Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt is the most impactful defensive player in the NFL, when it comes to his availability and its standing on his team’s gambling line.
According to a survey of oddsmakers by USA Today, Watt’s presence or absence in the Pittsburgh lineup moves the Steelers’ line by .75 points, which is tied for the highest mark of any defensive player.
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons were also listed at 0.75 points. They were tied as the 10th-most impactful non-quarterbacks.
Most of the most impactful players are on offense. There are 26 quarterbacks whose absence would have meant more than a point of line movement. Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett was 25th on that list, at a value of 1.88 points.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce followed right behind Pickett as the most valuable non-quarterback at 1.83 points. Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill, Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, Cleveland Browns running back Nick Chubb, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp and New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley were the nine highest-ranked non-quarterbacks.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stephon Diggs were tied with Donald, Parsons and Watt at 0.75 points of impact.
The preseason survey ranked all 31 NFL starting quarterbacks (the Arizona Cardinals are playing backup Josh Dobbs while Kyler Murray returns from a long-term injury), and 27 non-quarterbacks.