A quarterback has won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award each of the last four seasons. Andrew Luck took it home in 2018-19, Ryan Tannehill in 2019-20, Alex Smith in 2020-21, and Joe Burrow took home the hardware last season after throwing for over 4,600 yards and 34 touchdowns in the regular season. He had Ja’Marr Chase to thank for that after the former LSU Tiger burst onto the scene to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. Heading into the 2022-23 NFL betting season, Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry is currently the +350 favorite to take home the award at FanDuel Sportsbook. Sorry, but I’m not buying that in the least! While the dude’s a battering ram, he’s logged a ton of miles on that frame and I fully believe last year was the genesis of what’s likely to be an end of career marred by injuries. With such a short payoff, there simply isn’t enough meat on the bone to get involved with the veteran. While I can make a case for a number of players on the list below winning the award this season, the following are the top five selections that I’ve thrown some beer money on initially. Much can happen over the course of a season to change my thinking, but these are the five storylines that I’ll be paying most attention to at the season’s outset.
NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds at DraftKings Sportsbook
Derrick Henry +350
Jameis Winston +550
Michael Thomas/Daniel Jones +900
Christian McCaffrey +1000
Mitch Trubisky/Marcus Mariota +1200
Baker Mayfield +1400
J.K. Dobbins/Chase Young/Deshaun Watson +1600
Allen Robinson/Drew Lock +2000
JuJu Smith-Schuster/Chris Godwin/Odell Beckham Jr./Cam Akers +2500
Travis Etienne +3000
Robert Woods/JJ Watt/Carl Lawson/Marcus Peters +4000
Tre’Davious White/Chris Carson/Jaycee Horn/Will Fuller +5000
Danielle Hunter/Raheem Mostert/Marlon Humphrey +5000
DeAndre Hopkins +7500
Ryan Fitzpatrick/Darrell Henderson/Gus Edwards +10000
Jeffrey Okudah/Ronnie Stanley/Brandon Graham +10000
Jameis Winston +550
Of all the quarterbacks on the list up above, it’s Winston that has the most job security. On top of that, the front office made it a point to beef up what was a dreadfully poor receiving cast from a season ago. Though New Orleans saw a plethora of injuries bombard its quarterback room and wide receiver corps, the Saints were owners of the absolute worst passing offense in the game. It averaged fewer than 200 yards per game and saw less than 30 touchdowns thrown between all QBs. Before getting injured in Week 7, Winston had played to a 102.8 QB rating by way of throwing for 1,170 yards and a 14:3 TD/INT ratio. Now with a healthy Michael Thomas to play alongside newcomers Jarvis Landry and rookie Chris Olave, the Saints passing attack is likely to be a strength. Throw Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill into the mix, and it can really cook! If Winston remains healthy and leads NO to the playoffs, he’s a lock to be in contention for the award.
Daniel Jones +900
The offensive firepower on the GMEN roster is something to behold! Unfortunately, prior coaching staffs couldn’t figure out how to make it all work. This investment on what looks to be one of the bigger first round busts in NFL Draft history has everything to do with Brian Daboll and NY’s brand spanking new coaching staff molding “Danny Dimes” into the player that can run the Giants new-look and exciting offense. Upper management has already let it be known that this is his final shot by not picking up his fifth-year option. It’s put up or shut up time for the maligned Duke Blue Devil! If not, I’ll be able to take a Bic to this ticket quickly with the coaching staff looking the way of veteran Tyrod Taylor without hesitancy should Jones continue to disappoint.
Christian McCaffrey +1000
There isn’t a running back in the league that’s more explosive than “RUN CMC” when 100 percent healthy or close to it. Though it seems like he’s been in the league for a long time now, the 2022-23 season will only be his sixth running and catching passes out of the backfield for the Carolina Panthers. While long-term injuries are a concern with him only suiting up for 10 games over the last two seasons, we’re just going to have to take a leap of faith and hope his body is fully healed and ready to take on the rigors of a 17-week schedule. If the injury bug stays away this year and he’s able to churn out a season reminiscent of his 2019 campaign that saw him go for nearly 2,400 scrimmage yards and 19 TD, he’ll be the runaway winner and put an end to the quarterback position’s winning streak of winning this award.
Allen Robinson +2000
No longer will A-Rob be forced to rot away on a roster while the coaching staff trips and stumbles all over itself trying to figure out a way to get him the ball. Its football fellas, it’s not hard! While it pains me to not see Robinson’s name on the Bears roster any longer, his insertion into the Rams is one prop bettors and fantasy footballers will undoubtedly appreciate. He was wasted away in Chicago, but you can bet your bottom dollar Sean McVay and his staff find a way to best utilize his talents. With opposing defenses likely to put heavy doses of effort into stopping Cooper Kupp on a weekly basis, Robinson is going to be put into positions to thrive with regularity. After being forced to play with his hands tied behind his back the last four years, I expect him to make the most of those opportunities and put forth his best fantasy season in years; maybe ever!
Tre’Davious White +5000
A defensive player hasn’t won this award since 2015 when Eric Berry pulled off the feat as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. But if the Buffalo Bills actually go on to live up to their lofty preseason expectations and the defense continues to be a force like it was before Tre’Davious White was injured last season, it’ll be impossible for the voters to not look his way after almost certainly playing a huge role in helping lead the team to the Promised Land. Provided his knee is 100 percent healthy and allows him to perform up to levels seen in the past, Buffalo’s secondary is going to be dangerous with rookie Kaiir Elam manning the other cornerback position. “I’ll buy that for a dollar!”