Knowing when to take chances on players is part of success in NFL fantasy league. Which names who stumbled last season have a chance to bounce back?
Doug Martin – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The “Muscle Hamster” was a boon for NFL fantasy owners as a rookie, piling up over 1,900 total yards and scoring 12 touchdowns for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Many expected a repeat in 2014 but Doug Martin went down after just six games with injury. He is back healthy and apparently in competition for his job with rookie Charles Sims. Don’t expect that to become a big problem. Martin has everything in place to return to his previous form this season barring another injury.
Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins
His incredible duel threat capability electrified defenses as a rookie for the Washington Redskins and got them to the playoffs. A knee injury derailed his progress and by the time he was back to full health last year his seasons was shut down as the Redskins skidded to a 3-13 mark. Robert Griffin III now has had a chance to regain his footing and will have a complete arsenal of weapons to work with including DeSean Jackson and returning tight end Jordan Reed. Coupled with his mobility, RGIII is primed for a comeback.
Julio Jones – Atlanta Falcons
Nothing was wrong with the year Julio Jones was having in 2013. Through five games he had 580 yards and two touchdowns. Like many players though he fell victim to injury, robbing him of the rest of the season. For those who might feel it will affect his explosiveness this season, they should take a breath and settle down. Jones is still young and should be back to full strength. So unless Matt Ryan loses confidence in him, which is less likely than a lightning strike, NFL fantasy owners can go get him.
Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots
Injuries have wreaked havoc on Rob Gronkowski over the past few years. The all-world tight end is a nightmare when he’s on the field, but since 2012 he has missed 13 games with various injuries. That makes him a serious risk. At the same time, his ability is impossible to ignore. Provided he’s gotten for a good price, Gronk is very worthy of being a starter in any league and should have a great bounce back campaign if he can go the distance without another setback.
Denver Broncos defense
They were good enough to get the Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl but anybody who watched knew the defense wasn’t very impactful for most of 2013. As a unit it ranked 27th in pass defense and 22nd is scoring. To that end the team spent a lot of money in free agency to fix it. Among their haul included three Pro Bowlers in Demarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward. They along with a healthy Von Miller should drastically upgrade the Broncos’ ability to create impact plays against the pass. Considering they will be playing with a lot of leads, that should translate to NFL fantasy circles.