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NFL MVP tracker: Going over favorites, sleepers heading to Week 12

Jonathan Taylor’s 5-TD performance thrust him into the middle of the MVP race after Week 11. We break down the odds on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Jonathan Taylor #28 of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball for a touchdown in the game against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at Highmark Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Orchard Park, New York. Photo by Joshua Bessex/Getty Images

It’s been a while it seems since we’ve been this deep into an NFL season without really having a clear-cut favorite for MVP. Entering Week 11 on Sunday, Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen was the favorite to win MVP at +250. By the end of their 41-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Allen didn’t feel much like an MVP favorite. Most of the top of the MVP board is littered with QBs still, but that may change fast.

Let’s take a look at some of the favorites and some sleepers heading into Week 12.

NFL MVP Favorites

We’ll see what happens on Monday Night Football with the Buccaneers and current MVP front-runner Tom Brady. Unless he has a massive game, none of the QB favorites really helped their cause in Week 11.

The Chiefs beat the Cowboys but Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott were both awful. Allen threw a few picks in a blowout loss and dropped out of the favorite slot, seeing his odds drop from +250 to +600. Matthew Stafford was on bye. Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson were both sidelined this week. Aaron Rodgers was pretty close to jumping up the board but the Packers’ defense faltered in a 34-31 loss to the Vikings.

Perhaps it’s time for a non-QB to win MVP for the first time since Adrian Peterson won the award back in 2012. Jonathan Taylor steamrolled the first-place Bills on the road with a 5-TD performance in Week 11. Taylor was already making a very strong case for best back in the NFL (at least once Derrick Henry went down). Taylor is above 1,000 yards on the ground with 6 games left and he’s up to 15 TDs combined rushing and receiving. He should easily clear 2,000 all-purpose yards and 20+ TDs on the season. He came into Week 11 at +10000 to win the award and is now +2000.

After starting the season 1-4, the Colts have clawed their way above .500 at 6-5 and have a shot at winning the AFC South. The Titans somehow lost to the Texans 22-13. So if the Colts can somehow come back and win the division on the back of Taylor’s rushing performance, he has a very clear path to winning MVP.

The Colts have a few tough matchups with the Bucs and Patriots, plus a game vs. the Cardinals remaining on the schedule. Looking ahead, the big matchup is Week 18 vs. the Jaguars. Let’s say the Colts are in a must-win situation and Taylor has a shot to claim the MVP with a big game. That’s a pretty easy spot to get it done.

NFL MVP Sleepers

One might consider Taylor a “sleeper” to win MVP, but he made himself more of a favorite after the 5-TD game. With so much uncertainty at the top among the favorites, there’s going to be a ton of value down the board for MVP. There are a few QBs to consider, though one of them may be less of a sleeper after Sunday night.

We’ll start with Jalen Hurts. The Philadelphia Eagles have had an up-and-down season, but made a statement with a 40-29 win over the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. Hurts ran for 3 TDs while throwing for 141 yards with no turnovers. The Eagles have climbed to 5-6 on the season and are still alive in the NFC East, with a strong chance of competing for a Wild Card spot. If Hurts get close to 1,000 rushing yards and double digit TDs on the ground and in the air, he’d have the stats to justify an MVP season. The big thing is leading the Eagles to a division title. If Hurts can do that, he’s got a strong case as a long-shot.

The other name is less surprising. Herbert isn’t so much a sleeper but he’s still behind a handful of QBs on the board despite beating the Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Herbert was pretty masterful in the win, throwing for 382 yards and 3 TDs, using his legs for an additional 90 yards. The Chargers moved to 6-4 and are only a game off of first place in the AFC West. If Los Angeles can steal the division title from the Chiefs, Herbert will be right there among the favorites for MVP soon enough.

2021 MVP odds

Tom Brady: +350
Josh Allen: +600
Matthew Stafford: +1000
Aaron Rodgers: +1000
Dak Prescott: +1000
Patrick Mahomes: +1200
Kyler Murray: +1200
Justin Herbert: +1200
Lamar Jackson: +1400
Jonathan Taylor: +2000
Cooper Kupp: +2500
Kirk Cousins: +4000
Joe Burrow: +6000
Ryan Tannehill: +6000
Teddy Bridgewater: +10000
Jalen Hurts: +10000
Austin Ekeler: +10000
James Conner: +10000

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