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NFL MVP tracker: Race tightens again heading into Week 13

The Bucs QB wasn’t great but got his team the win in Week 12. We break down some MVP favorites and sleeper picks heading into Week 13.

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for an open teammate in the first half of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

We’re almost through Week 13 and it still feels like the race for NFL MVP in 2021 is still very much wide open. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady entered the week as the betting favorite to win MVP on DraftKings Sportsbook. Brady was coming off a 30-10 win over the New York Giants. Behind Brady was Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen, who maintained MVP stock despite a blowout loss to the Indianapolis Colts. On the other side of that game was RB Jonathan Taylor, whose 5-TD performance thrust him into the MVP conversation.

A lot has happened in one week and we’ll be going over some of the favorites and sleepers to win NFL MVP now that Week 13 is almost wrapped up.

NFL MVP Favorites

It was another week where the top of the board really didn’t do all that much to separate itself. Brady and the Bucs won a wild game against the Colts 38-31, but it was thanks mostly to Uncle Lenny, not Brady. He threw for just 226 yards with one TD and one INT. Tampa Bay is 8-3 and is among the top teams in the League, but not by any margin really. Brady is having a very good season, but by his standards, it seems a bit underwhelming. The main reason Brady remains the favorite is the Bucs remaining schedule. It’s very soft. Brady likely throws for over 40 TDs again with well over 4,000 yards and double-digit wins.

Allen and the Bills played on Thanksgiving and eased past a pretty weak New Orleans Saints team. Allen had a gaudy four TDs but also threw a few picks. The Bills will need to overtake the Patriots for first in the AFC East if Allen is going to have any shot at MVP. Even then, it’ll be hard for Allen to get to the stats he needs to justify it. Allen probably doesn’t have a better season than 2020 and the Bills won the division and went to the AFC Championship game. Playoffs don’t matter, but again, a division title and strong finish may not even be enough.

The other favorite who likely gets a bump is Aaron Rodgers. He was masterful in last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings, a loss that can’t fall on him. This week, the Packers bounced back with an impressive win over the Los Angeles Rams at home. Rodgers has six games on a fractured toe to try and get to around 40 TDs and 4,000-plus passing yards. It’s certainly doable but feels unlikely. If Rodgers doesn’t opt for surgery, plays through the toe injury and leads the Packers to the best record in the NFC, that could be enough to beat out Brady.

NFL MVP Sleepers

The market for sleepers is kind of dying down and we’ve only got a few more weeks before the board will shrink. With that said, some of the sleeper names pack quite the punch. Kyler Murray has yet to return from injury, but if he gets back for Week 13, that’ll be 14 games played. Murray was among the favorites before the injury and the Cardinals still have a pretty good shot at the best record in the NFC. If Murray were to come back and crush it for six weeks, he could get back into the MVP conversation.

Patrick Mahomes is the other big name that has a shot coming off the bye week to get back up among the Brady’s and Allen’s. The AFC West has taken a step back with the Raiders and Chargers not being able to jump the Chiefs. Mahomes is still on pace for around 4,600 passing yards and 36 TDs, which isn’t his best but it’ll do. Kansas City has a tough schedule down the stretch, but that could play in Mahomes’ favor. If Mahomes can perform well, limit the INTs and lead the Chiefs to an AFC West title, he’d have the clout to win MVP.

NFL MVP Odds 2021

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