Since 2011, the Saints backfield has ranked Number 1 in PPR fantasy points as a team SIX times. The other two years… they were Number 2. Alvin Kamara has not been on the team since 2011, so it’s worth stating that this system has created a ton of value at the position for fantasy purposes. It would be a ridiculous thing to say that Kamara is a system back, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the talent and system have come together in complete harmony when it comes to him.
However, since Sean Payton has been the HC of the Saints in 2006, he’s always deployed a timeshare in his backfield, with different backs having different roles; he’s never had a workhorse back in all of those years. Alvin Kamara has had 81 receptions in each of the past two years in this system, but Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles have each had multiple 70-reception seasons as well, with Bush getting close to the carry count Kamara has received. The efficiency Kamara has shown, especially in his rookie year, shows that he definitely has a higher ceiling than either of those guys.
With the system being the way that it has been, there’s no way Latavius Murray has received a $7M signing bonus to sit on the sidelines while Kamara does his thing. He can see 10-15 touches per game, including work around the goal line, as he’s shown to be pretty damn good at short yardage opportunities throughout his career.
The fact that he’s going at the end of the 7th round right now indicates that the community sees him as simply a backup to Kamara. From Deuce McAllister to Pierre Thomas to Mark Ingram, there is a role that Murray is sliding into, and it’s important to be aware of that.
As a result, I wouldn’t expect Kamara to see the type of work he did when Ingram was out during the first four games last season. Time on the field matters, and once Ingram came back, Kamara was the RB8 the rest of the way, yet being considered as the overall RB1. The snap share and touches might not be there to support that.
If Murray were to ever go down though, Kamara will win your league on his shoulders alone.