- Micah Parsons (+200) is the favorite to win 2023 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
- T.J. Watt (+250) leads the league with six sacks and scored a game-winning touchdown in week 2
- Myles Garrett (+350) is coming off a 3.5-sack performance in week 3
The NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award looks like a three-man race between Micah Parsons, Myles Garrett and 2021 winner T.J. Watt. Will another superstar emerge? Can Nick Bosa get back into the conversation and repeat as DPOY?
Defensive Player of the Year Odds
Watt gains on Parsons
After posting back-to-back campaigns with 13+ sacks, Micah Parson (+200) was the Defensive Player of the Year favorite heading into the season. According to Next Gen Stats, the Cowboys edge rusher was the only defender to rack up triple-digit pressures (103) over the last two years. While Parsons has been a menace to start 2023, with four sacks in three games, T.J. Watt (+250) has gained serious ground.
The 2021 DPOY leads the NFL with six sacks – three of which came in Steelers prime time games against the Browns and Raiders over the past two weeks. Watt also scored his first career touchdown in the win against Cleveland with a scoop-and-score that tilted the game.
T.J. WATT SCOOP N’ SCORE! 😱
— ESPN (@espn) September 19, 2023
Myles Garrett lurking
Myles Garrett (+350) exploded for 3.5 sacks, three tackles for loss and five quarterback hits in Cleveland’s 27-3 victory over Tennessee in Week 3. With defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz leading one of the best units in the league, this could finally be the year for the first overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft.
In weeks 15-17, Garrett will face the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans and New York Jets – giving him a chance to polish his resume against some of the league’s worst offensive lines.
Can Bosa get back in the race?
Nick Bosa (+2800) won the 2022 Defensive Player of the Year after leading the NFL with 18.5 sacks. While he only has one sack through three games this season, the 25-year-old is shaking off the rust after a training camp holdout.
Both Aaron Donald and the other Watt brother, J.J., captured consecutive DPOY awards in their primes, but it might be a tall order for the youngest Bosa brother.
#NFL Sack Leaders#Steelers TJ Watt – 6#Vikings Danielle Hunter – 5#Browns Myles Garrett – 4.5#Patriots Matthew Judon – 4#Cowboys Micah Parsons – 4#Titans Denico Autry – 3.5#Bills Leonard Floyd – 3.5#Packers Rashan Gary – 3.5#Chargers Joey Bosa – 3#Bengals Trey… pic.twitter.com/VNHq80SIED
— NFL Rumors (@nflrums) September 27, 2023
Longshots to look at
Chris Jones (+2500) has 2.5 sacks in two games after holding out during the Chiefs’ season opening loss. As a defensive tackle, he’s unlikely to generate the eye-popping sack totals of Parsons, Watt or Garrett. But, sacks aren’t everything. The NFL’s sack king has only claimed the honor four times in the past ten years.
While he leads the NFL in tackles for loss (7) and ranks second in sacks (5), Danielle Hunter (+7500) has no chance to win the award because he’s part of a miserable Vikings defense. However, keep an eye on Rashaan Gary (+5000), who already has 3.5 sacks despite playing only 26.3% of the Packers’ defensive snaps. Only nine months removed from a torn ACL, the 25-year-old will only get better.
This one is too close to call. While Parsons is a generational talent, the Browns defense might be even better than the Cowboys’ D in 2023. In his prime at age 27, Myles Garrett (+350) may finally be due to win his first award.
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