4. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans
- Average ranking: 5.43
- Highest ranking: 4
- Preseason ranking: 4
Deshaun Watson narrowly edged out Kyler Murray to make the Mount Rushmore of starting quarterbacks as more staffers ranked Watson fourth than they did Murray. Watson, however, was as low as ninth on Devon Auriemma’s ranking.
It is very easy to not see how good Watson has been this season as he is playing on an island out in Houston. The Texans have only won two games, however, they are better than their record suggests as they have played great teams. They rank 18th in DVOA, one spot ahead of the LA Chargers.
Watson is on pace for 4,700 passing yards with 34 passing touchdowns on top of 400 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. He should surpass 5,000 total yards with around 35 total touchdowns.
3. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
- Average ranking: 2.71
- Highest ranking: 2
- Preseason ranking: 5
Aaron Rodgers is doing Aaron Rodgers things this season. He has had a few duds, which comes every single season with Rodgers. Overall, though, Rodgers has been good enough to put himself in the MVP race.
Rodgers is on pace for 4,500 yards and 48 touchdowns and has only thrown two interceptions thus far this season. The Green Bay Packers are in the thick of the running for the first seed in the NFC because of Rodgers.
2. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks
- Average ranking: 1.71
- Highest ranking: 1
- Preseason ranking: 2
Russell Wilson is still regarded as the second-best quarterback in the NFL, even if the narrative has been that he has never received an MVP vote. Wilson was the hands-on favorite to win the award after five or so games but has regressed a bit in recent weeks.
Regressing for Russell Wilson is still elite for everyone else but he does have five interceptions in his last three games. However, he is still on pace for over 5,000 passing yards, around 55 passing touchdowns and currently has a completion percentage of 71%.
1. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs
- Average ranking: 1.57
- Highest ranking: 1
- Preseason ranking: 1
Patrick Mahomes still gets the top spot, unfortunately for the LA Chargers. Mahomes has had a quiet great season as the focus has instead been on Wilson, Rodgers, Allen, Herbert and Burrow, among others.
Mahomes has had the quietest MVP-caliber season in recent memory.
Mahomes is on pace for around 4,800 passing yards with around 45 touchdowns while also having the lowest interception rate this season.