AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year 2019: Top-Ten Odds and Predictions

At the end of every NFL season, the Associated Press (AP) gives out its prestigious Offensive Player of the Year (OPOY) Award to the offensive player who had the most impressive season.

While most professional football players are happier with team wins than individual accolades, the OPOY and the defensive version of it are two awards that every NFL player covets.

Here we further explain this esteemed award, plus we briefly analyze some of the men whom odds makers have favored this season, the top-ten players (plus a bonus one!) who have the best chance at winning the AP OPOY award in 2019.

What exactly is the AP Offensive Player of the Year Award?

For the past 46 years, the Associated Press (AP) has given out its esteemed Offensive Player of the Year Award to the NFL player on offense they feel had the most outstanding season, voted on by a nationwide panel of sportswriters.

Many of the former recipients of the award were coming off a record-breaking (or close to it) season or else helped lead their team to a Super Bowl appearance or victory.

The first OPOY award was given in 1972 to Larry Brown, the running back who played for the Washington Redskins and ran for a career high number of yards (1,216) and 8 touchdowns while catching 32 balls for 473 yards and 4 touchdowns.

What position does the award winner typically play?

In the history of the OPOY award, every winner has been either a running back or a quarterback, with the exception of one incredible player.

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice won the award twice, the first one in 1987 and the second one in 1993.

Of the 47 years that the AP OPOY award has been given out, there have been twenty-five running back winners, twenty quarterbacks to take the prize and Jerry Rice, twice.

Who won the award last season?

The winner of the 2018 AP Offensive Player of the Year Award was Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes led the league in touchdown passes (50) and ranked second in overall in passing yards (5,097) and yards per game (318.6).

In just his second NFL season (and first full one), Mahomes took his Chiefs to the AFC Championship game but they lost in overtime to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, 31-37.

Here are the current odds listed for the AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year in 2019:

If you live in New Jersey and want to bet on futures in the NFL you can do so on 888sport.

Check out the latest odds here.

Good luck!

Running Back BONUS:

Because the top-ten candidates for this award in 2019 are all quarterbacks, we thought, as a bonus, we would throw in the eleventh player on the odds list, Saquon Barkley, because he is the first non-quarterback in the running for this award.

Besides Barkley, there are actually two more running backs in the top fifteen, with the Carolina Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey (+2800) at thirteen and the Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliot (+3000) at fifteen.

At the thirty-sixth spot is the first non-quarterback, non-running back listed, with the Cleveland Browns newly acquired wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (+6600) receiving that honor, and in the very next spot at thirty-seventh is the second wide receiver on the odds list, the Oakland Raiders’ recent acquisition, Antonio Brown (+6600).

11) Saquon Barkley, New York Giants running back

SportsbookOffensive Player of the YearLink
888Sport NJ+2800

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Current Age: 22

NFL Seasons: 1

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 233-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 16

2018 Rushing / Receiving Stats Line: 261 rushes for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns, plus 91 receptions for 721 yards and 4 touchdowns with 0 fumbles.

Analysis: Seems only natural to include last season’s NFL Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley on this list, the running back who was named a First-team All Pro and selected to play in the Pro Bowl in his first ever NFL season.

And since his New York Giants spent the offseason getting rid of the other best player on the team, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., expect offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan to look Barkley’s way even more in 2019.

The challenge this season for the Giants and Barkley will come from under center, where an ongoing battle between the veteran former 2x Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and his eventual replacement, rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, will be distracting, though it may benefit Barkley in the long run since he will be the go-to man during it all.

10) Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcon quarterback

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Current Age: 34

NFL Seasons: 11

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 217-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 16

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 422-of-608 for 4,924 yards and 35 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and a completion percentage of 69.4 while being sacked 42 times.

Analysis: After Matt Ryan was sacked 42 times last season, Atlanta Falcons’ general manager Thomas Dimitroff made it a priority to protect him better by selecting guard Chris Lindstrom and offensive tackle Kaleb McGary in the 2019 draft, both projected to be immediate starters.

Causing the Falcons’ downfall in 2018 was the inability to stay healthy, having lost seven of their starters to season ending injuries, but now those players are back and the impressive Falcons’ roster is ready to give it another go.

