When I completed my projections and shared them the biggest thing that stood out to me was that I need to target Kareem Hunt- and here I explain why you need to.
I’m not going to dig into the change in offensive lineman too much. The reason being that the changes (that they had to make) might take some time to bed in- especially with COVID-19.
Why You Need To Target Kareem Hunt: New Coach
The first thing to bare in mind when considering the ability of Hunt to be productive, is that this coaching team is new. The team gave up on the Freddie Kitchens experiment after the passing offense stalled, even with the talent they had on the roster.
To replace him, the team went back to what worked for them at the end of last season-the run game and Kevin Stefanski who operated a run-first offense in Minnesota. So, that should mean that there are more rushing opportunities for the offense.
Infact, when looking at the offense Stefanski ran in Minnesota, he heavily lent on the running game. The team ranked right towards the top of the league in rushing attempts- which is good news for both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Why You Need To Target Kareem Hunt: Hunt Should Have Flex Value At Least
So let’s looking at the way that the backfield could play out. At worst, he should have flex value each week. Realistically, there is a safe floor of double-digit scoring each week with TD upside, which I will explain below.
Hunt could see around 10 carries out of the backfield week to week (similar to how the Vikings offense played out). Using Hunt’s career average yards per attempt of 4.7 should give around 47 yards per game- as well as having a chance at scoring a touchdown. Not a bad start at all.
Last season, Hunt caught 37 passes in eight games- so his full season reception total is easy to calculate. Hunt’s pro-rated season of 74 receptions was only better by four running backs last season;
- Christian McCaffrey (116 receptions)
- Austin Ekeler (92 receptions)
- Alvin Kamara (81 receptions)
- Leonard Fournette (76 receptions)
Lowering the bar to 70 receptions puts in two more players- James White with 72 and Tarik Cohen with 71. That puts Hunt into a higher echelon of receiving running backs, again increasing his value in PPR leagues.
Last season, the Vikings threw the ball 98 times to running backs from 465 attempts- a share of around 20%. With the Browns current roster, Hunt should get the majority of those looks out of the backfield. Furthermore, the team don’t have huge target hogs outside of Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, with no real WR3 on the roster.
Using last years stats, let’s assume that Hunt continues his effectiveness in the receiving game. That would mean at least 4 receptions, and using his yards per reception of 9.6, would be another 48 yards. Again, without considering touchdown upside.
Hunt Could Become A Bigger Part of the Backfield
There is also a chance that Hunt becomes the lead back for the Browns. The opening few weeks are tough, which could mean that the team could look to use Hunt and Chubb in more of a tandem.
Equally, Chubb could get injured, meaning that Hunt would straight away become one of the best options at the position each week.
Why You Need To Target Kareem Hunt
Ultimately, you should draft Hunt because he is a great flex option, and where he is being drafted the other guys around him don’t have the league-winning upside that Hunt does.
Image Credit: Scott R. Galvin – USA TODAY Sports