clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Our 2018 NFL awards predictions

We take our best guests at who will win the most coveted awards in the NFL.

Getty Images/Peter Rogers Illustrations

The season is over and it’s time to hand out a whole bunch of awards. Here are our picks for MVP, fantasy MVP, Rookie of the Year and more!

Real Football MVP

Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

Pete: I hate to pick the obvious choice but it’s hard to go against the guy that came out of nowhere to throw for 5,000 yards, 50 touchdowns and led one of the greatest offenses the NFL has ever seen.


Paddi: I really wanted this to be Drew Brees after he was overlooked last season but Mahomes has both the numbers and the highlights this season as he led the Chiefs to the AFC number one seed.


Mark: He took the league by storm with 50 touchdowns and 5,000 yards. This doesn’t even include the 272 yards of rushing and 2 TDs he had there.

Fantasy Football MVP


Pete: He went undrafted. That means the best fantasy player this year was added off waivers. I’m sorry to Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Tyreek Hill and whomever else you’ve got atop your lists, but Mahomes is the right answer here.


Paddi: This is an easy choice. Mahomes was drafted as the QB16 and finished QB1 and averaged over 4 points per game more than the next best QB. Plus I had stashed him on two dynasty rosters last season that led me to championships this year. A point scoring machine.

Christian McCaffrey, Panthers

Mark: He ended up as a top 10 fantasy performer in some formats despite being 20th+ pick well after many RBs who he surpassed. The value from this pick was sure to help people reach the playoffs if not win their leagues.

Offensive Player of the Year

Drew Brees, Saints

Pete: Didn’t give Brees the MVP so I guess he can settle for OPoY.

Tyreek Hill, Chiefs

Paddi: Hill’s connection with Mahomes has set the NFL on fire in 2018, with Hill’s 1479 receiving yards coming at 17 yards per reception. He is the biggest mismatch in the league and quite simply, the Chiefs would not be the number one seed and Mahomes would not be favorite for MVP without his game-changing speed and playmaking ability.

Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers

Mark: He crushed his stats SANS Le’Veon Bell AND with a malcontent Antonio Brown throws for 5,129 yards! Sure Pittsburgh missed the playoffs but he had the ultimate all around season - 5,129 yards (most of his career), 34 touchdowns (most of his career - including one for 97 yards), 16 interceptions (2nd most of his career), completion percentage of 67% (3rd most of his career) and 3 rushing touchdowns (most of his career).

Defensive Player of the Year

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Aaron Donald, Rams

Pete: Is there another choice? Donald almost broke the sack record as an interior rusher. That just should be humanly possible. But we will forever have the tangible proof that it is.


Paddi: An outstanding season from the defending defensive player of the year. 20.5 sacks rushing from the interior set an NFL record and he also led the league in tackles for loss with 25. A true game wrecker and should rightfully be in the MVP discussion.


Mark: For an unbelievable season where he was one sack short of Michael Strahan’s single season sack record.

Coach of the Year

Frank Reich, Colts

Pete: I really wanted to give this to Matt Nagy for turning around the Bears, particularly their offense, but I have to hand the award to the Colts’ literal last second head coaching hire. The fact that Reich came into a fairly poor roster and turned them into a playoff team, and their defense into not a laughing stock, is more than enough to bring home the award in my book.

Matt Nagy, Bears

Paddi: Per my RODS Rankings, the Bears finished as the number one team in the regular season, improving from 28th in 2017. Nagy turned around one of the worst offenses in the NFL with much the same players into a top half unit that complimented the number one defense in the NFL and they are a major threat in the playoffs. Miraculous.


Mark: What he did year over year with this Bears roster (who is a dark horse of mine to go deep in the playoffs) is nothing short of amazing.

Comeback Player of the Year

Andrew Luck, Colts

Pete: Remember when we all thought Luck would never throw a ball again? 4,500 yards and 39 touchdowns later, he’s looking pretty damn good.


Paddi: Luck has basically come back from two years off to lead the Colts back to the playoffs and finish in the top 5 in passing yards and touchdowns. That he got better as the season went on and led the Colts to 9 wins in their last 10 games, this should be Luck’s title in a landslide.

Offensive Rookie of the Year

Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Baker Mayfield, Browns

Pete: Yes Saquon could easily win this award but I just can’t get enough of everything Baker does and I want him to win this award and then shove it down every naysayers throat.

Saquon Barkley, Giants

Paddi: Considering the high draft investment the Giants put into Barkley, they got everything they could hope to get in his rookie season. His 2,000 scrimmage yards made him only the third rookie ever to manage such feat, and he also set a record for rookie running back receptions with 91, along with 15 total touchdowns. All that behind a shaky offensive line and an overall offense I had ranked 23rd this year.


Mark: He woke up feeling dangerous and set a new rookie record for TDs despite not playing a full season.

Defensive Rookie of the Year

Darius Leonard, Colts

Pete: Man, I really love the Colts this year. Can’t pick against the man that led the NFL in tackles, third in forced fumbles, tallied seven sacks and two interceptions, and was instrumental in making the Colts defense good this season.


Paddi: Derwin James has had an exceptional first year with the Chargers but as a first round pick with high pedigree, it shouldn’t be unexpected. Leonard, even as a second round pick defied all expectation as he led the league with 163 tackles, 19 more than the second highest, as well as totalling 7 sacks, 10 passes defensed, 2 interceptions and 4 forced fumbles. Quite the season and if it had been from Bobby Wagner or Luke Kuechly, they would be in the MVP conversation.


Mark: He had seven sacks (38th most in NFL), two interceptions (53rd most), four forced fumbles (6th most) and 111 total tackles (the MOST TACKLES).

The “I’m not quite dead yet” kicker award

Robbie Gould, 49ers

Mark: With 33/34 FG made (97.1% highest percentage in the NFL), he entered this season as the oldest guy on the 49ers team!