College Fantasy Football, like any fantasy sport, sees its fair share of comeback players every year. Those players that go down injured after a hot start or are looking for a second chance after a down season. Comeback players are the heart and soul of any good feel good story. 2019 offers a variety of redemption stories for multiple players, but which players are making the most of their opportunity in 2019?
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Comeback Players for 2019 College Fantasy Football
- QB Mitchell Guadagni, Toledo
- QB Brian Lewerke, Michigan State
- RB Rodney Smith, Minnesota
- RB Shannon Brooks, Minnesota
- WR Juwan Johnson, Oregon
QB Alan Bowman, Texas Tech
A collapsed lung led to the collapse of what should’ve been the start to a dominant career for Alan Bowman. Bowman got off to a rocket start with the injury to starter McLane Carter and put up 1,557 yards and 10 scores over a four-game period before his lung collapsed while taking a hit against West Virginia. He returned with a 408 yard, 3 score performance against Kansas and collapsed his lung again two weeks later against Oklahoma.
While a coaching change may impact the Red Raiders this season, what Matt Wells did with Jordan Love at Utah State is nothing short of extraordinary. Bowman is a clear step ahead of Jett Duffey and is poised for a big redemption Sophomore season against weaker Big 12 defenses.
QB’s Kelly Bryant/Jalen Hurts, Missouri/Oklahoma
The similarities between Jalen Hurts and Kelly Bryant are many. They both began their starting careers hot before something within their skillsets proved to be lacking something their younger competition had. They both lost fans in performances in the CFP Finals and now both are at different schools than they started.
Kelly Bryant made a strong case for himself against Auburn to start the season and almost led Clemson to an undefeated regular season. He capped off his breakout year by schlacking Miami and losing in the CFP semifinal to Alabama. After losing his spot to arguably the best quarterback in college football, Bryant departed to Missouri for one last ride with a quarterback guru coach and an improved offensive line.
Jalen Hurts led the Tide all the way to the National Championship game before the left-handed Hawaiian Tua Tagovailoa took the job. Hurts missed out on two years of eligibility by filling in for Tua in the SEC Championship game after Tua left injured and began his redemption story. He left the school he once started for, for a primetime spot in the Oklahoma Sooners offense. A spot that was held by the previous two Heisman winners.
Both guys have one shot to immortalize themselves. I don’t see either going to the wayside. Both will be major assets in 2019 college fantasy football.
QB Jawon Pass, Louisville
Many fantasy owners had high hopes for Puma Pass last season. I even owned stock. Unfortunately, Bobby Petrino couldn’t quite get him to deliver on that ceiling of his. If there is any coach in football that can, however, it’s Scott Satterfield. Pass missed out on Jeff Brohm but inherits a coach that produced gold at App State. Will this be the season we were all expecting last year?
QB Josh Jackson, Maryland
The Maryland quarterback room looks completely different in 2019. They lose Kasim Hill but gain an excellent player in Josh Jackson. Jackson missed all of 2019 with a broken fibula. Jackson transferred over to Maryland after the close of the season. Mike Locksley inherits a player who began his career with close to 3,000 yards and 20 scores with great running abilities. Jackson will return to form this season with a talented roster around him and good coaching situation.
QB Deondre Francois, FAU
Deondre Francois found an opportunity at Florida Atlantic after a video was released of him threatening his girlfriend. Although the girlfriend in the video mentioned that he was more innocent than the video led on, Francois was still booted from Florida State in a good move on Willie Taggart’s part. Now Francois gets one last ride as a walk-on at Florida Atlantic under Lane Kiffin and could be the second-best quarterback in that conference behind Mason Fine. Not many players get this opportunity, hopefully, he makes better decisions moving forward.
RB Jonathan Ward, Central Michigan
Jonathan Ward was a second-round pick last season. He finished up the year with just barely over 250 yards from scrimmage and one measly touchdown. Ward has received praise all Spring from new coach Jim McElwain for his performances. If he can return to 2017 form then he is a huge diamond in the rough for anyone who takes a chance on him.
RB JK Dobbins, Ohio State
It’s hard to write a comeback piece on JK Dobbins considering he topped 1,000 yards last season. But considering he didn’t do much more is why he makes the cut. Dobbins was a preseason top ten back and spent much of the year getting more carries and fewer yards than his freshman season. Dobbins doesn’t have to worry about Mike Weber this season but he must get back to his freshman form if he expects to hold off the wealth of talent that the Buckeyes have recruited over the past several seasons. Maybe a change in coaching will help.
WR Tarik Black, Michigan
Tarik Black is the poster child for comeback seasons. After missing 10 games in 2017 due to a foot injury and another ten in 2018 with another foot injury. If Black was looking for a breakout season, this ones it. Harbaugh is finally handing the reigns of the offense to a competent coordinator and needs the once coveted recruit on the field if they expect to win the Big Ten. Black must play more than three games this season if he hopes to avoid the “injury-prone” label come draft season.
TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
Albert Okwuegbunam’s 2018 had a combination of things that make a comeback player. His lingering shoulder injury hindered his production all season long. Albert O is a special player and is considered to be one of the first three tight ends off the board this fall. If he wants to make more money in April, he needs more dominance on the field than he showed this past season.
TE Hunter Bryant, Washington
Hunter Bryant’s 2018 was better than it was supposed to be. Bryant went undrafted in many leagues in fear that he missed the season due to knee surgery. He came back and averaged 21 yards per reception in the final weeks of the season. If Jacob Eason is as advertised, he can make Bryant into the star we know he can be given that the Huskies don’t really have that jaw-dropping receiver that they had in the past.
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