The NFL has one more game to go before Week 3 comes to a close, and it’s a big one. The Baltimore Ravens host the Kansas City Chiefs in a matchup of arguably the two best teams in the NFL. The early MVP race will be impacted by this game, and it will also potentially shake up the Offensive Rookie of the Year race.
Entering the weekend, Bengals QB Joe Burrow had the best odds to win the NFL’s OROY award at +175. He had the most passing attempts of all NFL quarterbacks through Week 2, and had the Bengals competitive and interesting. A quality rookie quarterback is a strong bet to win the OROY award. In Week 3, he came up just short of getting his first win as a Bengal, with the team finishing in a 23-23 tie with the Eagles. Burrow threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns in the game, marking his second straight 300+ yard performance. He’ll remain the favorite when updated odds drop.
Colts RB Jonathan Taylor and Jaguars RB James Robinson entered the weekend tied for third at +700. Robinson had played on Thursday and run in two scores while leading the Jaguars with six receptions for 83 yards. On Sunday, Taylor ran 13 times for 59 yards and a score. I suspect their odds remain fairly similar after this weekend.
A week after impressing in his debut, Chargers QB Justin Herbert put up big numbers but struggled against the Panthers. He threw for 330 yards with one touchdown and one interception and rushed for 15 yards. The volume was there, but the quality was not.
Herbert climbed to +1100 with his insertion into the starting lineup. As long as he puts up solid counting stats and remains in the starting lineup, his odds will remain closer to the favorites. Even with the loss, I think Herbert could improve to +1000 at least.
The one-week receiver breakouts
It’s too early to make many conclusions about the rookies, but Week 3 brought a handful of breakout performances at the wide receiver position.
Vikings WR Justin Jefferson was the second highest scoring receiver in fantasy football this week. He caught seven passes for 175 yards and a touchdown. He entered the weekend at +10000, near the bottom of the available odds.
49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk was the next highest scorer among rookie receivers. He caught five passes for 70 yards, but also had three carries for 31 yards and a touchdown. He entered Sunday at +6000.
Bengals WR Tee Higgins had been getting some hype and broke out with a pair of scores to go with 40 receiving yards. He entered Sunday at +10000.
Week 4 OROY power rankings
This is a look at who is on track to claim the award. Although rookie offensive linemen sometimes make a bigger impact, this award consistently goes to offensive skill position players. This ranking is a combination of production thus far with how things could improve or get worse for the rookie as the season moves along. For example, Antonio Gibson has not put up great numbers, but has a chance for more opportunities in Washington if he can move JD McKissic out of his way.
1. Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals
2. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Chiefs
3. James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
4. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts
5. Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers
6. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Cowboys
7. Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings
8. Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington
9. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, 49ers
10. Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers