Fantasy Football: Alvin Kamara Is Going to Have a Monster Season This Year
That was on showcase in 2019. Despite underwhelming a bit last year, Kamara still finished as the RB9 in PPR formats.
Heading into 2020, Kamara is the RB4, according to BestBall10's June ADP. Will Kamara get back to an elite level of production -- like his ADP suggests -- or are we looking at a repeat of his 2019 campaign, when he was still very good but did post career-low marks in total yards (1,330), receiving yards (533), receiving touchdowns (1), and total touchdowns (6)?
Let's dive in.
Bad Luck in 2019
There's a chance we just witnessed a floor season from Kamara.
Any discussion about his 2019 campaign has to start with the star back being less than 100% healthy. According to Saints running back coach Joel Thomas, Kamara was dealing with back, ankle and knee ailments at various points in 2019. He was on the injury report in seven weeks last year.
Oh, and Drew Brees missed five games, and Kamara finished as the PPR RB9.
Kamara was unlucky in one other key area, too -- the touchdown department.
He racked up 13 and 18 total scores in his first two seasons, but last year he amassed just 6 touchdowns, including a mere 1 through the air after scoring a total of 9 such touchdowns through two years. In his 14 games played in 2019, he averaged a touchdown every 42 touches. In 2017 and 2018, those numbers were an impressive one score every 15 touches.
While the injuries may have had something to do with the lack of red zone production, Kamara ended up with just 23 fewer total touches in 2019 (252) than he had in 2018 (275). The lack of touchdowns was probably bad luck as much as anything. That's supported by Kamara's red zone usage as he was used in scoring areas last year more than he's ever been.
|Red Zone Usage||Rushing Share||Target Share|
If Kamara -- in an offense as good as the Saints' attack -- gets that kind of red zone volume again, we can expect a bounce-back in touchdowns in 2020.
The overall usage numbers were roughly in line with what we've seen from Kamara in the past. His 59% snap rate was close to his 63% clip from 2018, and he saw an opportunity share of 66%, which ranked 13th, per PlayerProfiler. Kamara finished the season with 797 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns in addition to 81 receptions, 533 receiving yards, and 1 touchdown reception. Not bad for a down year.
Kamara's 2020 ADP
As we said early on, Kamara is coming off the board as a top-five pick in 12-team leagues.
That's right where he should be.
Kamara finished among the top-five running backs across the board -- in standard, half-PPR and full-PPR -- in his first two seasons before taking a step back in 2019.
Kamara's PPR floor is pretty dang high. He's the clear number-two target in the Saints' passing game, finishing second on the team in looks in all three of his seasons. He's made exactly 81 catches each year, with a catch rate of at least 77% in every campaign. You can argue he's the best pass-game back in the league outside of Christian McCaffrey.
We project Kamara to total 217 carries, 1,010 rushing yards and 9.8 rushing touchdowns along with 77 receptions, 100 targets, 535 receiving yards, and 4.3 receiving touchdowns. That comes out to 294 total touches and 14.1 total touchdowns. That would be a career-high clip in touches, and those are numbers that clearly justify Kamara's lofty draft cost.
Have No Fear
Kamara's underwhelming 2019 campaign can likely be chalked up to injuries and some bad touchdown luck. There's no reason to be wary of him in 2020.
As we've laid out, the touchdowns should come back in a big way for him as we forecast Kamara for a touch more than 14 total scores. And even with everything that went against him last year, Kamara was still the RB9 in PPR and the RB16 in standard, so it's not like the bottom completely fell out.
Kamara's receiving work makes him an elite PPR option once again, and with a projected bounce back in the touchdown department, he's well worth a first-round pick in standard formats, as well.