A lot of top tier IDP players got hurt before they could make a difference this year. Don’t sleep on these contenders for Defensive Comeback Player of the Year in 2019.
The following seven top level IDP players spent double digit weeks on the injured reserved designation. The hype surrounding them meant that they were all rostered at some point and caused owners great pain when they had to replace them on their fantasy teams. I advise dynasty owners to take a look at their waiver wire now to see if these studs are available to stash for 2019. Redraft owners, keep in mind that a lot of fantasy owners won’t trust a guy coming off injury giving way for the savvy owner to scoop them up and dominate their peers. These are my candidates for the 2019 Defensive Comeback Player of the Year.
Ezekiel Ansah, DE – Free Agent:
Ansah spent the year disappointing fantasy owners and Lion’s fan alike. His big play ability will belong to another team in 2019. At 29 years old, look for Ziggy to demand big money and back that paycheck up with solid play. I can see John Gruden making a run at Ansah especially if the Raiders play their home games in London as rumored with Ansah’s international aspirations.
— Ezekiel Ansah (@Ziggy_Ansah) June 16, 2018
Muhammad Wilkerson, DE – Free Agent:
Wilkerson is looking to get back to his Jet’s form in 2019. His single-year “prove it” deal with Green Bay didn’t work out due to injury, but a top end 3-4 defensive end is not easy to come by. I like him to stay a Packer in 2019 for a longer, cheaper contract. With an aging Clay Matthews on the edge, Wilkerson will have a great opportunity to make up for his wasted year.
Kwon Alexander, MLB – Free Agent:
The Buccaneers would be insane to let Kwon walk this offseason. He’ll demand (and receive) a large long term contract and will dominate in the NFC South. Drew Brees is counting down the years until retirement so the Saints will join the Panthers as a running team, giving Alexander the opportunity to rack up tackles as he stalks the middle of the field. Kwon Alexander is my favorite for Comeback Player of the Year.
Special‼️I miss you ‼️❤️ pic.twitter.com/q7cHJyVLOB
— Kwon Alexander (@kwon) December 2, 2018
Christian Kirksey, MLB – Cleveland Browns:
After religiously watching Hard Knocks last summer, I knew for a fact that Kirksey would be dominant. An injury riddled 2018 that eventually landed him on the IR put that pipe dream to rest. Kirksey has Walter Payton Man of the Year potential so I’m looking for his name to be in the headlines as the Brown’s attempt a playoff run in 2019.
Johnathan Cyprien, SS – Tennessee Titans:
Cyprien was a preseason top 5 defensive back before his ACL injury in July 2018. A first round talent (Round 2, pick 1 in 2013), run stopping strong safety like JC will put up huge tackle numbers with a high turnover potential. He went undrafted in most leagues due to the timing of his injury so pick him up now before the casual owner starts looking towards next year. Look for Cyprien to make an amazing comeback in 2019.
Vernon Hargreaves, CB – Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Hargreaves was drafted 5 spots behind standout corner, Jalen Ramsey in 2016 and I’m expecting a jump in production in 2019. The Buccaneers as a team suffered from multiple injuries and with the return of Kwon Alexander at linebacker, teams will try their luck against the embattled Hargreaves who will be playing for the Bucs to pick up his 5th year rookie option. In a league that has a CB slot, I’d pick him up and watch the fireworks early on.
He’s the first guy in almost every drill and is always talking and supporting his teammates.
— Jay Recher (@jayRecher) August 26, 2018
Keanu Neal, SS – Atlanta Falcons:
A trip to the IR after only a single tackle in 2018 left fantasy owners in disbelief. I am acquiring #22 everywhere I can as owners were usually unwilling to keep him rostered for an entire season taking up an IR spot. Neal is a top 3 safety and will dominate for your team in 2019. This tweet was only a month after surgery! Keanu Neal is my second Comeback Player of the Year finalist.
.@AtlantaFalcons Pro Bowler @Keanu_Neal has consistently triumphed over adversity throughout his young career. After tearing his ACL in Week 1, he's grinding to come back even stronger. pic.twitter.com/yyCRpFz45U
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) October 11, 2018