Draft Day Decision: Is Kareem Hunt An Easy Selection At His Current ADP?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Drafted in the third round of the 2017 draft it’s easy to think that Kareem Hunt didn’t land in an ideal spot to produce immediately.  After all Spencer Ware is coming off a season where he rushed for 921 yards in 14 games, while adding 33 catches for another 447 yards.  However there are two red flags that hang over him:

 

1) Can he handle a full load over an entire season?
Just look at his yards per carry, which trended down as the season progressed:

  • September – 4.9
  • October – 5.1
  • November – 4.1
  • December – 3.3

That alone could ticket Hunt for a significant role before long.

 

2) Where are the TD?
Ware rushed for 3 TD and caught 2 more, giving him an unimpressive 5 TD despite operating as the lead back.  Obviously it’s not a fair comparison, but Hunt rushed for 10 TD in his final season at Toledo and a total of 38 TD over his final three seasons.  Given this description, courtesy of ESPN, is it a stretch to think that Hunt could immediately function as the short yardage/goal line back:

“Thick, strong lower-body. Runs low and behind his pads. Very good balance through contact. Good center of gravity. Bounces and spins off of a lot of tackles. Not overpowering, but runs hard, lowers his shoulder, and has a knack for initiating contact and ping-ponging off of defenders. Lower-body explosiveness was also seen in his above-average vertical jump (36.5′) and broad jump (9’11′) at the Combine.Only knock here is that he got tripped up from behind too many times on tape.”

 

Hunt has also proven capable of catching the football (41 catches in his final college season), giving him an intriguing total package.  Running backs drafted in the third round are generally expected to make an impact, and while it may not seem that Hunt is in line to thrive immediately the opportunity should be there.

Generally fantasy owners are targeting the shiny new toy, but Hunt is not getting the same hype as other rookie runners (average ADP):

  • Leonard Fournette – 20.7
  • Christian McCaffrey – 35.0
  • Joe Mixon – 36.7
  • Dalvin Cook – 53.7
  • Kareem Hunt – 105.7

We are not going to compare Hunt to the other four, but he has the potential to make an impact and is coming more than 50 picks later.  As a ninth round selection, meaning he’ll be a RB3/RB4 (bench player), he’s a no brainer selection.  Given the questions Ware is facing, would it really be a surprise to see Hunt emerge as the starter and score a significant number of TD?

Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros

Make sure to check out our early 2017 Rankings:

Is A Quarterback Controversy Already Brewing In Chicago?
Will The Jets' Bilal Powell Take Another Step Forward Or Is He A Bust In Waiting?

11 comments

  1. trevor says:

    tyrell williams or marvin jones

  2. Andy says:

    Hi RP,

    Someone ask me to trad these pairs PPR
    Todd Gurley to Receive Spencer Ware
    Brandin Cooks to receive Odell Beckham Jr.

    Will you do it ? NO, right ?

  3. Sam says:

    Hyde or McCaffrey?

  4. Tim says:

    Hello. I can keep 2 of the following players in a PPR league. The number in parentheses represents the round they count in.

    Devonta Freeman (13)
    Todd Gurley (7)
    T.Y. Hilton (2)
    Keenan Allen (8)

    I definitely plan on keeping Freeman at this draft slot. I’m leaning towards either keeping T.Y. Hilton as a 2nd rounder or Keenan Allen as an 8th rounder as my other keeper.

    It may also help to know I will have the first pick in our draft and due to our keeper rules, I will have Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and OBJ available to me with the number 1 pick.

    Can you tell me who you would take as my 2nd keeper and also tell me who you would take with the number 1 pick?

    Thanks

    • Tim says:

      We start 2 RB, 3 WR and 1 RB/WR/TE

    • I’d be tempted to go Freeman/Gurley and then take one of the premier WR given the value, though I also couldn’t pass on Bell. It’s a good spot to be in, honestly. Allen is injury prone and Hilton doesn’t feel like a value at #2.

      So, at the end of the day I’d go Freeman/Gurley/Bell since you can fit all 3 into your lineup

  5. Dicka24 says:

    Tim, I’d probably go with a trio of:

    Bell
    Freeman
    Hilton

    Allen can’t stay healthy, and RB is harder position to fill than WR.

  6. Tim says:

    Thank you both very much for your feedback!

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