Predicting The Next NFL Offensive Player of the Year
When looking at the latest odds to win the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year (OPOY) for the 2022 season, the first question you have to ask yourself is:
Can Rams receiver Cooper Kupp repeat last year’s amazing season?
He was the easy winner after achieving the NFL’s triple crown for receivers: leading the league in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
That’s highly unlikely to happen because a) secondaries will be much more focused on him this year to limit his game-wrecking stats, and b) the Rams signed former Bears wideout Allen Robinson who should see plenty of passes from Matthew Stafford.
So even though Kupp figures to have another outstanding season, we’re staying away from his +1400 odds (provided courtesy of the fine folks at FanDuel – which is offering this fun promo: Place a wager on any College Football from 9/1 to 9/5, and get refunded in Free Bets if your bet loses!).
Kupp is the third betting choice while the first (+1000) is Colts stud running back Jonathan Taylor, who rushed for more than 1,800 yards and scored 20 combined touchdowns last season.
But new Indy QB Matt Ryan’s arrival could mean more passes to lessen Taylor’s workload. Others believe that Taylor might be headed to a 2,000-yard rushing season and could break Eric Dickerson’s record of 2,105 rushing yards, set in 1984, is in danger of falling. Of course, if that happens, Taylor is a shoo-in to win the award.
However, my pick is Vikings star Justin Jefferson who has his confident eyes set on another record: 2,000 yards by a receiver.
It’s never been done in NFL history – Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson owns the all-time mark with 1,964 yards with the Lions in 2012. Cupp came close last season, finishing with 1,947 yards.
Former NFL receiver and two-time Pro Bowler Greg Jennings thinks Jefferson, who had 108 receptions for 1,616 yards and 10 touchdowns last year, in just his second season, could do it in 2022.
"If there was a receiver that was to eclipse that 2,000-yard season, I do believe it would be a player like Justin Jefferson," Jennings wrote on the33rdteam.com. "He is so electric when he gets the ball in his hands. He’s such a deep threat, and he catches almost anything and everything you throw in his direction.
"That is what it would have to take — a big-play individual, someone that can break away on the short pass and get behind the defenders on a deep pass," Jennings added. "It would have to be a receiver that is a true focal point of what you’re trying to get done offensively."
Former NFL MVP Rich Gannon, also writing on the33rdteam.com, believes that new Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell “is going to work wonders with quarterback Kirk Cousins” and then added this bold statement: “As bad as things were last year in Minnesota (which went 8-9), Cousins threw 33 touchdowns and just seven picks. I think he can throw for 5,000 yards in his new offense, and I think O’Connell is going to take the training wheels off.”
It’s possible. And if Cousins does that, you have to figure that somewhere between 1,500-2,000 of those receiving yards will come from Jefferson.
Which is why he’s my pick for OPOY. His current odds at FanDuel are a sweet +1400. I’d jump on that ASAP.