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Alvin Kamara Fantasy Value: How Soon Can We Expect Great Things?

Alvin Kamara Fantasy 2017

Seeing how the New Orleans Saints already have veteran running backs Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson in place, I’m willing to bet a lot of fantasy owners will overlook Alvin Kamara in 2017. Most are just going to roll their eyes at the idea of another three-headed monster backfield. However, Kamara has one very big advantage over the veterans in that he unquestionably has the skill set to be the lone back in the receiving game. Peterson has really never shown the chops and Ingram is often just fighting for reps. Ingram is probably underrated overall, but I’m guessing Sean Payton doesn’t see it that way. When Tim Hightower is consistently eating into your workload, that says a lot, but I digress.

So why do I feel reasonably confident that Kamara will have a sizeable role as a rookie? Let’s put all the pieces together. His college career started at Alabama and he later transferred out of the program. After he landed at Tennessee, he was lauded as a team leader. His college production suggests he doesn’t need 20 touches a game to be an impact player. This is excellent news because even though he will be sharing touches in New Orleans, there is still a ceiling for him to achieve.

That being said, Kamara’s NFL Combine results left little to be desired. He ran just a 4.56 second 40-yard dash and did not participate in drills such as the 3 cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. I still feel that we can project how a player could fit because I tend to think Combine results can be overrated. What a player has done throughout his collegiate career is more important than a 2 or 3 day period in t-shirts and shorts. What Kamara did best at Tennessee has the potential to be super exciting for fantasy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1nJwvqEJIY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5Uam34KHaM

Most scouting reports seem to agree that Kamara is an excellent receiver, especially when he’s out in space. There are not many other teams that excel at creating space for players through play call and design than the New Orleans Saints. OK, so New England is probably better. Just remember, they already have approximately 612 backs on their roster right now. Kamara *should* have the third down/receiving role to himself in a high powered offense with a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Drew Brees.

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The New Orleans Saints saw fit to use a pick at the top of the third round (67th overall) on Kamara. One could pretty easily make the argument that the Saints had much bigger needs on their team than a running back. Their defense has been just putrid for multiple seasons now. It’s even easier to make that argument when they took Kamara so early. This is a good sign for their belief that Kamara can get on the field right away. In addition, his body size suggests he is the prototype for the NFL. His body is similar to LeSean McCoy, Le’Veon Bell, and Melvin Gordon. Keep in mind that I’m not predicting that level of success. It’s to highlight the fact Kamara isn’t just some scat back.

It’s always important as a fantasy football owner to look at the potential reasons a player could not get the playing time that we expect. This is even more crucial when you’re dealing with rookie players. There are two big reasons that Kamara could have his rookie season not go the way he or fantasy owners want. He has had some fumbling issues in college. If you think that will be overlooked, ask Mark Ingram. The second reason Kamara could be a bench warmer is if he can’t be trusted in protection. Scouts all seem split at just how good Kamara is so this will be something that has to be tracked all through training camp. The bottom line is if Kamara cannot keep Drew Brees upright, he will not see the field near enough to make any fantasy impact.

We might be a few months away from most fantasy football drafts, but Alvin Kamara is already shaping up to be one of my favorite late round flyers. This is even truer in PPR (point per reception) leagues. He’s not a must-draft player, but his value can’t be overlooked. All it’s going to require is some early chemistry with Drew Brees, and Alvin Kamara just could help push you to a fantasy football title as a late round gem.

 

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