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Top Superstars for This NFL Season

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Top Superstars for This NFL Season
Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Tennessee Titans. Tom Pennington/Getty Images/AFP

Which NFL superstars are poised advantageously on the comeback trail? Are there outside bets to consider as well?

NFL Player Futures Betting

Whether betting on football starlets already orbiting and, in turn, stars ready to launch into the NFL Universe, bookmakers serve up various NFL player futures to spot. It’s a brand new season on the horizon and the NFL odds and lines trading are extensive and comprehensive. From NFL regular season MVP to the NFL Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, etc., there’s no shortage of bets to be made.

In this space, we pay particular attention to the Comeback Player of the Year market, offering some insight to those that are favorably viewed in the running for the award. Established stars of the game looking to recapture past glory and their corresponding odds. Equally, we shed the spotlight on unassuming players that might surprise and become rising stars of the game – a la Ryan Tannehill, last season.

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Ryan Tannehill, 2019 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Winner

Predicting the recipient of the winner of the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award is tricky because it’s not totally clear what defining factors weigh on the decision. Is it a return from injury? Is it bouncing back from poor performance? Is it reforming behaviour after a spate of legal troubles?

Last season Ryan Tannehill won the award. Tannehill’s struggles with the Miami Dolphins were so grave the organization parted ways with the quarterback ahead of the 2019 season, sending him packing to Tennessee where he was intended to take on a backup role. To say nobody could have predicted the season Tannehill would go on to have with the Titans is an understatement. It practically came out of nowhere; never before had he shown such poise, mettle and confidence at the helm of an offense. 

Tale told, half-way through the season, coach Mike Vrabel benched Marcus Mariota in favor of Ryan Tannehill and the Titans never looked back. That half-season breakout, which ultimately led to an appearance in the AFC Championship game, earned the Miami-cast-off the Comeback Player of the Year honor. It’s safe to assume, bouncing back from poor performance proved to be the deciding factor then. 

That said, it was the first time in five season that a player not returning from injury won the award, and it was only the second time in the same five-year span that a quarterback won the award. Andrew Luck won the award in 2018 after he bounced back from injury to lead the Colts to the playoffs. Prior to that WR Keenan Allen (2017), WR Jordy Nelson (2016), S Eric Berry (2015) and TE Rob Gronkowski (2014) won the awards.

Ryan Tannehill #17 of the Tennessee Titans. Bobby Ellis/Getty Images/AFP

NFL 2020 Comeback Player Of The Year

The list of players earmarked for the 2020 Comeback Player of the year award is extensive and below we list the top ten bets currently trading with BetOnline. (For a complete list, check BetOnline Sportbook). 

Among these top ten bets are several established starlets in the game, household names looking to recapture the heyday of their youth or of previous successful campaigns, of which the most prominent are Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger and Rob Gronkowski – all priced inside the top three. 

NFL 2020 Comeback Player of the Year Odds with BetOnline

  • Cam Newton +375
  • Ben Roethlisberger +450
  • Rob Gronkowski +550
  • JJ Watt +700
  • AJ Green +750
  • Matthew Stafford +750
  • Nick Foles +750
  • Baker Mayfield +1000
  • Myles Garrett +1200
  • Aldon Smith +1600
  • Alex Smith +2000
  • Antonio Brown +2200

It’s hard to argue with the choice of these three players to top this market. There’s a lot to recommend each one. Cam Newton is joining the New England Patriots, a team that has a tradition of success under Bill Belichick. Ben Roethelisberger is coming off an injury, returning to a side that boasts a formidable defense and a well-respected coach that knows a thing or two about winning campaigns. Rob Gronkowski, meanwhile, is reuniting with his BFF, Tom Brady, in Tampa Bay, and joining a Buccaneers side that is enjoying a lot of hype in preseason NFL betting markets just on the strength of the star power that is lining up for head coach Bruce Arians. 

If there’s one name amongst these three shortlisted players that leaps off the page, it’s Big Ben. Given the Steelers went 8-8 SU last season without their starting quarterback speaks to the strength of the defense. Heck, they very nearly willed themselves into the playoffs

Now, consider adding offense to that very same package, a healthy Big Ben leading the O-line for the proverbial one-two punch, and there’s suddenly a definite upside appeal to laying the short odds on Roethelisberger.

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

Longshots to win the Comeback Player of the Year award

As with any NFL betting market, looking beyond the top bets is advisable as well, especially when looking for better rewards for your investment. There are several dark horse NFL picks to spot, former NFL stars and stars in-the-making that strike an attractive pose in the betting. Below, we list five such stars whose potential shine catches the eye. 

