Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsFormer Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown holds his helmet before the Aug. 22 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Brown was released on Saturday and signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots.

The Antonio Brown roller coaster ripped through shocking twists on Saturday, leading to his release from the Oakland Raiders and agreement on a one-year contract with the New England Patriots.

Brown’s Oakland release came as much of the franchise’s fan-base was still sleeping the morning after the mercurial star wide receiver issued a public apology for his recent antics.

Projecting that Brown’s tenure with the Raiders would end without playing a single game and he would be in line to suit up Week 2 for the Patriots would have seemed crazy just a week ago, even after a series of well-publicized issues throughout training camp that would have scared off most NFL front offices.

The ‘AB saga,’ of the last 72 hours is yet another reminder that, even entering its 100th season, the NFL remains the most unpredictable sports entity.

With that in mind, here is a fantasy prediction for each NFL team as we all officially move past offseason drama and enjoy the first full Sunday of the NFL season.


Buffalo Bills: Devin Singletary quickly takes control of this backfield and finishes with the most fantasy points among rookie running backs.

Miami Dolphins: Unlike in 2018, the magic fizzles early for Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen supplants him by Week 4 in an offense that produces minimal fantasy value.

New England Patriots: Antonio Brown settles in quickly as the top option in Tom Brady’s receiving corps, and finishes with at least 100 catches and 1,200 receiving yards for the seventh straight season.

New York Jets: Le’Veon Bell comes back with a force following his year-long holdout and finishes as a top-five overall fantasy RB.


Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson provides weekly highlights and finishes as a top-six fantasy QB.

Cincinnati Bengals: Third-year RB Joe Mixon tops 1,500 yards from scrimmage and scores double digit touchdowns for the first time in his career.

Cleveland Browns: WR Odell Beckham Jr. finishes with at least 90 catches, 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns for the first time since 2016, as he did in each of his first three seasons.

Pittsburgh Steelers: RB James Conner and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster each post top-10 positional finishes, easily helping Steelers and fantasy fans put the Bell-Brown days in the past.


Houston Texans: RB Duke Johnson more than doubles his career high in rushing yards (379), established in his rookie season of 2015.

Indianapolis Colts: RB Marlon Mack isn’t hampered by the retirement of Andrew Luck, posting a top-12 positional finish as a weekly RB1 behind a strong offensive line.

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jacksonville defense recaptures its 2017 ‘Sacksonville,’ swagger and finishes as the top fantasy defense, providing a few difference-making weeks.

Tennessee Titans: Ryan Tannehill becomes a popular QB streamer during the fantasy stretch run.


Denver Broncos: Royce Freeman regains the lead-back role from fellow second-year RB Phillip Lindsay and finishes as a weekly fantasy starter.

Kansas City Chiefs: QB Patrick Mahomes repeats as the overall fantasy QB1 as the offense keeps clicking after a prolific 2018 campaign.

Los Angeles Chargers: Mike Williams emerges as the most-coveted fantasy player for the Chargers, producing a double-digit TD total for the second straight year while improving his 43 catches for 664 yards.

Oakland Raiders: Former Clemson standout Hunter Renfrow finishes as the least likely top-40 fantasy WR.


Dallas Cowboys: Ezekiel Elliott proves his worth and leads the league in rushing for the third time in four years, while finishing as an overall top-three RB in fantasy.

New York Giants: Second-year sensation Saquon Barkley joins Roger Craig (1985) and Marshall Faulk (1999) as the only RBs to surpass 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season.

Philadelphia Eagles: OK, let’s get wild. The Eagles trade for RB Melvin Gordon and he posts RB1 numbers during the fantasy stretch run.

Washington Redskins: RB Derrius Guice rushes for 1,000 yards in his first NFL season following a torn ACL in the 2018 preseason, providing the lone fantasy bright spot in Washington.


Chicago Bears: In his second season with Matt Nagy’s offense and another year removed from a torn ACL suffered in Week 1 of 2017, WR Allen Robinson returns to top-12 WR form.

Detroit Lions: WR Kenny Golladay takes another step in his third season and improves on last year’s career highs of 70 catches, 1,063 yards and five touchdowns.

Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers returns to elite form and duels with Patrick Mahomes for top fantasy QB honors throughout the season.

Minnesota Vikings: Dalvin Cook rewards the Vikings’ renewed emphasis on the run game and posts top-10 RB fantasy numbers.


Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones continues his career dominance while Calvin Ridley emerges, finishing as the top-scoring WR tandem in fantasy.

Carolina Panthers: Following a preseason where teammate Curtis Samuel was endlessly hyped, second-year Maryland product D.J. Moore will be the breakout fantasy star among Carolina WRs.

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees finishes outside of the top 10 fantasy QBs for the first time since arriving in New Orleans for the 2006 season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: O.J. Howard ascends to fantasy superstar status and finishes as a top-three fantasy TE and a true difference-maker at another shallow season at the position.


Arizona Cardinals: The Kliff Kingsbury air raid offense takes flight, for at least one season, and QB Kyler Murray records a top-five fantasy QB season.

Los Angeles Rams: Todd Gurley silences his offseason concerns and wins fantasy leagues for those who drafted him in the second or third round of drafts.

San Francisco 49ers: RB Matt Breida, who averaged 5.3 yards per carry on 153 attempts last season, outworks Tevin Coleman for the lead-back role and logs his first career 1,000-yard rushing season.

Seattle Seahawks: D.K. Metcalf emerges as Russell Wilson’s favorite red-zone target and registers the top fantasy season among rookie wide receivers.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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