DLF’s 2016 Predictions: Comeback Player of the Year

Ryan Finley

Most rookie drafts are in the rearview mirror, and the NFL Preseason is winding down. We’re all busy combing the news sites trying to keep abreast of all the important developments as we prepare for the best time of the year, the NFL season.  That can only mean one thing – it’s time for us to put a bow on those reams of off-season content with DLF’s 2016 Fantasy Predictions. As we did last year, we have eight different prediction articles for you in the following categories:

Today we have our staff picks for this year’s Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year, and we’ll drop a new article each day leading up to the first day of the season. Let’s get to it.

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Dez Bryant, WR DAL

Bryant is one of the best red-zone producers in recent memory, and injury has been the only thing that’s slowed him down. Prior to his injury-plagued 2015 campaign, Bryant had 41 touchdowns in the previous three years. He’ll be a beast again in 2016. – Austan Kas

Melvin Gordon, RB SDC

Gordon’s rookie year was brutal, but he flashed his ability to be a big time playmaker.  With an improved and healthy offensive line and receiver corps, continued involvement in the passing game, and an aging Danny Woodhead behind him, I expect him to be a plus RB2 with upside going forward. – Trevor Bucher

Arian Foster, RB MIAfoster

It would only be fitting to see fantasy dynamo Foster go from being unemployed to being a legitimate fantasy MVP candidate? Seems far-fetched, right!?! I agree, but isn’t there a little part of you that believes it could actually happen? This is one player I wouldn’t put it past. – Ken Kelly

DeMarco Murray, RB TEN

The DeMarco Murray train ran badly off of the rails in Philadelphia, but he’s got a nice chance to resurrect his perceived value in Tennessee.  I say perceived because as low as people are on Murray as of late, he was still the PPR RB15 last year on just 194 carries.  Even if he ends up in a timeshare with Derrick Henry, Murray will have a chance to return to PPR RB1 status. – Jarrett Behar

Eddie Lacy, RB GB

Low hanging fruit here, but all signs point to Lacy having put Fat Eddie back in the closet and that he is ready to beast. Plus the offense is all back together with the return of Jordy Nelson. Taking the handoff from Aaron Rodgers doesn’t hurt either. – Adam Tzikas

Dez Bryant, WR DAL

People apparently seem to forget how good Dez really is. He was a top five overall selection in ’15 startups and now he’s sometimes going in the second round. He could easily finish as the WR1. Honorable mention: Jamaal Charles – Eric Olinger

Dez Bryant, WR DAL

Dez is an easy choice here. After being an absolute stud in 2014, his 2015 season was not so friendly. Bryant lost his starting quarterback, and also dealt with injuries himself, which led to a subpar season from one of the league’s elite wide receivers. While Tony Romo’s health could once again prove a concern this year, it’s hard to imagine Bryant not rebounding in a big way in 2016. He is simply too good of a player. – Andrew Lightner

Randall Cobb, WR GB

Jordy Nelson will be back this season to take some of the pressure off Cobb. I doubt he will score 12 touchdowns again like he did in 2014, but he should regain his ability to create separation around the redzone. He currently has an ADP of 24, which is way too low when you factor in the volume of catchable targets within the offense. Something to keep in mind, some of Cobb’s struggles was due to playing with injuries last season and as long as he can remain healthy he should flirt with WR1 status. – Bruce Matson

luckAndrew Luck, QB IND

At this time last season, Luck was being drafted in the first round of some startup drafts. Now he can often be had in the fourth or later. I’m still chalking up the poor season to injury and fully expect him to bounce back closer to the value we had on him prior to the 2015 season. – Matt Price

Jamaal Charles, RB KC

Given my fantasy MVP, it is obvious I view Charles highly.  My guess is we can’t even tell he missed a large chunk of the 2015 season with major injury. – Rob Leath

Eddie Lacy, RB GB

“Fat” Eddie seems to be gone, and “Shreddie” is in. Lacy’s 2015 couldn’t have gone much worse, similar to GB’s season. Look for that offense to get back on track, and for Eddie Lacy to have a solid RB1 season. – Dan Sainio

Mike Wallace, WR BAL

It has been a few years since we’ve talked about Wallace as a positive, but I think he has a major bounce back this year. He finally has someone who can throw an accurate deep ball, and the Ravens depth chart is wide open. It should be a great year for Wallace. – Jacob Feldman

Jordy Nelson, WR GB

Man, did Aaron Rodgers miss Jordy or what? Assuming his knee is ready to go, it’s hard to envision Nelson not eclipsing 1,000 yards. The entire offense needs him and not much has changed in Green Bay. They’re still missing a reliable receiver outside of Randall Cobb. If he plays 16 games, we’re looking at 130+ target season. Sign me up. – Izzy Elkaffas

Jordy Nelson, WR GB

He played in 2014 when Aaron Rodgers claimed the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.  Nobody missed Nelson more than Rodgers in 2015 when he was unable to play due to injury.  Everyone is better when Jordy is on the field, including Randall Cobb and Eddie Lacy.  I look for Nelson to have a 1000 yard season coupled with Cobb again this year as they did in 2014. – Carla Gruse

Dez Bryant, WR DAL

The Cowboys season was forgettable and filled with injuries. Dez injured his foot and didn’t play like the elite player we have seen for years. It doesn’t matter if it’s Tony Romo or Dak Prescott, Dez is going to play with a chip on his shoulder all season. “You can’t guard me, you can’t guard me, you can’t guard me…” – Nick Whalen

C.J. Anderson, RB DEN

Everything we thought about Anderson last year is still true. He’s the lead RB in a run-friendly system on likely winning team. He catches the ball often enough. He’s produced when healthy. And he’s “in the best shape of his life.” If that last one’s actually true this year, Anderson can be a top-five fantasy RB. – Brian Malone

Keenan Allen, WR SDC

A fantastic dynasty buy, Keenan Allen missed eight games last season with a lacerated kidney. (Note: Kidneys aren’t supposed to get lacerated.) Prior to the injury, Allen was on pace for a gigantic season. His stats projected out over 16 games would have totalled 178 targets, for 134 receptions, 1,450 yards and eight scores. As the best pass catcher on the Chargers roster, Allen has gained the trust of Phillip Rivers, who is never shy about feeding Allen the ball. 2016 should bring about Allen’s first WR1 campaign, and solidify his spot as one of the premier wideouts in the game. – Mo Brewington

Here are the overall numbers for our picks for Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year:

Dez Bryant is the big winner here. Once widely regarded as a top 4 wide receiver, some have been dropping him as of late. A few of our writers think he’s primed to stick it to anyone who downgraded him. We also have a couple Packers near the top in Lacy and Nelson. Both of these guys made other lists as well, with Nelson landing on the “Dynasty Sell” list and Lacy on the “Dynasty Buy” list.

My pick here is Andrew Luck. He had a disappointing season last year, and I’m hopeful for a big bounce back. If he has another bad year, we may have all been very wrong about him.

So who do you have as your Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year?