Bronke Bold Predictions: 2019 Edition
The Bronke Bold Prediction is a tradition like none other here at Vegas Write Off. While this site is just a few weeks old, Joel (the sites other co-founder and sports gambling content provider) has had to put up with these “amazing” predictions since circa 2000. While I will spare you all the distinguished list, it feels only appropriate to regale you with some of the highlights before providing you with the first-ever Fantasy Football edition.
2004-2005 - Eddy Curry will be the Eastern Conference starter in the All-Star Game
Coming off of a “junior” season that saw his PPG increase by over 4 and RPG increase by over 2 from his sophomore season, the then 21-year-old Curry looked poised to continue to this trajectory as he seemed to have made the adjustment from high school to the NBA. In his 4th season (that of 2004-2005), Curry put up a respectable 16.1 and 5.4 but did not make the all-star team--let alone be named the starter. In fact, he was traded at the end of that season in one of the most “Knicks-like moves” ever.
2008 - Carlos Zambrano will win the Cy Young
While he didn’t with the Cy Young, he did throw a no-hitter, had a 14-6 record, a 3.91 ERA, was an all-star, and won the Silver Slugger. He did not; however, win the Cy Young, and his own teammate, Ryan Dempster, received more votes than Zambrano.
2013 - Jordan Spieth will go down as a top-five golfer of all time
While the odds of this one hitting are slim, there is still a small glimmer of hope. At a mere 26 years old and through just 7 professional seasons, Spieth has amassed 14 wins including 3 majors. It is still possible that this one could come true, but if so, he REALLY needs to get back to that 2015 form which saw him win back-to-back majors. Stay tuned...but don’t hold your breath.
So, these three give you just a little sense of the sort of chaos Joel has had to endure with these Bronke Bold Predictions, so I advise you to continue reading at your own risk as I reveal the first-ever Bronke Bold Predictions 3 Pack--NFL Fantasy Football style.
Golden Glamour: The Eagles lead the NFL in scoring & Wentz QB 1
Without question, this one starts and ends with the offensive line. Considered by many to be the best offensive line in football, they are experienced (they return all five starters), nasty, and deep (with the addition of first-round draft pick Andre Dillard). According to PFF.com, this line has graded out with top-10 grades in both run and pass blocking each of the last three seasons, and they are projected to do so yet again.
From there, it is all about the signal-caller with his only real question being about his health, not his skill. A career 64% completion percentage (and near 70% in his 11 games last season), Wentz has a 2.5:1 TD to INT ratio and averaged 279.5 yards in 2018. While not viewed as a running QB, don’t forget that in 2017, in which he was selected to the Pro Bowl, he did average 23 yards a game, rushing for 299 yards in 13 games (though with his injury history, we don’t see this as something he will duplicate). Simply put, if healthy, we know he has the talent and ability to put up the monster numbers we are projecting.
Then it turns to the weapons of which there are PLENTY. Of course, it all starts with Zach Ertz which really needs no justification, but do remember, in 2018 he set the NFL all-time record for single-season receptions for a TE. At the WR position, Alshon Jeffery is quietly coming off one of the best seasons of his career. 2018 saw Jeffery post a 70.7% catch rate (his best yet) and 65 catches for 843 yards which were his best since 2004, and he did all of this while missing the first three games of the season. The Eagles welcome back the speedy veteran DeSean Jackson who has the most 60+ yard TDs in the history of the league with 24 and a career 17.4 yards per catch. Add in intriguing rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside who ran a 4.49 at 6-2/225 and is 2nd in receiving TDs in Stanford history. The backfield sees an established veteran in Jordan Howard being complimented and pushed (eventually passed?) by impressive rookie Miles Sanders who averaged 6.0 yards per carry while at PSU and also put up a 4.49 40 at the combine. Lest we not forget, while not doing it in sexy ways, Jordan Howard is one of only three RBs with 3,000 yards since 2016 (Zeke and Gurley are the other two), and he and Gurley are the only two RBs with 9+ TDs in each of the last two seasons. This sort of depth makes it hard to decide what position players to draft in Fantasy, but for the purposes of this bold prediction, I love it. Locked and loaded, with the protection and time to throw the deep ball, look for Wentz to take shots downfield and for his check-downs to have lots of room to work. (*statistical info from Eagles team site)
To top it all off, I would be remissed if I didn’t mention the schedule. The Eagles have prime scoring matchups when the play the Jets, Redskins twice, Lions, Dolphins, and Giants. Each of these matchups is bound to put up points early and often. Add in competitive shoot-out-potential matchups in games vs. Packers, Pats, and Vikings, and you have a great slate of games to amass big time fantasy point.
If Wentz stays healthy, which is a bigger if than many, this team has ALL of the makings of a high-powered NFL and fantasy football offense. Let’s sit back and watch them fly!
Silver Slammer: Derrick Henry leads the NFL in rushing attempts and yards
Towards the very top of players I love how much I love, there has been nothing in the preseason so far that has diminished said love. Delanie Walker looks healthy which can only drive up Henry’s value with attention now having to be given to defending the TE position. The offensive line was upgraded in the off-season with the additions of FA Rodger Saffold and third-round pick Nate Davis. Add to that the most capable receiving core Mariota has had, and you get a balanced offense on a team that should be competitive, and that doesn’t trust (for good reasons) their quarterback to do too much. Factor in Lewis’s role as his backup is mostly as a pass catcher, and you have all the makings of a 20-25 carries a game. Their defense is good and best plan to win is to POUND THE BALL, and there are few better at bruising the opponents than the 6’3, 247 lb Henry. Oh, and don’t forget about his big-play ability. His biggest barrier is his health, but if he can stay healthy, it could be a sight to see. 2019 NFL Rushing Champion = Derrick Henry.
Bronze Banger: Gronk returns to the Pats by week 8 & leads all TEs for RoS
Just how much partying and living the high life can one man do? We will soon find out based on if Gronk returns or not. Here is how I see it playing out: he is LOVING not having to be in camp nor having to deal with the preseason bull shit; he will even enjoy watching week one from his couch spiking his lemonade with vodka and his empty beer cans into the ground; he might even enjoy weeks two and three as the Pats wipe up on the lowly Dolphins and Jets; but as the games go on, he starts to see what a massive void at TE (and maybe pass catching as a whole) the Pats have and also starts to remember how fun the game is. He spends a week or two getting back into football shape, and then make his debut in week 8 vs the Browns (the Pats first real test since week 1 vs Pittsburgh). Brady remembers how fun it is to have this behemoth of a man, Belichick remembers the numbers Gronk put up in the AFC Title Game and his impact in the Superbowl (combined 12/166), and the rest is history. My advice, make him a waiver add around week 5-6 before the rumors begin to grow too much.