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Don’t Call It A Comeback! Jimmy G Tabbed As Fave To Win NFL Comeback POY Award

NFL Comeback Player Of The Year Award 2019

The beauty about the brutality of the National Football League is the comeback story. A player could be left for dead due to a devastating injury or poor performance and then the next season, he can rise up from the ashes like a phoenix and reclaim his position of dominance.

That’s why the Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award is a fun betting prop to wager on because you’re rooting for something good to happen for a player who shows perseverance and overcomes adversity.

Oddsmakers have scoured the league for storylines and think the good fortune will be siding with 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Jimmy G is the betting favorite to have a great season in 2019 after suffering a torn ACL in Week 3 of the 2018 campaign.

Online sportsbook Bovada has Garoppolo as a +325 fave to win the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award followed by Jets RB Le’Veon Bell (+450), Falcons RB Devonta Freeman (+900), Redskins RB Derrius Guice (+1200), Eagles QB Carson Wentz (+1200), Ravens safety Earl Thomas (+1600), Panthers QB Cam Newton (+1400), Cowboys TE Jason Witten (+1600), Cardinals RB David Johnson (+1600) and Bengals WR AJ Green (+1800) to round out the top 10 candidates.

Why Garoppolo Is The Favorite

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the betting favorite to win the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award based primarily on potential as he returns from an ACL injury. He was lost for the season in Week 3 vs the Chiefs in 2018 after hurting his knee.

Prior to the injury, Garoppolo was considered a savior for San Francisco as the 49ers have been starved for a quarterback since the departures of Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick and have been in football purgatory. Jimmy G led the Niners on an inspiring run in 2017 when they won five of their last six games with him as the starter and showing the calm and collectiveness of a high-end quarterback after backing up Tom Brady in New England for three seasons.

Now, he is in the driver’s seat to win this award because the Niners have nowhere to go but up and he would be the key reason for their success. San Fran finished 4-12 in 2018 and had to rely on the likes of Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard while Garoppolo was on the sidelines.

I wouldn’t bet on Jimmy Garoppolo at +325 as I think there are much better candidates with superior value but if the Niners go 9-7 or make a late playoff run in the NFC, the Associated Press would be hard pressed (see what I did there?) to ignore this comeback story.

Don’t Bother Betting On Running Backs

I’m sure there are a few running back options on the oddsboard that may tempt you to consider betting on them to win the AP Comeback Player of the Year Award but I’m here to talk you out of it. Since the inception of the award, no running back has ever won it and I think the injury risk is too great to bank on one. Running backs routinely get battered every game and teams have shown they won’t hesitate to go to a backup if their lead back is struggling or banged up.

So, players like Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, Derrius Guice and Jerick McKinnon are off the table for me. If I had a gun to my head to pick among the four, I’d only go with Bell because the Jets will lean on him heavily and if they make a playoff run in the AFC, he would be the key reason.

My final argument for why I wouldn’t take a running back is the 2012 season and Adrian Peterson. AP tore his ACL in 2011 and looked to be written off. But he rebounded in 2012 to rush for 2,097 yards (second-most ever in a season) and won Offensive Player of the Year along with the NFL MVP.

Shouldn’t that have made him a shoo-in for the comeback award? You would think that but it was given to Peyton Manning instead because he returned from a neck injury and voters felt it was a “better” story. It’s that type of variable that makes it difficult to cap this betting prop.

My Picks To Win Comeback POY

Looking back on the AP Comeback Player of the Year winners since 2010, all but one had two things in common: they all returned from injury and their teams made the playoffs.

This is why the two players I’m very high on to win this award are Rams WR Cooper Kupp (+1800) and Cowboys center Travis Frederick (+3000).

Kupp is attempting to return to the high-flying Rams after tearing his ACL in Week 10 and was a force in Sean McVay’s offense as a checkdown receiver. In eight games in 2018, he had over 500 yards receiving and six touchdowns and preliminary reports from Rams’ training camp say he’s been performing well so far. If the Rams continue their dominance and he stays healthy in 2019, I think he would be a great value pick.

As for Frederick, the Pro Bowl center is returning to the NFL after missing all of 2018 with Guillain-Barré syndrome. It’s an immune disorder that affects the nervous system and it forced him out of action for the entire season. Prior to this condition, Frederick had made the Pro Bowl for four straight seasons and was a key cog of the Cowboys’ offensive line that has been one of the best in the league since his arrival.

Frederick won’t have the flashy plays of the majority of candidates on this list but I think he can win this award if these three things happen: the Cowboys have a top-three rushing attack in 2019, they make the playoffs and he plays all 16 games. At +3000, I’m willing to take that risk.

Odds to win the 2019 AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award
Jimmy Garoppolo+325
Le’Veon Bell+450
Devonta Freeman+900
Derrius Guice+1200
Carson Wentz+1200
Cam Newton+1400
Earl Thomas+1600
Jason Witten+1600
David Johnson+1600
Cooper Kupp+1800
AJ Green+1800
Greg Olsen+2200
Everson Griffen+2200
Hunter Henry+2500
Jerick McKinnon+2500
Marcus Mariota+2500
Leonard Fournette+2500
Antonio Brown+2500
Josh Rosen+3000
Travis Frederick+3000
Keanu Neal+3300
Joe Flacco+3300
Eli Manning+3300
Deion Jones+3300
Derek Carr+3300
Delanie Walker+5000
Jake Butt+5000
Marqise Lee+5000
Tyler Eifert+5000
Carl Lawson+5000

Odds as of August 8 at  Bovada