Editor’s Note: As our coverage of the 2017 NFL Draft and its impact on fantasy football continues, we bring you our 2017 Rookie SWOT series. These articles will feature video highlights, combine reviews, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, short-term expectations, long-term expectations and rookie draft advice for over 30 of the best dynasty league prospects from this year’s draft. We’ll mix them in with team-by-team draft reviews because, you know, that’s kind of what we live for.
Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft by staying up on all these articles, checking out our rookie draft guide, rookie rankings, rookie draft cheat sheet and post-draft mocks. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football enthusiasts.
Name: Kareem Hunt
Born: August 6, 1995
Position: Running Back
Pro Team: Kansas City Chiefs
College Team: Toledo
Draft Status: Round 3, 86th Overall
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
- Height: 5’10”
- Weight: 216
- Hand Size: 9 5/8”
- 40 Time: 4.62
- Bench Press: 18 reps
- Vertical Jump: 36.5”
- Broad Jump: 119”
- Exceptional short area quickness
- Top-tier vision
- Hips and feet work in concert, playing a beautiful symphony
- Equally elusive in tight quarters and space
- NFL ready receiving game
- Rarely makes poor decisions
- Fumbles less often than I skip dessert
- Has a high floor
- Average burst
- Can lose speed during cuts, especially at the second level
- Doesn’t run to contact enough for his size
- Lacks top-end speed
- If you are looking for elite upside at running back, trade up, or draft Alvin Kamara
A lot of folks expect Hunt to come in and wrest the job away from incumbent Spencer Ware, but I don’t know that it will be that easy. Hunt is a better-rounded player and he carries a large draft capital advantage, but Ware has become a good NFL player in his own right. Despite a second half slide last season, Ware has piled up 1325 rushing yards on 286 attempts, an average of 4.63 per, in his two year Chiefs career.
The more likely scenario is a split, with Ware handling the dirty work, and Hunt seeing lots of action in passing situations. Fortunately for the rookie, Andy Reid likes to chuck the ball around the yard. Also fortunate is his quarterback, Alex Smith, who loves nothing more than to dump the ball off close to the line of scrimmage.
If Ware starts off as hot as he did last year when he averaged 4.97 YPC over his first eight games, it will be difficult for Hunt to be anything more than a change of pace/pass down compliment.
Hunt should find his way into immediate playing time, pushing 150-200 touches as a rookie. There isn’t an overly realistic non-injury to Ware scenario where he sees much more action than that. While that sort of a work load isn’t exciting to many owners, Bilal Powell, who is my favorite comp for Hunt, turned 189 touches, 58 of them receptions, into a RB16 finish last year.
There is a real opportunity for Hunt to carve out a long, fruitful career as the more fantasy relevant half of a committee in an NFL backfield. His greatest assets are his ability to see holes, create at the line of scrimmage, and contribute in the passing game. Those three things, plus the fact he fumbled only once in 722 touches the past three seasons, make Hunt a coach’s dream.
It is also possible Hunt comes in and is so fundamentally strong/good in every aspect of the position, he never looks back. If that does happen, don’t expect elite production, but Hunt with 250+ touches is an instant mid-range RB1.
NFL Player Comparison
The aforementioned Bilal Powell is a pretty good comp in terms of size, athleticism, and play style. It took Powell a few years to get going, but with Reid calling the shots, I wouldn’t expect the same for Hunt. Another comp I really like is C.J. Anderson, except bigger and less physical. Both players win with a high football IQ and short area quickness rather than pure athleticism or brute force.
Rookie Draft Advice
Hunt should be in play as early as 1.07 in your rookie draft. I’ve seen him fall into the early second round, but his stock has risen sharply post-NFL draft. For my part, in a quest for upside, I passed on him at 1.09 in favor of John Ross in a salary cap league. I somewhat regret the decision in hindsight.
- How to Win Without Watching Football - July 22, 2021
- 2018 Summer Sleeper: Chicago Bears - July 9, 2018
- NFL Draft Aftermath: Winners and Losers from the AFC North - June 18, 2018
Hunt and Ross are rated about the same and in my rookie draft, it was either Hunt or Ross and Kamara. There’s a lot to like about Hunts floor, but Ross being taken as a top 10 pick was enough to make me comfortable taking Ross.
I think a lot of times, people let situation override where some players actually went in the NFL Draft, particularly when he’s considered a “draft darling.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Hunt as a prospect and he landed in a great spot. That gives him 1st round consideration in dynasty rookie drafts. Since 2012, excluding the extreme cases in top 10 WRs, you cut out guys like Justin Blackmon and Mike Evans and his predictability is somewhere between Amari Cooper, Sammy Watkins, Tavon Austin and Kevin White. In the same period for 3rd round RBs, cut out the extreme samples like David Johnson and Tre Mason and you get somewhere between Terrance West, Bernard Pierce Jerrick McKinnon, Knile Davis, and Tevin Coleman.
Say what you will about Tavon Austin and Kevin White, but Tavon has been productive as most those RBs, Kevin White still has serious upside we’re not yet able to gauge, and Cooper and Watkins are pretty darn productive injuries aside (some of those RBs listed – Tevin in particular – also have injury concerns).
All this is to say – draft position matters and it has to matter even more when we’re talking about 80 picks between the two guys being considered.