Kareem Hunt, Alvin Kamara and the NFL’s Rookie of the Year race

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Running back Kareem Hunt
KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 10: Running back Kareem Hunt /
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ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 07: Alvin Kamara
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 07: Alvin Kamara /

Alvin Kamara

The New Orleans Saints are one of the NFL’s best stories in 2017. Despite having Drew Brees at the helm, the team’s powerful offense has actually been spearheaded by a two-headed rushing attack that features Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara.

Kamara was the team’s third round choice, taken 15 spots before Hunt. The Saints depth chart also included Adrian Peterson at the beginning of the season, so it took some time for the Saints to let Kamara loose givne the glut of talent. Since Peterson’s release, however, Kamara has come alive as one of the most dynamic two-way backs in the entire NFL.

What’s amazing about Kamara is how much damage he can inflict on a defense in a number of ways. If you want him to beat you to the edge, he will certainly do so, as illustated by his insane 7.0 yards/carry average. At the same time, he also has 639 receiving yards on 62 catches, showing that if you let him release, he can break the game wide open. Kamara has 11 touchdowns total between his rushing and receiving stats, a total made more impressive by the fact that Kamara got a late start on the year.

At this stage, Kamara still trails Hunt in overall yards from scrimmage but the difference is less than 200 yards. Given the late start, the fact he’s splitting so many stats with Mark Ingram, and his healthy 7 yards/carry (plus the touchdown difference), this could really come down to these last few games.

Chances of winning OROY: 45%