Welcome to my “Bold Predictions of the Week” article. These predictions vary in degree of difficulty but all have a shot at happening.
My thinking: Tyrod Taylor’s rushing numbers give him a high weekly floor, there’s no disputing that. Considering Ryan Fitzpatrick just torched the Saints defense in Week 1, Taylor has an outside shot to throw over 300 passing yards and run for 75+ yards since the Browns will have to put up a bunch of points to stay in this game. He needs to improve his efficiency (37.5% completion percentage in Week 1) but Taylor is an excellent spot-start this week if you have a starting quarterback that might not play (Aaron Rodgers).
David Johnson will have over 200 total yards, two touchdowns and finish as a Top-5 fantasy running back this week.
My thinking: In four career games vs. the Los Angeles Rams, David Johnson has averaged 4.4 YPC on 47 rushing attempts and has 13 receptions, 163 receiving yards, two touchdowns. The Cardinals have to slow down the Rams offense to have a chance in this game. A heavy dose of Johnson early in the game is the key to keeping the Rams offense on the sidelines. Don’t be discouraged by a lackluster Week 1 performance, Johnson is still a bona fide stud at the running back position and is in for a spectacular season.
James White will have 15 receptions, over 100 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars.
My thinking: Rex Burkhead is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and most likely will sit out this contest. Jeremy Hill tore his ACL in Week 1 and will miss the remainder of the 2018 season. Sony Michel may or may not play but is banged up and not 100% healthy. James White saw nine targets in Week 1 and that was with Burkhead and Hill on the field. He is a legitimate RB2 this week and needs to be in your starting lineup.
Derrick Henry will have a 40+ yard touchdown run and finish with 15 carries for 125 rushing yards and one touchdown.
My thinking: Purely a gut call here. The hate for Derrick Henry has gone too far. He is a talented running back that just needs the workload to be successful. He’s one of those running backs that needs to get into a rhythm and have consistent carries to be successful. While Dion Lewis looked great in Week 1, don’t forget that Lewis has only played in all 16 games once in his career (last year). He played in 14 of a possible 32 games in 2015 and 2016. Don’t give up on Henry just yet.
Nelson Agholor will have 14 receptions for 140 receiving yards and a touchdown vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
My thinking: The Buccaneers just allowed 439 passing yards to the Saints and just lost their starting cornerback (Vernon Hargreaves) for the rest of the 2018 season. They’ve also given up the third-most receptions to slot wide receivers since the start of the 2017 season. Nelson Agholor, coming off a 10-target game vs. the Falcons in Week 1, runs most of his routes from the slot. Agholor is due for a monster performance in Week 2.
Mike Williams will have two receiving touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills.
My thinking: Mike Williams looked good in limited action in the Chargers Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. He was on the field for just 54% of the offensive snaps in that game, but that number is going to increase as Williams continues to prove he is a reliable target for Philip Rivers. The Chargers have a potent passing attack and should pick apart the porous Bills defense this week.
Allen Robinson will have 12 receptions for 135 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns vs. the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night.
My thinking: Allen Robinson would have had an easy touchdown in the second quarter of the Packers game last week, but Mitchell Trubisky overthrew him. Robinson tallied four receptions for 61 receiving yards on six targets in the loss, but make no mistake, if the Bears are going to have success this season they’re going to have to rely on Robinson to make plays in the passing game. Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas combined for 21 targets, 16 receptions, 198 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns in the Broncos win over the Seahawks in Week 1. A big game is on the horizon for Robinson.