INDIANAPOLIS --- Last season in my fantasy league of record, I drafted C.J. Spiller in the 2nd round. My arch nemesis had Arian Foster and Doug Martin on his roster. Then there was the team that took Ray Rice in the 1st. You can't win your league in the 1st or 2nd rounds of your fantasy draft, but you can definitely lose it. 2013 reminded us of that with what felt like a record for the number of 1st and 2nd round busts.
But so often in fantasy a minor setback for the stars of yesterday turns into a major comeback...and players that can help win you a fantasy championship the following year.
2014 is littered with fantasy talent that just didn't live up to the hype last season and has resulted in cheaper price tags. That creates opportunity for those who weigh the right amount of risk versus reward. There are Knowshon Morenos and Fred Jacksons to be found all over again in 2014.
So without further adieu, here our the Colts.com candidates for Fantasy Comeback Players of the Year, joined by Marcas Grant from NFL.com's heralded fantasy staff (Marcas picks more comeback candidates in the Fantasy Football Friday Podcast):
Kevin Bowen: Arian Foster, Texans RB - This might not be the most popular choice for Colts fans, but I'm going with Arian Foster. In playing just eight games last year (back), Foster has to be a major focal point if the Texans want to have the resurgence many are predicting this season. With a new quarterback and uncertainty following Andre Johnson's every move in Houston, a healthy Foster should be back among the elite fantasy backs in this league. The most alarming number from Foster last year was him having just one rushing touchdown in his eight games played. This is a guy that had 41 rushing touchdowns in 45 games the previous three years.
Jim Sorgi: Julio Jones and Roddy White, Falcons WR - I'm going with two guys on the same team at the same position. Obviously, it was an injury plagued season but killed it in 2012. I think they will get back to form. They're getting a lot bigger in Atlanta up front blocking for Matt Ryan. I think he'll have the time to go down the field. I expect both these guys to be healthy and put up big numbers in 2014.
Steve Andress: Trent Richardson, Colts RB - I've been on the Richardson bandwagon all preseason, and I'm not about to get off now. We've talked at length how having a full offseason with the playbook should help Richardson in 2014. His preseason yards per carry is not going to sway you but look closer at the tape. He hasn't been playing with a full deck up front on the offensive line but has made defenders miss in the whole on a few runs. He's flashed. I see signs, and with an average draft position still in the 9th round on NFL.com as the 28th RB off the board, it's a huge potential reward for minimal risk. And I promise I made this pick before hearing what Marcas Grant said.
NFL.com's Marcas Grant: Trent Richardson, Colts RB - I am riding hard for Trent Richardson this year. I'm driving that bus until the wheels fall off. I think with the offseason to study the playbook, hopefully look at some film, and see where he went wrong last year. I like the opportunity for Richardson. Until further notice, it's going to be Trent getting the ball on a heavy basis this season there in Indy. I think he is in line to look a little bit more like he did when he was a rookie in Cleveland.