Comeback Candidates (Page 2)

 
 
 
 
Football > Preseason > Comeback Candidates

Comeback Candidates

Which disappointing players from last year will bounce back? Profiled players include Philip Rivers, Michael Vick, Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson, and Darren McFadden.

Miles Austin battled hamstring injuries in 2011 that kept him out of 6 games and limited him to 43 catches for 579 yards. On a positive note, he did haul in 7 TDs. Entering the 2011 season, the Monmouth alum was coming off back to back productive years and finished the 2009 season as the 3rd ranked fantasy WR behind Andre Johnson and Randy Moss. Initial reports from OTAs indicate that Austin is back to 100%, and playing opposite Dez Bryant in an explosive Cowboys offense should pay major dividends provided he can stay healthy. With a current ADP in the 4th round, his WR1 upside makes him a solid target on draft day.

Meachem (6'2, 210) was the 27th overall pick in the 2007 draft out of the University of Tennessee. He missed his entire rookie season following knee surgery, but has yet to miss a game over the past three seasons. He was unable to top 50 catches in any season in the Saints' spread the wealth approach, but should see his numbers climb in a Charger offense looking to replace Vincent Jackson (topped 1,000 yards in three of the past four seasons with SD). Meachem's explosive potential is evidenced by his 18 YPC average over the past four seasons (V-Jax also averaged 18 YPC over his 7 years with the Chargers). The loss of Mike Tolbert (averaged 40 catches over past 2 seasons) could also mean a few more passes to the WRs in 2012. With an ADP that sits in the 8th round, Meachem is positioned to finally justify his first round draft status. His upside is limitless as the potential #1 WR in San Diego's explosive aerial assault.

For the first time since 2003, Reggie Wayne failed to top 1,000 yards as weak QB play from Curtis Painter led the Colts passing game to rank 27th in the NFL. Wayne finished his 11th NFL season with 75 catches for 960 yards and four TDs (barely WR3 worthy). The Andrew Luck era now begins as the Colts are in full rebuilding mode. Although we expect growing pains, it can't possibly get any worse than the 2011 debacle. The Colts added two rookie TEs (Coby Fleener / Dwayne Allen), but failed to address the loss of Pierre Garcon at WR. Wayne should see an uptick in targets with the oft concussed Austin Collie expected to start on the other side. A return to his 2010 production when Wayne was a borderline WR1 (finished as 9th best fantasy WR) is unlikely, but snagging a potential WR2 in rounds 7/8 makes him a solid value. The 33-year-old WR is slowing down, but remains a solid possession option. The veteran should emerge as a favorite target for Andrew Luck as he looks to get acclimated to the NFL.

 
Rob Warner
Follow on Twitter
Conshohocken, PA
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2008
Education: graduate from LaSalle University (Accounting major)
Occupation: been working in Commercial Real Estate Analytics since 2000 (Morningstar Credit Ratings)

Fantasy Football Experience:
Been playing fantasy football since 1990 and fantasy baseball since 1995.
Have been writing fantasy football and baseball articles for FFToolbox since 2008.
Content manager for Spinball Inc. - responsible for planning all fantasy football related articles and coordinating/editing submissions from guest writers. Also take the lead on radio appearances (Sirius radio, blogtalk etc.)
Spinball's Mock Draft top 100 for the 2013 draft finished well ahead of ESPN self procalimed draft guru Mel Kiper: http://www.thehuddlereport.com/scoring/top100.shtml

Favorite Teams: all things Minnesota - Vikings, Twins, Twolves, Gophers, Wild. Also support home town Phillies (was in attendance for World Series clinching game 5 in 2008). Favorite athlete of all time was Kirby Puckett.

Interests: running (completed Philly marathon 3 times), playing all sports (specifically baseball, football, tennis), concerts/music (drumming) - attended SXSW three times, cooking, travel (attended Wimbledon and hoping to make it to Aussie and French Opens in near future).