Alvin Kamara Deserves Offensive Rookie of the Year
Alvin Kamara is the rookie highlight reel of the NFL. If we were picking rookie of the year following the first three weeks of the season, it would be Kareem Hunt, without question. Hunt was on pace to be a Hall of Famer. He was putting up video game-like numbers, while Kamara was stuck in the shadows of Adrian Peterson and Mark Ingram. Following week 3, Kamara broke out in what most considered a non-important game in London, Kamara had 10 catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. Coincidentally, the game Kamara broke out, Hunt began his decline.
Kamara has been a star since week 4; he has the 2nd most fantasy points among all running backs since that week. Since week 3, Kamara is averaging over 100 total yards per game and has totaled 7 touchdowns. These are unheard of numbers for a back averaging 10 carries per game and 5 catches. In fact, his YPC is 6.5, which means, if he were a lead back getting more carries, he would be averaging the most YPC in NFL history!
Kamara is sharing a backfield with the most productive running back since week 3, Mark Ingram. This 2-headed monster is what may cost Kamara in the end. With not enough volume, voters may be influenced not to give him the award due to the fact he’s not the lead back and not on the field enough. However, I would argue that the production in his small sample, demonstrates that he’s the more talented running back.
Regardless of his role on the Saints, Kamara will still have plenty of competition for Offensive Rookie of the Year. With breakout stars like Leonard Fournette and Kareem Hunt, voters will have a tough decision to make. Fortunately for Kamara, Fournette has missed two games and has struggled of late. Fournette is averaging 92.5 YPG, and has scored 6 touchdowns in 8 games, which I don’t think will be enough to surpass Kamara. The other competition for Kamara would be Kareem Hunt. Hunt is averaging 87.3 YPG but hasn’t scored a touchdown since week 3. Given these stats, Kamara should definitely be the favorite.
Fournette and Hunt have the talent to turn this prediction around, but with the consistency of the Saints offense, I expect Kamara to continue to outproduce them. The Saints are Super Bowl contenders, possibly even the favorites. They are the unanimous number 2 team in the NFC and have a real opportunity to win it all in large part because of Kamara’s incredible contribution.