You might have a bad memory of these five players because most of them were hurt last season and didn't deliver on expectations. However, our fantasy analysts explain why you should invest in them in 2019.
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Brad Evans: As the mercury climbed this summer, so did my perception of Newton. From all reports, his twice-repaired shoulder has responded well. On the opening day of Panthers training camp three weeks ago, he connected on a pair of downfield bombs, one to increasing infatuation Curtis Samuel. Additional positive signs have surfaced. If momentum carries over into the regular season he should regain value lost. Due to his dinged wing last year, Newton was comically inefficient beyond 20 yards, posting the fourth-lowest passer rating (52.1) in such situations. Though accurate elsewhere (e.g. inside red-zone), having his zip back on deep and intermediate throws should do wonders. Mix in his running propensity and a return to the position’s top-five is a distinct possibility. He’s a superb value at his 110.7 ADP.
Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles
Scott Pianowski: I realize there are a ton of right answers at quarterback, so I understand you don’t really need to prioritize any single guy (and with that in mind, I definitely agree with the Newton recommendation, above). That said, try to make sure you have some Wentz in your portfolio this year. He’s now two seasons removed from the major knee blowout, and the refrigerator is stocked like it’s never been before. DeSean Jackson is still a wideout who tilts coverage. Miles Sanders looks like an impact player, fresh out of the box. Zach Ertz remains an elite tight end, and Dallas Goedert has second-year breakout written all over him. Perhaps the usage tree in Philly is a little too wide; some of these guys are going to cannibalize each other. But Wentz is at the center of the food chain, and might make another MVP run.
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
Dalton Del Don: Coming off a season lost to injury, Freeman enters no doubt a health risk (especially with his concussion history), but he’s reportedly looked terrific and back to 100% this preseason. Freeman averaged 1,452 scrimmage yards and 11.7 touchdowns from 2015-2017, and the Falcons used two first-round picks on the offensive line during the draft. Moreover, Tevin Coleman left during free agency, and the backup in Atlanta is so non-threatening he’s yet to be named. Aside from Week 17, the Falcons play just two games outside of a dome all season, so this is a terrific situation for the unquestioned three-down back on a team with Julio Jones and an emerging Calvin Ridley on the outside. Only durability concerns are preventing Freeman from being a first-round fantasy pick.
Derrius Guice, Washington Redskins
Andy Behrens: It feels like cheating to say Guice , because he’ll have bounced back impressively as soon as he takes the field in the regular season in 2019. We expect to see him in preseason action this week before Washington again wraps him in bubble. Guice tore an ACL in the exhibition opener last year, then required multiple follow-up surgeries to address an infection. So he’s had a particularly tough road back.
In case you’d forgotten how phenomenal Guice was at LSU, here’s a taste. His sophomore season made him a legend (183 carries, 1,387 yards). Here’s hoping he recovers his pre-injury form, because he’s a fantastic watch when he’s right. Even if he shares backfield touches with Adrian Peterson (and he very likely will), he has a shot at RB2-ish numbers.
Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears
Matt Harmon: Allen Robinson’s first year with the Bears was mostly a testing ground. He was getting used to a new team, the whole team was getting used to a new offense with Matt Nagy at the helm and Robinson himself was taking his first reps back after missing the vast majority of 2017 with a torn ACL. Several other complicating injuries cropped up last year too and that slowed him down during the regular season. But we saw what he could do in that playoff loss to the Eagles. The dominant Allen Robinson, the one who is a king at the catch point and a strong route runner for a big receiver, still exists. He should be the clear volume hog in an offense likely to throw more this year. Natural defensive regression will hit Chicago and induce more pass-heavy game scripts. That will boost the raw volume of Robinson, who was pacing for a 115-target season. If we can get Robinson to 120 to 130, another 1,000-yard campaign with six to seven scores is within range.