Part of Fantasy Football is forgiveness. You know, when you draft an elite player in the first round, and then they stink up the joint or get hurt and they cost you your season? Yeah, that stinks, but even the casual fantasy owners knows that to succeed the next season, sometimes the best asset is to have it in your heart to forgive.

Then again, when it comes to guys like Darren McFadden and Michael Vick that routinely burn us all, perhaps putting certain guys in your little black book and never uttering their names again is a better practice.

I say it’s got to be somewhere in between.

Adrian Peterson shredded his knee up in 2011 and went off for over 2,000 rushing yards in 2012. That was clearly a case where you would have been pretty happy and looked like a genius if you drafted him. On the flip-side, taking a chance on guys like Vick, McFadden or even Maurice Jones-Drew last year really didn’t go as planned.

Or perhaps if you avoided them at all costs – it actually kinda did.

But for every McFadden you nail correctly by leaving off your draft boards, there’s that pesky Ryan Matthews that stays healthy and gets it done.

So, in the name of Danny Amendola and “I told ya so’s”, let’s take a look at the top potential comeback players from 2013 that may or may not be worth taking in fantasy drafts in 2014.

Note: This particular comeback player breakdown will focus only on players who either sustained major injuries or did not finish the 2013 season at full strength. Players aren’t ranked, they are listed by position.

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys

Romo was having a fantastic 2013 season before going down with a back injury. Had he been healthy, he would have played in all 16 games and topped 4,000 yards. Even so, he still put up over 3,800 yards and 31 touchdown passes in 15 games. That’s to be expected, though, as he’s actually one of the more underrated fantasy quarterbacks out there, and is only a pain when he’s throwing interceptions (he threw just 10 in 2013).

Now with the back. It’s never a brush off thing when backs are in the mix, but Romo’s surgery to repair a herniated disc has reportedly “gone well” and he is expected to be ready for camp in the summer. Dallas will bring their star passer along slowly, as they should, though, and there isn’t a whole lot of reason to worry here unless some setback happens.

And unless that does happen, Romo should be a top-10 fantasy quarterback once again in 2014.

Risk Level: Low

Sam Bradford, QB, St. Louis Rams

Bradford sustained a knee injury in week seven last season, which should give him ample time to rehab and make it back for the start of 2014. In fact, he should be able to put in time in the preseason and shouldn’t have too much rust on his game.

Working in his favor, of course, is the fact that Bradford doesn’t really rely on his leagues and has mostly dealt with shoulder issues. Having been on pace for his best season yet, there is plenty of reason to think Bradford is still the quarterback the Rams drafted to be their franchise passer. Considering the Rams hold the #2 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, there is a slight possibility that the Rams could go a different direction – it’s just unlikely.

With that, fantasy owners will have to consider two things: can Sam Bradford finally realize his potential and is his knee something to worry about? I suggest maybe and no.

Risk Level: Low

Jake Locker, QB, Tennessee Titans

Locker will attempt to return from the dreaded lisfranc injury in 2013, which could prove to be an issue considering his athleticism and running ability is what makes him such an intriguing option at quarterback. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Titans have a new coach in place and Locker may have to face competition under center in 2014.

I may be in the minority, but I still like Locker. I see the lisfranc injury as a minor setback and if he gets the chance to compete, I think he has a decent shot at sticking as the starter. He still has inconsistency and accuracy issues, but he also has a big arm and excellent mobility. If the Titans use him properly, he can still develop into a quality quarterback. With that said, he’ll be a late-round flier at best thanks to all the question marks.

Risk Level: Moderate

Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

I’m not afraid of Adrian Peterson, so let’s make this brief. He looked as good as ever last year, and he was simply shutdown near the end of the year thanks to nagging injuries, while he ultimately had groin surgery recently to help repair a previous hernia. With a 4-6 week return time table, there’s really nothing keeping him from being a first round pick in fantasy football drafts in 2014. In fact, I’m still going to be open to the talk of him sticking as the #1 player off of boards.

Seriously, even with his team one-dimensional, losing and being nicked up, Peterson was still able to put up over 1,200 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Oh, and he only had 18 carried in the final four games combined. Yeah, he’s still got it.

And for those of you that are worried about the mounting injuries and workload, consider the final four weeks of the season as some ample rest. He’ll also be going at it a little lighter for the next two months, so he should be pretty fresh come 2014.

Risk Level: Low

Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Martin was off to a rough 2013, rushing for just 456 yards and one touchdown on 127 carries, it got even worse, as he sustained a torn laburm in his shoulder in week seven. That ended a shaky season, but a closer look showed that Martin actually wasn’t that bad. His o-line could have been blocking a lot better, while two of his worst games came against defenses that finished inside the top-five against the run.

Martin is a beast. Even when he wasn’t producing, he was still kind of producing. It’s also nice that he got 10 games off and will be 100% to start the off-season programs. That, and with the firing of Greg Schiano, the Buccaneers will switch things up to the point of making sure he’s used as best as possible. He definitely disappointed after being a consensus top-three pick, but his shoulder injury was of the flukey variety. I love him as a first rounder again in 2014.

Risk Level: Low

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

Foster might be the guy everyone really wants to know about. The only problem is, even aside from his actual health, we may not have a clue about his fantasy value until much closer to the 2014 season. After all, the Texans have a new coaching staff in place and they’ll need to make a decision on Ben Tate, as well.

