(Welcome to PFF Fantasy’s Bold Predictions Week. All week long, our writers will offer up the boldest of predictions for the season to come. It’s easy to say Aaron Rodgers will be good; it’s harder to say Mike Glennon will be the No. 1 quarterback. Not that anyone is guessing that, but you get the idea. Check back all week for more.)
How bold do you feel? This is my turn at Bold Predictions Week, following on the heels of Scott Barrett and Tyler Loechner, and as I did a year ago, I offer up my predictions on a scale. Below, you’ll find a set of predictions at each primary position. There will be Bold — I really think these will happen, but they aren’t exactly crazy, so don’t need that much of a writeup — and then Bolder — yes, these will happen too (I think), but I’m a little more out on a limb — and finally Boldest — maybe these don’t happen exactly, but they really point you in the direction I’m looking, and I wouldn’t rule them out.
At the bottom, you’ll find my single boldest call of the year.
Bold: Kelvin Benjamin finishes as a top-15 WR
As a rookie in 2014, Benjamin finished 16th in fantasy scoring despite a middling PFF grade of 74.4, largely because there just wasn’t much else for Cam Newton to throw to in the Carolina offense but Benjamin and Greg Olsen. He finished 19th in 2016 (after missing 2015) for much of the same reasons. The Panthers did add Curtis Samuel (and receiving running back Christian McCaffrey) this offseason, but Benjamin is still going to be the team’s top red-zone receiver, and just as a little helper, has what ESPN’s Mike Clay called the league’s easiest schedule for any No. 1 receiver. Just a little bump on his established performance so far is all he needs.