Football: Top 2022 NFL Comeback of the Year Picks

Derrick Henry and Jameis Winston Top Options for 2022 NFL Comeback of the Year

Even though the NFL preseason is two months away, there’s no better time than the present to get started on your 2022 NFL betting homework. There are a ton of win-related futures bets to take but there are also plenty of specials bets available as well which can provide really good value, especially if you get them early enough. The NFL Comeback of the Year Award is one of those bets as there are many players with juicy lines.

To be named the NFL comeback player of the year, a player usually needs to bounce back from a serious injury the season before to then be productive. To be fair, players can win the award simply after having down years and then rebounding to their normal selves, or more likely, reaching new heights as a player – but it’s typically given to someone who played fewer than half of their team’s games in the prior season. Of course, that narrows the pool of legitimate candidates a bit but it also makes handicapping the race for the award a little easier.

Let’s run through some of the better options to win NFL Comeback of the Year:

Derrick Henry: +325

Derrick Henry, the Tennessee Titans‘ all-world running back, is the clear leader in the clubhouse after he played just eight games in 2021, plus a playoff game in which he was clearly limited due to a foot fracture.

When Henry went down, he had 937 rushing yards in the Titans’ first eight games and was on pace for a second-straight AP Offensive Player of the Year Award. He did manage to come back for the Titans’ Division Round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals but was far from 100%.

The case for Henry winning is simple: He might be the best non-quarterback offensive player in football. The importance of running backs has certainly declined in the modern NFL but Henry is so dominant that he is in a class by himself in the backfield. If he can regain something close to his 2020 form in 2022, then this should be his award to lose.

Jameis Winston: +650

The story of Jameis Winston is similar to that of Henry, although Jameis, of course, does not have the same pedigree. He had been playing great for the New Orleans Saints as their starting quarterback replacement for Drew Brees, tossing 14 touchdowns compared to just three interceptions in his first seven games. But, Jameis tore his ACL and MCL against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8 and missed the rest of the season.

The NFL prop odds like Jameis at +650, the second-best odds to win behind Henry. Even though the Saints might be bad this season, Jameis could sneak his way into some hardware if he can keep his interceptions down and compete for the NFL’s lead in passing yards-which he is expected to be a serious contender for. Jameis coming back from a devastating knee injury – to have a good season would be a great story and that kind of narrative is always useful for this award.

Michael Thomas: +850

It has been a weird couple of years for Michael Thomas. In 2019, he blew away his competition to lead the NFL in receptions (149) and receiving yards (1,725) en route to being named the AP Offensive Player of the Year. Then, in 2020, his numbers were down and he missed significant time due to an ankle sprain. He also was suspended for a game after punching a teammate in practice. Finally, he missed all of 2021 after undergoing offseason ankle surgery, from which he suffered a setback. So, he hasn’t played since January 17, 2021, when he had an 0-for in New Orleans’ playoff loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

All indications are that Thomas will be ready for training camp and if he can stay healthy and out of trouble off the field, then he should be Jameis Winston’s top target. Thomas has shown that his talent is endless because you don’t put together a 2019 season like he did if you aren’t incredibly good. The question is if his ankle can hold up. At +850, though, he’s worth a flyer on ability and potential alone.

Christian McCaffrey: +1200

After playing all 16 games in each of the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Christian McCaffrey has played just 10 total games in the past two seasons. In 2020, a high ankle sprain and season-ending shoulder injury limited him to three games and, in 2021, hamstring and ankle injuries cut his season short. When he has been on the field, he has rarely been close to full strength which is a shame considering how much fun he is as both a runner and pass-catcher.

At +1200, McCaffrey is a pretty big underdog to win NFL Comeback of the Year despite his status as one of the NFL’s best offensive weapons. The issue is that it has just been a while since he was at his peak form and there’s no guarantee he’ll be healthy enough to get back there in 2022, particularly on a Carolina Panthers team that has an unsettled quarterback situation. The circumstances for a compelling comeback case are definitely there for McCaffrey, for sure.

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