I’m not sure if you came across it or not, but I loved the piece that new Outkick writer Geoff Clark provided on Defensive Player of the Year. He chose Von Miller at +3000. I think it is a great choice and he shared really insightful logic on why it is a good choice not only for the value, but to win it. I am also going to break down the award, but I’ll discuss a few different options that I think are worth playing here.
Up until about a week ago, I thought that Aaron Donald would be my choice for the award. After all, it seems like every year he is in the top two or three names that are discussed at the end of the year. Then I saw the video of him hitting people at practice with a helmet. Apparently, the NFL doesn’t give suspensions for things at practice. It might be the only thing the NFL doesn’t suspend you for. Part of me has a hard time believing that he will win the award, and sure, it is based on the one clip in the preseason. He will have to have an out-of-this-world season in order to take home the award now, right? Maybe, maybe not. To me, though, that one action threw off enough of my desire to take him that I’ll pass.
Along the same vein of what my colleague Geoff wrote, I like Khalil Mack’s chances to win the award. At +3000, Mack has some real potential to be disruptive in his new home of Los Angeles. With the Chargers he could revamp a team that had its fair share of defensive struggles last year. Mack hasn’t looked quite as dominant the last few years, but maybe a move reinvigorate him. Or, perhaps, he won’t be expected to carry the team and can make a bigger impact. If we can see him be top five in sacks and in the top 10 or so in tackles for a loss, I think we have a shot at this.
Last year’s winner, TJ Watt, is again the favorite this year. There is good reason for Watt to be favored. A young player, he still is very much in his prime and will need to be dealt with and gameplanned for in each contest. Last year, he had 22.5 sacks, that’s a huge jump from the 15 he set the previous year. Consider that he went from 13 to 14.5 to 15, then to 22.5, I don’t see him making that big of a jump again. I expect him to regress a bit actually and end probably around 15 or 16 sacks. I’m not playing Watt.
If the Browns want any hope of winning while they wait for the return of Deshaun Watson, Myles Garrett will need to carry them. Cleveland has a solid defense and Garrett is the anchor. If he can get into the 20’s for sacks this year, he has an outstanding chance to win the award. At +700, it is a nice bet, even if it is chalk. Still, I think the award is very much up-for-grabs, so I can’t justify taking the favorite here, even if Garrett has a logical path to winning.
One other mention here: I don’t think I’ll take either Bosa boy to win the award. Joey is the worse option of the two, in my opinion. With Mack in the fold, it is possible that Joey Bosa gets more opportunity to put up the stats that matter for this award. Still, I think Mack will benefit more from Bosa being on the team as opposed to Bosa benefiting from Mack. Nick Bosa had 15 sacks a year ago and four forced fumbles. If he can do that again while increasing his sack total to around 20, I think voters will look his way. Espeically if San Franscisco plays well this year. I think I just talked myself into taking a flyer on him after all. At 15:1, why not?
Mack +3000 (,5u)
Nick Bosa +1500 (.5u)
Endorse taking Miller at +3000, too.