We’re back again with another look at a 2019 NFL futures bet. This time, we’ve asked our writers for their favorite bets to become the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Let’s first take a look at the odds, courtesy of BetStars:
|Leighton Vander Esch||+2500|
Khalil Mack (CHI): +350
This is going to be another race between Aaron Donald and Mack, and I don’t see a reason to waste money on anyone else. Both Donald and Mack are still in their primes so it’ll take an injury to them for someone else to have a chance. I’m going with Mack because he has better odds and dealt with a minor injury last year. It wouldn’t be surprising if he hits 15 sacks and 15 TFL to go with a few forced fumbles and that’s why he’s my pick. For Donald, he’s often been around the 10-sack mark, which makes his 2018 somewhat of an outlier.
– Adam Zdroik (@RotoZdroik)
Von Miller (DEN): +700
While many people will say the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Award will most likely go to someone like Aaron Donald or Khalil Mack, I am going with more of a darkhorse candidate for this season. Von Miller finished the 2018 campaign with 29 tackles, 14.5 sacks (T-4th), and four forced fumbles (T-6th). He is currently averaging 0.817 sacks per game for his career, and only once did he ever have under 11.0 which was back in 2013 when he only played nine games. Miller is the heart and soul of the Denver defense, and with a defensive-minded head coach in Vic Fangio taking over at the helm, it could just be what the doctor ordered to get him over the top.
– Matthew Catalano (@MatthewCatala16)
Myles Garrett (CLE): +1800
Heading into 2019 season the stars seem to be aligning perfectly for Myles Garrett’s ascension into the upper echelon of NFL players. 2017’s No. 1 overall pick began his breakout last season by piling up 13.5 sacks, good for sixth in the league. He nearly cracked the top five in his sophomore season while admittedly being limited by his head coach. This offseason, he stated that former HC Gregg Williams told him, “You win with these two moves (power move and speed chop). I don’t want to see anything else out of you.” Garrett went in depth about how these restrictions clearly limited his creativity and unpredictability as a pass rusher. Garrett is such a uniquely gifted talent that he was able to generate 67 total pressures without his full arsenal of moves to keep tackles off-balanced. The Browns front office bolstered the D-Line by adding Olivier Vernon and Sheldon Richardson and were also fortunate to snag the falling Greedy Williams in the second round to pair opposite Denzel Ward. These moves are part of the reason the Browns are now favored to win the AFC North, and if Myles Garrett continues to improve along with the rest of the defense, he will be in DPOY talks.
– James Esposito (@PropZillaa)
Leighton Vander Esch (DAL): +2500
Cut from the Luke Kuechly mold, Vander Esch was a tackling machine in his rookie season. He ranked third with 140 total tackles while only playing 79.8% of the defensive snaps per PlayerProfiler. The Pro Bowl second-year linebacker will lead the defense on a Dallas team that is a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Vander Esch ranked first in solo tackles and had two interceptions. With injury concerns surrounding J.J. Watt and Von Miller, and Khalil Mack facing a much harder schedule, a 2013 Kuechly-like season is well within Vander Esch’s range of outcomes. The price of +2500 provides fantastic value at a position that has won three of the past eight Defensive Player of the Year Awards.
– Mike Randle (@RandleRant)
Derwin James (LAC): +3000
Generally, this award goes to two styles of players: EDGE rushers who generate insane sack numbers or secondary players who generate double-digit turnovers and score at least one defensive touchdown. A secondary player has not won since Troy Polamalu in 2010, but of course that doesn’t mean they can’t win the award. James’ odds are quite long, he lined up at all five secondary positions in his rookie year, will be an every-down player, and will play on a winning team. All of that should aid his cause, as well as his flashy tackling (highlights 100% matter for this voted-upon award).
– Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek)
Danielle Hunter (MIN): +8000
Let’s start with the likeliest winning profile. The AP has awarded Defensive Player of the Year 48 times: 28 have been DTs or edge rushers (i.e. sack collectors), 10 off-ball LBs, five corners, and five safeties. They’ve played for good defenses (median rank in scoring D: 4.5; median yardage rank: 3.0) on good teams (average 11 wins). With that in mind, J.J. Watt and Joey Bosa look like strong bets if you want to keep it fairly conservative. Each will pay out better than Aaron Donald or Khalil Mack. If you want to try to maximize your payout, though, take a shot on Danielle Hunter. He already has seasons of 12.5 and 14.5 sacks behind him … and won’t turn 25 until Oct. 29. Hunter’s Vikings have gone 47-32-1 in five seasons under HC Mike Zimmer and get key players Dalvin Cook and Everson Griffen back to full health off last year’s disappointing result. Zimmer has also had five straight defenses rank among the top 11 in scoring and three straight finish top nine in both scoring and yardage. So we have a young sack artist on a potential top D on a team that should contend for a playoff spot.
– Kevin English (@DraftSharks)
Here are each of our 2019 NFL futures bets: