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12 Players Who Will Bounce Back in 2019 (Fantasy Football)

Jun 14, 2019
Leonard Fournette

A healthy Leonard Fournette with a improved offensive line should result in a bounce-back year

It’s draft day, you’re getting ready to pick your squad, and by the end of the season, a handful of players you expected to perform have simply underwhelmed. Does that story sound familiar at all? This is the life of a fantasy football player (sometimes). Fast forward to the next year and now you’re avoiding the same players because of their recent performance. Don’t do this. Players have off years and there are a plethora of reasons why they may have struggled in the past season. Regardless of what that reason is, let other fantasy owners’s recency bias drag down the average draft position (ADP) of those players so that you can get a bargain on someone who will come back strong.

We reached out to our group of featured experts to name players at the running back, wide receiver, and quarterback positions they believe will have a strong 2019 campaign after a down year. Don’t be afraid on draft day when coming across the names below.

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Q1. Name one RB you expect to bounce back strong from a disappointing 2018 campaign

Leonard Fournette (RB – JAC)
” Fournette missed half the season in 2018, but was ineffective when he was on the field, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry. Jacksonville’s offensive line was ravaged by injuries as well, so if the blocking unit is healthier, Fournette will have a chance to rebound. An upgrade at quarterback will help Fournette as well, as defenses will have to respect Nick Foles, contrary to Blake Bortles.”
– Walter Cherepinsky (WalterFootball)

Aaron Jones (RB – GB)
“There were definitely highlights in Aaron Jones’ 2018 season, but it was considered a disappointment after missing the first two games, then returning to a timeshare with Jamaal Williams. Fortunately, there’s a new head coach in town and Jones has apparently been getting into the best shape of his life, preparing to handle a bigger workload. Remember the days Eddie Lacy was a top-six fantasy running back? That was due to him playing alongside Aaron Rodgers. If Jones does indeed get the workhorse role, he’s finishing top-10 and maybe top-five.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

David Johnson (RB – ARI)
“With new coach Kliff Kingsbury and a rookie QB in Kyler Murray, the versatile RB is expected to be the centerpiece of this fast-paced offense. In 2018 he was heavily, almost criminally, underutilized and he still managed to finish as the RB10. Imagine what he can produce when utilized properly. For me, he is a lock as a top-5 running back for 2019.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

Kenyan Drake (RB – MIA)
“Drake’s overall numbers and finish weren’t terrible last year, but his inconsistency led to a generally disappointing season. With Adam Gase, who never trusted Drake as the featured back, and Frank Gore, who ran well last year, both gone from Miami, Drake should see much more of a featured role despite the presence of Kalen Ballage. Brian Flores sounds high on Drake, who generally fares well when given a starter’s workload. There’s risk involved, but I expect Drake to end the season as a strong RB2 in half-PPR formats.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Q2. Name one WR you expect to bounce back strong from a disappointing 2018 campaign

A.J. Green (WR – CIN)
“I’m not sure why A.J. Green was considered a bust in 2018. The way everyone talks about him is like he’s washed-up. News flash: Green was the No. 6 receiver in fantasy prior to going down with his foot injury. However, recency bias when he missed time with his toe injury has distorted the public perception of his talent level. He’s been stuck with Marvin Lewis in mediocrity for a long time, so you should know there’s upside for more with the new hire of Zac Taylor, as he’s said to be installing the Rams offense, which is extremely receiver-friendly. Green has finished as a top-10 receiver every time he’s played 14-plus games. In the seasons he didn’t, he was top-14 in points per game. When on the field, he’s a stud WR1.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Sammy Watkins (WR – KC)
“Despite playing in a high-octane offense last year, Sammy Watkins didn’t do much in his first year in Kansas City. However, Watkins will have an entire year to work with Patrick Mahomes. With Tyreek Hill’s status in limbo, Watkins will have every chance to be a key contributor for Kansas City in 2019.”
– Walter Cherepinsky (WalterFootball)

Golden Tate (WR – NYG)
“Everyone is going to remember the terrible campaign he had last year and going to forget how consistent he has been. In the last four seasons, he averaged 93 receptions, 1,056 yards, and 4.75 TDs. Odell Beckham is gone and Tate, playing most of his time in the slot, is going to have enough targets to establish himself as a low-end WR2 option.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

Larry Fitzgerald (WR – ARI)
“Even after he retires, I don’t know if I’ll be able to quit Larry Fitzgerald. Yes, he is coming off a poor season, but that was largely because the Cardinals threw the ball far less than in previous years and Josh Rosen‘s accuracy left much to be desired. With Kyler Murray at the helm and Kliff Kingsbury likely to install a more creative and pass-friendly offense, Fitzgerald should be able to bounce back nicely. Even with more mouths to feed with another year from Christian Kirk and new additions Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler, Fitzgerald still has gas left in the tank, and should have a fine season.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Q3. Name one QB you expect to bounce back strong from a disappointing 2018 campaign

Aaron Rodgers (QB – GB)
“It’s shocking to see the hate surrounding Aaron Rodgers after a “disappointing” fantasy season where he threw 25 touchdowns and just two interceptions. We should all be so lucky to have that called a disappointment. He posted the lowest touchdown-rate of his career while playing through some leg injuries, but still finished as the No. 5 fantasy quarterback. It was the first time he’d played more than 10 games and not finished as a top-two quarterback. Expect things to return to normal in 2019. He’s my QB1.”
– Mike Tagliere (FantasyPros)

Jameis Winston (QB – TB)
“I am all in on Winston this year having him as QB9 in my rankings. The arrival of Bruce Arians is going to convert this offense into a fantasy football bonanza. The weapons around Winston are incredible with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and OJ Howard. From Weeks 11 through 17 last year, Winston was the 9th best QB in total fantasy points, averaging 18.5 per game. He is the best QB to target after the 10th round.”
– Mauricio Gutierrez (Estadio Fantasy)

Cam Newton (QB – CAR)
“Newton’s shoulder is keeping fantasy drafters from selecting him early, at least in mock drafts thus far. However, I’m hearing Newton is looking great in OTAs. He will also have a talented, experienced receiver at his disposal this year in D.J. Moore, which will obviously help. I like Newton to bounce back in his second year in Norv Turner’s offense.”
– Walter Cherepinsky (WalterFootball)

Carson Wentz (QB – PHI)
“It might be unfair to label Wentz’s season a disappointment, since he lost several games to injury, but his touchdown pace regressed significantly from his standout 2017 campaign, largely because his completion rate on deep passes nosedived. A big reason why was because the Eagles lost speed at the wide receiver position from the previous year, losing Mack Hollins to injury and replacing Torrey Smith with Mike Wallace, who was on injured reserve for most of the year. With DeSean Jackson and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in tow, and with hopefully avoiding the injuries that decimated his offensive line, I expect Wentz to have a monster season and look much more like the 2017 version of himself.”
– Dan Harris (FantasyPros)

Thank you to the experts for naming their top bounce-back candidates. Be sure to give them a follow on Twitter and check out our latest podcast below for more advice.

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