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Dominick Petrillo's 2019 Blind Dart Throws


I have never been a huge fan of spicy food. So, instead of spicy takes, I am going to compare my bold predictions to throwing blindly at a dartboard and hoping for a few bullseyes. It seems like an appropriate analogy anyway. Anyone standing nearby better watch out!

Don’t get me wrong, these will still be spicy. Anyone can predict something which will never happen just to make headlines. That is not me. If it is in this article, it is something I feel could actually happen. Don’t look for anything crazy like Benny Snell leading the NFL in rushing. Or Andrew Luck to suddenly retire. Oh wait...

With the parameters set, let us now take a look at some dart throws which will hopefully hit the mark in 2019.

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Justice Hill will lead the Ravens in rushing

If you have interacted with me on Twitter or listened to my podcast, you know I love Justice Hill this coming season. Not only is he the best back in Baltimore, but he is also a three-down back who could be a poor man’s Alvin Kamara. This bodes well for Mark Ingram, who has never excelled as a lead back even in the potent Saints offense. He will be able to continue in his thunder role as a complement to the lightning which will be Hill.

Although he only played in 10 games for Oklahoma State last season, Hill had 13 touchdowns. This came after a sophomore season in which he had 17 scores. He is a talented runner who, as a true freshman, beat out incumbent Chris Carson for the job in Stillwater. How is Chris Carson doing in Seattle? He is pretty good right?

Look for Justice Hill to take over the backfield by mid-season and lead fantasy teams to a championship.

 

Noah Fant will finish as a top-10 tight end

Another thing I have been saying all offseason is that Noah Fant is going to eat this season. I know rookie tight ends don’t usually pan out for the best. So yes, this is a bit of a shot for sure. But most rookie tight ends also don’t have TE-loving Joe Flacco flinging them the ball.

There has been a solid rookie tight end for fantasy purposes each of the last two seasons. First, Evan Engram with the injury to Odell Beckham in 2017. Last season it was Mark Andrews with the Ravens. This season it will be Fant. Like Engram, Fant can not block worth a lick. And also like Engram, he is an athletic machine who is more of a big receiver and less of a traditional tight end.

T.J. Hockenson may very well have the better career. But his downfall is his all-around athletic ability. He will be kept in to block on run plays as well as on all-out blitzes. This means at least for 2019 he isn’t the one to own for fantasy.

As for Noah Fant. He is on an offense which is going to struggle if the line does not improve. Even if it does improve, Flacco has taken less talented tight ends and made them fantasy viable. It will be fun to see what he can do with the most athletic player he has ever had at the position.

 

Julio Jones will get to 2,000 receiving yards. Amari Cooper? Not so much.

That's right, Julio Jones will be the first wide receiver in history to get to 2,000 yards in a single season. Julio Jones is consistently over 1,500 yards and in 2018 had 1,677. This season he will take the step and become the first 2,000-yard receiver ever.

Some people project Cooper to take a leap forward in his first full season in Big D. The truth is, Atlanta's offense is much better than that of the Cowboys. Not to mention he has a true passer as a quarterback in Matt Ryan. Sure, Dak Prescott is a solid player. But there is a difference in a player and a thrower. Prescott will be a 3,500-yard passer whereas Matt Ryan consistently goes over 4,000.

 

David Montgomery will lead the NFL in rushing

If you look at recent rushing leaders, there is a trend. In two of the last three seasons it has been a rookie. Ezekiel Elliott in 2016 and Kareem Hunt in 2017. The other trend is they normally come from the NFC. Even looking at the top consensus running backs, the top five are all from the NFC, if you include Elliott.

These factors all bode well for Montgomery, who is going to be on a talented Bears team who will want to rely on their defense to win. This will mean a lot of running the ball. Who else is going to do it? Tarik Cohen?

Jordan Howard had 250 carries for Chicago last season. He finished as a top-20 fantasy back in PPR leagues despite not being involved in the passing game. Those carries, or at least 85% of them are going to Montgomery, who also has pass-catching chops. This will allow him to stay on the field no matter the situation and allow him to compile stats. Not only should he win the offensive rookie of the year, but with the award, the rushing title as well.

Good luck with all of your teams and may you avoid injuries or misfortune!

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