DLF’s 2015 Predictions: Comeback Player of the Year

Ken Kelly


This is one of our favorite times of the year. After working hard to produce an unprecedented amount content all off-season, we can finally look forward to the 2015 Fantasy Football season in our beloved dynasty leagues – that means it’s time for our annual fantasy predictions. We gathered a ton opinions from the DLF Team and compiled eight different articles for the upcoming fantasy year. The categories were as follows:

Fantasy MVP
Fantasy Rookie of the Year
Most Overvalued Dynasty Player
Most Undervalued Dynasty Player
Fantasy Sleeper
Best Dynasty Buy
Best Dynasty Sell
Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year 

We’re finishing up the series today with “Comeback Player of the Year.”  Let’s finish strong!

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Austan Kas
Bishop Sankey, RB TEN

Nothing excites me like a post-hype sleeper. With Marcus Mariota on board, Tennessee will run some spread read-option looks, which open up lanes for running backs (see: Alfred Morris’ numbers with and without Robert Griffin III). Sankey is on the clearance rack right now and he’s certainly worth the gamble.

Jacob Feldman
Victor Cruz, WR NYG

There are two great options here with Adrian Peterson being the other one. I went with Cruz because he actually has an injury to overcome and his ADP is much, much lower. I think Cruz is going to post his third 1,000 yard season in five years this year (he had 998 yards in 2013), and his ADP at this time next year will be in the first few rounds again.

Eric Olinger
Carson Palmer, QB ARI

The default answer is Adrian Peterson, but I’ll take the load less traveled and say Palmer. It was extremely unfortunate for the Cardinals when Palmer went down with an ACL injury last year. He was playing some of the best ball of his career. In just six games, he had 1,626 yards with 11 touchdowns to only three interceptions. He had a real connection with intriguing rookie receiver John Brown and breathed life into Larry Fitzgerald’s game. Coach Arians love slinging the ball around and Palmer has shown no limitations coming off of surgery. He’s a QB1 with a late QB2 price tag.

Chris Heil
Doug Martin, RB TB

For the first time in a while there won’t be as much stress for Martin to really carry the team. The focus will be on Jameis Winston and the two receivers. I think Martin will never get back to what some thought he could be, but he will still bounce back and be a top 20 running back this year.

Jarrett Behar
Doug Martin, RB TB

Martin has looked electric in the preseason after shedding weight this off-season.  The Tampa Bay offensive line will hold him back some, but the Muscle Hamster looks shifty and powerful enough to make an impact.

Benton McDonald
Sam Bradford, QB PHI

Coming off an ACL tear, Bradford is the best quarterback Chip Kelly has had in Philadelphia along with a nice young corps of receivers and Bradford’s former teammate at Oklahoma and NFL leading rusher DeMarco Murray. Quarterbacks are a very safe position and Bradford has a cheap price point and high upside.

Ryan Finley
Keenan Allen, WR SD

Allen didn’t have the best 2014, but his value may have dropped a bit too much due to his sophomore slump. He’s a talented receiver with a quarterback in Philip Rivers who just signed a long extension. I expect them to be sharing touchdown passes for some time and we may look back and wonder why we rated Allen so low after one down year.

Matt Price
Adrian Peterson, RB MIN

This is probably too obvious of an answer, but I just can’t bring myself to pick anyone else. An angry and motivated Peterson playing with perhaps the best supporting cast he has ever had could be a beautiful thing to watch. I’m not betting against him.

Nathan Miller
Danny Woodhead, RB SD

Missing most of 2014 with a broken leg, Woodhead has more talent than inches in stature. I fully expect Melvin Gordon to continue to struggle with the zone blocking scheme and his ability to pass block during his rookie campaign, clearing a larger path for Woodhead to gain steam on the ground and through the air. I’m targeting Woodhead heavily this season.

cruzDr. Scott Peak
Victor Cruz, WR NYG

Cruz sustained one of the worst injuries possible last year – a patellar tendon rupture. Since that time, he’s been hands-off in dynasty formats. I think concern over his recovery is certainly valid and a dismal track record for other players with this injury only increases doubts about his return to past performance. One fact not mentioned is the limited sample of NFL veterans who have sustained a patellar tendon rupture. The most prominent player is Cadillac Williams. In short, there have been few players with the stature of Cruz who have sustained this injury. He will get every opportunity from the Giants to regain his form. It’s easy to cut a player who doesn’t have a big contract or isn’t a big part of the game plan. Cruz is an important player for the Giants, is a hard worker and could exceed very low expectations this year.

James Simpson
Sam Bradford, QB PHI

Last year, Russell Wilson took many fantasy teams to the playoffs. Especially in 2QB leagues, Wilson was part of endless winning combinations. It wasn’t simply because he finished as a top six quarterback, but because he was being drafted outside of the top 100 and far exceeded his expected production while allowing his owners to address the rest of their teams early on in drafts – Bradford will be the quarterback who does that this year. At 156th overall and QB18, don’t wait until the season starts to acquire him. In Chip Kelly’s offense, he will quickly remind everyone of the play that made him a number one NFL Draft pick.

Brian Malone
Keenan Allen, WR SD

After a highly efficient 2013, Allen’s injury-plagued 2014 has some calling him the second-best wide receiver on his own team behind Stevie Johnson.  Allen will put that talk to rest with a high-end WR2 season in 2015.  Despite his 2014 inefficiency, Allen drew more targets per game from Philip Rivers than he got in 2013.  Rivers trusts Allen and I expect a healthy Allen to reward that trust in 2015.

Rob Leath
Tyler Eifert, TE CIN

To this point, Eifert’s value has been derived from draft pedigree and theoretical upside. This is the year he ends speculation and cements himself as a clear TE1.

