This is the final awards deep dive. Since I have every intention of updating these articles for next year, I wanted to build a database to easily look at the results. I pulled the info from Wikipedia this time because they had the positions. As always, click here for the Google spreadsheet if you would like a copy or do further research on your own without starting from scratch. Don’t forgot to switch sheets to see CPOY.
Short answer on who to play for CPOY is QB. Going back to 1998, 13 of the 23 winners have been QB (that includes 2005 when we had 2 CPOY winners). The next leading position is WR at 3. If playing defense, good luck winning this award. 5 of the 23 winners were on the defensive side of the ball. I am not remotely surprised by this, the media cares much more about offense and all of the media has an opinion on QBs good or bad.
The next thing you need to know is that this award (like the majority of the other awards given out by the media) are to winning teams. The average record for this award is about 10-6. Only 1 time has a player won this award with a losing record, that was a DT 1999 by Bryant Young of the San Francisco 49ers. Only 3 times has a winner had a record worse than 8-8. 17 winners had a double-digit winning record. Lastly, 20 of the 23 winners either took 1st or 2nd in division.
Finally, going back to 2014, all the winners were +1000 or better in the betting market. This is a small sample size excluding Ryan Tannehill. The Titans official record in 2019 was 9-7. Tannehill recorded a 7-3 record and the books didn’t even offer him odds.
I don’t have much interest in betting this award but if I was forced to pick one, it would be Ben Roethlisberger. The highest I have seen is 3/1 on DraftKings. I expect Steelers to bounce back this year at 10-6 or 11-5, make a wildcard spot, and Tomlin to be COY. A popular pick will be Cam Newton but I am not sure how the Patriots will be this year. I think they will struggle this year going 9-7 or 10-6 and that is assuming Newton stays healthy. Last, Matt Stafford is 8/1 territory. I think the Lions will do well this year but I have a really tough time seeing them get to double digit wins.
You will also notice J.J. Watt, Rob Gronkowski, and Antonio Brown toward the top. All 3 of these players will either be missing games due to health or suspension or I don’t think the team will be good/not have enough stats. These guys are all sexy names driven with the media narrative but I highly doubt one of these 3 guys win it.
Short answer is to take QB. 21 of the last 27 winners (we had co-MVPs in 1997 and 2003) have been QBs. The other 6 were RBs. If you go back to 2010, 9 have been QBs while the lone RB was 2012 Adrian Peterson. I did another project for OPOY and how they correlate to MVP. 14 of the 25 winners for OPOY won MVP the same year. If you look at the 10 QBs who won OPOY since 1995, 8 of them won OPOY and MVP the same year. Drew Brees was the 2 times a QB didn’t win MVP and OPOY simultaneously.
When you look at wins, MVP winners are about 13-3 on average. The problem is these books factor in this for the obvious guys (Mahomes this year). As much as I like the Ravens this year, we haven’t had a repeat winner since Peyton Manning in 2008-2009. I also don’t expect the Ravens to be 14-2, I have them at 12-4.
If you are looking at long shot, the only one I would consider is Carson Wentz. I don’t have an interest in playing him but I like the Eagles this year. If you look at the top guys on DraftKings, a lot of them are what I call lol status. The players either don’t have a chance of winning enough games or they are big names with the books giving you odds worse odds.
Last, I did make a play on Mahomes to win OPOY at 8/1 on DraftKings (this is the highest I had access to, always search for the best odds). Don’t waste your money on MVP for him, if he puts up video game numbers again this year, he will win MVP and OPOY.
The answer to these 2 awards is QB. Don’t play Mahomes for MVP, take him for OPOY. Hopefully, if you have been following these, I made you smarter in making these picks. A lot of articles will just pick names without backing them up. I used past results. If you would like other past articles I deep dived, click COY, OROY, DROY, and new playoffs format.
Update as of August 3
I still don’t want to bet either of these awards. To me, the media seems like they are dying to give Newton CPOY. They will make up any excuse for him, I am more worried about the Patriots with a lot of key defenders opting out for the year from COVID. Patriots still seem like a 9-7 team to me. I stated in the OPOY article that MVP and OPOY were the same person 14 of the last 25 years. Of those 14, 8 were QB with Brees not winning both awards simultaneously. I wouldn’t bet Mahomes to win MVP, I would bet him to win OPOY. The highest I have seen Mahomes is 7/1 on DraftKings.