| Mon 24/07/2017 - 17:55 EDT

Leonard Fournette Fave To Win NFL 2017 Rookie Of The Year Award

Leonard Fournette Fave To Win NFL 2017 Rookie Of The Year Award

Offensive Rookie Of The Year Props

Is it a sign of things to come - or a kiss of death? That's a question some will ask when top NCAA football players are being projected as the next "Great One”. While still in college, it’s the Heisman Trophy and, once they hit the pros, it’s the Rookie of the Year title. More than a few future "stars" have gone from boom to bust after winning both of those awards. Here are the preseason odds to claim the offensive NFL ROTY which are currently posted at the SportsInteraction online sportsbook.

NFL 2017 Rookie of the Year Odds Sports Interaction (SIA)
NFL 2017 Rookie of the Year Odds at Sports Interaction

Similar to "top jocks" receiving the lions share of attention from the ladies on campus, voters will be keeping a close eye on running backs (6) and quarterbacks (4) as those positions occupy ten of the top fourteen chalk spots on the  SportsInteraction NFL ROTY futures board. However, due to a fairly underwhelming crop of pivots, the door is open for wide receivers (5) and tight ends (3) as they hold favorite positions between the fifth and 18th spots. One of the most popular preseason player props, these prices will be adjusted throughout the thrilling NFL 2017 regular season action.

NFL First Year Players: Beasts and Busts

First introduced by the Associated Press in 1957, the Rookie of the Year has been awarded to best first year NFL player sixty times. While pivots dominate the NFL MVP award, running backs have hauled away the most ROTY trophies. It is actually not even close, as bashers out of the backfield have claimed 38 titles. That is more than the wide receivers (13) quarterbacks (8) and tight ends (1) combined 22 trophies. Cleveland Browns All Pro Jim Brown started the RB wave back in 1957.

Becoming trophy hogs, deservedly or otherwise, pivots have encroached on RB ROTY domination as a QB has claimed the title four of the last seven years. While the jury is still out recent winners Sam Bradford (2010) Cam Newton (2011) and Dak Prescott (2016) Robert Griffin III was a colossal bust after he won the award in 2012. Sandwiched in between, RB's Eddie Lacy (2013) and Todd Gurley (2015) who have been mediocre to date and “Diva” WR Odell Beckham Jr. (2015) won this prop.

Results / FixturesNFL

Leonard Fournette RB Jacksonville Jaguars

Highly touted out of St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, while being compared to All Pro backs like Herschel Walker and Adrian Peterson, Leonard Fournette didn’t disappoint during his first two NCAAF seasons as a member of the LSU Tigers. A fountain of production, Fournette posted 2,987 rushing yards on 458 attempts (6.5 YPC) and 32 total touchdowns during his freshman and sophomore years. A dual threat, Leonard lassoed another 25 catches for 336 yards and one score.

LSU posted a 20-6 record during those seasons and Fournette racked up an awe-inspiring 256 total yards and five TD in the Tigers 56-27 blowout of the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the 2015 Texas Bowl. Though ankle injuries hampered his Junior year, Fournette managed to record 959 total yards and eight touchdowns on 137 touches. Passing on his Senior season in Death Valley, Fournette entered the 2017 NFL Draft and was selected as the fourth OA pick by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Projected as a team on the rise, Fournette gives Jacksonville a running back “hope” that has been missing since the Fred Taylor (1998-2008) and Maurice Jones-Drew (2006-2013) era's. Although he will be running behind an offensive line that is improving, his injury history plus the lack of a top rated quarterback are drawbacks when considering a NFL futures wager on Fournette. Buying damaged goods is not a wise decision and it remains to be seen how the newest Florida Cat fares.

Christian McCaffrey RB Carolina Panthers

Not from a NFL running back producing machine, or overall draft hotbed - except for quarterbacks, Stanford Cardinal RB Christian McCaffrey is second chalk to claim the 2017 ROTY trophy. Dating back to 1936, Stanford has produced thirteen overall #1 NFL draft picks. With due respect to the others, All-Pro pivots Andrew Luck, John Elway and Jim Plunkett are the best ballers in Cardinal history. Darrin Nelson, Brad Muster and Tommy Vardell, are Stanford backs taken in the first round.

Son of three-time Super Bowl Champion wide receiver Ed McCaffrey, once with the San Francisco 49ers (XXIX) and back-to-back with the Denver Broncos (XXXII and XXXII), there is definitely football smarts and skill in Christian’s DNA. Tons of bettors, and fantasy football players, are seeking info on this guy as typing “McC” into Google returns McCaffrey as a top choice. During 37 games at Stanford, McCaffrey totalled 5,128 yards from scrimmage and scored 31 Cardinal touchdowns. 

Leaving college, after his Junior year with a 6.2 YPC average, McCaffrey was drafted eighth OA by the Carolina Panthers. After RB’s had 1445 rushing yards last season, including 824 from Jonathan Stewart who is facing the dreaded 30-year wall, McCaffrey has an outside shot to steal the starters role - eventually. However, a time-share with Stewart is a more reasonable expectation. Stewart has battled injuries annually and if he goes down - McCaffrey would become The Guy in Charlotte.

Deshaun Watson QB Houston Texans

Eye-popping stats have been a part of Deshaun Watson’s DNA since he posted 13,717 total yards and 217 TD during four years at Gainesville High School in Georgia. Many University’s pursued Watson, including heavyweights Alabama, Ohio and UCS, but he decided to leave his home State to attend Clemson University in South Carolina. Eventually bumping incumbent quarterback Cole Stoudt out of the starters role, Watson tallied 1,666 total yards and 19 scores as a freshman.

Pushing his numbers into another stratosphere, the Tigers dual threat QB put up 10,431 all-purpose yards and 97 TD during 30 sophomore and junior regular season games. Experiencing the agony of defeat, Watson and the Tigers lost 45-40 to Alabama during the National Championship game in 2016. Deshaun had the last laugh though as he posted 463 yards, plus four scores, as Clemson rolled the Crimson Tide 35-31 in the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship rematch.

After 15 seasons of searching, Houston hopes they have found their future Field General. Projected to go higher, the Texans snagged Watson as the 12th OA pick in 2017. Slightly surprising, QB's Mitchel Trubisky (2nd OA Bears) and Patrick Mahomes (10th OA KC Chiefs) were selected before Deshaun. With just oft-injured QB Tom Savage ahead of him - Watson could be the Texans starter by about Week 8 of the season. Not playing all 16 games will crimp his NFL 2017 ROTY chances.

NFL ROTY Bottom Line & Top Sports Betting Sites

If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas eh. A cornucopia of “ifs and buts” is associated with the top three ROTY candidates. IF Fournette can morph into a every-down back – he becomes more of a lock to be the top rookie. IF McCaffrey supplants incumbents vying for touches and/or to extend their careers his stock rises. IF Watson steps in early and lights up the league, all while leading Houston to the NFL playoffs for a third straight year, he gains a leg up.

Bettors looking for a dark horse should check out O.J. Howard (+1600) who is trying to become the second tight end to win ROTY – after Iron Mike Ditka way back in 1961. Howard comes from an “NFL style” offense (Alabama) and will be playing for a TE friendly coach plus QB Jameis Winston loves tossing to tight ends. An ‘if’ here is Howard moving past current TE Cameron Brate. We feel he will. Wagering on the NFL, the MLB Boys of Summer, or any sport being played on the Planet? Bet with the highly recommended sportsbooks in this Canada Sports Betting Top Five table. 

    Category : NFL News

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