Odds to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year: J.K. Dobbins is now a value play
J.K. Dobbins still hasn't played yet, but his opportunity should be massive when he returns. Photo by Nick Wass/AP.

Nothing beats a good comeback story, and every year one NFLer rises above the rest as the league's Comeback Player of the Year.

The latest: In most circumstances, the top comebacks are forged by star players whose previous season was cut short by injury. Right now, rookie Brian Robinson Jr. leads the way, with a pair of more established running backs behind him.

Here are the latest NFL Comeback Player of the Year odds.

NFL Comeback Player of the Year odds

Check out the latest odds to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year. Click linked odds to add selection to your betslip.

PlayerOddsOdds on Sept. 23
Saquon Barkley+350+600
Brian Robinson Jr.+400+500
Christian McCaffrey+600+700
Derrick Henry+1,200+1,200
Jameis Winston+1,400+600
JuJu Smith-Schuster+1,500+2,200
Michael Thomas+1,500+800
Julio Jones+2,500+2,000
Marcus Mariota+3,000+3,000
J.K. Dobbins+3,000+4,000
Chris Godwin+4,000N/A
Baker Mayfield+4,000+3,000
Allen Robinson+4,000+2,000

Odds as of 6:46 p.m. on 09/27/2022.

Best NFL Comeback Player of the Year odds

The favourite: Saquon Barkley (+350)

Monday night's Week 3 finale between the Giants and Cowboys was looking like a real snoozer. And then Barkley did this:

His vision at the line, agility in space and speed toward the goal line were quite a treat to watch. The 36-yard score was yet another example through three weeks that this version of Barkley is sneakily similar to the All-Pro version we saw in his rookie year.

Back in 2018, Barkley led the NFL with 2,028 scrimmage yards (in a 16-game season). His NFL-best 408 scrimmage yards so far this year have him on a 2,312-yard pace over 17 games.

And while Barkley is proving to be dangerous on the ground, his key to winning this award might be his contributions through the air. He's averaging a healthy five targets per game right now, and that volume might increase a bit due to Sterling Shepard's ACL injury.

Other NFL Comeback Player of the Year choices

Best value: J.K. Dobbins (+3,000)

Dobbins made his season debut in Week 3 and saw a significant odds shift as a result.

The running back's performance (40 scrimmage yards on nine touches) wasn't awe-inspiring, but the simple fact that he returned to game action for the first time since 2020 is a big deal. No player can truly complete his comeback until he's back on the field, after all.

The 43% snap share for Dobbins is low but unsurprising, as the team was expected to ease its lead tailback into a full workload. And Dobbins' 17 routes run on 29 passing plays is a nice indicator that he'll be used more in the passing game moving forward.

It helps Dobbins' CPOY case that fellow running back Gus Edwards is lagging in his recovery from a knee injury. The greatest threat to Dobbins' touches is dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson, not Kenyan Drake or Mike Davis.

With a tough matchup against Buffalo this week, bettors may want to deploy a wait-and-see approach with Dobbins' market. Then again, if he explodes against arguably the best defence in the NFL, his price may not look like such a value in the aftermath.

Player to watch: Derrick Henry (+1,200)

We were officially concerned about Henry after Week 2, when a fierce Bills defence held him to just 25 rushing yards on 13 carries (albeit with a touchdown). That marked his lowest rushing yardage total since Week 6 of 2018.

Once the +450 frontrunner, Henry's odds are almost three times as long now. They held firm despite an excellent performance from Henry last Sunday, in which he turned 25 touches into 143 scrimmage yards and a score.

Unlike Barkley, Henry gathers very little of his value through the passing game. But he snagged five of six targets for 58 yards in Week 3, and he'll be even more dangerous in this market if that kind of volume persists.

We just don't know that it will given Henry's zero catches on one target through the first two weeks.

Prior to his season's derailment caused by a foot injury last season, Henry was on pace for a career-best 20 rushing touchdowns and was flirting with a second consecutive 2,000-yard campaign. If he returns to that stratosphere of production, the award will almost certainly be his.

Other NFL Comeback Player of the Year notes

  • Khalil Mack (+5,000), who missed 10 games last year after undergoing foot surgery, is tied for the shortest odds among defensive players, but his odds doubled in the past week. Mack has four sacks and a forced fumble so far through three games.
  • The past four CPOY winners have been quarterbacks. But Jameis Winston (+1,400) is currently the only quarterback inside of 30-to-1 odds to win the award.
  • Brian Robinson (+400) saw his odds improve despite the fact that he still hasn't played a snap in the NFL. Robinson, who's on the road to recovery from a pair of gunshot wounds sustained late in the offseason, ran routes on the field prior to the Commanders' game in Week 3.
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