Bounce Back Candidates
Every year the bottom half of each league laments it’s bad luck. “Why can’t Sammy Watkins stay on the field?” or “When is Russell Wilson going to play like he did last year?”
Both of those scenarios fall firmly under the Dr. Fantasy list of excuses (I lost in the superbowl regardless so it wasn’t all bad), but the beautiful thing is that due to lowered expectations, bounce back players can really help put you over the top.
Bounce Back QB: Blake Bortles
You might be asking, how could a quarterback with a career completion percentage of under 60% be considered a bounce back candidate? Simple; Jacksonville throws the ball a ton. According to Fantasypros.com the ADP for Bortles is the 14th round as the 19th QB off the board on average.
Considering that Bortles finished as QB8 with 271 points (standard ESPN scoring) two years ago, the precident is there that the youngster can provide quality fantasy scoring. Between the volume (expect 600+ attempts), Bortles 300-400 yards on the ground, and the addition of a legit three down back in Fournette should free up Bortles to produce closer to his 2015 numbers.
Bounce Back RB: Todd Gurley
The age old Sophmore slump hit budding superstar Todd Gurley especially hard last year, limiting him to 3.2 yards per carry and 6 TDs.
Not ideal numbers for a back selected in the early first round. But maybe it was to be expected; the Rams had no real QB and aside from Tavon Austin, the skill positions were lacking. Queue the stacked boxes and a rough year for Gurley.
This year, Goff should take ov
er as the starting QB and provide a bit of stability to the offense. While I fully expect Goff to struggle through his first season as a starter, Gurley will have the volume of touches that only a handful of other backs in the NFL get, and he should produce far better than he did in year two. Even a slight improvement puts him in the RB10 range with the potential for a whole lot more.
Bounce Back WR: Sammy Watkins
I’m hesitant to call Sammy Watkins lost season a down year; injuries happen in the NFL. That being said, last year he was trending down to begin with (I watched him fall in fantasy drafts well beyond his projected draft spots) and I expect the same to happen this year.
Obviously health is a big question mark in preseason – teams hold that information close to the vest, but considering that Watkins claimed he was good to go at the end of last year, I’ll expect him to be a full participant when the season starts. Add to the mix Zay Jones and a new coaching regime (and the possible addition of Jeremy Maclin) and you have a recipe for Watkins to have more room to work. If the question of his health is answered, a top 10 WR finish isn’t out of the realm of possibility.