New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara quickly vaulted to become the team’s focal player as the franchise ushered in a new era post-Drew Brees’ retirement. Despite a carousel at quarterback and without Pro-Bowl receiver Michael Thomas due to an ankle injury, the Saints finished with a 9-8 regular-season record and second in the NFC South division. New Orleans missed out on a wild card appearance in what would become Sean Payton’s final coaching season with the franchise.
Dennis Allen now succeeds Payton as the head coach heading into 2022 with the hopes that the Saints can return to the postseason. That goal will hinge on Kamara’s availability this coming season as he is expected to miss a portion of the regular season due to suspension. Upon his return, New Orleans is expecting a strong performance to finish the season.
2021 season statistics & fantasy finish
Rushing: Kamara had 240 carries for 898 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 69.1 rushing yards per game and 3.7 yards per attempt.
Receiving: He caught 47 passes on 67 targets for 439 yards and five touchdowns. He finished with an average of 9.3 yards per reception and 33.8 yards per game.
Fantasy: Kamara finished top-10 in both PPR scoring and standard scoring. He ranked eighth among running backs with 234.7 total points in PPR formats and ninth in standard scoring with 187.7 total points.
Saints offseason moves
New Orleans bolstered their defense with the additions of Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Maye in the secondary. On the offensive side of the ball, the Saints re-signed Jameis Winston to a two-year deal and solidified him as their starter heading into the season. To add depth on the outside the Saints also added Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry to the receiving corps.
2022 best-case scenario
Kamara might receive a suspension following his incident at the Pro Bowl, but the timing of that suspension is still very much up in the air. The best case scenario for his fantasy value this season is for his legal troubles to be pushed into next offseason. We know what he can do, even in an offense that isn’t moving up and down the field with ease. We know that a whole season means fantasy production.
2022 worst-case scenario
A suspension of six or more games along with an inconsistent Winston at quarterback could really tank Kamara’s numbers. And not knowing when a suspension might happen could make it difficult to prepare for a replacement in fantasy.
Kamara missed four games last season and still finished top-10 in fantasy scoring among running backs. His overall numbers will surely fall if he is suspended but I still expect him to produce efficient scoring for fantasy owners. He is an instrumental part of the Saints’ passing attack and should figure to be a prominent fixture of an offense that boasts potential. Missed games could knock him out of the top 10 in scoring, but he if returns in rhythm then finishing top 15 to 20 is not out of the picture.