ASK THE EXPERTS appears weekly from training camp through the Super Bowl with answers to a new question being posted Thursday morning. How the guest experts responded when we asked them: Who is fantasy's 2017 comeback player of the year?
This shouldn’t be close. The Comeback Player of the Year is clearly DeAndre Hopkins. He blew up in 2015 for 111-1521-11 and then flopped in 2016 when he only managed 78-954-4 in a season he was healthy. He only managed two 100-yard games and 11 weeks were under 60 yards. This year he zoomed back to a 96-1378-13 stat line even missing one game. What happened in 2016 may never be understood and hopefully never again repeated.
Dorey is the co-founder and lead NFL analyst for The Huddle and author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. He has projected and predicted every NFL game and player performance since 1997 and has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, radio and television.
It is a tie for comeback player of the year, Todd Gurley or Keenan Allen. Gurley almost doubled his yards from scrimmage and tripled his TDs (19 up from 6 in 2016). A lot of that is due to the revamped offensive line and better play from 2nd-year quarterback Jared Goff, but a comeback is a comeback. On the other hand Allen's comeback is due primarily to his staying healthy for a change. The talent with Allen has never been in doubt. He just has not been on the field long enough to showcase it. Honorable mention goes to DeAndre Hopkins if we are picking a wide receiver who played a full season last year and stunk it up and then came back this year. Again like Gurley much of 2016 can be blamed on quarterback play.
Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 25-year fantasy football veteran who participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013. Follow him at his web site, www.ffguidebook.com.
Todd Gurley. Who would have thought a sluggish tailback in 2016 would produce nearly 2,100 total yards and 19 scores after tallying only 6 TDs in 2016. Simply incredible!
Nazarek is the CEO of Fantasy Football Mastermind Inc. His company offers a preseason draft guide, customizable cheat sheets, a multi-use fantasy drafting program including auction values, weekly in-season fantasy newsletters, injury reports and free NFL news (updated daily) at its newly re-designed web site. He has been playing fantasy football since 1988 and is a four-peat champion of the SI.com Experts Fantasy League, a nationally published writer in several fantasy magazines and a former columnist for SI.com. He's also won in excess of $20K in recent seasons of the FFPC High Stakes Main Event. www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Perhaps it’s a little gratuitous to use the word “comeback” with Dion Lewis, given that he’d never played anything close to a full season before 2017. But he was coming back from several injuries, so I’ll pass this one through. Lewis was the No. 8 back in fantasy over the final 11 weeks of the year, collecting double-digit touches in every game, scoring nine times, and averaging just under five yards a carry. Forget all that silly stuff about New England’s backfields being frustrating to trust for fantasy owners; LeGarrette Blount was a stud last year (18 touchdowns), and this year it was Lewis’s turn. It doesn’t mean the Pats will give us a home run every year, but Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels like talented and reliable players just as much as anyone else.
Pianowski has been playing fantasy football for 20 years and writing about it for 17. He joined Yahoo! Sports in 2008 and has been blogging 24/7 on RotoArcade.com ever since.
I would have to give a joint award to Todd Gurley and DeAndre Hopkins. It just goes to show you that elite talent that falls in your draft means it’s on sale at a discount. Both Gurley and Hopkins were likely 1st-round picks in most drafts in 2016, but busted, both dropped this year as a result and were absolutely elite this season. Some savvy and/or fortuitous fantasy GMs may have landed Gurley/Hopkins on the 2.12/3.01 turn. Gurley arose from the Jeff Fisher abyss to go from 6 TDs in 2016 to 19 this year, while Hopkins went from 4 TDs to 13. If I had to pick just one it would be Hopkins. Gurley will be a top 3 pick next year no doubt, while Hopkins very well may be the No. 1 wide receiver, as he was this year after the impressive 96/1,378/13-TD season in 15 games. I sure would love to land Deshaun Watson/DeAndre Hopkins next year.
Satterlee is the Fantasy Football Insider for the Charlotte Observer and is syndicated in a few other newspapers in the southeast. Satterlee first started playing fantasy football in 1990.
I was thinking about Todd Gurley, and he's a good choice. But there was enough optimism about him that he was a second- or third-at-worst round pick in most leagues -- drafted early enough that people figured he'd be a fantasy starter. So I'm voting for Keenan Allen, who shed the injury-prone label (not entirely fair since one of the injuries was a lacerated kidney -- not exactly something some players are more susceptible to than others) and was an elite PPR wideout for most of the season. Considering where he was drafted in most leagues, he vastly exceeded expectations in his return to fantasy prominence.
Richardson has been a contributing writer and editor to the Fantasy Football Index magazine and www.fantasyindex.com since 2002. His responsibilities include team defense and IDP projections and various site features, and he has run the magazine's annual experts draft and auction leagues since their inception. He previews all the NFL games on Saturdays and writes a wrap-up column on Mondays during the NFL season.