Adam Tzikas
Andre Johnson, WR IND

Johnson ended the year as the WR28 with a career low in receptions and only three touchdowns, letting down not only his team, but his fantasy owners as well. A usually consistence force in fantasy had fallen. Cut to a year later, he is getting another go of things and this time his quarterback won’t be a rotating cast of mediocrity. I am very excited to see what Andrew Luck can do to help vault Johnson back to the production the future Hall of Famer is still capable of.

Jeff Beran
Doug Martin, RB TB

From being ranked as the top dynasty running back after his fantastic rookie season in 2012 to being put out to pasture after disastrous injury-plagued seasons in 2013 and 2014, Martin will re-establish himself as a solid RB2 in 2015.  A conservative head coach in Lovie Smith and a rookie quarterback in Jameis Winston should help the process along with plenty of checkdowns.

Izzy Elkeffas
Stevie Johnson, WR SD

Adrian Peterson is the obvious pick and Doug Martin will be the new darling. Instead of piling on, I’ll go deep in the bin for Stevie Johnson. I debated between Stevie and Marvin Jones, but ultimately Stevie is more likely setup for success. He walks into the WR2 spot in San Diego with Antonio Gates serving suspension and Keenan Allen coming off a disappointing sophomore season. We can’t forget Stevie had three straight 1,000 yard seasons with the best quarterback throwing to him being Ryan Fitzpatrick. Still just 29 years old, he can definitely come up with 1,000 yards and will destroy his WR71 (WR7/8) price tag – which is basically free.

Kyle Pollock
CJ Spiller, RB NO

While the obvious choice here is Peterson, I won’t include him here because he’s not coming back from injury and time off may have actually helped him. Spiller is expected to play the Darren Sproles role for the Saints. He should be a monster in PPR leagues if he can stay healthy this season.

Jeff Miller
Brian Quick, WR STL

Well, fancy that, I found a way to slide ol’ Brian in this series for a fourth time. OK, fine, I am using a bit of hyperbole as it relates to Quick, but I just can’t help myself. I’m so overflowing with confidence Quick ends up a WR2, I feel the need to shout it from the rooftops. I’m going to keep beating this drum until one of three things happens: 1. I’m wrong; 2. He files a restraining order against me; 3. Our fearless editor, Ken Kelly, stops publishing my articles.

Jeff Levy
Eric Ebron, TE DET

After his disappointing rookie season, the Lions’ first round pick has shown all signs of having his head in the right place.  This year he’ll take a big step forward as the number three target behind Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate.  He won’t breach the incredibly sparse top tier of TEs by next season, but he’ll be solidly in the conversation.

Mo Brewington
Sam Bradford, QB PHI

I couldn’t write this one without giving a gushing account of how Sam Bradford was going to take the league by storm and you all would have laughed at me, so I’m throwing in the towel. But Sam Bradford IS going to be the Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year! Mark my words! #IHSH- If he stays healthy.

Tyler Huggins
Danny Trevathan, LB DEN

The forgotten man in Denver after having most of his 2014 season wrecked by injury, Trevathan is ready to shine once again. He can be had for a song right now and offers legitimate elite upside. All news out of Bronco camp indicates he is ready to go for week one. If he can finally put the injuries behind him I believe a LB1 season is on the horizon.

allenEric Burtzlaff
Keenan Allen, WR SD

With the suspension of Antonio Gates, Allen is going to get extra targets and has been building chemistry with Rivers all off-season. I see a three-year comeback in Keenan’s future. High side WR2 numbers wouldn’t be crazy.

Justin Heustis
Sam Bradford, QB PHI

Bradford was hand picked by Chip Kelly and in command of one of the league’s best offenses. Things are lining up perfectly for Bradford to finally live up to his number one overall draft pedigree.

Bruce Matson
Sam Bradford, QB PHI

He has the opportunity this season to become a top ten fantasy quarterback. He’s in the perfect situation to generate high caliber fantasy production. It will be a tremendous story since he missed the entire season last year to an ACL injury.

Doug Green
Sam Bradford, QB PHI

I’ll admit to being a Bradford truther. I think he has a world of talent and now he’s in a quarterback-friendly offense with a ton of weapons. I would not be surprised to see him end up as a QB1 this season.

Carla Gruse
Tyler Eifert, TE CIN

He is primed for a breakout year. A nice tall target for Andy Dalton to use as weapon when A.J. Green is being double-teamed. He is healthy this year and Jermaine Gresham is gone who was targeted 78 times last year by Dalton.

Eric Hardter
Adrian Peterson, RB MIN

This one probably seems like a bit of a cheat code, but sometimes the most obvious answer is the best one.  I’m not deluding myself into thinking Peterson is going to find the fountain of youth and put up numbers for another 3-5 years, but I’m sure he has enough left to put forth another RB1 season.  I expect him to dominate carries and receive more looks in the passing game due to the presence of Norv Turner, all on what should be a significantly improved offense.  Cyborg or not, the stars are aligned for AP and his rested body to run wild once again.

If you’re counting for one final time, here were the results:

Sam Bradford (6 votes)
Doug Martin
(3 votes)
Keenan Allen (3 votes)
Tyler Eifert (2 votes)
Victor Cruz (2 votes)
Adrian Peterson (2 votes)
Andre Johnson (1 vote)
Bishop Sankey
(1 vote)
Carson Palmer (1 vote)
Danny Woodhead (1 vote)
Eric Ebron (1 vote)
Stevie Johnson (1 vote)
CJ Spiller (1 vote)
Brian Quick (1 vote)

…and a shout out to Danny Trevathan from Tyler, who went outside the box to take the IDP angle for us this year.

So, who do you predict will be this year’s comeback player of the year? Let us know in the comments below.


ken kelly