Dark Horse 2020 NFL MVP Candidates Based on Shocking Trend in Recent Years
By Max Staley
The NFL MVP is the most-coveted individual award in football, but it might also be the most unpredictable – especially in recent years. In four of the past five seasons, the MVP award has gone to a quarterback with greater than 30-to-1 odds to win entering the year.
Notably, it likely would've been five-for-five had Carson Wentz stayed healthy in 2017. With that in mind, let's break down three long-shot candidates that have a chance to continue this trend in 2020, according to odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook.
1. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (+3800)
The last time NFL fans saw Ben Roethlisberger play, he was nowhere near an MVP level. Assuming he's back to full health, though, there's certainly a case to be made. Last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense, according to Football Outsiders' weighted DVOA metrics. That helped drag the team to an 8-8 record, despite being saddled with some of the worst QB play in the league. If he looks anything like he did in 2018 (5,129 passing yards) Roethlisberger and the Steelers could be one of the league's most-improved teams in 2020.
2. Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions (+4400)
Matthew Stafford had an incredible start to the 2019 season. He was on a 16-game pace to reach 38 touchdowns, and just under 5,000 passing yards. He was robbed of the chance to see that season all the way through due to a back injury, however. Still, he was playing the best football of his career, on pace to set new career highs essentially across the board. If he manages to stay healthy, don't be surprised to see Stafford in the MVP conversation.
3. Drew Lock, Denver Broncos (+8000)
Drew Lock looks poised for a second-year breakout. He was dealing with one of the league's worst skill-position groups in 2019, and the Broncos went out and added Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler and Melvin Gordon, while also improving the offensive line. Denver already had one of the league's best defenses, and if Lock takes a step forward this team could get really dangerous in a hurry. He was 4-1 as the starter in 2019 and if he makes a second-year leap, Lock could find himself in the MVP conversation.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.