We continue our run through NFL futures bets with the latest round of opportunities, courtesy FanDuel Sportsbook. We’ll run through a few of these over the next few weeks, and to kick things off we’ll look at who our writers and experts view as the best bets to lead the NFL in passing yards in 2019.
What is your favorite bet to lead the league in passing yards?
Patrick Mahomes (KC): +360
It’s too easy to pick Mahomes here, as he plays for Andy Reid in a fantastic system that fits his skill-set. While losing Tyreek Hill for any amount of time would be detrimental, there’s still reason to believe Mahomes can lead the league in passing. Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins, Damien Williams, and Mecole Hardman are still on the roster and the defense is about as bad as it gets. Not only have they switched from a 3-4 to a 4-3 overnight, but they lost a few of their best players and have minimal cornerback talent on the roster. His pass attempts will be there because of this, while the other guys who have the ability to lead the league in passing yards have much better defenses in place. My backup choice for this one would be Jameis Winston, though that’ll be tough in year one of a new system.
– Mike Tagliere (@MikeTagliereNFL)
I really wanted to take an underdog here. Normally, after a breakout season players take a bit of a step back and it can be difficult to live up to the hype, but how can you not like Pat Mahomes after the season he had last year? Yes, he is probably going to lose Tyreek Hill, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Andy Reid is still his Head Coach. The offense is going to live by the passing game, and with a defense that is unlikely to improve much over last year’s unit, I expect the Chiefs to be in many shootouts again this season. There are some other players worth taking a look at, such as Andrew Luck at +700 and Carson Wentz at +3400, but I do worry about both player’s health over the course of a season. If you’re looking for a real long shot, Nick Foles is also on the board at +10000.
– Philip Wood (@Phil_Wood_Jr)
Jameis Winston (TB): +2300
Pat Mahomes is deservedly the favorite to lead the league in passing at +360, after throwing for 300+ yards in eight of his first nine career games. Carson Wentz offers good value at +3400, considering his yards per game average of 280 yards in 2018. Philadelphia has upgraded their offensive weapons, but that includes the running game which was so underwhelming last season they were forced to throw the ball to move the chains. My pick is the quarterback who, believe it or not, is the signal caller for the team that led the league in passing yards last season, Jameis Winston. Jameis and Fitzpatrick combined to throw for a ridiculous 5,358 yards, 229 more than NFL leader Ben Roethlisberger. Fitzpatrick did average more yards per game than Jameis, but I’m projecting Jameis’ number to increase. The Buccaneers were already poised to have one of the worst defenses in the league before releasing their best player, Gerald McCoy, and their division is filled with high-powered offenses in New Orleans, Atlanta, and Carolina. Their backfield is going to be led by Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones, who somehow combined to only average 3.4 YPC. All factors are pointing to the Buccaneers needing to pass the ball relentlessly in 2019, and I haven’t even mentioned the motivating force behind this pick. Bruce Arians is taking over as head coach. He is known for his vertical passing philosophy and aggressive play calling. Arians has already helped turn Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer from talented and strong-armed inconsistent QBs into legitimate MVP candidates. Jameis is a former No. 1 pick and Heisman winner with plenty of arm talent and the gunslinger mentality that meshes perfectly with an Arians’ offense. This team has weapons in Mike Evans, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, and Chris Godwin who is a popular breakout candidate heading into 2019. Mahomes should be the favorite, but at +2300 you can’t go wrong with a QB in this situation.
– James Esposito (@PropZillaa)
My projections have this as almost a must bet. Winston is only projected behind Patrick Mahomes in passing yardage by 120 yards and is projected for the fifth most passing attempts in the NFL. Bruce Arians runs a vertical passing offense that will encourage both attempts and a high average depth of target. Arians’ passing offenses have finished second, seventh and ninth twice in his time calling plays in the NFL. In the past, he was able to make use of players like John Brown and Mike Wallace who profile like Chris Godwin and Justin Watson. Overall, we are very bullish on Jameis Winston and this is a great number to take.
– Davis Mattek (@DavisMattek)
With Patrick Mahomes at poor +360 odds, the best bet is to look elsewhere for a potential value. You can always hedge your play with a one unit play on Mahomes, but outside of the Chiefs signal caller Jameis Winston is the most intriguing. He plays on a team that looks to be currently devoid of any top-end talent at the running back position. Not only that but with Bruce Arians in town you can bet that the offense will be aggressive through the air. Mike Evans is the most underrated receiver in the league and O.J. Howard may just be the most talented tight end. Chris Godwin is expected to have a breakout season and Winston has already started building a rapport with Breshad Perriman. Undrafted free agents DaMarkus Lodge and Anthony Johnson should be able to put some heat on the less talented, oft-hyped sleeper candidate Justin Watson, giving the Bucs up to six wideouts who are ready to contribute. The appeal here is real. Remember this is a team that led the league in passing yards last season and was second in the league in yards per attempt.
– Raju Byfield (@FantasyContext)
Jared Goff (LAR): +2300
To try and identify the passing yard leader in a season, I looked at players that were on good offenses with good receivers. Ultimately I looked at Goff as the answer. Goff is surrounded by offensive talent, headlined by arguably the best trio of receivers in the NFL in Bradin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp. There may be question marks at running back, with the recent injury news about Todd Gurley’s knee, but Sean McVay proved that his system can make most running backs look effective. Goff finished fourth in this same metric last season, with 4,688 passing yards, 441 yards behind leader Ben Roethlisberger. Looking at the players that finished above him last season there are changes that point toward them not being able to repeat their stats from last season. Roethlisberger and Mahomes both lost their lead receivers in Antonio Brown and Tyreek Hill (I’m leaning toward him not being able to play this season). Matt Ryan too will likely not be forced to pass as often as he was last season with his defense struggling for health. Goff has the most stable situation year over year, and that is why at the current odds he would be my selection for the passing leader next season.
– Richard King (@RichKingFF)
Andrew Luck (IND): +700
Only Ben Roethlisberger attempted more passes than Luck did last season. Now, I’ll concede that Luck probably won’t chuck it another 639 times. But you have to be encouraged by offseason upgrades like Parris Campbell and Devin Funchess. After all, in 2018, Chester Rodgers ranked third on the team in receiving yards. So Luck should remain highly efficient. Year 2 with Frank Reich and a still-dominant O-line provide further positives.
– Kevin English (@DraftSharks)
Matt Ryan (ATL): +500
Ryan became an elite quarterback under Dirk Koetter from 2012-14, and I think a reunion keeps him going en route to his first 5,000-yard season of his career. The Falcons play in a dome and their defense should be sub-par again, leading to plenty of passing situations. The receivers aren’t much different, but that’s a good thing with Calvin Ridley entering his second season, along with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu. Ryan has had at least 4,500 passing yards in six of the last seven seasons so you know he’ll be in the running, especially since he continues to avoid injury, unlike others at the top of the odds.
– Adam Zdroik (@RotoZdroik)
Baker Mayfield (CLE)
I wish the odds were a little bit better for Mayfield, but I’ll still take the young gunslinger. He passed for 3,725 yards during his rookie season in 14 games (13 starts). If he played a full 16 games at that pace he would have finished with 4,258 yards. Quarterbacks often take a leap forward during their second full season in the league, and Mayfield now has a true No. 1 WR to throw to with the acquisition of Odell Beckham Jr. I see Jameis Winston showing up on this list a lot as the Buccaneers led the league in passing yards as a team last season. Who was the offensive coordinator for the Bucs last year? Todd Monken. And guess where Monken will be helping call the shots on offense this season. That’s right, Cleveland.
– Brad Richter (@RotoPilot)