The Kansas City Chiefs will be without starting running back Spencer Ware this season due to a torn PCL with damage to his LCL. It was reported that despite all the damage, his ACL was still intact. Reports have confirmed that he will need season-ending surgery.
In his absence, Kareem Hunt has been confirmed as the Chiefs’ feature back. How will this affect Hunt’s fantasy stock along with the other runners in Kansas City?
The Value of Spencer Ware
Ware became the starting running back for the Chiefs last season due to Jamaal Charles’ lingering knee problems. He set career highs in games played (14), rushing attempts (214), rushing yards (921), receptions (33) and receiving yards (447) in 2016. Ware looked to continue being the starter for 2017 after the departure of Charles.
Those career highs helped Ware finish as the No. 16 fantasy running back in standard leagues. He only had four great games with at least 16 fantasy points in a standard league. He also had 12 games with at least seven points, which showed he didn’t ruin your week even when he wasn’t dominant.
Even if he had Hunt looking over his shoulder, he would’ve had his touches. He was a low-end No. 2 option/high flex option in most leagues even splitting touches with the rookie.
Losing Ware leaves a heavy burden for the Chiefs offense to fill because of his power running style, shedding tackles and being aggressive running through the defense. Fantasy owners now should drop Ware with the most recent report with him missing the 2017 season.
The Value of Kareem Hunt
As reported, it looks as if Hunt will become the No.1 back. A lot of people raved of this rookie as he was in a battle for the starting job. He will still split touches with the other backs, Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller.
But Hunt has a chance to thrive and become a star. Hunt profiles as a good receiver and should be efficient on the ground.
The Toledo product ran for 1,475 yards and 10 touchdowns on 262 carries as a senior. He also had 41 catches for 403 yards and one touchdown. Pro Football Focus’ draft analysis team offered this scouting report for Hunt prior to the draft:
“Hunt is a well-rounded player who was highly productive in college. He’s one of the most elusive running backs in the draft class. Hunt’s balance stands out from the pack and is at his best when in the open field. His skill set fits best in a zone-heavy offense, but can run any concepts. Toledo got him more involved in the passing game in his final year and showed significant improvement.”
With Ware out for the year, Hunt should be considered a high-end No. 2 fantasy running back, and he would be worth drafting in round 5 in most leagues.
Value of Charcandrick West and C.J. Spiller
Charcandrick West has become relevant again as the primary backup. He has shown some potential when he’s been given a chance. The 26-year-old ran for 634 yards and four touchdowns on 160 carries in 2015.
However, when he became a backup, he didn’t fare well. His yards per carry dropped from 4.0 in 2015 to 3.3 in 2016, and he only carried the ball 88 times. But the Chiefs have given more than 500 touches to their running backs each of the past three seasons. West is worth a late-round flier in the majority of leagues as the handcuff for the Chiefs.
As for C.J. Spiller, he will make the team according to head coach Andy Reid, but it all depends on when he gets the ball. If he shines on his opportunities, he could get some more playing time. For the moment he’s a non-factor, but could be one of those wavier wire grabs in deeper leagues.
Featured image from chicagotribune.com.
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