My Stat Leaders: Bold Projections

I always enjoy reading these outlandish predictions. The bold predictions, if you will. Whether that's Antonio Brown catching 140 passes, or David Johnson getting 1,000 yards on the ground and through the air...whatever it is, I love reading them. I have officially finished going through my rankings and fine-tuning my projections for this season. I have projected the top 32 QB's, 100 RB's, 153 WR's and 55 TE's. After all that work, I wanted to show you the best of the best in my rankings. The guys who I believe are going to lead the league in their respective stat categories. Let's dig in.


Passing Yards Leader - Drew Brees.

This prediction isn't exactly the most outlandish there is. Drew Brees is one of the best quarterbacks of all time and is constantly a threat to throw for 5,000 yards. The part that makes it outlandish is the number I believe he's going to throw for; 5,316. Most people are down on Drew Brees because of Brandin Cooks' departure, but the Saints obviously felt comfortable enough to let him walk. The reason is because Drew Brees makes Wide Receivers good, not the other way around. There are certain QB's in the league that have to have elite options in order to be good. They need the stud wide receivers. There's only a few QB's in the league that make average Wide Receivers elite and those QB's are considered to be future hall-of-famers. Michael Thomas, Willie Snead, Ted Ginn Jr., Coby Fleener and the running back corps will be phenomenal fantasy assets because of who is throwing the ball to him. Drew Brees has done it before. He's thrown for 5,476 yards in a season before. I have no doubt that he could get up to this mark again. 

Passing Touchdowns Leader - Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady

I have a tie for the most passing touchdowns this season between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady with 36. Both have insane options at Wide Receiver, Tight End and Pass Catching Running Backs. But they belong to the same crew as Drew Brees, like I mentioned above. The group of Quarterbacks that takes players and elevates them to a higher standard. As long as Aaron Rodgers is healthy, he will always be near the top of the league for passing touchdowns. Tom Brady was up there last year as well and they added options to help him out this offseason. Insane depth there in New England. Be looking for these guys to be pushing for the lead back and forth all year. The fun part about football being back is we don't have to wait too long to see if my projections are right.

Rushing Yards Leader - Le'Veon Bell.

This comes with a caveat. If Le'Veon Bell reports to training camp and ends the holdout, playing all 16 games, he will be the rushing leader. If he misses any time, it's going to be cutting it close. Last year, in only 12 games, Bell rushed for over 1,200 yards. I believe he easily achieves that and eclipses it by 200+ yards. Le'Veon Bell will finish the year with 1450 rushing yards according to my projections, with the chance of finishing with 80+ receptions. That offense in Pittsburgh is going to be rolling this year if Antonio Brown, Martavis Bryant and Lev Bell are all on the field at the same time. I can't wait to see what they do this year.

Rushing Touchdowns Leader - David Johnson.

Not really a huge surprise here, but David Johnson is essentially guaranteed to score down near the goal-line. A phenomenal running back who had 16 rushing TD's last year, he's a near lock for the title in all expert rankings. I expect some TD regression, but wouldn't be shocked if he finished with more than what I project. He's far and away my #1 Running Back in all formats this year. You shouldn't be looking for anyone else with your #1 overall pick. 

Receiving Yards Leader - Julio Jones.

This one is close. In my projections, I have Julio Jones with 1,568 receiving yards and Antonio Brown with 1,560. Julio is just a monster. There is no other way to describe him. In PPR, I have him as my #2 WR but it's within 1 1/2 points for him, AJ Green and Odell Beckham Jr. At the top of your fantasy draft, you can't go wrong with any of those options. Just expect Julio Jones to come out on top with the most receiving yards.

Receiving Touchdowns Leader - Antonio Brown/Jordy Nelson.

As long as Big Ben is playing, and as long as Aaron Rodgers is playing, these two men will always be a threat to walk out of the season holding this category's title. Antonio Brown has not finished with less than 10 TD's the last three seasons. Jordy Nelson has finished the last two seasons that he's played with 13 and 14 TD's respectively. The interesting thing about both of these players is that neither are what you picture a TD leader looking like, but they consistently get it done. I expect both to be battling this out to the end of the season. I wouldn't be shocked if they went above where I have them projected with 12 TD's each.

QB Rushing Yards Leader - Tyrod Taylor.

These QB's are fantasy football gold. The Quarterbacks who take off and are involved in the game plan of the running attack are the ones who shoot up rankings even if they don't throw the ball a ton or throw many TD's. It helps even more when they get those valuable rushing TD's. Tyrod Taylor is by far my favorite QB for winning the rushing title this year. I have him down for 520 rushing yards which beats 2nd placed Russell Wilson by 80 yards. Love Taylor this year and would be comfortable with him as my starting Quarterback.

Thanks for reading everyone! Let me know if there's a topic that you'd be interested in hearing me write on. If you're interested in seeing the full list of my projections for almost every single player, you can go to the store section of my website and order the TFFL Draft Day Kit for only $5 until Monday, August 7th! Football's back, baby! Can't wait!

Kyle Yates