4 Dark Horses Who Can Win NFL MVP Next Season

Mike Esposito
Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos
Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos / Matthew Stockman

Cover Photo: Getty Images

Perennial MVP candidates like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, along with 2018 NFL MVP Award winner Patrick Mahomes, will likely be in contention for the honor for years to come. However, there are some really talented players who have an outside shot at winning the MVP award next season, provided they play up to their immense potential.

With that being said, here are four dark-horse candidates who could win next season's NFL MVP award.

4. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers

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Getty Images / Grant Halverson

Christian McCaffrey is an extremely versatile running back who flew under the radar in 2018-19, despite having a remarkable season. The third-year back tallied 1,965 total yards and 13 total touchdowns last season, and was the lone bright spot on the Carolina Panthers' offense. If McCaffery improves upon last season's campaign, and leads the Panthers back to the postseason, he's got a chance at winning the MVP award.

3. Aaron Donald, DT, Los Angeles Rams

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Getty Images / Gregory Shamus

It's a little hard to believe that the best defensive player in the league is considered a dark-horse candidate to win the MVP, but such is life in the modern NFL. Aaron Donald had a historic 2018-19 season, as he amassed 20.5 sacks. If he can replicate or improve upon this total, Donald could become the first defensive player to win the MVP award since Lawrence Taylor in 1986.

2. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

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Getty Images / Mitchell Leff

Carson Wentz was likely the front-runner for the MVP award in the 2017-18 season, before an ACL tear cut his season short. Wentz underwhelmed in his return to action last season, but if he's fully healthy come Week 1, he's got a shot at taking home the MVP award. The Philadelphia Eagles acquired weapons like DeSean Jackson and Jordan Howard to pair with Zach Ertz and Alshon Jeffery, so Wentz will be working with a ton of firepower. If the North Dakota State product plays anything like he did two years ago, he's as good a bet as any to win the NFL MVP Award.

1. Baker Mayfield, QB, Cleveland Browns

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Getty Images / Patrick Smith

Baker Mayfield had an excellent rookie season and he could be even better this coming season. The second-year signal-caller has a plethora of dynamic weapons to work with, including recently-acquired Odell Beckham Jr., David Njoku, Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry. If Mayfield improves upon the 3,725 passing yards and 27 touchdowns he threw for during his rookie campaign, he has a great shot at winning the MVP award next season.

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Mike Esposito is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Mike Esposito also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username espo6891. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.