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Matty Kiwoom’s Top 3 Bold Predictions for the 2021 Season

The NFL season kicks off this week! Fantasy drafts are all pretty much over. Team builders are already roster-bating as they wait until their players start accruing some actual stats. Now is the perfect time to drop some of my bold takes for the 2021 season. I love bold takes because they are really just personal beliefs being disguised as bold to protect the person claiming them. And in someone’s bold predictions you can find real nuggets that can help (or hurt) your season outlook. Without further a due, Matty Kiwoom’s top 3 bold predictions for the 2021 season.

Donald Parham will be a top 10 TE in 2021

The Los Angeles Chargers have some legit weapons on their offense. Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and Keenan Allen are all sought after players in everyone’s fantasy draft. But there is another teammate of theirs that I think team builders should be more excited about. His name is Donald Parham and why should people be more excited? Because I believe Donald Parham will finish as a top 10 TE in 2021.

Donald Parham is a 6’8” tight end that runs a 4.73 40-yard dash (67th percentile). His 129.9 Burst score and 10.29 Catch Radius both rank better than 90% of the NFL, according to PlayerProfiler. In 2020, he saw 20 targets and caught 10 of them for 3 touchdowns. Take this however you’d like but in 2019, Parham caught 24 balls for 307 yards with 4 touchdowns for the XFL’s Dallas Renegades. They only played 5 games, so he averaged about 5 receptions, 61 yards and almost a td a game. Kid can produce.

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His new offensive coordinator, Joe Lombardi has produced a top 13 TE in his offense before. It has been some time since he was an OC.  It was 2015 to be exact but it doesn’t change the fact that he had a young tight end on his rosters and his scheme allowed him to be the 13th ranked TE that year. In his offense in 2015, the QB targeted the tight end nearly 25% of the time. That mark would be fantastic given the talent of his current QB, Justin Herbert. Lombardi is also raving about Parham’s growth to the media. Positive signs for the young pass catcher.

The largest hurdle in his way is his teammate Jared Cook. Cook is a perennial fantasy produced but he is 34 years old. The Chargers signed him for 1 year, $4.5 million. If Parham out produces Cook or if Cook begins to break down given his age the contract obligation will not push Parham away from getting more opportunities. Grab Donald Parham if you still can because I think we are in for a fun ride in 2021.

Mike Davis is an RB 2 again this year

Mike Davis is easily one of the biggest fantasy football villains heading into the season. I do not say that because he is a bad guy.  I say that because he is wildly considered a bust across the industry. You will see Davis frequent “Do not draft” lists, but I am here to say that he will make fools out of a ton of very smart fantasy football analysts. Because in 2021, Mike Davis will once again shock the world and finish as a top 15 RB in fantasy football.

Last season as the Panthers’ primary running back after Christian McCaffrey went down, Davis stepped up and had a pretty productive season. In 15 games played he racked up 1,015 yards from scrimmage (both rushing and receiving) and scored 8 times. Sometimes volume can lead to production, which Davis did get, but he also displayed some skills too. He evaded 72 tackles (8th most from RB), had a 32.1% Juke Rate (3rd best from RB), created 700 yards (8th best from RB) and created 3.13 yards per touch (10th best from RB). Not too shabby.

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Let me be clear, I do not really look at Mike Davis as a top running back talent in the NFL. But what is so important in fantasy football is opportunity. Davis scores well in both of those categories.  Last season, Todd Gurley saw just about 19 touches over the 1st 9 weeks. Given how efficient Davis was in 2020 I think getting those touches will provide RB 2 points for your fantasy roster. People are worried about the backups in Atlanta.  I am not one of those people.

Wayne Gallman was brought in off the street and Cordarrelle Patterson is 30 and has only played RB in the last couple of years of his career. A lot believed that Javian Hawkins was the guy to supplant Davis. Hawkins is no longer with the Falcons because he is now on the Titans’ roster.  It is hard to prove without a shadow of a doubt that anyone other than Davis will handle the load at RB for Atlanta.

Javonte Williams is the rookie RB you will want to roster in 2021

In the 2021 NFL Draft the Denver Broncos traded up to select running back from UNC, Javonte Williams with the 3rd pick in round 2. His ADP has fluctuated throughout draft season. Many believe Williams has a ton of talent while others are overly concerned with Melly Gordon still in Denver. I tend to bet on talent and there is no doubt Williams is talented. That is why Javonte Williams will finish as the best rookie RB in fantasy football this season.

Javonte Williams finished his college career with a 96.3 rushing grade according to PFF and that places him 2nd on their all-time list. He had a monster final season at UNC. Williams rushed for 1,140 yards, racked up 305 receiving yards and scored 22 total touchdowns. His 9.2% Target Share places him in the 73rd percentile according to PlayerProfiler. I know we don’t get points for past college performance but he is a rookie after all.  It is not like I am digging for things to mention because it happened last year. Let’s look at how he did in his limited time in the preseason.

On 12 carries, Williams ran for 49 yards (4.08 yards per carry) and added a catch for 5 yards. His numbers do not pop off the screen.  His 4 yards per carry are enough to prove he isn’t out of place. He looked agile which makes sense given his 11.02 Agility Score (89th percentile) on PlayerProfiler. Javonte even looked solid in pass pro and that is great to see because it allows him to play on all 3 downs. Head Coach Vic Fangio even voiced that very thing. He was quoted saying, “he’s earned that trust and we’re not at all against playing him in any situation, in any time of the game.” William’s coach likes him, Denver’s team builder likes him, and the fantasy football world should like him.

Teddy Bridgewater is the Broncos starting quarterback. He has liked to throw to his running backs throughout his career. Last season, Mike Davis (yes, previously mentioned Mike Davis) ranked 5th in RB targets (70) and 4th in RB receptions (59).  So, who was the QB in Davis’s offense? Teddy Bridge! The Denver starting QB had great things to say about Williams to the media. Mentioning that Javonte Williams has a lot of the same traits he saw in Alvin Kamara. High praise no question so it is wheels up for Javonte Williams in 2021.

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So to recap:

-Chargers’ TE, Donald Parham will finish as a top 10 TE option in 2021
-Falcons’ RB, Mike Davis will finish as a top 15 RB in 2021
-Broncos’ RB, Javonte Williams will finish as the best rookie RB in 2021.

Tell me what you think on twitter…@MattyKiwoom and make sure to check out the latest episode of Kiwoom and Jones: Fantasy Football Show on the CGS Podcast Network.

-Matty Kiwoom

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photo credit: atlantafalcons.com

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