NFL Comeback Player of the Year Futures Odds and Betting Predictions
The Comeback Player of the Year in the NFL is one of the more interesting awards to look at as a futures bettor each year. The biggest reason for that is simple - it doesn't typically take a rocket scientist to figure out who is well positioned to win. This isn't an award that is typically won by people coming from out of nowhere. In the last decade alone, the winners at quarterback have been a who's who - Brady, Vick, Stafford, Peyton Manning, and Rivers. And Andrew Luck won it last year - and could potentially do so again next year given how his preseason is trending. Each guy was the biggest name quarterback coming back from injury - or something else in the case of Vick. And when there wasn't a QB to back, the stories weren't hard to figure out, either. Eric Berry won after coming back from cancer. Gronk is Gronk. And Keenan Allen and Jordy Nelson are big-time receivers who returned to dominance. We can probably figure this out this year, in other words.
What makes things interesting here is that the field this year runs deep. It's fun to look at - and that's exactly what we are going to do.
Jimmy Garoppolo (+325): This checks all of the boxes. He is a high-profile quarterback who had major expectations last year, and he was hurt too early to realize any of them. He's healthy now, though, and ready to go. His team has a chance to take a major step forward from where they were last year, and if they do the QB would be the biggest reason for it. The price might be a little low, but seeing him as the favorite is a no-brainer. And, as you will see, picking a truly ideal alternative to him is a tough task.
Le'Veon Bell (+450): I just don't see this one. Part of this award is the story that goes with the accomplishments, and the story here stinks. It's hard to get excited about a guy's comeback when the reason he didn't play last year is because he is greedy and not a great teammate. I'm not quite as high on Bell this year as some are, but I still expect him to have a solid season. I just think it would have to be a truly magical season for him to get consideration here. The price isn't nearly high enough to justify a bet here.
Devonta Freeman (+900): Two different injuries last year limited the Atlanta running back to just two games, so a strong season this year would certainly be a comeback. The issue for me, though, is that he had taken a bit of a step back in 2017. And though he is very productive, he wasn't among the biggest superstars even in his prime. The price isn't right.
Derrius Guice (+1200): This is just idiotic. How can a guy who has never played in the league have a comeback? After being drafted in the second-round last year, he tore his ACL in the preseason opener and was gone for the year. Now he'll be fighting for playing time in Washington with Adrian Peterson. A strong year would be a good story, but far from an award-worthy one.
Carson Wentz (+1200): Wentz is an interesting option here because he is also the second choice to win the MVP behind Patrick Mahomes. I expect a big season from him, and he is certainly an MVP contender in my eyes, but I just don't see him justifying this price here. It all comes down to the definition of a comeback. Last year he played 11 games and was really quite effective in those games. Missing the other five games and the playoffs was unfortunate, but hardly crushing - not like Garoppolo missing 13 games, Brady missing 15 in 2008, and so on. The story just isn't great, so the accomplishments would have to be so much better than anyone else on the list for him to come out on top. Not worth the price.
Cam Newton (+1400): The issue here is like the one Wentz has, only more so. Newton has struggled with injuries for sure, but he started 14 games last year and set career highs in both completions and completion percentage. This is a very important season for Newton for sure, and it has the potential to be a good one, but it isn't a comeback.
Jason Witten (+1600): The only reason I would give Witten this award is as thanks for realizing how awful he was as a commentator and stepping aside. But that's not enough. He's old, and his productivity was moving in the wrong direction before his retirement. He should be fine enough, but he isn't going to put up massive numbers. He would need a lot of help for this to happen. Horrible price.
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