Saints RB1 appears slightly overpriced

Alvin Kamara is a difficult player to value dynasty fantasy football entering the 2022 season, as he is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. After an RB1 overall finish in 2020, Kamara was good, not great in 2021. With the Saints offense hoping to get a full season from Jameis Winston under center, how should Dynasty managers rate Kamara going forward? ?

Alvin Kamara’s Dynasty Profile for 2022

Backed by an epic Week 16 6 touchdowns, Kamara averaged a fantastic 25.2 PPR points per game in 2020 en route to an overall RB1 finish. In 2021, Kamara was obviously going to regress, but fantasy managers must have been disappointed by the degree. While a mid-RB1 finish is nothing to scoff at, a drop to 18.1 ppg is pretty substantial.

The reality is that Kamara was badly hurt by the Saints’ midseason trade against Mark Ingram. Kamara averaged a very healthy 20.6 points per game in his nine games without Ingram. In his four games with him, Kamara averaged just 12.7 points per game. Despite being 33, Ingram is signed through the 2022 season, and it stands to reason New Orleans will use him like they did last year.

Ingram is about to be done and won’t be a problem for Kamara for too long. 2022 will probably be the last time. The problem is that Kamara is also nearing the end. He only has a few seasons left where he can be a three-man fullback – and he won’t be in 2022 when Ingram is on the pitch. Even if we assume Kamara gets the backfield all to himself in 2023, how many years does he have left?

There’s also the matter of Kamara’s off-court incident around the Pro Bowl. We haven’t heard anything about it since it happened, but the likelihood of his Kamara facing some sort of suspension. Given past incidents, I don’t think this will be a long ban. Right now, I’m not factoring that in at all, because a 2-4 game suspension for a season just doesn’t move the needle much on a player’s dynasty value.

Fantastic screening for Kamara

It’s fair to say that Kamara will never do what he did in 2020 again. Fantasy managers may think Kamara can improve on his 2021, though. I’m not so sure. I think 2021 marked the start of a steady decline for Kamara the fantasy gamer.

I don’t think Kamara is finished in any way. In fact, he’s even more likely than not to be an RB1 this season. Looks like 18.1 ppg is his ceiling.

The Saints don’t want Kamara to be a three-try full-back. They never did. For fantasy managers, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is that last season Kamara’s touches came mainly on the pitch. He averaged 18.5 carries per game, a career high. His previous record was just 12.9, which came in 2018. We want Kamara to catch passes.

In the first four years of his career, Kamara averaged over 5 receptions per game. Last season, that number dropped to 3.6. What was different last year compared to all the other years of his career? Drew Bres.

You may be thinking, “Well, it’s only one season. Not exactly. We actually have a sample of 17 games from Kamara without Brees. With Brees, Kamara averages 22.3 ppg. Without Brees, he’s averaging just 17.7 points per game. The combination of a post-Brees world, Ingram’s presence, and Kamara’s diminishing role in the passing game has me a little worried going forward.

What is Kamara’s future beyond 2022?

Kamara is about to end his career with the Saints. He signed throughout his 31-year-old season, and I don’t expect Kamara to remain an effective player past 30. That leaves us between two and four seasons of fantasy viability remaining.

For better or for worse, Kamara should stay with the Saints. If they cut him before the end of his contract, it will almost certainly be because he is no longer an effective player. So it’s Saints or bust for Kamara and his fantastic managers.

What can fantasy managers expect from Kamara?

Kamara should still be an RB1 in 2022. However, I expect him to gradually decline in productivity. I’m thinking mid RB2 in 2023, bottom RB2 in 2024 and finished by 2025. If he’s cut before his contract is up, it’s likely to follow an ineffective season that will see his fantasy value plummet.

The Saints need to figure out their long-term quarterback situation. Is it Winston? Or should they find one in the draft? If it’s not Winston, Kamara doesn’t have time for anyone else to emerge (apart from trading the Saints for an established veteran).

The rebuilding Dynasty managers really have no use for Kamara. If you’re not competing this season, look to trade him for a young and/or select group of players.

For dynasty managers in win-now mode, I still don’t think Kamara is necessarily more valuable on your roster. It certainly won’t hurt you. However, I think the perception of Kamara in your league may be higher than the reality. Don’t go out of your way to trade Kamara. But if you can turn it into several players who can help you win this season in a deal you’re clearly getting the most out of, then it’s definitely worth considering.

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