Defensive Player of the Year is a largely Defensive Line dominated award. An IDL or Edge Rusher has won 8 of the past 10 years and 30 out of 50 total Defensive Player of the Year awards. Aaron Donald joined J.J. Watt as the only players to win the award 3 times last year. Donald opens this year as the favorite, and rightfully so. But, there are some other guys who are better bets in this years field. Let’s dive into some players I’m currently looking to bet on based on their current odds.
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Fade Devin White
I usually like to start these off on a high note with a buy, but Devin White’s odds caught my eye. The fact he has the highest odds out of any off-ball linebacker is atrocious to me. He isn’t even the best off-ball linebacker on his team, which isn’t a shot at Lavonte David who is top 5 in my eyes. NFL fans see his speed and explosiveness and think that makes him this dynamic do it all linebacker. But, if you look back at games or take a deeper dive into stats, you see that’s a false narrative. According to PFF, White gave up 928 yards and a 102.2 Passer Rating last season. Not only that, he was graded out as the 62nd overall linebacker according to their film study. Now, I know, it’s hard to fully trust PFF, but the fact they watched over his tape and saw 61 linebackers perform higher than him is not an encouraging sign from someone who currently has +3300 odds. Don’t fall for the hype with Devin White.
Buy Myles Garrett
Back onto a positive note, this is Myles Garrett’s year to cement himself as the best edge rusher in the NFL. One of the most physically gifted players ever has given QBs and OTs fits since he entered the league in 2017. But, between awful rosters, injuries, and suspensions, it’s been hard for Garrett to get enough traction to win the coveted DPOY. This year feels different for Garrett and the Cleveland Browns. They have one of the best rosters in the NFL and should have national attention throughout the season. Perfect time for Garrett to show the world he’s the best edge rusher in the NFL. With all the hype surrounding the Browns and the talent Garrett has, it’s hard to not bet on this guy.
Buy Chase Young
Chase Young is coming off of a Defensive Rookie of the Year campaign for the Washington Football Team. He was disruptive in both the run and the pass and constantly face double teams because of this. He was still able to produce 7.5 sacks even with the attention opposing offenses paid to him. The kid out of Ohio State has a good chance of eclipsing double digit sacks this year, and has the upside to lead the league. The Football Team made some nice moves in the offseason and will definitely have the attention of national media, which helps Young’s chances at DPOY.
Fade Bosa Brothers
Don’t get me wrong, the Bosa brothers are very talented pass rushers. They’ve both put up numbers since entering the league and form one of the best brother combos the NFL has seen. But, this year is not the year for either of them in terms of DPOY. Joey lost his pass rushing counterpart Melvin Ingram in free agency and will get more attention from opposing offenses because of that. Nick is coming off an ACL tear, which is concerning given his previous injury history. Although reports out of camp have been good, I just don’t trust Nick to stay healthy and produce for a full season.
Take a Shot on Safety
I like to end the best bets with a shot in the dark. For DPOY, the best shots in the dark seem to be at the safety position. In my eyes, the top 3 safeties in the NFL are Justin Simmons, Jessie Bates, and Minkah Fitzpatrick, in no particular order. Bates has crazy sideline to sideline speed, Simmons has great play recognition and awareness, and Minkah is a ball hawk. They all have positive traits aside from the ones listed, and make a huge impact on their respective teams. These three all have upside to lead the league in interceptions and currently have very low odds. Minkah is sitting at +4000, with Bates and Simmons at +10000, respectively.