Which player who was felled by injury last season or who turned in a terrible performance is due for a major rebound this season? Figure that out and you could bank some cash on the Comeback Player of the Year futures.
Last season Joe Burrow was a deserved winner of the award. In 2020 as a rookie Burrow’s season was cut short after a major knee injury. Burrow returned in 2021 and lit it up while leading the Bengals to their first playoff berth in six years and their first Super Bowl appearance since 1988.
Derrick Henry an easy favorite
Derrick Henry being listed as the Comeback Player of the Year favorite should come as little surprise. In 2020 Henry become only the eighth running back in NFL history to surpass the 2000-yard mark in a single season. Last season a foot injury limited him to only eight games. If Henry can return and come close to another 2,000-yard season, he could easily run away with the award.
Brian Robinson has a shot?
Too soon for that headline? The oddsmakers listing Brian Robinson next at +600 may be a bit of a surprise considering he’s a rookie and hasn’t played a single game in the NFL. That being said, if Robinson can comeback and play this season after being shot twice in the leg in August he could be award worthy.
Winston and McCaffrey return from injury
New Orleans’ quarterback Jameis Winston is also listed at +600 and he’s followed by Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey at +700. Both are looking to bounce back from injury plagued seasons.
After acting as Drew Brees’ backup in 2020 Winston was ready to takeover as starter last season. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended his season after only seven games. Winston has the talent to put up big numbers, but he’s also known for putting up big numbers in the interception column. If he can get the Saints back in the playoffs, he could get some award consideration.
McCaffrey is easily a contender for the award after injuries have limited to only 10 games the last two seasons. McCaffrey is a duel threat out of the Carolina backfield and if he can finally stay of the field for a full season he could put up huge numbers and easily snag this award.
Etienne a dark horse
A true dark horse, and maybe one of the best value bets for Comeback Player of the Year award is Jacksonville running back Travis Etienne at +3000. He’ll be making his NFL debut this season after missing all last year due to a broken foot. Etienne has nowhere to go but up, and the same can be said for his team he Jaguars.
Archived NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds article from Aug. 24, 2020
Last season’s major slump or horrible injury can be this season’s big rebound, making NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award futures odds an annual rite of betting passage.
Alex Smith earned the honor by rebounding from a horrible injury and extended layoff. In 2019, Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill parlayed a comeback season into a huge contract. He claimed the award after taking over the starting QB job in Tennessee last year and leading the Titans to the playoffs. Tannehill was the second straight QB to win the award following Andrew Luck in 2018 and the fourth QB to win it in the last eight years.
The co-favorites on the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award futures at FanDuel were both quarterbacks: Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger and Washington’s Alex Smith.