NFL Rookie of the Year Odds: Ravens WR Zay Flowers 30-1 Sleeper?
NFL rookie of the year odds have Falcons running back Bijan Robinson as the favorite across sportsbooks to win offensive rookie of the year in 2023. Quarterbacks Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson follow in those NFL odds. However, a wide receiver has won this award in back-to-back seasons: Bengals star Ja’Marr Chase in 2021 and Jets wideout Garrett Wilson in 2022. Might Ravens first-round pick Zay Flowers be a sleeper this year?
The rookie receiver sits ninth on most NFL rookie of the year odds boards, with the best available price at . Let’s dig into whether Flowers might be worth a bet, as his offensive coordinator and his social media highlights from training camp generate hype.
offensive rookie of the year ODDS 2023
The Favorite: Falcons RB Bijan Robinson
Robinson was selected with the No. 8 pick in this year’s draft and was the first skill position player off the board. Given draft position and Arthur Smith‘s reliance on the ground attack, Robinson is priced as a clear favorite to win OROY at .
Should he be this big of a favorite though? A running back has not won the award since Saquon Barkley in 2018. Jets running back Breece Hall was positioning himself to win the award last year before suffering a season-ending ACL injury. For reference, he was a +280 favorite on Oct. 17, a week before his injury.
Injuries are common among running backs due to their high workload and amount of hits they take. Broncos second-year back Javonte Williams also suffered an ACL injury last season. With high injury risk at the position and the league going more pass-heavy, running back favorites appear vulnerable for this award.
The Contenders: First-Round Pick Quarterbacks
Bryce Young and Anthony Richardson slot in behind Robinson in NFL rookie of the year odds. The issue facing Young is the lack of top-end offensive weapons for the Panthers. They shipped star receiver D.J. Moore to the Bears and replaced him with an aging Adam Thielen.
Texans rookie QB C.J. Stroud () faces similar weapons issues that Young faces in Carolina
On the other hand, Richardson presents a QB with dual threat ability and elite athleticism. His odds are intriguing, but the Colts haven’t named a starter yet.
The Longshots: First-Round Pick Wide Receivers
Recent history shows that Offensive rookie of the year is shifting towards receivers. They’ve won the last two (Garret Wilson and Ja’Marr Chase). In fact, if it wasn’t for the Chargers team doctor puncturing Tyrod Taylor’s lung, Justin Jefferson could have taken home the award in 2020. Jefferson notched 88 catches for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns in his rookie campaign, worthy numbers to justify him winning OROY. Instead, it went to Justin Herbert.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Quentin Johnston find themselves in stacked receiver rooms with limited potential for a large target share.
The Vikings receiver room is less crowded but boasts the reigning OPOY winner in Jefferson. Thus, Jordan Addison’s odds are unappealing unless an injury occurs.
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The Case For Zay Flowers
The Ravens offense received an overhaul this offseason, moving on from Greg Roman as offensive coordinator and bringing in Todd Monken to replace him. The addition of Monken gives the passing game potential to blossom into something special.
The running attack under Roman produced 160 rush yards per game (second in the NFL), but the air attack faltered. In the 11 games Lamar Jackson started and finished, the team was 16th in Dropback EPA.
At Georgia, Monken’s offenses steadily improved each year he was there. Early buzz out of camp indicates that Monken wants to bring the spread offense to Baltimore and run more four-receiver sets. If Monken’s new offense is humming this year, it’ll need a stud receiver to lead the air attack. Enter Zay Flowers.
Flowers presents the most upside of any rookie receiver in this class. Although he has some competition in Odell Beckham and Rashod Bateman, that’s certainly an easier depth chart to climb than one with Justin Jefferson, Mike Williams/Keenan Allen or DK Metcalf/Tyler Lockett.
We have no idea who Lamar’s favorite target in this new offense will be. Bateman dealt with a foot injury, while Beckham missed all of last season recovering from an ACL tear. With a new offense inserted, the No. 1 spot is up for grabs, and Flowers has been impressive in camp thus far. Perhaps tight end Mark Andrews will again be the No. 1 target, but if Monken does increase the pass volume, a strong season in the No. 1 WR spot is there for the taking.
At training camp, Flowers has impressed so much in the early days that Monken is struggling to contain his excitement. In speaking to the media about Flowers, he said, “That’s a fun little toy right there, isn’t he? I’m just glad Eric, and the boys drafted him.”
It’s important to listen to offensive coordinators in training camp and preseason in situations with ambiguous depth charts. They may hint at having big plans for specific players in the upcoming season. Monken clearly is excited for what Flowers’ speed and route running ability can bring to his offense.
If Monken is able to unleash Jackson as a passer, Flowers could be in store for a season that catapults him up NFL rookie of the year odds.
Best available price on Zay Flowers in NFL rookie of the year odds:
Best available price on Zay Flowers most rookie receiving yards odds:
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