Offensive Player of the Year is one of the hardest things to predict. There’s such a wide variety of talented offensive players in the league, it’s hard to predict who will shine brighter than the rest. This year’s odds have a lot of diamonds in the rough that may lead to a nice pay day. With that being said, here are my thoughts on Offensive Player of the Year. All odds found here.
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Fade the Favorites
Right now, Patrick Mahomes (+700) and Derrick Henry (+750) sit on top with the best odds. The reason I’m not betting them has nothing to do with their talent, but more voter fatigue. Henry was last years winner after a historic season that will be hard to repeat. Unless he can meet or exceed these expectations, he won’t get the votes. As for Mahomes, he is constantly on NFL social media and people constantly expect the world from him. It’s another situation where unless he exceeds these insanely high expectations, he won’t get the votes.
Buy Josh Allen
Josh Allen got his first votes for OPOY last year. Although it was only 3 votes, it still put him on the map. The Bills signed Allen to a massive 6 year contract this offseason, proving he’s in their long term plans. They also added Emmanuel Sanders to an already stacked wide receiver room, giving Allen a lot of good targets to throw to. The stars seem to be aligned for Allen in year 4, he not only has real OPOY potential, but a good chance at MVP. All this, and his odds are at +1600.
Buy Alvin Kamara
Offensive Player of the Year is running back dominated, historically. Although it’s been pretty even in recent memory, there was a good stretch when it was an award for the backfield. With the evolution of the passing game and the “running backs don’t matter” stigma, modern backs have had to evolve. This has led to the Kamara’s and McCaffrey’s of the world to make their mark on the NFL. This year, the Saints will be without franchise favorite Drew Brees for the first time in 15 years. This turnover, and the injury to Michael Thomas, will put the bulk of the offense on Kamara’s shoulders. Kamara has been crazy efficient since entering the league, and should be able to turn all the touches he’ll get into an eye opening statistical season. At +2000, Kamara is worth the bet.
The Vikings have arguably the best skill position trio in the NFL. A combination of Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and Dalvin Cook gives defenses nightmares when they see Minnesota on their schedule. But, for the Offensive Player of the Year award, it’s better when there’s less mouths to feed. These three should all expect great seasons, but it’ll be hard to put up award winning stats without getting the touches other guys around the league get. In my eyes, this leads to them not being worth the bet.
Buy Calvin Ridley
Speaking of touches, Calvin Ridley is on track for a historic season. With the departure of Julio Jones, Ridley becomes the de facto WR1 for an Atlanta offense that figures to be throwing the ball a lot this season. The route running specialist has been making highlights this offseason by leaving defenders in the dust consistently in 1 on 1 reps. Ridley can create space with ease, and should improve upon the amazing season he had last year. This guy has a lot going for him right now, and his 200 target upside is worth taking a chance on, especially at +3000.
Put a Little Money on a Shot in the Dark
There’s so many offensive players who can break out, it doesn’t hurt to throw $20 on a few of your favorite deep sleepers. Some guys I like at the bottom of the field include Cooper Kupp (+12500), Brandon Aiyuk (+15000), and Drew Lock (+25000). Although they’re not as likely to win, it’s the NFL, so anything can happen. A $20 bet will lead to thousands for all the guys at the bottom, which is not a bad pay day.