But even if that weren’t a concern, Foster’s back, age and workload are going to be massive concerns. Even if he is 100% after back surgery, is this new regime suddenly going to pile a heavy load on him like he’s been accustomed to? It’s doubtful. That alone would scale back his overall fantasy value, as the catch-22 of it all was that he would get fed the rock at all costs.

He could still be a very useful player in fantasy leagues – if not an elite one. But banking on that is asking for trouble. With that said, he shouldn’t be quite as risky as some of these other players, since his value should cause him to go much later in drafts than we’re accustomed to seeing.

Risk Level: High

David Wilson, RB, New York Giants

Hands off the merchandise. Before we get all Sean Michaels in here and take it back to the days of the WWF (when wrestling was actually cool), let’s just make this one quick and to the point. I don’t trust neck injuries and this guy burned EVERYONE.

Wilson was insufferable as a bombing fantasy sleeper in 2013, as he fumbled his way out of an elite role in week one and really never rebounded from a nose dive from that point on. Add a neck injury to the pile of unpleasantries, and Wilson needs to be crossed off your list.

I’m not ignoring his insane talent or upside, but I’m also not particularly confident we’ll ever see either again.

Risk Level: Extremely High

Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons

Jones came into the NFL with foot woes, and he exited 2013 with an issue with the same foot. Fortunately it had a lot to do with the initial screw that helped repair his foot back in 2011, so there is optimism for a full recovery. However, no one can get too excited about feet that keep getting hurt. There is now the very real possibility that this eventually turns into a chronic issue.

My guess is it won’t come back right away in 2014, but it’s something that could be a problem for Dynasty folk. Even with that possibility, though, Jones is just too freakish of a talent to start biting your nails over. With Tony Gonzalez out the door due to retirement, Jones will be even more involved that he already was – and that was already at an insane level.

He’s right back where he was in 2013, if not better, heading into 2014. Just know that he’s not invincible.

Risk Level: Moderate

Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis Colts

Everyone is going to tell you that the 35-year old Wayne is done after sustained a torn ACL and damaged meniscus. That’s entirely possible, but as long as he wants to return and finish on a high note, I wouldn’t bet against him. The reality is Wayne was no longer really relying on speed or explosiveness, anyways. He hadn’t been for years, to be frank. His hands and route-running are among the most polished of the league, so as long as he isn’t suddenly running 4.8 40’s, there shouldn’t be a huge problem with his ability to separate.

Wayne doesn’t score a ton of touchdowns and T.Y. Hilton is clearly ascending either way, so it was only natural that Wayne’s role would start to take a hit. With that said, Wayne was still a PPR asset with 38 receptions in the first seven games. He’ll have had plenty of time to recover and as long as there are no setbacks, he should be able to get you low-end WR2 value. He’ll likely slip in drafts, too, so the value should be there for the taking.

Risk Level: Moderate

Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots

Gronkowski is going to scare a ton of fantasy owners off in 2014. He was rehabbing back and arm issues heading into last year and no one knew when he’d be back, which made him plummet to the fifth round or later in a lot of drafts. He should fall even further for 2014, as his shredded knee may not be ready for week one.

The good news, however, is that Gronk is a beast and this is his first knee injury of his career. Even better is that he should have enough time to recover in time for the starter of the year, while he also should be able to rest up his arm and back even further. Always look on the bright side with a beastly talent like Gronk, as he is sure to feast in New England’s offense once at 100%.

The other key here is that Gronk doesn’t really rely on speed or explosiveness. He has elite size, strength and ball skills. All of that will still be there and so will his role. Now we just need to stay on top of the updates to make sure he won’t start the season on the PUP list.

Risk Level: Moderate

Jordan Reed, TE, Washington Redskins

The good news working in Reed’s favor is that he sat out the final six games of the year, so he should have a great chance at being completely 100% for 2014. The bad news is that he missed his time due to a concussion.

Concussions are tracked closely these days, so Reed will have to pass numerous tests just to get back on the field. Once there, he’ll have to somehow avoid another one.

If he can stay healthy, though, we saw last year just how much upside he has. After all, it was his first season in the league, yet Reed still put up 45 receptions, 499 yards and three touchdowns in 11 games. The head issue is scary, but the upside is scary good. He could be a mid-t0-late round steal in fantasy drafts.

Risk Level: Moderate

Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers

Finley was having arguably his best season of his career in 2013, as he hauled in 25 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns through his first six games. Had he been healthy the whole season, his numbers would have ballooned even more with Randall Cobb also on the shelf.

That didn’t happen, though, and Finley will enter free agency with a serious neck issue. To be more specific, Finley underwent spinal fusion surgery. Needless to say, there will be a ton of risk involved for him to play again, as well as for any team bringing him on contractually. Backs are tough, but necks are scary.

I think Finley is hell bent on returning and proving everyone wrong, but even if he does he’ll be one hit away from it all unraveling again. If he stays healthy, though, he still has the talent and athleticism to be a steal late in drafts. In that same breath, where he plays in 2014 will go a long way in helping to determine his true value.

Risk Level: Extremely High

All of these guys do come with risk, to be sure, but so does every NFL player we hype up before the season and/or end up drafting. We talk about rookies who could blow up right away and second or third year guys who could live up to sleeper status. They become busts, too.

The good thing is the guys above are mostly established vets that have already done it. Now they just need to get healthy.

About The Author Kevin Roberts

Breaking Football's lead fantasy football expert. Top 40 finisher in FantasyPros accuracy challenge in 2012 and 2013. Your huckleberry.