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16 bold fantasy football predictions for 2016

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Did I ever tell you about the time I totally called ...

No, no, no. I'll spare you. I mean, everybody wants to boast when they nail a prediction. It's one of the most basic of the human instincts: Eat, sleep, and brag about your "How I Met Your Mother" prediction or something. (For the record, I watched HIMYM in post. I streamed the series off FX and really enjoyed it, kind of bummed I never caught it live. But I got about five or six episodes away from the finale and told me friend [I'm Irish apparently, they'll never get me Lucky Charms!], "If it turns out the mother dies and Ted ends up with Robin, I'm going to burn your house to the ground." The dude deleted the final three episodes of the show off my DVR. So I actually don't know how it ended.)

So I totally get that you would want to brag. Not that you should brag. Because some of you need to practice some decorum. And by some of you, I'm of course talking about Le'Veon Bell who showed no chill this week in the wake of the Cleveland Cavaliers impressive championship. (Though in hindsight, the prediction was not as impressive as LeBron James rocking an Ultimate Warrior T-shirt. I loved the double-ended message sent here. Not only did he rock a super-cool wrestling tee which is always acceptable, he also slammed the Warriors, who kind of had it coming. Seriously, the Dubs pulled a pretty subtle heel turn during these finals. Everybody loved the Dubs up until Game 6. Actually, it was the (Richard) punch in Game 4. From that moment, it snowballed with Steph Curry throwing a tantrum and his mouth piece, which was overshadowed by Ayesha Curry going on a Twitter rant about how the NBA is fixed. That was some serious Christina Rice territory (read once in a while, millennials). And side note on Ayesha. If Steph was on "The Bachelor" and he had a hometown where he took Ayesha to meet his mother, wouldn't you be all, "Wow, the mom is much hotter?" You would, right? I don't think this is new territory. By the way, I also hate to give Producer TD credit [for real], but he has a point here with how the Warriors have escaped any criticism. It's not the best take, but pretty good for TD. Like a baby fawn walking for the first time.

But I digress. Wait, before I get back, how stoked would Ted Mosby be after the Cavs win? Or is this about the time in the story when his wife would have passed? ... Allegedly. I'm not sure. Let me reiterate this again: I never saw the end. EVER. Instead, I watched this.

However ... HOWEVER, as we move back to Le'Veon Bell (remember this is what stated this whole mess) who called the NBA Finals. Which is awesome.

Until he did this:

Come on, bruh.

Again, I get it. I remember when I nailed the Seahawks blowout over the Broncos in the Super Bowl a few years back (and the Patriots the following year at the beginning of the season). I didn't go out and RT myself. Have some couth. Have some pride. Have some friends who are willing to just go RT that (expletive) for you.

Don't you have some people, Le'Veon? In any event, we all love to make predictions and I'm no different. I mean fantasy enthusiasts, they're just like you! So I have decided to give you 16 predictions for the coming season. In other words, 16 opportunities for me to make an (donkey) out of myself. Here's the straight dope, though. If any of these predictions come through, I won't RT them. (I can't say the same for my pal, @AngelFanMP.)

16. Gio Bernard will breakout out and finish in the Top 10.

The Bengals lost a lot of targets, Gio is the third-best receiving option right now, maybe second if Tyler Eifert has a setback. Plus, I anticipate the Bengals struggling this year. Sorry Cincinnati fans, at least Dean Ambrose delivered you a championship.

15. No, this is the year for Ameer Abdullah.

I'm always prone to double-down on my own bad advice. But I loved Devonta Freeman as a rookie and that flamed out. But I grabbed him late in all of my drafts last year and reaped the rewards. Plus I own a pair of John Cena shoes because of that failed prediction, which makes me popular with my nieces and nephews. All the children of John Cena's fan base actually.

14. Ezekiel Elliott will be the top running back this year. Not top rookie running back, top fantasy running back.

I don't want this to come off as, "Hey anybody can thrive behind the Cowboys offensive line." But pretty much. He's going to challenge Eric Dickerson's rookie record. Dude (and I mean this in a gender-neutral way as I even call my nieces dude), think of it this way: Todd Gurley owned last year. He was coming off an injury and played for a team with no high-caliber offensive talent and a coach who might not know what he's doing. Elliott is healthy and behind the best line in the business.

13. You will undervalue Drew Brees this year and it will bum you out.

The only downside for Brees is that he has the Cardinals in Week 15. Stream Joe Flacco that week, he has the Eagles. (Assuming the Eagles haven't improved on D. Trust me, there will be a streamable options. Or to hell with it, just go footballs to the wall and throw Brees in your lineup against the Birds.)

12. Sterling Shepard will be the top rookie receiver.

There are a lot of good options out there, rookie-wise. But you can't find a better option for a guy who has an elite No. 1 opposite him, a good quarterback and a coach who throws the ball a lot. The Giants have added a lot of money to the D so we'll see if that translates into lower-scoring games for them.

11. Kamar Aiken will have 10 touchdowns.

I saw one expert had Aiken ranked as the WR65 behind Victor Cruz. I don't understand this at all.

10. Keenan Allen will score 12 TDs.

His career-high is eight, which came during his rookie season. I'm taking a leap of faith here.

9. Amari Cooper will be this year's Allen Robinson.

Cooper slowed at the end of last year because of injuries, but he did drop 120-and-2 on the Packers in Week 15.

8. C.J. Prosise will be the Seahawks fantasy points leader at running back.

The Seahawks offense is evolving and Prosise is going to be a big part of that.

7. I'm pro Jay Ajayi; he's going to be a top-10 running back.

He's fragile and I wouldn't want to build a dynasty squad around him. But for this year? In Adam Gase's offense as the lead back? I'm in.

6. All the cool kids will want to have the Jaguars D/ST.

My friends down in Duval County, Florida are going to be really good this year. I just hope the defense isn't so good it negatively impacts the offense.

5. Dez Bryant returns as a top-five wide receiver.

But Tony Romo is fragile. Uh, sure. Football is dangerous. But Romo and the Cowboys are going to be good this year. Don't underestimate how much Elliott is going to improve the passing game, just by being on the field.

4. Devontae Booker will end up as the top running back in Denver.

I love C.J. Anderson. He was one of my guys two years ago. But you have to love the way Booker runs the football.

3. John Brown is going to flirt with the top-10 in fantasy this year.

Fine, I'll say it. He's going to take top-10 honors home with him.

2. I won't regret taking Stephen Gostkowski in Round 5.

If you want a background to what I'm talking about, read this.

1. Antonio Brown will score 20 touchdowns this year. Twenty.

Todd Haley already said he wants Pittsburgh to average 30 points a game on offense. For that to happen, AB needs to go cray-cray. (I hate myself for even writing that. Not bad enough for me to go back and erase it.) Follow along #AB20 and get ready for one of the best receiving seasons of all-time.

Why wait? CLICK HERE to get your 2016 NFL Fantasy season started.

-- Follow Adam Rank on Twitter @AdamRank

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