Super Bowl 55 features an all-time quarterback showdown between Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes and Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady.
Mahomes won last year’s Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award after leading the Chiefs to a 31-20 victory over the 49ers. Brady has won the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award four times in his career, the most of any player. Mahomes (-115) and Brady (+200) are favorites for Super Bowl MVP honors this year, and a quarterback won the award in 30 of 54 Super Bowls.
That said, we are always looking for sleepers. Four defensive players and four receivers have won the award since 2000, so that’s where we’ll start.
MORE: Ranking of each Super Bowl MVP from 1 to 54
The Super Bowl MVP sleepers to watch
Tyreek Hill, WR, Bosses (+1000)
Hill is the best bet outside of the quarterbacks knowing he did the big play catcher in the first game. He had 13 receptions for 269 yards and three touchdowns, including scores of 20, 44, and 75 yards, respectively. Hill has the same odds as teammate Travis Kelce (+1000), but of all the pass receivers in this game, he’s most likely to provide a series of “jaw-dropping” plays that could propel him to the prize. He had nine receptions for 105 yards in last year’s Super Bowl.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Buccaneers (+1200)
A running back hasn’t earned this honor since Terrell Davis in Super Bowl 32, so it’s a tough bet to start. Fournette would need a heavier workload, and that could happen if the Bucs try to limit Kansas City’s possessions. He had 211 rushing yards, 102 receiving yards and three touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s three playoff games.
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers (+2800)
This could be the best value set among the sleepers listed. Evans scored twice in the regular-season game against the Chiefs, and had touchdowns against the Saints and Packers in the playoffs. It’s Brady’s best red zone target. If Evans somehow catches the game-winning TD and goes over 100 yards, this can happen.
Tyrann Mathieu, S, Bosses (+4000)
Mathieu has the best odds among defensive players, and that’s due to his penchant for game-changing plays dating back to college. He had six interceptions in the regular season and one against the Browns in the divisional playoffs. It would take a multiple interception game to stand a chance, and Mathieu is always close to football.
Darrel Williams, RB, Chiefs (+5000)
We talked about running backs and Damien Williams had a Super Bowl MVP case last season. It’s hard to do that when Mahomes is the leading player on offense. Darrel Williams has been the Chiefs’ leading running back in the playoffs, but it would take a big game in yards with multiple TDs. How much will you share with Clyde Edwards-Helaire? Will Le’Veon Bell take a few touches? This is a tough sell.
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Mecole Hardman, WR, Chiefs (+5000)
Hardman is a remote version of Hill, and touches could be a problem. That said, the Chiefs could have some wrinkles for the sprinter in this game, and their value in the return game is a bonus. Remember when Desmond Howard took over Super Bowl 31 as a special teams ace for the Packers? Hardman likely won’t have the same chances, but he’s one of the few players who can hit a game-changing home run.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, Buccaneers (+6600)
His teammate Shaquil Barrett (+5000) has better odds, and that’s the best best. Pierre-Paul is coming off a two-sack performance against the Packers in the NFC championship game. With Eric Fisher (Achilles) out, the Chiefs face a challenge to block the Tampa Bay defensive end. Pierre-Paul was a factor in New York’s Super Bowl 46 victory against Brady and the Patriots with two tackles and two passes defended. Could Pierre-Paul put on a multi-sack performance and cause a rotation? It’s possible.
Devin White, LB, Buccaneers (+6600)
White has better odds than teammate Lavonte Davis (+10,000), and that’s due to the ability to rack up tackles (140) and sacks (nine in the regular season). White could easily make double-digit tackles in this game, and if Tampa Bay can force some turnovers, he’ll probably be involved. Three of the last four defensive players to win Super Bowl MVP honors were linebackers.
Scotty Miller, WR, Buccaneers (+10000)
Remember when Julian Edelman won Super Bowl LIII MVP honors? Brady fed Edelman in that game, and the catcher made the big plays. Miller isn’t that objective, but he had his best games against AFC West teams this season. Miller proved in the NFC championship game that he can make the big play at the right time.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.