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Bold Predictions Week: Fantasy prophecies that are too hot to handle

Nov 16, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) celebrates with wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) and running back Le'Veon Bell (26) after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

(This is PFF Fantasy’s Bold Predictions Week. All week long, members of the fantasy staff will be making their biggest predictions for the season to come, with various approaches.)

As someone who likes to read and analyze what the fantasy football numbers are saying, bold takes are admittedly not one of my fortes. That being said, sometimes the numbers can lead to an interesting viewpoint that isn’t being held by the masses. Here are three bold predictions for the 2018 season that might surprise you.

SPICY: 2018 Marks the Return of #ZeroRB

One of the more eye-popping statistics from last year was the league-wide lack of touchdowns scored. There were 89 fewer offensive touchdowns scored in 2017 compared to 2016. Running backs — specifically top-shelf running backs drafted in the early rounds of fantasy drafts — have enjoyed a renaissance of sorts as they’ve been particularly efficient in terms of touchdown scoring recently. Health has been on their side and we’ve seen 444 rushing touchdowns in 2016 and 390 rushing scores in 2017. 2016 saw the most rushing touchdowns since 2008 (478) — an era when teams ran the ball 44.6 percent of the time compared to 2016's 40.7 percent. Rushing productivity has been astoundingly good over the past two years.

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