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10 Bold Fantasy Football Predictions for the 2011 Season

Bold prediction No. 5: Randy Moss won't only be playing football again at some point in 2011 ... he'll be starting in at least 75 percent of fantasy leagues by the end of the season.
Bold prediction No. 5: Randy Moss won't only be playing football again at some point in 2011 ... he'll be starting in at least 75 percent of fantasy leagues by the end of the season.Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
John ZaktanskyCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2011

Bold predictions are just that—BOLD predictions.

Every year, I try to run out a list of things that I think will happen that defies common logic. I could “predict” that Tom Brady will have more passing yards than Reggie Bush this season, but that is a no-brainer. I’ll leave those softball lob pitches for those who are more worried about looking good than making an educated leap of faith and then standing behind it.

So as “out there” as some of the following comments may be, I’m sticking with them to the bitter end. Some would call it stubbornness—I’d like to consider it loyalty!

1. Knowshon Moreno won’t make it a full season as “top dog” in Denver.

With news today that Moreno and Willis McGahee are going to start the season in a time share with the “hot hand” getting more carries, this prediction doesn’t seem so bold. Unless you click here to see my original post about this topic, written on Aug. 10.

2. Jimmy Graham will lead all NFC tight ends in fantasy production.

Yes, that includes Jermichael Finley and Jason Witten. I think Graham is the real deal and the broken collarbone suffered by Marques Colston will only increase Graham’s targets in the offense.

Witten will have a maturing Dez Bryant, more-utilized Felix Jones out of the backfield and Tony Romo-favorite Miles Austin to compete with for catches.

Finley is just not a guy I feel can be depended on yet. Greg Jennings showed Thursday night that he’s a major part of the passing game still. Randall Cobb is emerging. Jordy Nelson looks great. James Jones will come on as the season progresses. Aaron Rodgers can only throw the ball so many times in a game.

3. Steve Smith will eventually take over as the top receiver in Philadelphia by season’s end.

I struggle to believe that DeSean Jackson will stay healthy all season, and even if he does, he’s in the middle of a messy contract negotiation at the moment. And as I suggested in my NFC East post, I just can’t buy into Jeremy Maclin as a legitimate option just yet. Call it a hunch.

4. Shonn Greene will lead the AFC East in fantasy points by a running back.

Not that he has a ton of competition in that department in the division.

5. Randy Moss will not only play football again this season—he’ll be starting in at least 75 percent of fantasy leagues by the end of the season.

6. Brandon Lloyd will lead all AFC West receivers in fantasy points this season.

I realize that Vincent Jackson and Dwayne Bowe still play in the division, but Lloyd will have a Jose Bautista-esque staying power this season thanks to the return of Kyle Orton.

7. James Starks will finish the season as at least a top 15 fantasy running back.

Starks and Grant will now be splitting carries, but the former did much more with his carries Thursday night, and Packers officials admit that Starks may be the better option moving forward. In that offense, there is no way an opposing squad can worry about the running game.

8. Matthew Stafford won’t only last a full NFL season this year, but he’ll also be mentioned in the MVP balloting.

9. Adrian Peterson will fall out of the top seven in fantasy scoring among running backs this season.

10. Carson Palmer will play football at some point this season and be a decent QB2 by the end of the year with QB1 upside.

Don't miss my divisional previews: AFC South, AFC North, NFC South, NFC North,  AFC West,  NFC West, AFC East and NFC East

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