NFL teams use the preseason to finalize their rosters and depth charts. One of the risks with these exhibition games is losing players to injury as the Kansas City Chiefs experienced with Spencer Ware. According to NFL.com, Ware is likely to miss the entire 2017 season, and the Chiefs have already named rookie Kareem Hunt as their lead back.
What can Chiefs fans and fantasy owners expect from Hunt? One of Hunt’s strengths is his ability to be involved in both the run and pass game. Hunt rushed for 1,475 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for Toldeo. Hunt also had 41 receptions for 403 yards and a touchdown.
Having watched Hunt in person during Senior Bowl week, I saw a player who is very comfortable catching passes out of the backfield. While his 4.62 40 time is slower than most teams want from a running back, Hunt displayed a shiftiness that is not always picked up in a straight line test like the 40. Hunt had 15 carries for 118 yards in the Senior Bowl.
According to Fantasy Pros, Hunt has an ADP (average draft position) of 81.8 which means he is going at the end of the 6th round in 12-team leagues. With Ware out, Hunt is likely to demand a 4th or 5th round pick moving forward. Expect his ADP to continue to rise.
Given Hunt enters the season as a relative unknown, you are getting good value based on where he is going in drafts. He is especially attractive in PPR leagues given his receiving skills.
Also keep an eye on Chiefs running back Charcandrick West. West may not be draftable to start the season, but he would be the next player up if Hunt is not able to take advantage of his opportunity.
Andy Reid indicated in an ESPN interview that multiple running backs will be involved.
“He’d [Kareem Hunt] be the next man up,” Reid told ESPN. “We’ve always rotated guys and it would be no different I think in this case.”
Here are some highlights of Hunt during his time at Toledo: