NFL Passing Leader Predictions: Will Derek Carr Lead The Way?

Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws a pass in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium.
Image Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

As we enter the 2022 season, the top spot for quarterbacks is wide open. There are some young quarterbacks who are ready to move to that next level, while some established veterans will not let it happen so easily. In this article, we’ll feature the top tier along with some sleepers and longshots when making NFL passing leader predictions for 2022.

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

NFL Passing Leader Predictions: Best Bets

Chargers QB Justin Herbert (+650)

Herbert continued his ascension into a top-tier quarterback, finishing second in passing yards (5,014) and attempts (672) last season. The Chargers still have their primary pass-catchers with Mike Williams signing a long-term deal to stand alongside elite slot receiver Keenan Allen. Of course, running back Austin Ekeler is one of the best pass catchers in his position, as he led all RBs with 647 receiving yards in 2021. 

One of the Chargers’ biggest problems was finding a receiving tight end, and they have solved it by bringing in Gerald Everett. It would’ve been hard to believe Herbert could get any better, but the Chargers made huge improvements, and he will benefit from it.

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady (+800)

Brady was the 2021 passing leader with 5,113 yards, and he has a great shot at doing it again. The Buccaneers led the league last season in passing play percentage and pass attempts per game, while Brady showed no signs of regression at 44 years old.

Brady has his favorite target Mike Evans, and although Chris Godwin will miss a portion of the season as he recovers from a torn ACL, they brought in former Falcons receiver Russell Gage and former Vikings/Giants tight end Kyle Rudolph as effective options.

While there are questions surrounding Leonard Fournette, the Bucs drafted Rachaad White as a solid RB compliment. Both will play a part in the passing game as Fournette caught 69 passes last season and White caught 47 for Arizona State.

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NFL Passing Leader Predictions: Sleepers

Raiders QB Derek Carr (+1000)

Las Vegas was a high percentage passing team last year, and with the moves they made in the offseason, they could be one of the top teams at moving the ball through the air.

Derek Carr will have the best receiving weapon of his career in his former Fresno State teammate Davante Adams. They already had many options at the position, with Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and running back Josh Jacobs, whose 54 receptions last year were more than his previous two years combined. Las Vegas kept Carr after rumors of the possibility of trading him in the offseason by deciding to build around him, and he will have his best season as a pro.

Editor’s Note: BetPrep sharp Brad Feinberg loves Carr’s chances to lead the league in passing as well. Read more here.

Bengals QB Joe Burrow (+1200)

Burrow answered questions last season after recovering from a torn ACL to finish fourth with 5,209 yards, leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl. He still has his stellar receiving core in Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja’Marr Chase, and Joe Mixon — who had a career-high 314 receiving yards.

The biggest concern for Burrow was the offensive line, as they allowed the third-most sacks (55), but they prioritized improving the line in the offseason. They spent a lot of money signing free agent  RT La’el Collins, C Ted Karras, and RG Alex Cappa to multi-year contracts. While Burrow already excelled with a below-average O-line, now with an upgrade in protection, this offense is ready to be one of the best in the league.

NFL Passing Leader Predictions: Longshots

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins (+1800)

The Vikings are under a new coaching staff, which could benefit Cousins. Former Rams offensive coordinator and new head coach Kevin O’Connell will bring his pass-heavy offense to Minnesota and entrust Cousins to have a more significant role.

He already has great receiving trust in Adam Theilen, and Justin Jefferson is establishing himself as one of the top receivers in the league. If O’Connell can successfully weave his scheme into this offense, we could see Cousins put up great numbers.

Cardinals QB Kyler Murray (+2800)

The Cardinals invested in Murray long-term, and with their offseason moves, this could be his best season through the air. Arizona made a big trade at the draft by bringing over former Ravens receiver Marquise Brown, and when Deandre Hopkins returns from his suspension, they will be a dynamic duo.

The team already had Zach Ertz at tight end, but that didn’t prevent them from drafting Mackey Award-winning Trey McBride, who finished top 25 in the nation last season in receiving yards (1,121) and catches (90) at Colorado State.

Murray’s mobility will help him find time in the passing game, and now with his upgrade in receiving options, he has a good shot of being the 2022 passing leader.