Matthew Stafford An Interesting Long-Shot Bet to Win NFL MVP

Max Staley
Matthew Stafford was in the midst of a career season in 2019.
Matthew Stafford was in the midst of a career season in 2019. / Leon Halip/Getty Images

Matthew Stafford was having the best season of his career before going down with injuries in 2019. Though the Lions were just 3-4-1 across his eight starts, Stafford was on pace to throw for 38 touchdowns, 4,998 yards and just 10 interceptions.

Assuming he comes back at full strength, that kind of production makes Stafford an interesting dark-horse candidate to win the 2020 NFL MVP award.

One point in Stafford's favor could be the recent history of the award. He's currently available at +4400 to win, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, and four of the last five NFL MVPs entered the season with greater than 30-to-1 odds to win.

But Stafford is an interesting candidate due to more than just his per-game projections and the award's recent history.

Last season, Stafford's 9.1 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A) was the second-best number in the NFL. For context, had he finished the season with that average, it would've been higher than three of the last five MVP award winners. Notably, Stafford did that while having an NFL-best average depth of target (aDOT) of 10.6, and a 1.7 percent interception rate, which is his second-best career mark.

In other words, Stafford was pushing the ball downfield more frequently than anyone else in the NFL, without the usual risk of turnovers that comes from such an aggressive play style.

If he maintains this level of play next season Stafford should find himself squarely 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.