Alvin Kamara Fantasy Football Value Without Drew Brees

Alvin Kamara Fantasy Football

Another NFL season in the books, and another spectacular fantasy football year for New Orleans Saints stud running back Alvin Kamara. Not only did Kamara’s phenomenal six-touchdown performance in Week 16 seal championship rights for many proud fantasy football managers, but with top picks Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley missing most of the 2021 season, Kamara’s worth rang in even higher as one of the top backs in the league. However, assuming first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Drew Brees’ pending retirement becomes official, Kamara’s fantasy value could look much different next season. 

Disclosure: There is no argument that Kamara is, and will continue to be, an explosive player on the ground and through the air in 2021. The question lies in can he keep up his Top-3 level fantasy performance going into next year if his quarterback, who relied on him an incredible amount in the passing game, hangs up his cleats this offseason.

Fantasy Football: Can You Trust Alvin Kamara In 2021?

Scenario 1: Taysom Hill Becomes the Starter

Taysom Hill. Head Coach Sean Payton’s ‘Tim Tebow’. While (to many people’s surprise) Hill took over as the starter when Brees missed time due to rib and lung injuries in the back-half of the season, he sported a solid 3-1 record and looked rather competent behind center for his first few starts at quarterback. His ability to move inside and outside the pocket allowed him to open up the passing game as he got comfortable.

However, to the dismay of fantasy managers of Kamara, he wasn’t one of the main players targeted. If this is the route Payton decides to go, people may be worried about Kamara’s lack of possible targets, as Hill seemed to rely on bigger weapons who were quicker route options to get the ball to, such as Michael Thomas. Not only that; Hill also vultured a number of goal-line scores and compiled numerous rushing yards throughout each game on designed runs as well as extended plays with his legs. 

This scenario may make fantasy players a bit weary and will knock him down to a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 (Top 12-15 running back). While his touches may decrease, Kamara will make up for this with explosiveness; and even though it wasn’t the case for the four games with Hill under center, Sean Payton will find a way to get the ball in his best playmaker’s hands.  

Scenario 2: Jameis Winston Becomes the Starter

To start, Jameis Winston is currently a free agent, so this one is a very interesting question mark. Winston entered the Saints divisional round playoff game this past season to complete a long touchdown on a trick play against his former team; other than that, he didn’t see the field much in 2020. But from the good old days on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad, Winston loved to dart the ball down the field, whether it be to his team or his opponents’. While the sample size is small under the Sean Payton-led offense with Winston under center, the former Heisman Trophy winner and first-round pick of the defending Super Bowl champions will look Kamara’s way when things get tied up in coverage on his receivers. 

Kamara’s rushing output will continue to flourish with Winston at the helm as well, which includes his goal-line presence. With this scenario, Kamara’s fantasy value stays in the Top-10 (possibly even the Top-5 depending on his target share down the stretch of the season) – a mid to high-end RB1. 

Scenario 3: Trade For/Sign/Draft a Quarterback

While Payton claims he has his quarterback ‘in the building, this is definitely not a scenario to rule out. What makes free agency or trading for a signal-caller particularly tricky is the Saints limited cap space. And while there are some deeper options in the upcoming draft, it would seem unlikely for the Saints to move this direction based on their current regime. Even if they did, though, Hill or Winston would still likely start the season and play a good number of games at quarterback.

However, anticipating a scenario where a new quarterback came into this offense, Kamara’s value would remain in the RB1-range (Top-12) as he would be a quarterback’s best friend in a new system that has many years of proven success behind it.

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