There’s a new favorite to win 2017 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year
We have officially reached the home stretch of the 2017 NFL season. Bye weeks are over, every team has played 10 games and the playoff picture is beginning to come into focus.
And we now have a pretty good idea as to which players will be in the running to take home individual awards and honors in late January, as well.
When it comes to the 2017 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Award specifically, four players have separated themselves from the pack. And when you see the list, it will become abundantly clear that 2017 is the year of the rookie running back.
With the season-ending injury to Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, the race to win the hardware for best offensive rookie in the NFL is down to four running backs.
Here’s a look at the top four contenders for the award heading into Week 12.
Odds courtesy of MyBookie.ag.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers (+1600)
Christian McCaffrey has added a dynamic to the Panthers’ offense that has been missing for quite some time. The former Stanford star is still a work in progress when it comes to running between the tackles, but he has been outstanding as a receiver.
McCaffrey currently ranks ninth in the NFL with 57 receptions (most among all running backs) and second on the Panthers with 433 receiving yards. He also has 206 rushing yards and has scored 5 total touchdowns (2 rushing, 3 receiving).
Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs (+250)
At one point in time, Kareem Hunt looked like a near lock to win this award. He still has an excellent chance at taking home the hardware, but there is no denying that his production has dropped off significantly in his last five games.
Hunt still ranks second in the NFL with 873 rushing yards. With a strong finish to the season, he could easily contend for the 2017 rushing title, which would definitely increase his odds of winning this award.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars (Even)
Leonard Fournette is one of the main reasons the Jaguars have emerged as a legitimate contender in the AFC. The No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft was expected to come in and immediately improve Jacksonville’s offense, and he hasn’t disappointed.
In eight games, Fournette has rushed for 740 yards and 6 touchdowns on 175 carries, and caught 19 passes for 156 yard and 1 touchdown. At his current pace, the former LSU Tiger will end up with more than 1,300 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has the longest run of the season in the NFL, a 90-yard score against Pittsburgh in Week 5.
If the Jaguars end up with one of the top 2 seeds in the AFC, it will be hard to overlook Fournette for this award.
Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (-250)
Alvin Kamara has been simply outstanding for the Saints in his first NFL season. The former Tennessee Volunteer may already be the best all-purpose running back in the league, and he has added an element to the Saints’ offense that has been missing since Darren Sproles was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Despite sharing touches with Mark Ingram, Kamara has put up 459 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns on 72 carries, and has caught 49 passes for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns. His 6.4 yards per carry average ranks No. 1 in the NFL.
Kamara seems to get better with every passing week. With a strong finish to the season, the third-round pick could make a serious run at totaling 2,000 yards from scrimmage in his rookie season.