Getty Images/Associated Press/Ringer illustration/Micah Peters
The 2018 football season is quickly approaching and the hype around NFL teams is about to be at its all time high. Coming into 2017 we all knew the Saints were young and talented. However, few realized juts how good our youngsters were going to be. We drafted an island, a top 10 safety and maybe, just maybe a top 3 running back. Alvin Kamara came into the season as well known weapon in the receiving game, but unpolished as a runner. He lived up to his billing as a threat catching the ball however in my opinion he showed out even more as a runner. His burst and acceleration around the edge and through the middle were all impressive. His gaudy 6.1 yards per rush show this fact and his team reaped the benefit. Around the league he garnered praise a talented young player and he showed bonafide skills that can continue to be shown throughout this next year.
I expect Alvin Kamara to be the top running back in 2018. while beating out his 7.7 yards per attempt he had last year. He had 201 total touches (120 rush attempts and 81 receptions) last year and I think both of those totals go up this year. Looking back at last years second half usage and extrapolate those totals and factor in the fact that Mark Ingram wont be involved this year the first four games and I think we are looking at the RB1 in the league. I will chalk him up for 91 receptions for 875 yards and 198 rushing attempts for 1,187 yards for a touch total of 289. While that is well below the touch totals of the league’s top backs (Gurley, Bell, Hunt, and Gordon) you still end up with a season just over 2,000 total yards. Depending on the actual amount of touchdowns he receives, he’d be right back in the top 5 PPR range. The top running backs in the league all have talent, but none have the insanity of Kamara’s ridiculous balance or his acceleration. They don’t have Michael freaking Thomas, Ted Ginn, Cam Meredith, that O-line, Drew Brees, or most importantly Sean Payton. Bell and Gurley are the top option but based on losses and additions this offseason along with toughness of schedule this year versus ours I see AK-41 as the top running back in this league. I love the ceiling and floor you have with Kamara because no mater what happens to his touches, his usage and talent around him will allow AK to have 1 on 1 opportunities all year and that is just plain silly considering what NOLA has in him. Flat out, Alvin Kamara is safe.