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Ask the Experts

Who will be 2022's Comeback Player of the Year?

Bounce-backs for McCaffrey, ARob, DeAndre

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: Who will be 2022's Comeback Player of the Year?

SAM HENDRICKS

Christian McCaffrey has to be at the top of the list. The potential is there, he "JUST" needs to stay heathy. He has only played in 10 games the past two seasons. Injury risk is a real risk when drafting the 25-year-old Panther running back. Still, in those ten games he has 1,150 combined yards, 54 catches and 8 TDs, so an average of 20 fantasy points per game. The reward is there if he can stay on the field. Two dud seasons after two glorious top-3 seasons...definitely a Comeback Player of the Year possibility. I will take that bet, maybe just not in the first round....

Hendricks is the author of Fantasy Football Guidebook, Fantasy Football Tips and Fantasy Football Basics, all available at ExtraPointPress.com, at all major bookstores, and at Amazon and BN.com. He is a 25-year fantasy football veteran who participates in the National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC) and finished 7th and 16th overall in the 2008 and 2009 Fantasy Football Players Championship (FFPC). He won the Fantasy Index Open in 2013 and 2018.

DAVID DOREY

Well. Surely not Christian McCaffrey or Saquon Barkley, since they pulled off the rare biggest busts for TWO straight years. I don't even remember what Michael Thomas looks like. I'm going to go with DeAndre Hopkins. He's been a 1,300-yard per year sort of receiver, has a good quarterback and is 29 years old, so not yet too old. The Cardinals need him and he's a difference maker.

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.

IAN ALLAN

I’m not giving up on Christian McCaffrey. He’s missed most of the last two seasons with injuries, but he’s still a talented guy. He’s probably still one of the top half-dozen running backs in the game, and he looks even better for fantasy purposes, the way he’s used as a pass catcher. If you headed into the 2022 with the guarantee that he’d play in 14-plus games, you’d definitely select him in the top 5 overall (if not No. 1 in PPR). Carolina will presumably put a better quarterback and offensive line around him, which also should enhance his production. With him having had some injury problems, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Panthers try to lighten his load some, but with his role in the passing game, he should put up big numbers and help them win some games.

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.

SCOTT SACHS

Baker Mayfield is undergoing left shoulder surgery this week and the hope is that he will make a full recovery in advance of training camp. The beleaguered Browns quarterback is signed for under $20 million and GM Andrew Berry says that he fully expects Mayfield to bring the Browns back to the playoffs in 2022. Cleveland doesn't have any better options at this point to upgrade from Baker -- no way Rodgers, Wilson, Watson will come to 3-tight-end Cleveland -- so it will be necessary to upgrade around Baker. They need to sign 1-2 free agent wide receivers, then draft one. Addressing an upgrade to both lines is high priority, too. Baker has never had a bigger chip on his shoulder than now, so a return to health in 2022 is the key to the hopes and dreams of Cleveland football fans everywhere.

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.

ANDY RICHARDSON

Two players with a Jacksonville connection spring to mind. The first is Allen Robinson. In four full seasons before this year he went over 1,1oo receiving yards three times. I can't believe that he's washed up at the tender age of 28 years old, he was just stuck in an offense that couldn't figure out how to use multiple receivers, and plus he didn't want to be there. Imagine if he caught on with, say, New England, and immediately became the No. 1, go-to wideout they haven't had in years. As long as he makes it out of Chicago, I'll be interested in Robinson next year. The other wide receiver played for Jacksonville last year, DJ Chark. He missed most of last season after breaking his ankle in October, but will be fully healthy, and potentially also with a new team -- last year was his final one on his rookie contract. But I'd love to see him in Jacksonville as the No. 1 in Trevor Lawrence's second season.

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.

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