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2020 NFL MVP/Offensive Player of the Year (32 candidates with commentary)

February 5, 2021 10:39 AM
February 5, 2021 10:37 AM

2020 NFL MVP/Offensive Player of the Year


All this week we are going through the major NFL awards division by division, naming a divisional winner…then debating the divisional winners by conference until we get to the final two candidates and declare our 2020 winner from there.

2/2 = Defensive Player of the Year

2/3 = Coach of the Year

2/4 = Rookie of the Year

2/5 = MVP/Offensive Player of the Year




BUF: QB Josh Allen

MIA: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

NE: RB Damien Harris

NYJ: OT Mekhi Becton

No one in the AFC East is even close…it’s Josh Allen, obviously. It was not easy even coming up with a candidate for the other three teams. I mean, a benched QB (Fitzpatrick)…a running back (Harris) who only started when the main starter got hurt, then he himself got hurt and missed the last few games. The Jets tried to run every play behind Mekhi Becton…that should count for something, no? He was the Jets only hope for a ground game…and the defenses knew this and schemed for Becton – that’s quite a rookie OL performance?  

WINNER = QB Josh Allen, Buffalo…a no brainer.




PIT: WR Diontae Johnson

BAL: QB Lamar Jackson

CLE: RB Nick Chubb

CIN: QB Joe Burrow

Burrow falls short, as he missed the final 6 games of the season. In a sense, Nick Chubb falls short by virtue of missing several games – considering other qualified candidates.

Diontae Johnson WAS his team’s passing game most of the season…but he also left two games early with injuries on his first touch, then outright missed a game, then was benched late for drops – that can’t be an MVP/top offensive player. By default, I lean towards Lamar – he is his team’s offense. Everything is about him. Had Burrow played the whole year, I think he was better and will be much better…but Lamar did play most every game. When he missed a game due to COVID the team flopped hard. It wasn’t anywhere near his 2019 performance, but you gotta give it to Lamar.

WINNER = QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore.




TEN: RB Derrick Henry

IND: QB Philip Rivers

HOU: QB Deshaun Watson

JAX: RB James Robinson

Deshaun Watson flopped early in the season and then had a lot of junk/garbage time numbers pushing him in the 2nd-half. He’s not close to my MVP thinking, but ended up with nice season numbers overall.

James Robinson was given a big workload out of nowhere and he carried/was this team’s offense – but he was good-not-great, and the Jags lost 15 in-a-row, so how exciting could it be?

I thought Philip Rivers was going to get benched a few weeks into the season, he looked so bad. But he pulled back together and ended up having a solid season and really leading the offense in times of need…he was more important all season than Jonathan Taylor.

Robinson and Rivers played central roles for their teams, but Derrick Henry has to be the best MVP candidate from this division. Everyone knows he’s getting the ball, every defense schemes to stop him, but Henry still dominates games. 2,000+ yards rushing while missing some key O-Linemen during the season…the no contest winner.

WINNER = Derrick Henry, Tennessee




KC: QB Patrick Mahomes

LV: TE Darren Waller

LAC: QB Justin Herbert

DEN: RB Melvin Gordon

It can’t be Melvin Gordon…solid season, but I had to pick someone from the Broncos at least…very much at least.

Darren Waller has a case here – was he not the Raiders passing game, and could every opponent (except NE) NOT stop him…ever? But can a high target TE be the best offensive player in the league? Maybe. People want to make a case for Travis Kelce, but I’d say what Waller did with Derek Carr was as/more impressive than what Kelce does with Mahomes. Imagine Kelce with Henne…or Carr.

Justin Herbert played better than Patrick Mahomes in some stretches, but overall Mahomes has an edge as the better QB in the 2020 season. Mahomes or Waller…you have to go Mahomes, but plenty of respect for Waller.

WINNER = Patrick Mahomes, KC




WSH: QB Alex Smith

NYG: RB Wayne Gallman

DAL: QB Andy Dalton

PHI: QB Jalen Hurts

I had a hard time finding an Eagle that mattered…Jalen Hurts at least changed the offense/breathed life and excitement into the team…so, I gave the nod to him – but he only played a few games. He can’t win this.

When Dak went down, Dalton entered and helped win the game Dak left…and if you count that win, Dalton was (5-5) as the Cowboys QB. A .500 record was a pace to win the division – just that Dalton missed Weeks 8-10 with injury, and Dallas went (0-2) in that span and it cost them the division, in a sense. Dalton might have led them to the playoffs had he not gotten hurt.

When Wayne Gallman took over the backfield, the NYG offense started to change…allowing them to hide, to play run/control and defense to try and win – it was the only way considering the roster. When Gallman had 10 or more carries in a game in 2020…the Giants were (5-3). They just screwed around with Devonta Freeman too much and blew a chance to win this division.

The MVP of the division is clearly Alex Smith…(5-1) as a starter, winning his last five starts. If he would’ve started Week 1 and never missed a game, Washington would’ve won 10+ games and cruised to the playoffs.

WINNER = QB Alex Smith, Washington




GB: QB Aaron Rodgers

CHI: RB David Montgomery

MIN: WR Adam Thielen

DET: QB Matt Stafford

In the 2nd-half of the season. David Montgomery actually ran the ball well…a huge change after 1.5 seasons of a nightmare. He’s still flawed but he was as good as the Bears had on offense in 2020…which isn’t saying much.

