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NFL Prop Bets: Best Rookie Of The Year Bet
NFL Offensive Rookie Race An Intriguing Battle
It used to be that you only needed to study one position when it came to assessing the race for the NFL's offensive rookie of the year. Between 1971-2002, all but five of the awards were carried off by running backs.
Runners should figure prominently in the competition again this year, but don't overlook the guys who hand the ball off to them. When Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers won the award in 2004, he was the first quarterback to do so since Dennis Shaw of the Buffalo Bills in 1970, but since then seven of the last 13 winners were QBs.
A breakdown of this year's top contenders for NFL offensive rookie of the year, with odds provided courtesy of Bovada.lv:
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (+400)
Playing for the lowly Jaguars, you know that Fournette, an explosive, powerful back, will be afforded plenty of opportunity to succeed this season.
It was the team's woes at running back, where no runner gained more than 465 yards and the team ranked 22nd in the NFL in rushing yardage per game at 101.9, that made the Jags tab Fournette with the fourth overall pick of the NFL Draft.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (+400)
McCaffrey has Percy Harvin-like qualities. He can run the ball, he can catch the ball, and he can return kicks. Quite simply, McCaffrey is a playmaker and playmakers get plenty of attention.
He's been turning heads during training camp and the Panthers anticipate that he will be an explosive weapon. He is an experienced pass catcher which is McCaffrey's biggest edge on Fournette.
DeShaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans (+400)
After leading Clemson to the national title, Watson should be poised for a spectacular NFL career. He's already getting rave reviews from no less than New Orleans Saints perennial All-Pro QB Drew Brees.
Watson's biggest drawback in the rookie race is not knowing how quickly he will get on the field? The Texans have anointed Tom Savage as their starter, but if Savage falters they won't wait long to put their future in Watson's hands.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings (+900)
The long-term heir apparent to Adrian Peterson, Cook figures to see plenty of playing time for a team that struggled to run the ball last season and desperately needs a strong running game to offset the pedestrian abilities of QB Sam Bradford.
The drawback for Cook in rookie voting is that he figures to share time with veteran Latavius Murray, an off-season free-agent addition from the Oakland Raiders.
Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals (+900)
There's an X in the middle of Mixon's last name, and he's certainly an X-factor in the rookie race.
An outcast in the eyes of many NFL teams due to the video of him assaulting a woman, the Bengals are in desperate need for a feature back and were willing to roll the dice on Mixon.
Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans (+1200)
The lone receiver who figures to have a shot at being top rookie, Davis should benefit from playing in a balanced offense for a team that should contend for the playoffs.
The drawback is that a hamstring injury has slowed his development in training camp.
DeShone Kizer, QB, Cleveland Browns (+1600)
This just in - the Browns will be bad again this season. That's one reason why they are leaning toward starting Kizer ahead of free-agent addition Brock Osweiler.
And should Kizer make some headway with this horrible team, he just might be a sleeper to watch in the rookie race.
Winner: Christian McCaffrey (+400)
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