2012 Fantasy Football: 10 Comeback Players to Trust
Every year some players will fall off fantasy owners' radars due to a myriad of reasons, but only to come back and quell the notion that they are done.
Whether it be injuries, suspensions, clashes with coaches or just your random underachieving, many players will get lost in the shuffle and in some cases be left for dead.
In this slideshow, I will go over 10 comeback players you should try extending the olive branch to, as these players should have plenty of gas left in their tank for successful rebound seasons.
Philip Rivers: San Diego Chargers
If last year was a “down” year for Rivers, then I’m willing to live with it, but regardless, he should be in store for an even better year in 2012. Rivers' stock is dropping and he is providing great value in the middle rounds of drafts.
Last year Rivers threw for 4,624 yards and 27 touchdowns (with a career-high 20 interceptions), but in his previous three-years, Rivers has averaged 4,324 yards and 30 touchdowns a season while throwing on average 11 picks a year.
While Vincent Jackson may have bolted, Rivers still has quality targets in Antonio Gates, Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem, Vincent Brown and Eddie Royal to connect with.
If he can drop to say the fourth or fifth round, then Rivers will provide great bang for your buck.
Chris Johnson: Tennessee Titans
I’m betting on the notion that CJ2K’s 2011 season was an aberration and not a trend. Players of Johnson’s pedigree don’t just grow on trees.
Johnson should be back to full health and be ready to once again carry the Titans’ offense and fantasy owners in the process.
While Johnson may have a hard time replicating his 2008-2010 numbers, he’s a good bet to surpass the pedestrian numbers he posted last year and be a reliable force once again.
DeSean Jackson: Philadelphia Eagles
Most of the time when you are in a contract year, you’re supposed to ramp up your production and then get your pay day. However, Jackson’s contract issue served as a black cloud and he never got comfortable while having a so-so year.
Regardless, Jackson and the Eagles came to an agreement on a new contract this offseason and now that it is out of the way, Jackson should feel relaxed and go about his business.
With Jackson only 25, expect him to blossom in the Eagles’ potent offense this year. Without all of the same distractions that plagued the Eagles last year, expect Michael Vick and Jackson to pick up where they left off in 2010.
Jamaal Charles: Kansas City Chiefs
Yeah, I know that Charles is coming off a major injury (torn ACL), but by all accounts he looks fantastic in camp so far.
In fact, Romeo Crennel cleared Charles to play in Friday’s exhibition opener.
Friday will provide a good opportunity to gauge how healthy Charles looks. Reports out of Kansas City claim Charles is running and cutting at full speed.
Torn ACL’s are not a death sentence for running backs and since Charles injured his knee in Week 2 of last season, he has had almost a full year to recuperate. Here is a great article from CBSsports.com’s C.J. Moore which explains this line of thinking.
Miles Austin: Dallas Cowboys
Although a lot of people are heaping a lot of praise on Dez Bryant, many people are overlooking the talents and reliability of Austin.
Tony Romo and Austin have been hooking up for nearly five years, and Romo trusts Austin. While Bryant and Jason Witten will get their looks, Austin will not be ignored. Although he has a gimpy hamstring right now, Austin still appears to be on track to open the season.
With Austin missing six games last year, he and Romo never got into a consistent rhythm. Now that they have OTA’s and the preseason to get caught up to speed, Austin should have numbers in line with those of a No. 2 wide receiver.
With last year’s injury concerns combined with his hamstring problem this summer, Austin will drop on draft day and could be a nice value pick in rounds six or later.
Jermichael Finley: Green Bay Packers
By no means were Finley’s overall stats from last year (55 receptions for 767 yards and eight touchdowns) a disappointment. However, Finley never showed any true consistency as three of his touchdowns last year came in one game, while two of his other touchdowns were in Weeks 16 and 17, where fantasy players either had him benched or did not need him to play in those weeks.
With Finley holding up for a full year, expect Aaron Rodgers to start relying more on his young tight end going forward, as more and more teams will key their coverage on the Packers’ electrifying receivers (Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson, etc.).
Finley is a wide-bodied playmaker who is still a major threat in the red zone. Finley will make for a great selection in rounds eight or later.
Mike Williams: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I don’t know, but a guy like Williams, who posted 65 receptions for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns in his rookie season, doesn’t simply forget how to play.
While, yes, Williams’ 2011 numbers were ugly, Williams simply possesses too much talent to be ignored. With Vincent Jackson about to demand attention opposite him, you can expect Williams to take advantage of single-coverage looks and Josh Freeman is a good enough quarterback to get him the ball.
Williams is definitely going to be drafted as a reserve, but he has the upside to post numbers of a No. 2 wide receiver.
Peyton Manning: Denver Broncos
If there is anyone that can come back from a major injury, it is Manning.
For a guy who started 208 consecutive games (not counting playoffs) prior to last year, Manning has the history to suggest that he should hold up for the majority of the season. Besides, have you seen any discouraging preseason reports to suggest otherwise?
With emerging weapons in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker at his disposal, Manning should put up top-10 quarterback-type numbers once again.
Matt Schaub: Houston Texans
Looking for a high-end No. 2 quarterback with potential for No. 1 numbers? Then you should take a look at Schaub.
It wasn’t that long ago that Schaub was hooking up with Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and Arian Foster for countless touchdowns and gaudy yardage.
With the Texans’ offense still intact, Schaub should have no trouble picking up where he left off. As long as Johnson is healthy (which appears to be the case), Schaub should put up numbers to be a dependable quarterback.
Santana Moss: Washington Redskins
Moss, who has always been a solid receiver, had trouble last season connecting with a revolving duo of underachieving quarterbacks in John Beck and Rex Grossman. But now that Moss has Robert Griffin III throwing him the ball, there should be some continuity going forward.
With the Redskins also adding other weapons in Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan in the offseason, Moss won’t feel the burden of trying to carry the Redskins’ offense.
Moss should feel comfortable in the Redskins’ remodeled offense and although he’ll likely be drafted as a reserve, don’t be surprised to see Moss post No. 2-type wide receiver numbers.
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