In life it’s all about how one handles adversity. Whether it was from injury or lack of production there were some big time disappointments from last season. There are definitely a handful of players who are primed to return to form and live up their high fantasy draft status or at least lofty expectations. Here is a quick rundown of top 10 fantasy football bounce-back candidates for 2014.
Robert Griffin III
Will Robert Griffin III return to form from his rookie season two years ago? In one word, YES! Factor in new offensive-minded head coach in Jay Gruden, and couple that with the release of the knee brace and more physical activity and you’ve got potential. Expect the mobility to be back with another offseason to strengthen his surgically repaired knee. Plus the addition of DeSean Jackson as a vertical down the field threat makes him very likely to bounce-back in a big way.
Things didn’t end well in Atlanta last year as the Falcons went from the NFC Championship game the year prior to last place in the NFC South. However, with his top two targets, Julio Jones and Roddy White, both expected to be back healthy there should be much greater expectations in the ATL for a Matty Ice bounce-back performance. While he’s not a top-tier QB option, he’s got top 5 caliber talent and has 30 passing TD ability.
Highly touted last season for his yards per carry average and ability to break the big one, Spiller greatly disappointed fantasy owners with a mediocre season for the Bills. His change of pace option, Fred Jackson, is nearly in a rocking chair so there’s not much competition for targets and carries. With the addition of Sammy Watkins at receiver, there should be less defenders stacked in the box. He’s also a threat to catch the ball so he’s got great upside as a bounce-back player.
This Tennessee product has learned that it’s all about being a good teammate from Texans’ new coach Bill O’Brien. Not only that, but he’s learned what it’s like to lose and how to bounce back from injuries of last season that saw his team collapse and fold at the seams without him. He’s an intricate part of the offense that is starting Ryan Fitzpatrick behind center. With a Harvard QB at the helm, if the Texans are smart they’ll need to rely even more on Foster to move the chains. Foster is as sure fire a bounce-back as it gets this season.
I know this is a bit of reach to some, but not so fast my friends. Rice had his most miserable season since coming out of Rutgers to the NFL last year. He also might have had the most miserable offseason in his whole life as well. He’s out the first 2 games of the year, but let’s stop dwelling on the bad. He’s lost 15 to 20 lbs this summer and looks like he’s gotten his wheels back underneath him. Pundits would say he appears to be on the decline, but Rice doesn’t have that mentality and neither does new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak. Kubiak loves to pound the football and this run-first offense will find its legs come week 3 with Rice back. Prepare to be surprised with a bounce-back effort from this Baltimore Raven dynomo-running back.
The Muscle Hampster got stuck on his wheel and was in neutral most of last season after shoulder surgery. Tampa is in a bit of an overhaul mode and looking for an identity so they’ll more than likely rely on the running game and look for Martin to carry the work load. If Martin can overcome his sophomore slump and utilize his game-breaking speed to get to the edge, then a bust-out performance similar to his rookie campaign is definitely feasible.
If there’s someone who needed a new change in scenery it’s definitely CJ2K. He’s still lightening fast and now with the Jets he’ll be in an offense that only knows how to run the football. With all the QB uncertainties the one thing that Johnson brings is the homerun potential each time he touches the ball. If the Jets are to remain competitive this season, it’ll be on Johnson’s shoulders. He’s got something to prove after a couple of lack-luster seasons in Tennessee and Rex Ryan tends to get the best out of players with chips on their shoulders. A big time bounce-back potential looms for him.
With only 5 catches last season it won’t be difficult to bounce-back in the defending champion Seahawks offense. He’s looked great thus far in mini-camp and he’s had another year to learn the playbook and gel with DangerRuss Wilson in practice. Harvin could be in for his best season as a pro this season as he’ll likely be used in a variety of creative Pete Carroll offensive formations.
With the exodus of DeSean Jackson to their NFC East division rivals in our nation’s capital, Maclin is now the focal point of the wide-receiving corps in Philadelphia. Nick Foles will attempt to follow-up last season’s breakout campaign by teaming up with Maclin, which could likely result in an over 1,000 yard with 10 TD type of season. If anything else, it will mean more targets in a Chip Kelly offense that’s predicated on speed, speed and more speed. Maclin is a good sleeper pick that should over-achieve this year.
What was lost in the Chiefs’ miraculous turnaround and playoff push last year was the lost production from Dwayne Bowe. Bowe suffered his second worst season as a pro in yards and touchdowns last year. He’s a very reliable receiver and now that he’s got another offseason with Alex Smith to build chemistry and learn Andy Reid’s playbook, there is big time bounce-back potential. It’s a given that the Chiefs are going to be a run first offense, but Bowe is a #1 receiver and it’s very likely he’ll prove it again in 2014.