Matt Stafford was the best player on a really bad offense…and Stafford was pretty mediocre for the most part, but better than anything else they had going on.

Adam Thielen had a terrific season, and his presence really opens things up for Justin Jefferson…which makes Thielen more valuable than just his stat/outputs.

Do you honor the QB or the WR in Green Bay? I mean, Davante Adams getting open at will helped Aaron Rodgers be Aaron Rodgers…but even when Davante missed time, Rodgers/GB was humming along. QB is more important than WR, in general. We have to slightly lean to Rodgers in this case as best on his team and best in the division.

WINNER = QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay



NO: RB Alvin Kamara

TB: QB Tom Brady

CAR: WR Curtis Samuel

ATL: WR Calvin Ridley

Calvin Ridley had a fine season…for a bad team that threw a lot, and he got his. You could’ve put 50 other WRs in his spot and gotten nice results. I respect he is good, but not a serious Player of the Year impact type player.

Curtis Samuel was so good this season – one of the best 3rd-down WRs, if not the best in the game…considering his QB/offense. Samuel made some catches on 3rd-downs this season that were fantastic – and everyone knew, as the season went on, that he was getting the 3rd-down target and they still could hardly stop him from converting 1st-downs. Oh, and he filled in at RB some and was the team’s 2nd best RB. I wish I could give him the nod here, but I can’t. Carolina didn’t go to him enough to make it as special a year as it could’ve been.

Alvin Kamara scored a lot of TDs, but when you go look over his season…he was good with a heavy workload, not ‘wow’. He had the 6 TD games but otherwise he fizzled/was fine in the 2nd-half of the season.

Atlanta without Ridley is about the same season…ditto Carolina without Samuel…ditto the Saints without Kamara. But TB without Tom Brady is half the wins, so for that reason I go Brady here.

WINNER = QB Tom Brady, Tampa Bay



SEA: QB Russell Wilson

LAR: OL Andrew Whitworth

ARI: QB Kyler Murray

SF: TE George Kittle

Andrew Whitworth got hurt midseason and missed the entire 2nd-half…that’s when Jared Goff’s numbers fell off. Whitworth is really good and will be missed greatly whenever he retires.

George Kittle got hurt again and missed a chunk of time. Nice season but not in the serious Player of the Year discussions in 2020.

Russell Wilson was white hot the 1st-half and then semi-fell off a cliff in the 2nd-half. Wilson was out-Russ’d by Kyler Murray. Kyler was EVERYTHING for this team and was more dangerous/feared than Russell as 2020 wore on.

WINNER = QB Kyler Murray, Arizona






AFC Finals:

QB Josh Allen, Buffalo

QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore

RB Derrick Henry, Tennessee

QB Patrick Mahomes, KC

Lamar Jackson is the first player out of the running among this lofty group. Not even close…just the best producer on the Ravens is all.

Derrick Henry was terrific, but he cannot be compared to Mahomes or Allen in general…but an awesome season that deserves high praise and heavy consideration here.

So…Mahomes or Allen?

Mahomes 38 pass TDs, 2 rush TDs (40 TDs total) vs. Allen with 37 pass TDs, 8 rush TDs, 1 rec. TD (46 TDs total).

Mahomes slightly more pass yards, but then with rushing Allen had more total yards.

Allen actually won the Comp. Pct. comparison by distance…69.2% vs. 66.3%.

The Bills were playing like the top team in the game the 2nd-half of the 2020 season.

How can it not be Josh Allen? It is Josh Allen.

WINNER = QB Josh Allen, Buffalo


NFC Finals:

QB Alex Smith, Washington

QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

QB Tom Brady, Tampa Bay

QB Kyler Murray, Arizona

Kyler Murray can be the first to leave here among these high-powered names…he started to fade 2nd-half a bit, and a late season shoulder injury didn’t help. He was Arizona’s offense and had some brilliant moments in 2020, but not worthy to be over anyone of this group.

Tom Brady is my next man out – crushed bad teams in good weather conditions, lost to most every playoff team he faced in the regular season and had a lot of turnovers in those games. Fine season, not an MVP.

Alex Smith deserves a ton of consideration…(5-0) in his five real starts for this team. Had he started from Week 1…they might have been a 10+ win team. He was as valuable to his team as Brady was to his. But only playing about a half a season is too much of a problem going any further with him.

It has to be Aaron Rodgers – great season and feared by opponents, way more feared than any other QB on here.

WINNER = QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay





QB Josh Allen, Buffalo


QB Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay

Rodgers = 13 wins, 51 total TDs, 7 turnovers

Allen = 13 wins, 46 total TDs, 16 turnovers

Rodgers played a much softer schedule in a weaker division for opposing defenses.

It’s hard to choose a side. Rodgers has better ‘stats’. Allen just ‘looked’ better to my eye, was a true force/weapon. In the end, I asked myself the question, who would I have rather had starting a regular season game for me? My answer…Allen. Better with the deep ball and added the power running component Rodgers doesn’t have. My slight lean…

WINNER of the 2020 FFM MVP/Player of the Year = QB Josh Allen, Buffalo





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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>