Kareem Hunt is now Kansas City’s Starting Running Back – What are his Rookie of the Year odds?

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In the last 10 years, the Offensive Rookie of the Year title has been evenly split between the Running Backs, Receivers, and Quarterbacks. This year it seems overwhelmingly likely that the award will go to a Running Back, with so much fresh talent across the league. With Kareem Hunt recently being named the starter in Kansas City after Spencer Ware went down with a PCL tear. What are Hunt’s odds at winning the title?

Top 10 Odds

Leonard Fournette – (+400)

Christian McCaffrey – (+450)

DeShaun Watson – (+500)

Dalvin Cook – (+900)

Joe Mixon – (+900)

DeShone Kizer – (+1000)

Mitch Trubisky – (+1200)

Corey Davis – (+1200)

Kareem Hunt – (+1200)

John Ross – (+1800)

Quickly starting away from Hunt, we agree Fournette is far and away the leading man for OROY. With so much talent and an offense that will flow through him, it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t take the title. Dalvin Cook is similarly inviting, with the asterisk that the offensive line in front of him is not fantastic.

McCaffrey and Mixon are too expensive in terms of their odds when you consider that they will be sharing carries for at least the first quarter of the season, if not longer. Some will argue McCaffrey’s value in the passing game, but he would need to rush for 800, receive for 800 and score 10 times to even be considered.

Quarterbacks Watson, Kizer, and Trubisky are all going to situations where they won’t be the focal point, so they may only need to win 8 games each to be front runners. All are supremely talented, but Watson may not start the season at the helm, so he has an uphill battle for +500.

Save your money on receivers Davis and Ross, they have no chance. Sorry guys. The last two receivers to win the award were dual threat Percy Harvin and Odell Beckham Jr. These are not those kinds of receivers.

Now to our titular hero, Kareem Hunt. He takes over a role that has produced good rushing totals, with Spencer Ware carrying the ball 214 times for 921 yards in 14 games. Kareem, a 3rd round pick out of Toledo, ran for just under 5000 yards in 4 seasons, with two seasons over 1470 yards, one of which he averaged 8 yards a carry. A 1200 yard season is not out of the question, which is on par with Leonard Fournette.

The biggest thing against him winning is actually statistical trends. In the last 10 years, the league has hardly seen a rookie Running Back total 1000 yards, and if they do cross the threshold it’s usually only one man doing it.

For argument’s sake, let’s say only one rookie was to run for 1000 yards this year. Who would it be? Likely Fournette, who is too talented and only challenged by the big contract that keeps getting Chris Ivory on the field. If Ivory and TJ Yeldon were to eat in too his carries too significantly, and defenses stacked the box against him, we could see a floor for Fournette of 900 yards.

Dalvin Cook is another 1000 yard candidate, as he’s alone on the depth chart and isn’t part of a largely passing offense. I don’t believe he hits 1100 yards however, as his Offensive line is just so bad.

That leaves Hunt, who should take his inherited 200 carries and convert them in to on field success in a far friendlier situation that either of the other two backs.

at +1200, Kareem Hunt is the steal of the week in terms of odds. If it were up to me to reset these odds, I’d have Kareem #1. place your bets before the season begins and the prop closes!

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