Football is just days away, and we are finishing up our yearlong futures picks with the offensive rookie of the year. There are some nice options, but there are also some very over and undervalued rookies that need to be sorted through.
Brandin Cooks (+500)
The big favorite in this prop happens to also be my big favorite, and although I may not be as high on his NFL Odds, the value for Cooks to run away with the offensive rookie of the year is big. He is in the perfect situation, adding to the Saints young and budding group of skill players. Cooks also has the benefit of being able to line up almost anywhere on the field, which gives him added value in Sean Peyton’s offense.
Cooks had a pretty good preseason, even after having to miss the 3rd preseason game due to illness, and even though only one receiver has won the offensive rookie of the year award in the last ten years, Cooks still hold value even though he is a big favorite.
Blake Bortles (+900)
Just slightly after Cooks is Blake Bortles, who has played so well this preseason, I can’t see the Jaguars not starting him very early on in the season. Whether that is Week 1 or not is anyone’s guess, but he has outplayed Chad Henne, and the Jaguars aren’t going anywhere this season, so it might be wise to throw the rookie right into the fire.
If that does happen, Bortles’ NFL Odds to win the rookie of the year are a steal at +900 from Bovada. A quarterback won the award three years in a row until Eddie Lacy ran away with it last season, and if Cooks stumbles out of the gate, Bortles could be the guy to take the award. Don’t discount him just because he is on the Jaguars either. If he can lead Jacksonville to six wins this season, he will probably win this award.
Kelvin Benjamin (+1000)
Finally, my long shot NFL Pick on rookie of the year candidate this season is Kelvin Benjamin After showing a lot of chemistry with Cam Newton this preseason, and looking at the receiver landscape in Carolina, Benjamin is going to get as much of the offense as he can handle, and I think he can handle a lot. Even though the trends of this award are against us picking another receiver, Benjamin’s targets are going to be plentiful this year.
It only took 60 receptions, 790 yards and six touchdowns to win Percy Harvin the rookie of the year award back in 2009, and Benjamin is more than capable of putting up those kinds of numbers. As the only real receiving threat in the Panthers’ offense, it would not surprise me to see Benjamin out play those numbers this season. 100 targets should be expected, especially if the Panthers aren’t as good as a season ago, and if Benjamin can come down with 75% of those targets, he should be an even better value than Cooks is in New Orleans.