NFL Defensive Player of the Year 2020 Futures Betting
NFL Defensive Player of the Year 2020 Futures Betting
Luckily for us bettors, it looks like the 2020 NFL season will be a go, and with us being less than 3 weeks away from opening kickoff it is time for some player props. Today we will cover the Defensive Player of the Year award and where we can find value across the board.
Before we get into any picks, we need to take a look at the history of this award, who has won it, and at what stats it took them to win the award.
Over the past decade, there have been two defensive backs (Polamalu and Gilmore), three linebackers (Suggs, Keuchly and Mack), and five defensive linemen (Watt three times and Donald twice). This shows us that unlike the MVP award that is almost always QB won that any position on defense can win it.
To win as a defensive back your selection will most likely need 6+ interceptions and to play on one of the two best teams in their conference. For linebackers, outside of the statistical anomaly that Luke Keuchly had in 2013, we are looking for a player with double digits in sacks and at least 5 forced fumbles. The five combined awards won by Donald and JJ Watt we saw four where they had a minimum of 15.5 sacks and the outlier being a potential narrative award where Donald won back to back.
Narrative is without a doubt something to consider when making your selection. Like many of the NFL awards, when there is no clear-cut winner in regard to statistics, the voters will go with someone who fits the bill for a good story.
At the top of board, I am looking for proven commodities and those players who can take the next step in their careers to win an award as prestigious as this. T.J. Watt (+1400 on Fanduel Sportsbook) fits the bill here, and I like him to join his brother and etch his name on the trophy this year. The first team All Pro from 2019 lead the league in forced fumbles, finished second in QB hits, and tied for fourth in sacks. All of that was good for 3rd in last year’s DPOY award, and coming back in 2020 on the last year of his rookie deal, I expect TJ to only get better on a defense that could be tops in the league. Furthermore, Pittsburgh looks to rebound from two straight seasons of missing the playoffs and with Watt leading the defense it could boost his narrative votes for those who are splitting hairs with their choice come January.
In this range we want players who have shown flashes of greatness that can become tops at their position with a little more consistency. For me there are two edge rushers both at 42/1 who are worth plays here.
First, let’s go to the Mile High City of Denver and give a look at Bradley Chubb (+4200 on Fanduel Sportsbook) as he returns from an ACL injury that cut his sophomore campaign short in Week 4 of last season. Chubb has the pedigree of a top defensive end, as he was the 5th overall pick in 2018 draft and posted an impressive 12 sacks in his rookie season. Chubb says he is feeling great heading into this season with his knee being 100% recovered, and he will also benefit from lining up opposite of Von Miller, who’s best days may be behind him but will still command the attention of opposing O-Lines. With Miller being priority #1 I expect Chubb to wreak havoc on opposing QB’s for a defense and a team that most people like to take a step forward this season.
My other play here is Za’Darius Smith (+4200 on Fanduel Sportsbook) for the Green Bay Packers. After four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens where he played roughly 50% of the snaps, Smith turned into an every down player and posted a career best 13.5 sacks in 2019. More importantly, Smith led the entire NFL in quarterback knockdowns which suggests his sack total should have been even higher. If we get some progression in that area, I expect his sack total and forced fumbles to take a step forward and be near the tops in the league. While I do not expect his Packers to have a repeat of last season’s 13-3 campaign, they project to be competitive enough to keep Smith in the running for this award.
Here we are looking to find a few dart throughs that could pay off in a big way if perceived narrative becomes reality. I would suggest when building a betting card for this award or any other, you downsize your bets in this range and save the larger wagers for those near the top and middle of the board.
Frank Clark (+10000 on Fanduel Sportsbook) got it cooking for the Super Bowl Champions when it mattered in January and February, but he largely underperformed in his first season in Kansas City for a front office that paid him $105.5 million to come over from the Seattle Seahawks. With Clark we get a player in triple digits with his betting odds who is not only on a rebound season for a team that projects to be the best in the league, but someone who has also proven earlier in his career that he can put up the #’s that are needed to win this award. Sign me up.
A total dark horse that showed flashes of being an elite pass rusher in 2019 was Maxx Crosby (+20000 on Fanduel Sportsbook) of the now Las Vegas Raiders. Crosby, a 4th round draft pick last year by way of East Michigan, finished 5th in Tackles for Loss, 6th in Forced Fumbles and got to double digits in sacks in his rookie campaign. The intriguing part here is that Crosby went from a situational player early in the season to an every down starter in late November into December. In 2020 Mad Maxx should be playing 80+ percent of the snaps for Vegas and could be a big pay day for bettors if all the stars align.