NFL Comeback Player of the Year – Odds & Best Bets

08 / 22 / 2022 By Ally Mielnicki

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What exactly defines a “comeback player”? Is it a player who misses significant time and production due to injury? Or a player who has an off-season and, in response, turns in his best season yet?

Whatever the case, we have the odds (courtesy of Vegas Insider) for this season’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. We also have our best bets, and sleeper picks for who we like to win. Read on below. 

  • Derrick Henry, Titans +350
  • Jameis Winston, Saints +500
  • Christian McCaffrey, Panthers +700
  • Daniel Jones, Giants +900
  • Baker Mayfield, Panthers +900
  • Michael Thomas, Saints +1200
  • Mitchell Trubisky, Bears +1200
  • Chase Young, Commanders +1400
  • Marcus Mariota, Falcons +1600
  • J.K. Dobbins, Ravens +2000
  • Allen Robinson, Rams +2200
  • Juju Smith-Schuster, Chiefs +2200
  • Cam Akers, Rams +2500
  • Khalil Mack, Chargers +2500
  • Saquon Barkley, Giants +2500
  • Gardner Minshew, Eagles +2800
  • D.J. Chark, Lions +3300
  • Travis Etienne, Jaguars +3300
  • Robert Woods, Titans +4000
  • Danielle Hunter, Vikings +4000
  • Tre’Davious White, Bills +4000
  • James White, N/A +4000
  • Marcus Peters, Ravens +5000
  • Odell Beckham, N/A +5000
  • Carl Lawson, Jets +5000
  • Raheem Mostert, Dolphins +5000
  • Will Fuller, N/A +5000
  • Darrell Henderson, Rams +6600
  • Jordan Love, Pakcers +8000

Best Bets

Baker Mayfield

Following a tumultuous 2021 season and an even more drama-filled offseason, the former No. 1 overall pick finds himself out of Cleveland with a chance to revitalize his career in Carolina. Many had high expectations for Mayfield entering 2021. After all, Baker led the Browns to the playoffs in the 2020 season, including a postseason win. However, a shoulder injury derailed his 2021 hopes, and Baker endured much criticism following WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s departure from the team. Now, Baker gets a prime opportunity to bounce back from a bitter end to his Cleveland career and resurrect it with the Panthers. With a solid receiving corps of DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson, along with the versatile Christian McCaffrey in the backfield, Mayfield has the weapons he needs to unleash his talent. If he can lead this team to the playoffs, Mayfield should be in line to win the Comeback Player of the Year.

J.K. Dobbins

After missing all last season with an injury, Dobbins makes his much-anticipated return to the Ravens’ backfield. He turned in an impressive rookie campaign in 2020, rushing for 805 yards and 9 TDs in 15 games – and only one start. Many expected the young RB to take a significant leap last season, but Dobbins never got the opportunity as a torn ACL in the preseason derailed his chances. Should Dobbins pick up right where he left off his rookie season, he could finish well toward the top of the league in rushing yards and TDs. And since Baltimore tends to exert a run-first offense with Lamar Jackson at the helm, Dobbins should get ample time to show just how productive he can be.

Michael Thomas

Two years ago, Michael Thomas was a top 5 receiver in the NFL. However, an ankle/foot injury kept him off the field for all of 2021. Thomas is set to make his long-awaited return to the Saints but will have to do so without his QB Drew Brees, who retired after the 2020 season. He will also have to take the field without longtime Saints head coach Sean Payton, who announced his retirement following last season. Thomas still has a great situation ahead of him in New Orleans. After a promising start, QB Jameis Winston will return as the Saints’ signal caller after his season was cut short in 2021. That should bode well for Thomas, who loves running deep routes. Winston is known to launch the deep ball, so the two could be a match made in heaven. Add new additions Jarvis Landry and rookie Chris Olave and the Saints could be a dangerous team in 2022.


Saquon Barkley

It’s been a rough road for the former No. 2 pick since his incredible rookie season. Injuries have severely limited Barkley’s availability and production the past three seasons. However, Barkley has the perfect opportunity to establish himself as one of the top RBs in the game should he remain healthy this year. New head coach Brian Daboll has praised Barkley during training camp calling him explosive and dynamic. If Barkley can replicate his rookie campaign, then there’s no doubt he will be in the running (no pun intended) for Comeback Player of the Year.

Gardner Minshew

Call me crazy, but if Eagles QB Jalen Hurts regresses this season, we may see head coach Nick Sirianni give Minshew some reps or even starts for Philly. Minshew had decent starts as Jaguars QB when the little-known 6th-round pick took over for Nick Foles in 2019. Now, he finds himself in an interesting position as Eagles backup QB Surrounding him is some incredible talent with A.J. Brown & DeVonta Smith at WR, Dallas Goedert at TE, and Miles Sanders at RB. Should Hurts struggle, we may see Minshew get the opportunity to prove he can be a viable starter in this league. And with the Eagles eyeing a potential division title if Minshew can be the one to lead them to the playoffs, he most certainly will throw his name in for Comeback consideration.

Khalil Mack

Mack’s value has fallen significantly following some up-and-down years with the Bears. After parting ways with Chicago this offseason, Mack is now a member of the L.A. Chargers. One major criticism of the Chargers last season was their poor defensive play and tendency to surrender tons of points to opponents. If Mack is motivated enough to rejuvenate his career, he can establish himself once again as one of the most elite pass rushers in the game. It won’t be easy as he plays in the toughest division in the league. However, should he excel, there may be more clamoring for him to win the award, especially if L.A. wins the AFC West.

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