Each given fantasy football season is often heavily impacted by a select few who are potentially facing a bounce-back season.
Today, in collaboration with Fantasy Knuckleheads’ Greg Brosh, the two of us want to examine 8 players who we feel fit that bill, in an effort to provide you with some sound insider advice to deploy on your 2011 fantasy draft day. For a quick synopsis to go along with the information below, make sure to check out Greg’s Brosh’s Fantasy Corner.
Jason Campbell – Oakland Raiders:
Looking for a solid QB2 that has bounce-back potential written all over him? Well look no further than Oakland in Jason Campbell.
I say QB2 because nobody will view him as a solid QB1 option and many may simply pass over him because of an inconsistent, and sub-par, past which is a terrible oversight when evaluating Campbell.
Campbell has always been a guy who was good for just over 3,000 yards in any given season, and has always had a plus rating in TD: INT ratio, but last year he fell short of fantasy relevance with 2,387 passing yards on 329 attempts.
The Raiders will deploy Jacoby Ford more as an offensive weapon this year—one of my many 2011 fantasy football sleepers—which will give Campbell something he didn’t always have in 2010: a choice of weapons.
Matt Hasselbeck – Tennessee Titans:
Of course he is going to be listed here, and why not?
Despite throwing for one yard over 3,000 last year, Hasselbeck had a 12:17 TD:INT ratio which was his worst ratio and worst fantasy output since his shortened 2008 season. But this year, Hasselbeck’s situation greatly improves with a Titans team that has a much better O-line, a comparable receiving corp., and a completely better ground assault than Seattle had in 2010.
Hasselbeck will bounce back in 2011, mark my words.
The Cardinals wasted no time in getting defenses’ attention off the running game by trading for Kevin Kolb. Even though Kolb’s resume’ isn’t exactly ‘chock-full-o’, his presence alone will take much needed pressure off of Wells to create some running room. With a competent quarterback under center, and a certain receiver that Ray will talk about below, teams won’t be loading up the box and waiting on Wells to try to carry the ball every other play.
Another reason why Wells will bounce back? It’s simple; he’s healthy. Wells dealt with a knee injury before the 2010 season started. And even though he was able to play, it plagued him for the entire year, limiting him to thirteen games. If Wells can stay healthy, he should go back to the way he looked in his 2009 rookie year. Plus, Wells has already made it known that if he strikes out again, he could be done. But as long as he’s healthy and he can hold rookie Ryan Williams off, he should be a high end RB3 this season. For those in PPR leagues, don’t expect a lot of receptions, however.
Like Wells, Green couldn’t live up to his preseason hype. Many owners blew a first-round pick thinking Green was going to be the main guy in the offense. LaDainian Tomlinson wound up finding the fountain of youth, but don’t expect that to happen again in 2011.
Jets OC Brian Schottenheimer expects Green to explode this season and we expect him to get between 18-20 carries a game. LT has taken a paycut and already admitted that his role in the offense will be as a third-down specialist, which he is fine with. Green will surpass his 185 carries from last year. Heck, I will even go out on a limb and say he will reach 300. I believe the coaching staff expects that much out of him after a disappointing sophomore season. But like Wells, don’t expect a lot of receptions.
Larry Fitzgerald – Arizona Cardinals:
Fitz a bounce-back candidate? Yes, as a matter of fact he is and here’s why.
Fitzgerald dealt with a knee injury early in the 2010 season alongside arguably the worst quarterback situation in the league, but still managed 90 receptions for 1,137 yards and six touchdowns which was his LOWEST output and fantasy rating since 2006.
Fitzgerald is a guy who normally catches close to 100 balls, for 1,400 + yards and at LEAST 10 touchdowns in any given season, and with a full bill of health, a new and improved quarterback at the helm (Kevin Kolb), Fitzgerald is a great bounce-back candidate to his normal Top 5 Tier in fantasy football.
After a stellar 2009 rookie season many fantasy football owners entered into the 2010 season thinking MSW was going to breakout, only to suffer a big let down by year’s end.
Yes, MSW still scored seven touchdowns, but he only caught 43 balls for 562 yards in a much maligned offense that just couldn’t put things together on a weekly basis in Jacksonville.
But the real deal here is the Rams were in need of someone who could come in and start as the everyday deep-threat they were in need of since Mark Clayton’s knee isn’t yet healed and MSW will be that guy.
This situation is money all day for fantasy owners, and they can faithfully expect a huge bounce-back season from MSW.
The past two seasons Daniels has missed roughly five games in each one, causing a huge dip in his overall 2011 fantasy value, which is GREAT NEWS for fantasy football fans looking for that bounce-back TE 2 in their draft.
Daniels would’ve had a better season last year had he not rushed back, so in fairness towards evaluation, you can’t really count 2010. Either way, Daniels now returns as the number two option in a Texans passing scheme that is just as good as anyone in the league. And if he does stay healthy, which I think he will, he should put up numbers closer to his rookie season (70 catches for 862 yards)…just with more TDs than 2 :=).
Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers
The Panthers set out to score themselves an impact TE and did so with disgrunteled ex-Chicago Bears Greg Olsen.
The Panthers were in need of a true pass-catching TE, and originally settle up with Jeremy Shockey. But now with Olsen in the mix, the Panthers are expected to make him the number two target in the pecking order of offensives reads.
This is not to say that Shockey has no value, as I still see him as the primary goal-line / red-zone threat in the air (perfect for Standard leaguers and modified leaguers) but for you PPR folks, Olsen is the man you want to go with.
After a miserable stint in Chicago, you can expect Olsen to take full advantage of the situation.