What’s Changing Up Top: Alvin Kamara
I'm here to remind you of the little changes that can make a big difference in performance year over year. The What’s Changing Up Top series of articles covers the highest projected Running Backs and just one or two points that might change your perspective on their 2020 outlook.
Derick E. Hingle, USA Today
228.8 Points//17.6 PPG// June 15th ADP of 4.9
Fine. Alvin Kamara was fine in 2019. That's it. He was just fine. In 2019 he finished as RB9 in points and RB8 in PPG. After being drafted as the 2nd overall player, he was a massive disappointment. The issue ties right back to his efficiency.
While the Saints triumphed in the NFC South, Kamara's prowess as the most efficient RB in the league collapsed. At 4.7 YPC he was 11th amongst RB's with 100 or more carries (4.6 in 2018 and 6.1 in 2017). Where he dropped off was in the receiving game. Kamara ranked 31st in YPR amongst RB's with at least 40 targets. He averaged only 6.6 YPR (8.8 in 2018 and 10.2 in 2017) on the same amount of receptions he had in the prior two seasons (exactly 81). To top it off, his TD Rate was just 2.4% compared to 6.5% in each of his previous 2 years. So what led to his decrease in efficiency? In week 6 Alvin Kamara suffered a high ankle injury. Feel free to refresh your memory on high ankle injuries by looking at the paragraph on Barkley. The point is, it's bad news for an RB. Prior to his week 6 injury, Kamara was averaging 8.4 YPR, but his TD rate was still poor. TD rates aren't the stickiest stat, so it's hard to use this as a measuring stick.
In 2020 I'm expecting a return to efficiency for Alvin Kamara. The Saints added Emmanuel Sanders as another offensive weapon to spark the offense as a whole. This should help Kamara's TD rate rebound to something closer to the league average, as the saints should score more as a unit. He's still a top tier back, so don't let a slower 2019 scare you from acquiring a great asset at the RB position.