In 2008, there’s no debating Kurt Warner was the comeback kid who threw a wrench into everyone who dismissed the Cardinals before the season. People were adjusting their bets left and right, and when it came time to pick your winners for the week, by week 6 or 7, it was a tough call putting an L down for the birds. He was a veteran you just couldn’t dismiss.
Well this year don’t let something like that take you by surprise. Let’s pick out a few veterans who are likely to experience a nice resurgence of performance or keep performing at the highest level and impact their team, even if gamblers take them for granted each year. If these stars play like they can, you’ll be ahead of the game when making betting selections each week.
And it just so happens we’re going to talk about 3 old school WR here, starting with Hines Ward. Somehow when it comes to talking about the Steelers as a solid team, you hear about their defense, Big Ben and quick Willie. But it’s Ward that holds this team together. It’s Ward that makes the impact plays. He had 7 touchdowns and more than 1,000 yards last year. He’ll do the same this year, and if he’s healthy, the Steelers win 11 games easy. Bet on it.
How about Torry Holt? A top 5 receiver in the league most years, this guy needs a comeback performance. He also needs a healthy Mark Bulger throwing to him. The Rams still have an explosive offense when you add in Stephen Jackson, they just struggle everywhere else on the field. Holt’s numbers last year were dismal, very un-Holt like. He’s a sleeper to affect matchups this year, don’t be fooled, especially since the Rams will be a spoiler team pretty much from the get-go. Check those cornerback matchups and bet accordingly. Holt will be looking for redemption.
And then we have Donald Driver. This guy slides under the radar every year, and yet he’s one of the most consistent (just under Reggie Wayne) and healthy receivers in the entire league. How can you dismiss that? Especially now with Rodgers coming into his own, and finally able to play without the distraction of Brett Favre hanging over his shoulder (that’s left for Minnesota this year!). Bet on another impact year for Driver, and if you have the option to gambler on a player’s statistics, expect at least 1,000 yards and 7 TD. That’ll put a nice return in your pocket if you commit to it. The Packers’ record might not be as easy to predict right now, but take this opportunity to make money where it can be made.