7 Bold Fantasy Football Predictions About the Upcoming 2016 Season

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse the slideshow

Donte Moncrief Will Be a Top-10 Wide Receiver

By JJ Zachariason

This year's breakout wide receiver? Look no further than Donte Moncrief.

It's true that I have a love for Marvin Jones this season, but Jones also doesn't have the potential ceiling that Moncrief does this year. Take a look at how 'Crief performed with Andrew Luck under center last season versus teammate T.Y. Hilton.

With Luck in 2015 Targets/G Rec/G Yards/G TD/G FP/G
Moncrief 7.71 4.57 50.14 0.71 13.87
Hilton 9.29 4.43 78.29 0.43 14.83

For reference, that 13.87 points per game average (PPR) prorates to about 222 points across the season, which are top-20 numbers at the wide receiver position.

But here's the thing: Luck wasn't even very effective last year as a passer. According to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, among the 37 passers with 200 or more drop backs last year, Luck's 0.08 Passing NEP per drop back rate ranked 20th. He was actually a below-average signal-caller last year. Any improvement is a plus for Moncrief.

It's true that the Colts offensive line is messy, but that actually may benefit Moncrief as well -- Hilton's the player who needs the time to create space downfield, whereas Moncrief could act as more of a security blanket in the offense. After all, Moncrief did have more receptions than Hilton with a healthy Luck last season, and it shouldn't surprise anyone if he outdoes him again in that category in 2016.

The Colts will be pass-happy given the team's personnel and lack of defensive prowess (they rank in the bottom half according to our preseason numbers), which means there should be plenty of volume for Moncrief to push for a top-10 wide receiver spot this year. At the very least, he's undervalued at his current average draft position given his averages with Luck last year.