3 Players to Bet to Win Defensive Player of the Year Following T.J. Watt Injury

Aug 28, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) before
Aug 28, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt (90) before / Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

For a second there, T.J. Watt’s season was done. 

The star pass-rusher suffered a pectoral injury against the Bengals in Week 1, taking him out the game. Initially, it was thought that he’d need surgery – which would’ve ended his season. However, reports now indicate that he may be able to return by the middle of the season. 

While it’s great that Watt might not miss the whole season, he can kiss the Defensive player of the Year goodbye due to the time he’s going to miss. 

With Watt being essentially out of the race, here are three players to back to win DPOY.

Myles Garrett (+500)

Garrett is the obvious choice here. Garrett is one of the premier pass rushers in the league and it feels about time that he gets his name in the conversation for this award. The Browns will lean on their defense for the first half of this season. If Garrett can hold up his end of the bargain and the Browns can just be competitive, he’ll certainly be one of the top contenders for the award. 

Micah Parsons (+500)

As a rookie, Parsons finished second in the DPOY voting. He came into this season with a lot of hype and is living up to it. He had two sacks in the Cowboys’ Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers. He’s going to be one of the players tasked with keeping the Cowboys afloat until Dak Prescott comes back. If he’s able to replicate his Week 1 performance a few more times, he’ll be a finalist.

Derwin James (+4000) 

When James is on the field, he’s one of the best players in the league. The problem is he hasn’t been on the field for a lot of his career. Yet in the two seasons he’s played at least 10 games, James is a two-time Pro-Bowler and a one-time First Team All-Pro. 

James has more help up front and in the secondary than ever, which will allow him to be everywhere on the field. Joey Bosa might be a real threat to his DPOY campaign, but James’ versatility is what I’m going to bank on to separate him from his teammates. 

You can find Donnavan Smoot’s full betting record here.