Despite all of those injuries to key players, Ryan ended up being the third leading passer last season with 4,924 total yards and 35 touchdowns, so if new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter can do what he was hired to do – improve the Falcons in the red zone, for one – count on Ryan’s production to excel even further now that all his teammates are healthy and ready to go.

9) Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback

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Current Age: 37

NFL Seasons: 15

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 228-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 16

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 347-of-508 for 4,308 yards and 32 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and a completion percentage of 68.3 while being sacked 32 times.

Analysis: Because their AFC West divisional record came up one win short of the Kansas City Chiefs last season, Philip Rivers’ successful 12-4 Los Angeles Chargers could only muster a Wild Card spot in the playoffs and ended up being one of the many victims of the Patriots’ never-ending destiny.

The good news is his team is not broken, just divisionally challenged, nor is Rivers through, though last year’s eighth ranked quarterback is definitely running out of time at thirty-seven years of age.

For Rivers to clinch the AP OPOY, he would most likely have to bring the Chargers back to the Big Game, something the franchise hasn’t done since 1994 the team was San Diego based and lost Super Bowl XXIX to the San Francisco 49ers 26-49.

8) Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns quarterback

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Current Age: 24

NFL Seasons: 1

Height: 6-foot-1

Weight: 215-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 14

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 310-of-486 for 3,725 yards and 27 touchdowns with 14 interceptions and a completion percentage of 63.8 while being sacked 25 times.

Analysis: Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who set the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes last season with 27, has a lot of new factors to contend with in 2019 – not only is it just his second year in the NFL, he also has a brand new head coach, Freddie Kitchens and offensive coordinator, Todd Monken.

The best news is that Mayfield also has one of the best receivers in the NFL on his team now, Odell Beckham Jr., and add that to the rest of the playmakers on the roster, including slot receiver Jarvis Landry, tight end David Njoku and running backs Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson Jr. and (by Week 9) Kareem Hunt.

It’s the kind of roster (on paper) that can go far, and if Mayfield can make that happen in reality, as in take the Browns to the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade and a half, he could make a serious run at the AP OPOY Award in 2019.

7)Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks quarterback

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Current Age:30

NFL Seasons: 7

Height: 5-foot-11

Weight: 215-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 16

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 280-of-427 for 3,448 yards and 35 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and a completion percentage of 65.6 while being sacked 51 times.

Analysis: After winning a Super Bowl in 2013 and appearing in the playoffs for seven of the last eight years, making the postseason is not that impressive anymore for the Seattle Seahawks, but if quarterback Russell Wilson can take them back to the Big Game he is a definite OPOY finalist.

Last season, the 10-6 Seahawks had to battle the postseason from a Wild Card position, so it would help their cause (and Wilson’s) in 2019 if they could force their main NFC West competition, the Los Angeles Rams, to settle for that dreaded second-place divisional spot.

It will take monster season for Wilson to take home the OPOY, and what will help is to limit his sacks after being taken down a league-leading 51 times last season, and general manager John Schneider addressed that by signing left guard Mike Iupati to a one-year deal.

6) Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers quarterback

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Current Age: 35

NFL Seasons: 14

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 225-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 16

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 372-of-597 for 4,442 yards and 25 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and a completion percentage of 62.3 while being sacked 49 times.

Analysis: After thirteen years of head coach Mike McCarthy, the Green Bay Packers will now be led by the young, offensive-minded Matt LaFleur and new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, so 2019 will be a season of adjustments for Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the team.

Of course, Rodgers is paid big bucks to do just that, and if he can stay healthy, it will be interesting to see what this new mix in Green Bay is capable of after two seasons in a row of sub .500 records and zero playoff appearances.

Last season Rodgers ranked sixth among his quarterbacking peers, having thrown for +4,000 yards for the seventh time in his NFL career, so (if he stays healthy) expect him to do it in 2019, and if he can find the postseason once again, expect him to be a finalist for the OPOY award.

5) Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback

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Current Age: 26

NFL Seasons: 3

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 237-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 11

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 279-of-401 for 3,074 yards and 21 touchdowns with 7 interceptions and a completion percentage of 69.6 while being sacked 31 times.

