The NFC East holds a close place in my heart, as I root for the Washington Redskins. I know they have not been the model franchise over the past decade plus, but I grew up rooting for them and I will never stop.
This division in 2014 had a ton of Fantasy Football studs, led by DeMarco Murray, Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr. I think we all remember what ODB did and he was the talk of Fantasy Football from Week 9 on … completely dominating at the wide receiver position.
It also has quite a few players who really failed to live up to expectations in 2014. I will leave some of these for my comeback players, but here are a few that I will not be considering; Robert Griffin III, Jordan Reed, Rashad Jennings and new comer Darren McFadden. All of these players have lingering issues that does not give me a lot of confidence that they can have a comeback season.
Clearly not a candidate for comeback player as he led the league in rushing, but I want to talk a little bit about DeMarco Murray. I really think we will see a huge drop in production from Murray. Not only did he touch the ball a ton last year (over 450 times), but he is moving to a backfield with a lot of other weapons that Chip Kelly trusts. As we saw last year with the Eagles, Kelly has no issues switching away from his star running back to another back in key situations and even near the goal line. This hurt LeSean McCoy’s value last year and I believe it will do the same to Murray. Especially since Kelly is likely to make sure he limits Murray’s touches given how many he had last year.
The NFC East should be in for another interesting year, as no team seems like they are really that much better than the other. Honestly, would anybody be that surprised if the Redskins turned things around and were competitive again? OK, maybe a little. But hey, they shocked the world in 2012, why can’t they do it again? When the season is over, I believe the NFC East will continue to produce some of the best talent in the NFL, but just fall short for complete teams.
NFC East Comeback Players
Not only does the NFC East have a lot of players who disappointed last year, they also have players who were injured last season. Two of my three comeback players were victims of the injury bug last season, with another just not living up to expectations.
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
Cruz was having a rather disappointing season in 2014 through five games. Then in game six, he tore his patellar tendon and was out for the rest of the season.
After that we know the rest of the story for the Giants and the emergence of ODB. This is a big reason why I think Cruz is the best candidate for a comeback season in the NFC East.
Cruz’s best seasons were when he was not the only receiver on the Giants with talent, or I guess I should say who commanded the defenses attention. Now he will have ODB on the other side of the field to compliment him. Some might think this is bad for Cruz, but I think we have seen plenty of examples where two receivers on the same team can both be Fantasy relevant.
Sam Bradford, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
He is my second player making a comeback from injury, a story Bradford is used to at this point.
If he was still with the Rams, I probably would not be listing him here. However, with the Eagles, he should flourish. I mean come on, Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez were Fantasy relevant at different times last season. I see no reason why Bradford can’t be relevant again in this high speed offense Chip Kelly runs.
Of course, the question still remains with him; can he stay healthy, which has been a big issue for him the last two seasons. The good news is you should be able to get him fairly late in drafts. Currently going late in the ninth round of 12-team leagues. I think the risk is definitely worth it here.
Pierre Garcon, WR, Washington Redskins
Maybe I’m being a bit of a homer here, but I really do believe that Garcon will bounce back in 2015.
Look, nobody expected him to repeat his 2013 season when he had 113 receptions (career high), but to see him dip all the way to 68 last season was quite a surprise. A lot of that has to do with RGIII and the rest of the Redskins quarterbacks being awful last year, but it wasn’t all their fault. Garcon looked uninterested at times and his stats reflected it.
He may not catch a lot more passes this season given that this is still a run oriented offense, but his yards and touchdowns should increase and that is actually more important to his value than anything.
Check back with us throughout the offseason as we go through every division and break out who we think looks ready to be comeback players for 2015 Fantasy Football.
- The Fantasy Six Pack Hour: Fantasy Football Heroes and Zeroes - December 7, 2017
- The Fantasy Six Pack Hour: Thanksgiving Edition - November 22, 2017
- The Fantasy Six Pack Hour: Build for the Fantasy Playoffs and Week 11 Prep - November 16, 2017