Fantasy Football 2024: Let's please stop fading Alvin Kamara

Alvin Kamara is being pushed down fantasy draft boards despite coming off another productive season. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Alvin Kamara is being pushed down fantasy draft boards despite coming off another productive season. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

One of the essential truths in fantasy — applicable to all sports — is that we eventually become bored by players who are reliably, predictably and relentlessly great. We cannot wait to move onto the next big thing, even when the previous big thing remains dominant.

Invariably, the best value picks in any draft are the bankable veteran stars who are still performing at or near their peaks.

With this fact in mind, I would like to call your attention to an ADP situation that seems like pure theft.

Alvin Kamara finished as the overall RB5 on a per-game basis last year and he’s been one of the steadiest fantasy producers in the current era, yet early drafters have made him the RB17 in half-PPR formats. He’s absolutely buried in our 2024 position ranks, too. High-stakes players have banished him to the Dead Zone. It’s wild.

Just in case it somehow slipped your notice, Kamara actually finished second among all running backs in receptions (75) and targets (86) last season, despite missing four games (three of which were due to suspension). He averaged 89.2 scrimmage yards per game, made six house calls and caught a career-best 87.2% of his targets.

At 28, Kamara definitely remained capable of producing weekly highlights:

Whatever your opinion of Derek Carr might be at this stage (probably not favorable), at least the man recognized the completion percentage cheat code that was suddenly available to him.

New Orleans didn’t make any significant depth chart-altering enhancements in the running back room in the offseason, so we can feel secure about Kamara’s role in 2024. With apologies to Kendre Miller and his zealots, the second-year back has not made Kamara (or the delightful Jamaal Williams) expendable just yet. The hierarchy in the Saints backfield remains unchanged.

Klint Kubiak has taken over at OC for New Orleans after spending last year as the passing game coordinator for the Niners, working under Kyle Shanahan. Kamara has been complimentary about his team’s new system, which shouldn’t really surprise anyone because the vibes are generally good between Kubiaks and running backs. Klint last served as an offensive coordinator with the Vikings back in 2021, a season in which Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison combined for 2,102 scrimmage yards, 10 TDs and 66 receptions.

Aside from age, it’s honestly tough to find a reason to actively fade Kamara. And yet many of you are clearly doing it. He displayed no glaring signs of decline last year — again, he was a top-five scorer in terms of per-game production — and he carries no unusual injury risk into the season ahead. In fact, his medical file is as clean as any you’ll find for a running back at any age or mileage.

Kamara is presently involved in a little mild contract-related posturing, but to this point it’s been one of the more cordial staredowns in recent memory. We do not have a Le’Veon Bell situation unfolding. Kamara has given us zero reasons to panic about his availability.

If drafters are still getting such a steep discount on No. 41 when we get deep into August, it will be the result of a catastrophic failure on the part of the fantasy expert community. He should be a target, not a fade. Kamara might be a familiar name, but we should never get bored by his level of productivity.