When the New Orleans Saints signed Latavius Murray earlier this year, the major concern for fantasy football was how the addition to the backfield would impact Alvin Kamara. Would Murray have a Mark Ingram-sized role in the Saints offense? Or would he be more of a true backup, opening the door for Kamara to take on a monster workload?
After Week 1's thrilling 30-28 victory over the Houston Texans, the early indication is that Murray will have a substantially smaller impact on Kamara's role than Ingram did. Kamara lit up the Texans for 169 scrimmage yards on 20 touches, while Murray gained 47 yards on eight touches, including a 30-yard TD run.
While Murray burst through a seam for a 30-yard score, the rest of his day can be summed up by one word — inefficient. Take out the TD and Murray gained just 17 yards on seven touches.
Kamara, meanwhile, displayed the power and speed that makes him one of the truly elite backs in the league. The third-year phenom out of Tennessee ripped off a number of chunk plays and didn't even need to find the end zone (he scored 31 TD in his first 31 NFL games) to finish with a 23.9-point week in PPR leagues.
It's only a one-week sample, and Kamara's 13 rush attempts clearly don't look like a workhorse number on the surface, but the Saints offense was unusually pass-heavy on Monday night. They only needed 21 rush attempts to gain 148 rushing yards, while last year they averaged 29.4 per game (fifth in the NFL).
If they get back to that kind of volume while continuing to feed Kamara as a workhorse, we could see him eclipse 200 carries for the first time of his career.
Alvin Kamara Week 2 Fantasy Outlook
This increased value for Kamara is especially exciting for his Week 2 matchup with the Los Angeles Rams — a team he has dominated in the past.
With a track record like this, Kamara has a real chance to be the top-scoring RB in fantasy football for Week 2, especially if he finds the end zone for the first time this season.
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