Analysis: For the last two seasons, Philadelphia Eagles’ young quarterback Carson Wentz has not been able to make it through the year injury free, but he has had a stellar backup in Nick Foles to pick him up.

But no more, since Foles was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, so 2019 will be Wentz’s season to prove he is not only excellent at his position but he can also be durable and last through the playoffs.

Wentz has a ton of dangerous weapons at his disposal (new running back Jordan Howard, receivers Alshon Jeffries and now Desean Jackson plus arguably one of the best tight ends in the league, Zach Ertz), so if he can stay healthy he has everything he needs to be the 2019 OPOY.

4) Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints quarterback

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Current Age: 40

NFL Seasons: 18

Height: 6-foot-0

Weight: 209-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 15

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 364-of-489 for 3,992 yards and 32 touchdowns with 5 interceptions and a completion percentage of 74.4 while being sacked 17 times.

Analysis: New Orleans Saints’ veteran quarterback (and former Super Bowl Champ and MVP) Drew Brees is on his way to the NFL Hall of Fame, no doubt, but one more ring on his finger would make it even more of a certainty.

Already a 2x OPOY winner, Brees could lock up another one if his Saints could get back to the Super Bowl and carry home another Lombardi Trophy.

With arguably one of the best receivers in the league, Michael Thomas, plus newly acquired receivers Ted Ginn, Austin Carr, dual threat running back Alvin Kamara and new tight end Jared Cook, expect Brees to do what he does on an annual basis and make a run at another OPOY award in 2019.

3) Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts quarterback

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Current Age: 29

NFL Seasons: 6

Height: 6-foot-4

Weight: 240-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 16

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 430-of-639 for 4,593 yards and 39 touchdowns with 15 interceptions and a completion percentage of 67.3 while being sacked 18 times.

Analysis: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck had a healthy season in 2018 after sitting out the entire 2017 with an injured throwing arm shoulder.

Luck’s offensive line protected him last year, allowing only 18 sacks after his 2016 line let him get taken down 41 times, and the results were obvious, with the Colts returning to the postseason for the first time in four seasons.

General manager Chris Ballard has added some more targets to the roster in the offseason – receiver Devin Funchess and tight ends Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle – so if Luck can stay healthy again, expect him to impress in 2019 and lead the Colts back to the NFL promised land.

2) Tom Brady, New England Patriots quarterback

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Current Age: 41

NFL Seasons: 19

Height: 6-foot-4  

Weight: 225-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 16

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 375-of-570 for 4,355 yards and 29 touchdowns with 11 interceptions and a completion percentage of 65.8 while being sacked 21 times.

Analysis: Since the New England Patriots are the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl this season, there is no way that GOAT quarterback Tom Brady wins the AP OPOY Award without snagging (yet) another ring.

When you get to be as good as Brady has become, the downside of that is the ever-increasing expectations, and so he will have to go the distance once again if he expects the AP sportswriters to be impressed with his 2019 performance.

With general manager / head coach / defensive coordinator Bill Belichick game planning his every move, Brady, at age forty-one, still commands respect as well as the second-best position on this list, and both are impressive feats in a league that favors youth.

1) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback

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Current Age: 23

NFL Seasons: 2

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 230-pounds

Number of regular season games played in 2018: 16

2018 Passing Stats Line: Completed 383-of-580 for 5,097 yards and 50 touchdowns with 12 interceptions and a completion percentage of 66.0 while being sacked 26 times.

Analysis: Last year’s winner of this OPOY award is the odds-on favorite to win it again in 2019, Kansas City Chiefs’ young quarterback Patrick Mahomes blowing away the competition with expectations.

Of course, Mahomes will most likely have to make it all the way to Super Bowl LIV and beyond if he hopes to win the award two seasons in a row, and a big factor in whether he will be able to accomplish that is if his main go-to target, speedy receiver Tyreek Hill, will get to play at all in 2019 due to possible upcoming suspensions for his alleged off the field violence.

It is Mahomes’ third season in the NFL coming up, his second if you don’t count his rookie season in 2017 when he started and played in just one game, so chances are he is going to be even better than he was last year, which makes him easily the number one candidate to win the 2019 AP OPOY Award once again.