As exciting as the start of the NFL season is for fantasy football managers, it can also be stressful. Injury reports can be misleading or at least lack clarity on whether your star playmaker will be available to play or not.
We’re diving into New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara’s injury update to see if he’s worth starting on your fantasy roster in Week 2.
Update: Despite being absent from practice again Friday, Alvin Kamara is questionable for Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Alvin Kamara injury update
Fantasy managers were justifiably panicked in Week 1 as Kamara received only 12 touches in a tight game against the Atlanta Falcons. After averaging 102 total yards per game through his first five years, Kamara produced only 46 yards against a bottom-feeding foe. Everything made more sense after the game when head coach Dennis Allen announced Kamara had suffered a rib injury that limited his availability.
Although Allen expressed he believed Kamara would be able to play Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Saints certainly hedged their bets in their actions. They signed a familiar face to their practice squad: Latavius Murray. Murray spent the last two seasons with the Saints but didn’t make the final roster entering 2022.
Kamara’s injury status didn’t seem to concern him after the game. He said he’d be good to go moving forward despite not being on the field late against Atlanta. Though he was a limited participant at Wednesday’s practice, Kamara was present but did not participate in Thursday’s practice that was open to the media.
We expect Kamara to play and be an active player in Week 2 against the Buccaneers. Let’s dive into whether you should start him or play it safe and keep him on the bench.
Should you start Alvin Kamara in Week 2?
Kamara has continued to haunt the Buccaneers throughout the majority of his career. In 10 games over the last five seasons, Kamara has produced 464 rushing yards, 493 receiving yards, and 11 total touchdowns. The Saints have won seven straight matchups, including double-digit margins in six of their last seven battles.
For as well as Kamara has played over his career, his performances have been more touchdown-dependent over the last two seasons. He’s finished with 76 or fewer total yards in each of his previous four games but has four total touchdowns. This creates a more challenging decision for fantasy managers.
Tampa Bay’s defense is fast and has enough versatile defenders who can somewhat contain Kamara in space. Last week, they allowed only six fantasy points to running backs against the Cowboys. Kamara, when featured as the primary playmaker on the Saints offense as we’ve grown used to, can overcome this.
There’s more risk with him being banged up and the Saints having more firepower with Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, and Jarvis Landry stealing targets. But unless you have two stellar backs and a great flex matchup, Kamara will always have a high upside that few others can match. Even if his floor is lower than usual, Kamara is worth starting for most fantasy managers.
What is Mark Ingram’s fantasy value?
Mark Ingram is the logical starter in Kamara’s place or at least benefactor from a reduced capacity. The veteran received only four carries in Week 1, tying Taysom Hill as the functional backup to Kamara. The 33-year-old produced 22 yards on four rushes and one reception for one yard.
With Hill sure to get some opportunities rushing, Ingram’s fantasy value is directly tied to touchdowns. He won’t see 15 or more carries or be a primary receiving threat. His role is incredibly defined as a relief player who is steady but insignificant until the goal line.
You don’t want to start Ingram in fantasy leagues, but he might be a worthwhile selection in DFS leagues if Kamara suffers an unexpected setback.
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