Fantasy football is back and so are the dozens of players you drafted last season that disappointed you. Like you, several fantasy studs will be looking to bounce back in 2015 and it is time to put these guys on your draft day radar.
The wonderful thing about fantasy football is that like many NFL players, you get the chance to rebound and turn things around in under a year. So injuries and situations resulted in several bust picks in your draft. Some of those busts will be permanent while several others are poised to be undervalued in the 2015 draft.
Last year’s busts could be this year’s sleepers! It’s not just those first and second rounders that win you titles, it is having the knack with some luck to grab a good sleeper. Here are ten that have the potential to make some big comebacks next year.
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings – My number one comeback player of the season. I had a conversation with a friend recently and he asked me who would be the top player in fantasy this season. Without hesitation I said Adrian Peterson. I love him for a couple of reasons. One, he had an entire season off to rest his body. At his age with his wear and tear that is absolutely huge! Two, he hasn’t played with an offense like this in a long time. He has a couple of playmaking receivers, a playmaking QB, a playmaking TE, and a coach and coordinator that know how to get RBs involved in the offense. Look at what Matt Asiata did in this system last year. This guy is going to be a beast period!
Mike Wallace, Minnesota Vikings – Wallace is coming into Minnesota with a chip on his shoulder. Every interview I have read from Wallace indicates a guy who knows he is better than what he did in Miami. I agree. The biggest difference from the last few seasons is that teams can’t focus on Wallace. Wallace will be lined up with arguably the best running back in the NFL and teams will have to pick their poison. Wallace also has a QB who is a playmaker and can buy time allowing for Wallace to go deep. Throw in Norv Turner and you have a recipe for a huge bounce back season.
Keenan Allen, San Diego Chargers – Keenan broke my heart last season. I drafted him high, he stunk up the first half of the season, I traded him, and then he had a few break out games. Reports from San Diego indicate that he is having a real great camp. Even better, he won’t have Eddie Royal (and Antonio Gates for a few weeks) to steal touchdowns away from him. I like him a lot in a bounce back season.
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers – Davis has been a source of frustration for the last few seasons. After coming out of the gate red hot last season, David immediately quieted down and remained quiet the rest of the season. Reports out of camp are that tight ends coach Tony Sparano loves Davis and the feeling is mutual. New coach, new system, and a lot of trust from his QB leads me to believe that Davis will find his way back inside of the top 10 of TEs.
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I did not fall for the Doug Martin hype after a strong preseason showing last season and with good reason. This season is different. I am buying it. Lovie Smith has been talking up Martin all training camp and reports out of Tampa indicate he is lighting it up in training camp. Martin will benefit from being a part of one of the sneakiest offenses this season. With Mike Evans, Vincent Jackson, and Jamies Winston on the field, teams won’t be able to stack the box against Martin. The offensive line is also much better and while the Bucs aren’t going to be the Saints, I do see teams sleeping on them, especially early in the season. I certainly wouldn’t gamble on Martin with your first RB pick, but as an RB 2 I think he will have a solid season.
Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles – Call it the homer in me but I am super pumped about Bradford coming to the Eagles. The Eagles have arguably the best QB in franchise history at the helms this season with an offensive mastermind pulling the strings. The biggest issue with Bradford is health. He’s got weapons, a great offensive line, an innovative offensive, and the best fantasy RB from 2015 surrounding him this year. I love him and so should you.
Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Here we go again. I have never been a Vincent Jackson so count me out of the list of the same fantasy bloggers who predict bounce back seasons for him. This year is different. He has what appears to be the best QB he has played with in Tampa Bay. One report that caught my eye was one from Pro Football Focus that reported only 56% of Jackson’s targets were catchable. Even Jerry Rice couldn’t produce under those circumstances. The Bucs are openly talking about getting Jackson more involved and history shows that O.C. Dirk Koetter knows how to get wide receivers involved. I don’t think he’s a top 10 receiver but I do see him falling back in the top 15 by the end of the season.
Shane Vereen, New York Giants – I don’t know if I’d call Vereen a comeback player since he wasn’t put in anyone’s top 10 but he only finished the season with 1 TD for the Patriots. I like him a lot in the Giants offense. With ODB and Victor Cruz at receiver, Vereen should be able to capitalize on one-on-one coverage. I think he will wind up as the #1 back in New York due to his pass catching abilities which makes him a real sneaky sleeper this season, especially for PPR leagues.
Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens – I have two words for you, Marc Tressman. Tressman is an offensive genius and a guy that is tailor-made to bring the best out of Flacco. The addition of Breshad Perriman gives Flacco one of the most underrated receiver corps in the league. Flacco finished with respectable numbers last season. He’ll put up more than respectable numbers this season, he will be top 10 and a guy you can count on as a late QB in your draft.
Bonus: Chris Johnson, Arizona Cardinals – There are reports today that the Arizona Cardinals have signed the former fantasy stud to a one-year deal. This is big news and while many predicted a comeback year last season for Johnson, I wasn’t one of them. I feel different this year. This is the first season in Johnson’s career that he will be playing with an elite QB. That means that teams cannot stuff the box against Johnson like they have in most seasons. He is also playing behind one of the better lines in the league this year. I like Johnson a ton this year if he can remain healthy.