Freeman also set to make immediate impact

Three predictions from Brad Evans (@YahooNoise)

1. Despite Vance Joseph’s idiotic refusal to name him the starter, rookie Royce Freeman tops 1,300 combined yards, scored 10 or more touchdowns and finishes inside the RB top-10.

Brad’s chance of happening: 47%

2. T.Y. Hilton, thanks to Andrew Luck’s raggedy arm, fails to finish inside the WR top-24 for the first time since his rookie season.

Brad’s chance of happening: 44%

3. Lamar Jackson usurps Joe Flacco after Baltimore’s Week 10 bye, explodes down the stretch and finishes inside the QB top-five from mid-November on, winning his owners countless titles.

Brad’s chance of happening: 8%

BONUS: Todd Gurley succumbs to a major injury midway through the 2018 season rocketing John Kelly into fantasy starting lineups. During his time as the Ram’s main man, the rookie tallies RB top-10 numbers.

Brad’s chance of happening: 5%

Mahomes leads Chiefs to great heights

Three predictions from Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB)

1. Sterling Shepard (WR47 ADP) finishes as a WR2 or better because volume be damned, he’s just that good and perfectly placed in the Giants offense.

Brad’s chance of happening: 58%

2. John Brown clears 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2015 and scores at least eight touchdowns.

Brad’s chance of happening: 61%

3. Under the leadership of Patrick Mahomes and an explosive cast, with a little help from a generous defense, the Kansas City Chiefs finish as the No. 1 offense in total yards and top-seven in points scored.

Brad’s chance of happening: 49%

Finding this year’s Cooper Kupp

Three predictions from Liz Loza (@LizLoza_FF)

1. The Cleveland Browns will be an above .500 team (pst, they’re winning Week 1 vs. PIT) heading into their Week 11 bye, ensuring Tyrod Taylor is the starter until Thanksgiving.

Brad’s chance of happening: 66%

2. Emmanuel Sanders outproduces Demaryius Thomas, bouncing back from a down 2017 with a 1,000 yard effort.

Brad’s chance of happening: 63%

3. Anthony Miller will be this year’s Cooper Kupp, producing a 60-850-5 stat line at the close of 2018.

Brad’s chance of happening: 60%

Brady finally starts to show his age

Three predictions from Scott Pianowski (@scott_pianowski)

1. Tom Brady is the most disappointing quarterback in the Top 10. Turning 41 is dicey, and his wide receivers are turning into Spinal Tap drummers (I’ll still keep drafting Chris Hogan, hope for the best. And I grew up in the 01824, so I hope this Brady BP isn’t true.)

Brad’s chance of happening: 41%

2. The 49ers regret the big contract on Jerick McKinnon, and he doesn’t lead the team in rushing touchdowns.

Brad’s chance of happening: 68%

3. Although Golden Tate and Marvin Jones do just fine, Kenny Golladay is the best Lions receiver.

Brad’s chance of happening: 47%

Ajayi is common link on title teams

Three predictions from Dalton Del Don (@daltondeldon)

1. Patrick Mahomes is a top-five fantasy QB, helping Tyreek Hill finish ahead of A.J. Green and Mike Evans on the WR rankings as well.

Brad’s chance of happening: 50%

2. Robby Anderson finishes as a top-20 fantasy wide receiver, while Brandin Cooks isn’t top-40.

Brad’s chance of happening: 56%

3. James Conner is the waiver wire add of the year, while Jay Ajayi is the common link on winning fantasy teams.

Brad’s chance of happening: 15%

Watch the entire Yahoo Fantasy crew NFL Sunday’s starting September 9 on Season 13 of “Fantasy Football Live” streaming only on YahooSports.com.

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