Top 5 unheralded fantasy football comeback players

BY foxsports • June 15, 2016

Sometimes, players fly below the radar when coming back from serious injuries. This isn't an issue for guys like Le'Veon Bell and Andrew Luck, but the players below can be acquired in the middle of your draft or later, and figure to offer good value if their recoveries go well.

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens

Flacco is the 24th quarterback going off the board per the ADP at FantasyFootballCalculator.com, and is ranked 24th per analyst consensus at FantasyPros.com, but I have him at QB17. After missing the final six games of 2015 with a knee injury, the former Super Bowl MVP is expected to be ready for Week 1.

Flacco struggled under new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, but remember that he threw for 3,986 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2014. Also, the Ravens have added WR Mike Wallace and TE Ben Watson to their receiving corps, and Trestman steered Jay Cutler toward a couple of solid seasons while in Chicago (Cutler was QB14 in 2014). If you're into rostering backup quarterbacks, Flacco is a solid if unspectacular option that should be available with a very late pick.

Dion Lewis, RB, Patriots

Lewis was very good before tearing his ACL in Week 9, amassing 622 yards from scrimmage, four touchdowns and 36 receptions in less than seven games. On a per-game basis, he was RB12 last season.

Lewis is being drafted near the end of Round 4 per FFC, and ranks 21st among the analysts at FantasyPros. There are always risks with injuries, but the Pats seem to love Lewis, and at his current price he's worth a long look.

Justin Forsett, RB, Ravens

Forsett wasn't exactly a stud before breaking his arm in Week 11, but he was a respectable RB32 on a per-game basis, with 794 yards from scrimmage and a couple of touchdowns. Forsett is a good receiving back in an offense that is generally friendly to his skillset, and even though he'll have to fend off youngsters Kenneth Dixon and Buck Allen for playing time, he'll enter camp atop the Ravens' depth chart.

Forsett was probably drafted too high last season, but you could do worse with an RB3 in the seventh round of your draft, especially in a PPR league. He's risky, but appears to have a job.

Kevin White, WR, Bears

White was the Bears' top draft pick in 2015, being drafted seventh overall before suffering a stress fracture in his shin during OTAs. For context on White's skills, he was picked three slots behind Amari Cooper, and many observers debated which star wideout they'd take.

The Bears were 25th in the league in pass attempts last season, but it's easy to imagine them throwing more with two good receivers starting and without Matt Forte in the backfield. Early fantasy drafters are optimistic about the 6'3", 215-pound White, taking him in the seventh round despite missing a full season. His talent and upside are significant, even when paired with target hog Alshon Jeffery. The low WR3 range sounds about right.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks

Graham is a risky play after tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee last November, but as the 11th tight end near the back of the ninth round (per FFC), the chance might be worth it. Pete Carroll sounds upbeat about Graham being ready for Week 1 instead of being placed on the PUP list, and said on August 4 that Graham is getting "really close."

But wasn't Graham terrible last season? Yes - for him. He was TE11 on a per-game basis, and even modest improvement could make him a value pick. Unless you think Doug Baldwin will catch 477 TD passes again, Graham has a decent chance to be the Seahawks' primary red-zone target when active. He's not battling Gronk for positional supremacy anymore, but it's not a stretch to think he'll outplay Gary Barnidge, Delanie Walker and Coby Fleener. Yes, we know - that's IF Graham is healthy.



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