The 2016 NFL Season is still over three months away but the fantasy preparations are already beginning. This week we will take a look at a few players we expect to have bounce back performances during the upcoming season as well as a few players who might perform like they did during the 2015 NFL season.
At the top of the list for players who we expect to have a bounce back season is quarterback Andrew Luck. Last season the Indianapolis Colts quarterback battled through a variety is injuries including dealing with a shoulder injury that forced him to back to back games early on. The biggest of the blows came a few weeks later as he suffered a partially torn abdominal and a lacerated kidney against the Denver Broncos an injury that would cost him the remainder of the season.
In the end the blow was crucial to the Colts as the team would miss the playoffs for the first time since Luck arrived while his fantasy owners were left digging through the waiver wire for a potential replacement. When it was all said Luck played in just seen games last season throwing for 1,881 yards to go along with 15 touchdown passes.
While Luck looks to bounce back another quarterback might not have the same success as he did last season and that player is Carson Palmer. Palmer who is coming off his best passing season of his NFL career will turn 37 before the end of the 2016 NFL regular season.
Last season Palmer was as good as any quarterback in the league passing for 4,671 yards through the air while connecting on 35 touchdown passes. While he still has a very solid group of wideouts our biggest concern is whether or not father time will catch up with him this season.
2016 NFL Bounce Back Candidates
Torrey Smith, San Francisco 49ers: The second season in a 49ers uniform should go in a much better direction now that team will revolve around one of the faster offensive schemes under new head coach Chip Kelly. Over his last two seasons as head coach in Philadelphia, Kelly has seen Jordan Matthews pull in 85 catches for 997 yards with eight touchdowns last season and 67 catches as a rookie for 872 yards with eight touchdowns in 2014. The Eagles also saw Jeremy Maclin finish with 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2014 NFL season as well. This should be something fantasy owners will look to as the season approaches.
Martellus Bennett, New England Patriots: Now the veteran tight end won’t be the key weapon in the Patriots offensive attack but he should provide a second big man threat to go along with Rob Gronkowski for Tom Brady to hit. Prior to last season Bennett had posted 916 yards in 2014 and 759 yards in 2014. For us as it will be hard to pass up on Bennett as his chances will be available as teams look to double team Gronk out of the gate.
Other bounce back fantasy options include Julius Thomas, Dez Bryant, Mohamed Sanu, Joe Flacco, LeVeon Bell and DeMarco Murray.
2016 NFL Falling Down Candidates
Darren McFadden, Dallas Cowboys: The former Oakland Raiders and current Cowboys running back has always had the potential to be a great. Unfortunately his ability to stay on the field has hurt his career. Now despite topping the 1,000 yard mark for the second time in his career he could see his role drop to a reserve role as first round pick Ezekiel Elliott looks to take over as the lead back.
Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos: Over the past two seasons the former Pittsburgh Stelelers wide receiver has put up some big time fantasy numbers for his fantasy owners. Now entering the 2016 NFL season the team no longer has Peyton Manning under center and not even Brock Osweiler to throw him the ball. For us the biggest concern with Sanders this season will come with who will be throwing him passes this season and whether or not the two of them can build a rhythm together in the passing attack.
Other potential players who could slip in 2016 for fantasy owners include Larry Fitzgerald, Doug Martin, Chris Ivory, Kirk Cousins and Greg Olsen.