As all fantasy owners know hitting on late-round players is often the key to championship success. Many times it's not only the rookies or breakout players who can carry you to a league title, but often it is a come-back-player who is returning from injury or has landed with a new team and an improved role.
All football fans are keenly aware of the return of star tight end Rob Gronkowski to the gridiron joining Tom Brady in Tampa Bay. Other players who will be looked upon by fantasy owners in this category include Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Bengals star WR AJ Green, Falcons RB Todd Gurley newly-signed Patriots QB Cam Newton. All of the aforementioned players will be looking to return to their elite form after enduring disappointing 2019 seasons plagued by injuries and setbacks.
It's not just injuries that can derail a season. You also have to identify which players have the best opportunity to bounce back from disappointing campaigns due to scheme or usage. A couple of examples for the 2020 season are Browns QB Baker Mayfield and New York Jets RB Le'Veon Bell.
The strategy should always be to let the board come to you and never "follow the run." If you can land elite fantasy studs early on, there is a plethora of mid-to-late round talent eligible to return significant value later in drafts in 2020. As is often the case, players burned fantasy owners last season will subsequently be avoided in drafts this season.
Now we get to the fun part: which comeback talent offers the best value in 2020? My model has identified the one comeback player who fantasy owners should all target this season. You may be surprised at who my projections are highest on to rebound, but I can tell you that it is not Gurley or Bell in 2020.
QB Matthew Stafford, DET (ADP 108)
Matthew Stafford is worthy of your attention on draft day. Stafford won the CPOY back in 2011 after putting up more than 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns following a 2010 season that saw him miss 13 games due to a shoulder injury.
Stafford has always put up solid stats when healthy, as all fantasy football owners can attest. Those lofty passing totals will come back, especially with a potentially efficient run game with former Auburn standout Kerryon Johnson and Georgia rookie D'Andre Swift.
Before being sent to the sidelines in street clothes for the remaining eight games last season due to a back injury, Stafford was among the best quarterbacks in the game. The 32-year-old veteran threw for an impressive 2,499 yards and 19 TDs in just half the season.
The former Georgia Bulldogs star posted a career-best 106.0 QB rating and was on pace to possibly shatter his career-high of 5,038 yards posted back in 2011. Suffering bone fractures in your back is not an injury any professional athlete should easily dismiss. Most fantasy players will most likely let him slide on draft boards due to the potential of a recurring injury thanks in part to the brutal nature of playing quarterback.
Stafford is an excellent buy-low fantasy option who could post QB1 numbers from a player drafted in the double-digit rounds. Most fantasy owners will need to go pretty far down the quarterback rankings to find his name, and that will work to your advantage. With emerging star Kenny Golladay and veterans Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola, and Geronimo Allison on the outside, it's also important to highlight the presence of second-year tight end T.J. Hockenson. This is a low-key group that's not getting much preseason hype.
In addition to having potentially one of the best one-two running back tandems in the league to prevent defenses from dropping back into coverage, both Johnson and Swift could become weapons in the passing attack. Johnson has only appeared in 18 of 32 games due to injuries in his first two seasons in the league, but there is no denying the talent he has flashed when healthy. Swift was considered one of the best running backs working out of the backfield in this year's draft class, and there is no doubt Matt Patricia and OC Darrell Bevell will find a way to keep both of these dynamic playmakers on the field at the same time.
As we know, quarterbacks often listen to the desires of their star pass-catchers. Golladay, the Lions top wideout, is entering the final year of his existing contract, and you know he will be motivated to put up elite numbers in search of a big payday. Last season the former Northern Illinois standout emerged as one of the best red-zone targets improving his touchdown production from five touchdowns to a league-best 11. With a full season of Stafford under the center, my projections envision a repeat of double-digit output in 2020.
Pairing Stafford, who is coming off draft boards as a high-end QB2, with another quarterback drafted in later rounds such as Roethlisberger, Daniel Jones, Philip Rivers, or Baker Mayfield, will lead to a winning fantasy formula.
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As all fantasy owners know hitting on late-round players is often the key to championship success. Many times it's not only the rookies or breakout players who can carry you to a league title, but often it is a come-back-player who is returning from injury or has landed with a new team and an improved role.Subscribe for full article
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