Alvin Kamara is widely considered to be one of the top running backs in the NFL heading into the 2018 season after a massive rookie year in 2017. Not only did he win the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award, he also helped lead the New Orleans Saints to an unexpected playoff berth. New Orleans ended up getting knocked out by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round of the playoffs, but even getting there was huge.
Looking ahead to 2018, fantasy football players have marked Kamara down as one of the most desirable players to target early in their drafts. The Saints’ second-year running back is one of the most dangerous dual-threat backs in the game, showcasing the ability to make plays on the ground and as a receiver.
Drew Brees and the passing game did not have to power the offense last year like they have in recent seasons. Kamara was a force to be reckoned with, while veteran running back Mark Ingram was also a stud. Unfortunately for the Saints, Ingram was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season.
What does that mean for Kamara? If you guessed more carries and receptions, you would be correct.
Ingram’s absence is a fantasy football owners dream. Kamara will be the clear No. 1 running back and there are no backups that will steal time from him. The only reason that Kamara will be out of the game on Sunday afternoon is for a brief breather.
Last season with the Saints, Kamara ended up carrying the football 120 times for 728 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 81 passes for 826 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Those numbers show exactly why there is so much hype surrounding the 23-year-old running back in 2018.
Top 15 Running Backs Entering Week 1:
— NFL (@NFL) September 6, 2018
All of that being said, what should fantasy owners and the Saints expect from their star running back in Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?
Quite simply, Kamara is going to have a big game. That is something that the Buccaneers will be unable to stop from happening. He may not have as big of a game as some are projecting, but he is still going to put his numbers up.
Projecting statistics is never an easy job, but it would be reasonable to expect around 25 carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns for Kamara to go along with six receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown. Those projections could be low or high depending on usage and a few other factors.
Expect to see Kamara live up to the hype that is surrounding him this season. The Saints needs their young star to step up and have a big year to contend in the NFC. Kamara is not going to let his team down and will continue proving that he is one of the top running backs in the NFL.