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: Among 2019's biggest disappointments, who will be Comeback Player of the Year?
While I cannot provide a slam-dunk name, the one big player that really disappointed in 2019 and is set up to reclaim his spot in the elite fantasy category is David Johnson in Houston. Provided he's healthy, he could rise back to the top 5 fantasy running backs, since the Texans plan to rely upon him heavily in their offense.
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 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 nearly $30K in recent seasons of the FFPC High Stakes Main Event. www.ffmastermind.com. Nazarek can be reached via email at email@example.com.
All indications are that A.J. Green is fully healed from the foot and ankle injuries that torpedoed his 2019 season. While Green is aging and certainly an injury risk, he's still a formidable pass-catching weapon and should return to triple-digit targets in a Zac Taylor-led offense that has some real potential with No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow at the helm. Green has averaged over nine targets per game throughout his career and if he can return to that form, he's going to post solid numbers and be a big value in the sixth or seventh round.
Smith’s work can be seen at FantasyData.com.
JuJu Smith-Schuster should come roaring back with Ben Roethlisberger back under center and a better schedule this year. Smith-Schuster turned in a stat line of 111-1,426-7 in 2018 though he did get some benefit from coverage slanted towards Antonio Brown. He's the clear No. 1 wideout and suffered through Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges last season. He's a third-round pick this year with first-round potential.
Dorey co-founded The Huddle.com in 1997. He's ranked every player and projected every game for the last 23 years and is the author of Fantasy Football: The Next Level. David has appeared on numerous radio, television, newspaper and magazines over the last two decades.
I have mentioned David Johnson in the past, but I will go back to him again. He’s been pretty dreadful in recent years, but I don’t think the Texans would have taken on that contract and given away DeAndre Hopkins if they didn’t believe he was going to be a great fit with their offense. I’ve done a half-dozen drafts so far, and Johnson has been my third-round pick in most of them.
Allan co-founded Fantasy Football Index in 1987. He and fellow journalism student Bruce Taylor launched the first newsstand fantasy football magazine as a class project at the University of Washington. For more than three decades, Allan has written and edited most of the content published in the magazines, newsletters and at www.fantasyindex.com. An exhaustive researcher, he may be the only person in the country who has watched at least some of every preseason football game played since the early 1990s. Allan is a member of the FSTA Fantasy Sports Hall of Fame and the Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame.
The question in Cleveland is, which Baker Mayfield will we see in 2020? Will it be the record-setting TD tossing rookie or the turnover-prone sophomore slumper? I recently watched a replay of Baker's 2018 debut, a Thursday Night Football game where Tyrod Taylor (mercifully) got hurt and Baker rallied the team from 2 TDs down, unlocking Bud Light coolers all across NE Ohio. As a Browns fan, that was easily the most excited that I have been in years. This year the Browns seem to have a talented coach in Kevin Stefanski and the NFL's top running back tandem. With a return to health of Jarvis Landry and OBJ, plus an improved O-Line and tight end group, Cleveland is thinking playoffs. This season, Baker should rebound from a dismal 2019 and project to 25-30 TDs and between 3,500-4,000 yards passing--similar to last years stats for Kirk Cousins, Stefanski's quarterback in Minnesota.
Sachs runs Perfect Season Fantasy Football, offering LIVE Talk & Text consulting. He has multiple league championships including 2 perfect seasons. Scott is a past winner of the Fantasy Index Experts Poll and a 2-time winner of the Experts Auction League.
I'd like to answer A.J. Green or Ben Roethlisberger, but I suspect I will be too wary to actually draft either aging veteran anywhere. Green is certainly a strong possibility, since he comes from such a low point of being injured for nearly two full calendar years. But I think quarterback is more likely, and since I don't trust Roethlisberger to stay healthy, I'll go with Matthew Stafford. Last year he was on pace to throw for 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns when he got hurt midseason. Give me something close to that for a full season and he'll be a star -- and earn the comeback award that no one really wants to win (since they don't want to have to come back from something).
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.