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Saints RB Alvin Kamara: Fantasy football draft profile for 2023 NFL season

We break down the outlook for New Orleans back Alvin Kamara heading into the 2023 NFL season.

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints RB Alvin Kamara will miss the first three games of the 2023 regular season due to suspension. The Saints enter a wide-open NFC South division now that QB Tom Brady isn’t leading the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With expectations high for New Orleans with a chance to return to the playoffs, Kamara could be a key component once he returns to action. Here we’ll go over his outlook for 2023.

2023 Fantasy Football: Alvin Kamara Profile

Recap of 2022 season

Once a PPR stud, Kamara has regressed the past two seasons. He’s missed six games in total over that span due to injury. Last season, Kamara finished with 897 rushing yards on 223 carries and two TDs. He had 57 receptions for 490 yards and another two TDs. In half-PPR, Kamara finished just inside the top-20 RBs in fantasy football.

Updated New Orleans Saints outlook

The Saints made a few big changes this offseason. QB Derek Carr was signed to a big deal in free agency to lead the team the next few seasons. The Saints also brought in RB Jamaal Williams on a deal to back up Kamara and help bridge the gap with the suspension. Jake Haener was drafted out of Fresno State and could end up being the backup behind Carr, who also went to Fresno St.

Best case scenario

The best case for Kamara is to come back from suspension and not miss a beat. He’s no longer as effective a rusher, averaging 4.0 yards per carry or worse over the past two seasons. But Kamara can still be an elite back catching the ball. If the Saints offense improves — which it should — that could translate to more TDs. A boost in receiving numbers and a few more trips to the end zone could help Kamara land inside the top-15 among RBs.

Worst case scenario

Kamara loses carries and red-zone touches to Williams, who led the NFL in rushing TDs last season with 17 for the Detroit Lions. In the three games without Kamara, we see Williams take a strong hold on the backfield. Kamara isn’t an every-down back, so he could lose touches on early downs and in the red zone. If that’s the case, Kamara wouldn’t be a viable option outside of PPR formats. Even then, he may not get the volume if the Saints opt to throw the ball more overall. The missed games coupled with regression and Williams could find Kamara outside the top-25 among RBs this season.

Prediction

Kamara will be an OK FLEX option in PPR formats but his days of being an elite RB are behind him. Williams should get goal-line work. You don’t just fluke your way to 17 TDs. The Saints should also throw the ball more with Carr going to Chris Olave frequently. For where Kamara is being drafted (RB29), he isn’t a bad sleeper/value pick. In a perfect world he can still rack up yards and catches, but won’t have that big-time pop/upside. Consistent FLEX play in PPR feels right for 2023.