Preseason Bold Predictions Revisited: AFC South
The NFL season is at its halfway point and it seems just like yesterday we were making our bold preseason predictions for this year. As the season continues at a relentless pace we wanted to revisit our preseason predictions. Find out in this 8-part series what we got wrong, what we got right, as well as a new bold prediction for the second half of the season. In part two we will focus on the AFC South. This division has been ugly and it’s still completely up for grabs.
Original Prediction: Travis Etienne goes for 1200 yards
Currently: Etienne has 728 yards on the season and looks well on his way to crushing this goal. This prediction started shakily but the Jaguars have finally pushed their chips in on Etienne and have traded off James Robinson.
New Prediction - Travis Etienne not only finishes with the 1200 yards but finishes as a top 8 PPR back on the season. Over the past 4 weeks has averaged 125.75 yards per game. Over a 17 game stretch that would have him gaining 2,137 yards. While it’s a small sample size, it’s fair to believe we still haven’t even seen the best of Etienne. Barring injury, he should be a locked-in RB1 for the rest of the season.
Original Prediction - Derrick Henry rushes for 2K yards again
Currently- Derrick Henry is sitting at 755 rushing yards through 7 games. This is an average of almost 108 which puts him on pace for 1833. However, Henry got off to a bit of a slow start this season and if you take his average over the last 4 games, he’s averaging a little over 140 yards a game. If you extrapolate that throughout a 17 game season he would be on pace to shatter the single-season rushing record with just shy of 2400 yards. While he’s slightly behind pace Henry has a good chance to hit that 2K plateau with two games against the Jaguars and another game against the Texans in the second half of the season.
New Prediction - Derrick Henry doubles his career high in receptions and receiving yards for a season. His previous highs were 19 receptions (2020) and 206 yards (2019). Derrick Henry the PPR back has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? While he’ll never be a dual threat he has quietly added pass-catching to his arsenal and is sitting at 14 receptions for 140 yards on the season. We think he’ll double those career highs.
Original Prediction - Nico Collins finishes as a top 24 fantasy WR
Currently: This one has been rough. Collins hasn’t come close to producing at a clip that would even make him a fringe starter, let alone a WR2. He currently sits at WR71 on the season and is dealing with a groin injury to boot.
New Prediction - Dameon Pierce (currently RB14 in PPR) will not finish as a top 20 PPR back. While Pierce has been the lone bright spot on this anemic Texans offense, the stretch run doesn’t look to be an easy one. The Texans’ opponents the rest of the way have combined for 46 wins and only 30 losses, with only Indianapolis and Jacksonville having losing records. Those are also the last two games of the season.
Original Prediction - Matt Ryan finishes as a QB1
Currently - Oof, another ugly one. Matt Ryan is currently QB 23 on the season and has been supplanted by Sam Ehlinger atop the depth chart. It is likely that Ryan has played his last game as a Colt, and possibly his last game as an NFL player.
New Prediction - Jonathan Taylor, arguably the year's biggest bust and RB33 currently, will get things turned around and sneak back into the top 12 RBs by season's end. With the departure of Nyheim Hines, and the inexperienced Ehlinger, Taylor should see enough volume to regain some of the traction he has lost throughout the season.
That’s it for the AFC South. Join us later today as we break down the NFC East. Make sure to leave your comments below, we would love to know what you love, what you hate, and what you think we’re completely out in left field on.