Comeback Player

Fantasy Football Definition of "Comeback Player"

A "comeback player" is a player who missed significant time due to injury, retirement or benching, but who suddenly returns to prominence and excellence in the NFL and in fantasy football leagues. "Comeback Player of the Year" is a yearly NFL award, given to the player whose career appeared to be over, but who resurrects their career. Chad Pennington is the only NFL player to ever win "The NFL Player of the Year" honor twice.

Fantasy Football Comeback Player

In fantasy football, the comeback player is a player who was relegated to the bench for one or more fantasy football seasons, but who suddenly becomes a fantasy football factor by having a major upsurge in production. This play may or may not have been a forgotten player due to injury, and comeback players often are returning from knee injuries.

Fantasy football history is full of players who were thought to be finished, but who returned to the starting lineup after a couple of years of ineffectiveness. In 2009, Jeremy Shockey and Julius Jones have been fantasy football factors, when they have been relegated to bench player status for the last couple of years - Shockey due to his chronic injuries and Jones due to ineffectiveness as the Seattle Seahawks RB. It's still left to be determined whether these players will continue their production long enough to be considered comeback players.

A more dramatic version of the comeback player was Garrison Hearst. Garrison Hearst was a huge star in fantasy football one year back in the late 1990's, but a playoff injury against the Dirty-Bird Falcons led to Garrison Hearst missing an entire year with the San Francisco 49ers. Two years later, Garrison Hearst was a late-round pick by teams who remembered he had had a big year two years before, but most assumed his career was finished. That year, Garrison Hearst put up more big fantasy football numbers and was a definite comeback player. Natrone Means, Fred Taylor at various times in his career and a 32-year old Curtis Martin leading the league in rushing could have all been considered fantasy football comeback players at one point or another.

The wide receiver position is probably where most comeback players are found, because runners are usually finished when they begin to go downhill. Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammed have each had comeback player years: Steve Smith due to season-ending injuries. Muhsin Muhammed, on the other hand, became Jake Delhomme's favorite receiver when Steve Smith went out for the year (several years ago) and suddenly was a stud fantasy football receiver, but only for one year. The next year, he was gone to the Chicago Bears in free agency and went back to fantasy football irrelevancy.

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