Bold Predictions for Week 1 Fantasy Football
We all play fantasy football to win, right? Of course we do! Sometimes that requires thinking outside the box, going with your gut, and calling your shot. It’s okay to make a few bold predictions. Sure, most of the time, we play it safe when setting our weekly lineups, especially this early in the season. However, there are always a few decisions between the player you feel confident will score a serviceable amount of points and the player you think could have a weekly top performance to help secure that ever-important win.
The 2021 NFL and fantasy football seasons kick off this weekend and there’s inevitably going to be standout games from players that have you and your league mates buzzing about for days afterward. Each week, our Fantrax staff writers will make their fantasy football bold predictions for you to get excited about, help sway those lineup decisions, and take your team to the moon!
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2021 NFL Week 1 Bold Predictions for Fantasy Football
Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers Running Back
Bold Prediction: 18 carries, 113 rushing yards, 1 touchdown; 5 receptions, 37 receiving yards
26.0 PPR fantasy points
Fantrax Writer: Colin McTamany, @LincoCammytan on Twitter
Najee Harris is one of a small number of rookies that’s worth starting in Week 1 this season. His NFL debut is what makes this a bold prediction, but these numbers will have him finish as a top-10 running back for the week. Volume is key to scoring fantasy football points. Harris has a good chance to lead the league in touches this season. The 24th overall pick starts that campaign Sunday in Buffalo against the Bills. You won’t regret having used a top pick on Najee.
Robby Anderson, Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver
Bold Prediction: 6 receptions, 109 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
28.9 fantasy points
Fantrax Writer: Mike Omelan, @mikeomelan on Twitter
Revenge game, anyone? Robby Anderson faces off against his former team, the New York Jets on Sunday in Carolina. What’s even better? His new quarterback, Sam Darnold, is a former teammate of his from their Jets days. They’ll look to seek revenge together! There are a lot of mouths to feed in Carolina, but this bold prediction is just a perfect fit for a Week 1 storyline. Robby looks to start the season toasting a Jets secondary that allowed the 6th-most receptions and 9th-most reception yards in 2020.
Corey Davis, New York Jets Wide Receiver
Bold Prediction: 10 receptions, 112 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
33.2 fantasy points
Fantrax Writer: Justin Dunbar, @talkMVP on Twitter
Speaking of the Jets, their big money, free-agent signee, Corey Davis, is going to justify his offseason deal right away according to this Week 1 bold prediction. Davis logged 10 targets on 13 routes run during the preseason. He’s almost a guarantee to lead the Jets in targets Week 1 at the Carolina Panthers. A massive target share is a recipe for equally massive fantasy points. Rookie quarterback, Zach Wilson, will be using Davis early and often in his NFL debut.
Laviska Shenault, Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver
Bold Prediction: 8 receptions, 98 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
29.8 fantasy points
Fantrax Writer: Michael Govier, @mjgovier on Twitter
Another rookie quarterback making his debut, Trevor Lawrence, will be on the road in Houston on Sunday versus the Texans. The Jaguars open the season as a three-point favorite in this matchup. For Trevor to start off his career with a win, he’ll need a strong performance from second-year breakout candidate, Laviska Shenault. Shenault was one of the more heavily-targeted receivers this preseason with Lawrence under center. He’s also a force to be reckoned with when he has the ball in his hands. Don’t be surprised if he lives up to this bold prediction as Jacksonville’s top pass catcher this weekend.
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings Quarterback
Bold Prediction: 400 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns
28.0 fantasy points
Fantrax Writer: Ahaan Rungta, @AhaanRungta on Twitter
Kirk Cousins threw for three passing touchdowns in half of the Vikings’ games last season. In the final matchup of 2020, he eclipsed 400 passing yards for just the first time all year. With a season-ending injury to tight end, Irv Smith, and an offense without a real third option in the passing game, this is indeed a bold prediction. Cousins enters this season as the former QB11 in fantasy football and makes Ahaan’s “love list” for Week 1. He will utilize young receiving stud, Justin Jefferson, and veteran, Adam Theilen, to get the job done in Cincinnati versus the Bengals.
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons Quarterback
Bold Prediction: 325 passing yards, 4 passing touchdowns
29.0 fantasy points
Fantrax Writer: Lauren Auerbach, @lkauerbach on Twitter
The Falcons open the 2021 NFL season at home versus the Philadelphia Eagles. This game has an Over/Under of 48.5 points with shootout potential. Matt Ryan can live up to this bold prediction with help from top receiver, Calvin Ridley, and fourth-overall pick, tight end, Kyle Pitts. New head coach, Arthur Smith, may have love to run the football, but against an above-average Philly run defense, Ryan will likely take things to the air to try and get a Week 1 win.
Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback
Bold Prediction: 305 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns
24.2 fantasy points
Fantrax Writer: Mick Ciallela, @themick23 on Twitter
“Jimmy G” and the 49ers open their season on the road in Detroit against the Lions. They have arguably the easiest matchup of Week 1. For a 49ers team that notoriously succeeds in running the football, it’s certainly a bold prediction for Garoppolo to put up these sort of numbers in the passing game. However, it’s in his best interest to be at his absolute best as a passer with rookie quarterback, Trey Lance, threatening to take over as the starter upon any signs of struggle. Look for Garoppolo to make a statement as the starter on Sunday.
Got some bold predictions of your own? Drop them in the comments below. For more great rankings and analysis check out the rest of our Week 1 Rankings and Analysis!
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