The Best Bets to Lead the NFL in Passing Yards Based on numberFire's Projections
Last season, Tom Brady led the league in passing yards. The three previous seasons, Drew Brees paced the league in passing yards. In fact, Brees has led the league in passing yards in 7 of the past 13 seasons.
There's a good chance one of these five guys will lead the league in passing yards yet again. OK, not Schaub, but the other four have a good chance, according to Betfair's odds.
Four of the five favorites are the aforementioned passing leaders. Aside from these four, which players look like possible values? Let's take a look at numberFire's season-long projections to see who stands out.
This table is sorted by our passing yards projections, and Brady is projected to lead the league again.
|Quarterback||Betfair Odds||numberFire Projections for Passing Yards|
The Most Valuable Value
Among the top-10 projected passers, per our numbers, Russell Wilson has the highest odds on Betfair at +8000. If you were to bet $100 on Wilson and he led the league in yards, you'd win an astounding return of $8,000. The implied odds of winning a +8000 bet are just 1.23%, but our projections have him surpassing 4,000 yards.
The Seahawks' defense has seen the departures of Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. The Legion of Boom may be renamed the Legion of Gloom (*insert Price Is Right failure sound*). Wilson's defense getting worse could force him to pass more than usual, and his passing attempts have seen an uptick each year of his career.
Wilson's career yards per pass attempt is 7.8. Let's optimistically estimate that Wilson will throw 600 passes this season. Multiplying 600 by 7.8 gives us 4,680 yards. That's more than Brady's 4,577 yards from 2017.
It may sound like a crazy amount of attempts for Wilson, but on Betfair, the Seahawks over/under on wins this season is 8. Over his career, Wilson has attempted more passes in losses, according to the Rotoviz Game Splits App.
Over the past two seasons, when Wilson has been passing much more than in his early years, the trend kept growing.
It would take quite a season for Wilson to lead the league in passing, but at +8000, it's well worth a shot.
Other Values and Longshots
Deshaun Watson is probably a popular pick at +10000. Last season, he scorched the earth, throwing 19 touchdowns in just six games before suffering a season-ending injury. He attempted 204 passes last year with a ridiculous 8.3 yards per attempt. Common sense says that Watson will come back down to earth a bit this season. But what if he is really this dang good? If you extrapolate 8.3 yards per attempt over 600 passing attempts, you get a monstrous 4,980 passing yards.
It's unlikely to happen, but at +10000, his implied odds are only 0.99%. He has a better chance than that to light up the league yet again.
Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins are two other values projected to finish in the top 10 in passing yards. They are both listed at +2000 on Betfair. Cousins threw for 4,917 passing yards in 2016, so the upside is definitely there. However, his ceiling may be capped if Minnesota's defense remains strong.
Jimmy GQ is still a bit of an unknown, but last season he stepped in and threw for 1,542 yards in five starts for a team that was very bad. That total extrapolated over 16 games gives Garoppolo 4,934 passing yards. While that's rather unlikely, +2000 gives you 20 times your bet and is worth the risk.