Well for starters… WOW!
When Chiefs halfback Spencer Ware went down for the season with a torn PCL, the door swung wide open for first year back out of Toledo, Kareem Hunt. It’s safe to say Kareem ran away with the opportunity in both a figurative and literal sense. Hunt’s 246 yards from scrimmage set a record for most yards in an NFL debut. Understandably, it’s very easy to jump the gun on a young player coming off a historic performance, but fantasy football has proved it is sometimes difficult to decipher studs from duds so early on. So before you package your first three picks to acquire Kareem the dream, let’s look into how sustainable his dominance can be.
The Kansas City Chiefs have built a reputation of being a team that likes to pound the rock. KC consistently ranked top ten, often top five in the league in major indicators such as YPC, rushing yards per game, and rushing touchdowns. However, this trend came to an unexpected and abrupt halt in 2016 as the Chiefs were a below average team running the ball, largely but not exclusively due to the injury to Jamaal Charles. The reality is that Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West, and Knile Davis all have flaws to their game preventing them from reaching their fullest potential within the Chiefs intricate west coast system. Andy Reid has shown favouritism to do-it-all backs such as Jamaal Charles, opposed to pure speed backs such as West, or imposing brutes such as Ware or Davis. This definitely bodes well for Kareem Hunt as he exhibited a homogeneous mixture of power, finesse, hands, and breakaway speed in week one.
Given Kansas City’s success with Hunt leading the way in week one, their lack of proven options to compete with him, and coach Reid’s love of featured backs, and the fact they can be expected be leading their opponents more often than not; don’t expect KH to slow down anytime soon. No, Hunt will not average three scores a game, but it’s within reason to expect him to be a top-three touchdown producer this season, given the volume and volatility we can expect from the Chiefs system. All factors considered, Kareem Hunt is the real deal and may even evolve into your fantasy team’s RB1 before the halfway point of the season.