Since Lamar Jackson all but has the MVP award won already, I decided to pick each team’s most valuable player. I also included my preseason pick for each. The former is the first name listed and the latter is the second name. An asterisk denotes a player chosen for both.
Patriots – Stephon Gilmore is an integral part of the defense and as close to a shutdown corner there is.
Preseason pick – Julian Edelman
Bills – Josh Allen* can be relied on as Buffalo’s leader.
Jets – Jamal Adams is the one bright spot in a season to be forgotten.
Preseason pick – Sam Darnold
Dolphins – Ryan Fitzpatrick has displayed more of his magic.
Preseason pick – Kenyan Drake
Ravens – Lamar Jackson; no explanation needed.
Preseason pick – Mark Ingram
Steelers – T.J. Watt takes the honors, although Minkah Fitzpatrick is a close second.
Preseason pick – JuJu Smith-Schuster
Browns – Nick Chubb is one of the few bright spots in a disappointing season.
Preseason pick – Baker Mayfield
Bengals – Joe Mixon* proved he can be an effective running back.
Texans – Deshaun Watson would be in the MVP conversation if his team won a few more games.
Preseason pick – DeAndre Hopkins
Titans – Derrick Henry was off and running since Week 1, although Ryan Tannehill is a close second.
Colts – Marlon Mack’s running gives his team wins.
Preseason pick – T.Y. Hilton
Jaguars – Gardner Minshew is for real. Nick Foles who?
Preseason pick – Leonard Fournette
Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes* is still one of the elite, although he took a baby step back this season.
Raiders – Josh Jacobs has exceeded all expectations.
Preseason pick – Derek Carr
Chargers – Joey Bosa* is the biggest impact player on this team.
Broncos – Courtland Sutton, a second-year receiver, was clutch week in and week out.
Preseason pick – Von Miller
Cowboys – Amari Cooper has been clutch for most of the season.
Preseason pick – Ezekiel Elliott
Eagles – Zach Ertz* is still one of the best tight ends in football.
Redskins – Terry Mclaurin had a great rookie season.
Preseason pick – Josh Norman
Giants – Darius Slayton is another rookie receiver who has been a breakout player.
Preseason pick – Saquon Barkley
Packers – Aaron Rodgers*, as usual.
Vikings – Dalvin Cook had a full season, which solidified him as a top back.
Preseason pick – Adam Thielen
Bears – Khalil Mack the one consistent on this at times average looking team.
Preseason pick – Mitchell Trubisky
Lions – Kenny Golladay took steps toward being a top receiver in the league.
Preseason pick – Matthew Stafford
Saints – Michael Thomas gets the nod; Drew Brees isn’t the only one breaking records in New Orleans.
Preseason pick – Alvin Kamara
Falcons Calvin Ridley’s production has drastically improved.
Preseason pick – Julio Jones
Buccaneers – Chris Godwin has worked his way to becoming Jameis Winston’s favorite target.
Preseason pick – Mike Evans
Panthers – Christian McCaffrey* is another name that would be in the conversation if his team’s season didn’t fall off the rails.
Seahawks – Russell Wilson* had another MVP-caliber season.
49ers – Nick Bosa, the rookie, has made a big impact on defense.
Preseason pick – George Kittle
Rams – Aaron Donald* has proved he’s still the best defensive player in the league.
Cardinals – Kyler Murray has shown flashes of greatness.
Preseason pick – David Johnson