By Hayden Bonine
Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City Chiefs, 124 carries 717 yards, four touchdowns, 25 receptions, 285 yards, two touchdowns
Twenty-two-year-old Kareem Hunt seized his moment on opening night. He had 246 total yards, a mark that bested all yardage totals in Week 1. Since, Hunt has remained on top of all rookies, fending off all contenders with 100-yard performance after 100-yard performance. On Sunday, Hunt again had 100 total yards against the Oakland Raiders. Hunt has not found the end zone in his last four games, but that is unlikely to remain the case. Kansas City and Hunt will return to the national stage on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans, 107-of-174, 1,297 yards, 15 touchdowns, 202 rushing yards, two touchdowns
Deshaun Watson and his Rookie of the Year status remain unchanged this week as Houston had a bye. His week off allowed Cam Newton to best his rushing yard total for quarterbacks. Watson also relented his league-high passing touchdown total to Carson Wentz. Watson remains in second place with 15. Watson’s Texans have been a surprising force to be reckoned with. Houston heads West to face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Leonard Fournette, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars, 130 carries, 596 yards, six touchdowns, 15 receptions, 136 yards, one touchdown
Leonard Fournette sat out Sunday with a “lateral ankle sprain.” He did not practice during the week. Nonetheless, Fournette is still a major contender for the award of Rookie of the Year. Fournette, a rookie from LSU, has showcased his skills every week, running with power, patience and vision. He will get have more time to recover during the Jaguars bye this week.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers, 45 carries, 114 yards, 44 receptions, 329 yards, two touchdowns
Ex-Stanford standout Christian McCaffrey has been a shot to the arm for Carolina’s offense. He has provided a welcome change of pace for his team. He has impacted the team most as a receiver out of the backfield. He has showcased this by hauling in 44 receptions, good for fourth in the league. His strongest contribution is his ability to clear linebackers out of the tackle box, giving his quarterback, Newton, more space to maneuver and run if he so chooses. The Panthers will be in action on Sunday at noon in Tampa Bay.