Alex Smith +2000

Alex Smith checks all the right boxes one wants to see in the Comeback Player of the Year recipient. The Washington – new team name yet to be determined – quarterback is expected to make a return to football, getting the all-clear to return two years after suffering one of the most horrendous leg injuries in NFL history

Smith underwent 17 surgeries on his leg since 2018, when he suffered the devastating tibia and fibula fractures midseason. He also overcame life-threatening sepsis that nearly led to amputation. 

Of course, many things would need to align for Alex Smith in Washington under new head coach Ron Rivera, including winning the quarterback starting job which is right now looking like a three-way competition with Dwayne Haskins and Kyle Allen. Nevertheless, at +2000 at BetOnline, he’s a tempting – if sentimentally so – bet to clinch this honor right now.

Andy Dalton +3300

A lot would have to happen in Dallas for the newly acquired backup quarterback, Andy Dalton, to actually have a viable shot to win the CPOY award. Dak Prescott’s relationship with the organization and head coach Mike McCarthy going south all of a sudden, for instance.  Prescott playing downright awful at the start of the season or, worse yet, suffering an injury that would end his season prematurely. 

If one of these things does happen, Dalton would be a very interesting bet indeed. Dalton, in some way not unlike Tannehill, hasn’t had the best team around him over his career. Something that is truer of the Bengals in the last few seasons, a side that has trended negatively in the estimation of many NFL analysts. Imagine what Dalton could do with a sound head coach and an organization that wants to win now and not tomorrow. 

Bradley Chubb +6600

Bradley Chubb, who was the No.5 draft pick overall in 2018, had a stellar inaugural season with the Denver Broncos when as a rookie he clocked 12 sacks to his credit. An ACL injury ended the outside linebacker’s sophomore season prematurely and all the expectations that came with it. 

Returning in 2020, Chubb should be fit and healthy. In some ways, having additional rest during the offseason because of safety measures imposed on the league due to the coronavirus pandemic will only benefit Chubb. The Broncos finally appear to have found a quarterback for the foreseeable future in Drew Lock. They made some savvy moves in this season’s draft to build around the young gunslinger’s talent, but they also picked up some defensive morsels to shore up the D-line. And defensive head coach Vic Fangio is sure to be chomping at the bit with a healthy Chubb back in the team’s lineup. 

If the Broncos are to be contenders, a healthy Chubb could prove a key factor in the equation. For that reason, a flutter on the tempting +6600 odds on Chubb, who is certainly poised to be an NFL future star, is worth considering.

Trent Williams +8000

To look at the list of previous CPOY champions is to notice that no offensive lineman has ever won the award. Might Trent Williams be the outlier to change the trend? Priced at a whopping +8000 with BetOnline, it’s evident he’s a longshot bet. 

Williams has a history of injuries since 2013 that does take the shine off his odds. His departure from Washington was somewhat acrimonious as well. He lost trust in the organization after team doctors missed a cancerous growth on his head, which was later diagnosed by independent doctors as potentially life-threatening. He didn’t even play last year; Washington put him on non-football injury list after he claimed to have issues with his helmet post-surgery.

For these reasons, it wouldn’t be sensible to pound his odds with impunity. That said, Williams has made the Pro Bowl from 2012-18, which might make him worth floating as a potential NFL pick. 

Looking forward, Williams is headed to an established heavyweight in the NFL: San Francisco 49ers, where he’ll likely suit up alongside Richard Sherman. The Niners were last season’s Super Bowl runners up. Given the fact he’s moving to a better team, the best of Williams may yet come

TY Hilton +8000

TY Hilton was one of the league’s best receivers from 2014-17 before things started to come undone. That his decline coincided with Andrew Luck’s injury woes is perhaps telling. In 2016, TY Hilton led the NFL in receiving, the same year that Luck enjoyed a standout season and a career-high completion percentage of 63.5. The following year, Luck missed the entire 2017 season and Hilton’s production slipped – he finished with 966 receiving yards, down from 1,448 in 2016. 

In the last two seasons, Hilton didn’t play full 16-game schedules. In 2018, Hilton played 14 games and in 2019 he played merely 10 games. That said, in 2018, the year Luck returned to the starting lineup – what proved to be his final season in the NFL, in which he won the COPY award for himself – Hilton managed to trot up 1,270 receiving yards. Compared to 2019 when Hilton tallied only 501 receiving yards with Jacoby Brissett at the helm of the offense. 

Evidently, the relationship between quarterback and receiver isn’t mutually exclusive. This begs the question what can bettors expect when Philip Rivers takes over the offense in Indianapolis. The pairing of Rivers and TY Hilton could very well resurrect both NFL starlets to the heights of the league and elevate Hilton into serious contention. For that reason alone, TY Hilton, who is a bona fide star NFL player, could very well prove a savvy dark horse NFL pick.