NFL OROY Odds: Chris Olave Jumps to Head of the Pack
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odds: Drake London Takes the Early Lead
The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award race is heating up as multiple rookies are showing their promise to be one of the best players in the NFL in the coming years. Let's breakdown some of the top OROY candidates.
Dameon Pierce (NFL OROY Odds: +1200, Previous: Unranked)
After the Houston Texans' game in Week 1 where Pierce was rarely used in favor of Rex Burkhead, all of those who witnessed the training camps and preseason game hype were left scratching their heads. We wondered what happened to the University of Florida rookie and all of the promise he showed in the preseason. After the team parted ways with Marlon Mack, it was presumed Pierce would be the number one guy.
In Weeks 2-3, however, the usage is increasing and Pierce had his best game yet as a rookie. He amassed 20 rush attempts for 80 yards and a score, plus two catches for 21 yards. The Texans, who will likely be very bad this season, can choose to utilize Pierce in two ways. They can choose to give him as much run as he can handle to make sure he is capable of handling a full NFL load. Or they can split his work with Burkhead, especially considering how they will often be trailing, and save his body for future campaigns. If we begin to see Pierce getting 20+ opportunities per game on a consistent basis, we're going to need to start funneling some funds his way at these long odds.
Garrett Wilson (NFL OROY Odds: +1000, Previous: +1000)
After an incredible eight-catch, 102-yard, two-touchdown game in Week 2, Garrett Wilson came crashing back down to earth with six catches for 60 yards and no scores. However, there are still many signs of life that prove Wilson is not out of this race yet.
First, he played his highest percentage of snaps this year (63%). He also saw a very strong 10 targets, and his season target share sits at 22% so far. With that kind of usage, plus the fact that the Jets throw at the highest rate in the league, Wilson is well positioned for a big year. What remains to be seen is if he has developed chemistry with Zach Wilson who will be back on the field in Week 4.
Romeo Doubs (NFL OROY Odds: +1000, Previous: Unranked)
Green Bay will spend this year trying to determine who takes the title of number one receiver after the departure of Davante Adams to Las Vegas. If Sunday's game is any indication, Romeo Doubs may have taken the lead over players like Allen Lazard and Christian Watson.
Doubs was hyped up all week by the coaching staff after Lazard and Randall Cobb had to miss practice due to injury. Doubs then proceeded to catch all eight of his targets for 73 yards and a touchdown, the first of his career. His yards per target has increased in all three games this year and he is quickly developing trust from Aaron Rodgers. That is the recipe you need to be the WR1 in Green Bay.
Chris Olave (NFL OROY Odds: +550, Previous: +1200)
After checking in at fifth on this list last week, Olave soars up to the top on the back of a second straight game with massive usage. Against the Panthers this past Sunday, Olave delivered the best game of his young career. Even on a day when Jameis Winston looked hurt, Olave still drew 13 targets and caught nine for 147 receiving yards.
Even as a rookie, Olave already leads all receivers in air yards (443), is seventh in receiving yards (268), and is top 20 in target share (26.4%). This New Orleans team looks like a squad that is prioritizing the pass more than in years past. They currently rank fourth in the NFL in pass rate at over 67%. With that trend looking likely to continue, Olave deserves his bump up to the top spot along with Drake London.
Drake London (NFL OROY Odds: +550, Previous: +600)
Drake London is still my pick to take home NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors, but players like Olave and Pierce are making it interesting. But what London is doing against very tough competition still has him number one in my personal ledger.
Against stiff defenses like the Rams, Saints, and Seahawks, London has now posed at least six targets and 54 receiving yards in every game. He has two touchdowns already plus is already fourth in the league in target share (32.9%). He benefits from a very narrow offensive core in Atlanta that consists of just London, Kyle Pitts, and Cordarelle Patterson. But London has the opportunity to get even more production this year. The Falcons pass at the fourth-lowest rate in the league so far (47%), and with how many games they project to be trailing, any movement up in that department would greatly benefit London.
Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.