Lots of Value, Options, for NFL Comeback Player of the Year

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Last year the Comeback Player of the Year was so clear to me I was counting my cash before I even placed the bet. After a terribly gruesome injury and brutal end to his season, I even thought right away that he could, and would, be the favorite next year. I was right… about part of it. Dak Prescott was the favorite for CPOY, but I was wrong about him winning it. Joe Burrow swept in after months of Prescott leading the way to take the award home. This year, I don’t think there is anyone that clear to win. When there isn’t a clear winner, there are valuable bets to make.

Derrick Henry is the favorite for the year, and I don’t agree with it. There is no question that Henry is talented, arguably the best running back in all of football. He did return for the playoffs last year and rushed 20 times in the game, so we already got a glimpse of him. He could run for 2,000 yards and win the award, or rush for 20 touchdowns. I just think there are so many strong candidates that Henry will be overlooked.

One player I’d be very confident in, but ultimately can’t be is Christian McCaffery. Now, I already prefaced that, but why? Well in the last two years, he has played a total of 10 games. Still, he has eight touchdowns in 10 games. He is the focal point of the offense and it could be improved this season with Baker Mayfield (another candidate for the award). If he stays healthy, he could put up video game numbers and set the record for most touchdowns in a season. At +750, it is worth taking it as a small play.

Christian McCaffrey is +750 to win Comeback Player of the Year

Michael Thomas could be the receiver we once knew and loved. However, Jameis Winston is also eligible for the award and if Thomas does well, it is likely to assume that Winston will do better, so I can’t bet on either of these. Unlike McCaffery, Thomas is significantly more dependent on the quarterback.

Here are a few players I do like and will take smaller plays – we are talking half or quarter units on each here. Khalil Mack heads back to California after a few years in Chicago. Mack is not the player he once was, but he can still be a dominant force on defense. Perhaps being traded away from the dysfunctional Bears franchise is what he needed to reinvigorate himself. At +4000 Mack is worth taking. Imagine him getting 15+ sacks and a couple of interceptions. If he is in the top two or three players for defensive player of the year, he has a great chance to cash this, and his odds for DPOY are +3000.

Robert Woods will likely be the best receiver in Tennessee. He has Ryan Tannehill throwing to him, so there is a knock on him there. However, Woods is talented and if he makes people forget that the Titans traded away AJ Brown, he could have a very outside shot at winning the award at +5000. JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t look great in his five games last season, or the postseason. He’s going to be the best receiver in Kansas City, and if he can replicate about 80% of the production that Tyreek Hill had last year, he might be in a position to win.

Arguably my favorite player to try is Marcus Mariota. He should be the starting quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons for the season. I’ll be the first to tell you that I think the Falcons will be terrible this year, but what are the expectations for Mariota? They have to be really low, right? If he can manage the Falcons to win a few games, and he can put up 20 or 25 passing touchdowns, and five or more rushing touchdowns, we might see him get the award. At +1600, I think it is worth a shot.

There are a lot of names in here, but as I mentioned in the opening, I think this is a wide-open award, so I would be happy to diversify my plays.

McCaffrey +750 (.5u)

Mack +4000 (.25u)

Woods +5000 (.25u)

Smith-Schuster +2500 (.5u)

Mariota +1600 (.5u)

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For more sports betting information and plays, follow David on Twitter: @futureprez2024

Written by David Troy

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