The NFL MVP award is one of the most prestigious in all of sports. There are several viable contenders each season, namely at the Quarterback position. We’ll go through the top 5 NFL MVP contenders and identify where the value lies.
After claiming the award last season, Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes has emerged as the early $7 2019 MVP favourite. He was outstanding in his first full season as a starter, throwing for over 5000 yards and 50 touchdowns.
Despite star Running Back Kareem Hunt no longer being on the team, he still has a wealth of talent to work with. Star Tight End Travis Kelce is back in the fold and (somewhat controversially) so is speedy Receiver Tyreek Hill.
Can we just step back for a second and realize that Andy Reid is designing plays for an offense with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, Damien Williams, LeSean McCoy, Mecole Hardman, Demarcus Robinson and Darwin Thompson.
That’s un-freaking-real. #Chiefs
— Chris Roush (@ChrisRoush_KQ2) September 1, 2019
Andy Reid is also one of the premier offensive minds in the NFL and will no doubt put him in position to succeed. With a relatively easy schedule on deck, I can see another strong 12-win season from Kansas City.
Now in his second full season, I expect an even better Patrick Mahomes in 2019. The game will likely slow down for him and we should see him make better decisions as a result. If the Chiefs have the season their capable of, him winning the MVP at $7 is a great value bet.
Despite having a down year in 2018, it’s no surprise to see Aaron Rodgers near the top of the MVP favourites list. He is currently 2nd favourite for the award, behind only Mahomes at $11.
Rodgers is one of the most consistent QB’s we’ve ever seen in the NFL, already winning 2 MVP awards. His last 2 seasons have been somewhat less productive, although they’ve both been marred by injury.
The Mike McCarthy experience was getting stale in Green Bay and the incoming Matt LaFleur should help construct a much more dynamic offence. In Davante Adams and Jimmy Graham, Rodgers also has two bona fide studs to throw to.
If the Packers can reverse their fortunes from last season and win the NFC North, I also think the narrative would be in his favour. Especially if he gets off to a hot start, $11 might be his best price all season.
Drew Brees may go down as one of the best NFL players to never win the MVP award. He’s won nearly everything else in his storied career, but the coveted MVP has eluded him so far.
After battling Mahomes closely for MVP throughout last season, it’s no surprise to see Brees in third favourite at $12. The Saints are still among the NFL elite, only a missed call away from a Super Bowl appearance last year.
Drew Brees generated FIVE elite graded games in 2018! pic.twitter.com/p4DyjNM6zF
— PFF (@PFF) August 30, 2019
Brees also had a very stellar campaign, throwing for just under 4000 yards and 32 touchdowns. He appeared to fade somewhat down the stretch last season and will turn 41 by the end of this campaign.
This could easily be Brees’ last season in the league and I expect him to give it his all. Given how strong he tends to start the year, a potential plan could be to back him early and then hedge out later on.
After another outstanding Super Bowl season, it’s no surprise to see Tom Brady among the top MVP contenders. With Andrew Luck’s shock retirement last week, Brady is now 4th favourite for the award at $13.
His 2018 regular season was solid but unspectacular, throwing for 4355 yards and 29 touchdowns. Brady was at his best in the playoffs, delivering 3 almost flawless performances en route to the Super Bowl.
Having just turned 42 years of age, we’re also starting to hear the annual stories about how Brady is set to decline this season. Given all he’s accomplished during the regular season, I can definitely see Brady save himself for the playoffs.
Only Belichick: In the final preseason game, when most teams play nobody, he's playing Edelman, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas with rookie QB Jarrett Stidham. Does Belichick ever want this kid to look good, to quickly become the Next Brady, to make Tom Brady expendable.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) August 29, 2019
For him, Belichick, and Co. that’s all that matters anyway. I expect another strong regular season for New England, although the very strong competition means I don’t see another regular season MVP for Brady.
As somewhat of a surprise selection, sophomore Browns QB Baker Mayfield is currently 5th MVP favourite at $15. He had a solid rookie season, putting up 3700 yards and 27 touchdowns in 14 starts.
He has arguably the best duo of receivers in the NFL, with OBJ joining his buddy Jarvis Landry. Nick Chubb has also emerged as a stud RB, which should take some pressure off Baker and the passing game.
Given how horrible Cleveland has been for years, one great season and the narrative could be in his favour. That said, given his outspoken nature, certain media members will be quick to crucify him if he struggles early.
While Baker could be great in the future, I think he’s the worst of the 5 Quarterbacks in this list. He has a shot at the award if the Browns surprise everyone and win the AFC, although I think better odds will be available during the season.
Given the immense success he had last season, it’s tough to look past Patrick Mahomes at $7. There is every reason to expect an even better season from him in 2019, one that I’m not sure anyone else can match.
Not only does he have an excellent coach in his corner, but his receiving options are second to none in this league. If he posts even 80% of what he did last season and the Chiefs win 12 games, that’s probably enough to get it done.