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NFL MVP Power Rankings: Breaking Down the Field After Week 14

With 14 weeks now in the rearview, Brett Oswalt dives head-first into the NFL MVP race to identify who the favorites are, who are the best bets and who is flying under the radar.
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NFL MVP Power Rankings: Breaking Down the Field After Week 14

An Odds-On Favorite Emerges

Tom Brady (-150) 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are streaking, and Tom Brady has a lot to do with it. Over the last four games, all ending in victories, the 44-year-old has been on absolute fire, as he's thrown for nine touchdowns to three interceptions with 300-plus yards in three of the four. Most recently, he tossed the ball around for 363 yards and two touchdowns, while he also ran for 16 yards and another score in a close win over the Buffalo Bills. But I have to believe that it's Brady's quest to continue making history that gives him such a wide margin in the odds department. He just surpassed Drew Brees for the most pass completions of all time and will flirt with Peyton Manning's record of 55 touchdown passes in a season. With 36 through 13 games and another 4 to go, Brady is on pace for 47 touchdowns.

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Number-Two is Clear

Aaron Rodgers (+550) 

In comparison to Brady, Rodgers hasn't been much of a slouch either. Statistically speaking, he's been just as good as -- if not better than -- his fellow veteran over the last four games. The Packers did drop a game in that stretch, but during that time Rodgers topped 300 yards on three occasions and all total accounted for nine passing touchdowns, one interception, and one rushing touchdown. And it's because of his peak play that Green Bay has averaged 37.3 points in their last three games alone, and the last two have ended in wins. Number 12 isn't having his best season ever, but it might just be his most valuable. Rodgers is first in Football Outsiders' Value Over Average (VOA) metric.

Everyone's Hanging Around

Kyler Murray (+1000) 

Murray now finds himself the leader of a jumbled-up third tier, only after playing two games in the past six weeks. In his return from injury, the Cardinals' dual-threat QB was held to 172 total yards, though he was able to go for two touchdowns on the ground against Chicago. Up against the tough Rams defense, he did more in the way of yardage, including 383 in the air and 61 on the ground, but was intercepted twice and fumbled once. His Cardinals are 1-1 in those two games, and unless Murray can pop off over the next three weeks he doesn't make for an enticing bet at these odds.

Matthew Stafford (+1400) 

If you ask me, Stafford is the flat-out better dollar-for-dollar play among those NFC West quarterbacks. He's been consistently present for his team, and on top of that, he's really been on a tear of late. The 33-year-old has had exactly three passing touchdowns in each of the last three games, during which he's amassed 884 passing yards. As the head of the attack, Stafford has pushed the Rams to two straight wins following their eight-point loss to the Packers back in Week 12. After all is said and done, he's first in the league with 8.2 adjusted net yards per attempt en route to the league's second-highest quarterback rating.

Patrick Mahomes (+1400) 

Mahomes and the Chiefs were on a roll heading into Thursday night's loss to the Chargers. He had led them to a half-dozen consecutive wins, with some high-quality victories scattered across those six. The thing is, the 2018 MVP hasn't been mounting the type of stats that made him so worthy of the award just three years ago. After a crazy five-touchdown game, Mahomes had just two in three games and was limited to less than 200 yards in one of them. If anything, his performance against the Chargers -- 410 yards and 3 touchdowns -- warrants this spot in the MVP rankings, but it's not an easy sell.

Justin Herbert (+1600) 

On the other side of that divisional matchup, Herbert experienced his fair share of struggles. He had just 236 yards and 2 touchdowns, albeit against a Chiefs defense that appears to be a top-five unit at this point. His one interception brought his total to 12 for the year, and 5 have come in the last five games. In that same timeframe, he's managed 13 passing touchdowns in a 3-2 stretch. Herbert showed that he's a young, promising quarterback last year and is doing the same this year. He's just not yet to the caliber of an MVP, nor are his numbers. At his odds, Mahomes is the better option.

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Value Presents Itself

Josh Allen (+2500) 

Allen is in a tough spot. Just two weeks ago, his odds were not far off the lead, but since then he struggled mightily in a "wind" game against the Patriots before getting injured in what could have been an MVP moment versus the Buccaneers. Allen had totaled more than 400 total yards and 3 touchdowns, but his injury now has him day-to-day. With the chance he does return in the near future, that makes these odds all the more appealing. One thing could lead to another, and Brady or Rodgers could take a tumble. If Allen is healthy enough to do what he's been doing all year, there's a chance he snatches the MVP victory from the jaws of defeat.

Cooper Kupp (+20000) 

Kupp's odds have fluctuated quite a bit on a weekly basis. The reasoning is one part winning versus losing, and one part the fact that he doesn't play the quarterback position. However, if anyone's been more friendly to a quarterback this season, I'd be shocked. The five-year veteran has morphed into Matthew Stafford's best friend and go-to weapon, already topping 100 catches for nearly 1,500 yards and a dozen scores. In the last two games, he's put up at least 120 yards and a touchdown. Needless to say, he leads the league in pretty much all categories and is on pace for more than 1,800 receiving yards. He could make a push for the record, and on a winning team like the Rams, there's not a 0% chance he could actually win the thing. I've heard worse ideas.

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