Alvin Kamara or Mark Ingram: Can you confidently start both Saints RBs in Week 13?

With Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram both looking likely to return in Week 13, can fantasy managers count on both options?

When Alvin Kamara is on the field, he’s one of the best running backs in fantasy football and real-life football alike. His problem this year has been health (and quarterback play, but I digress). Reunited with his partner in crime Mark Ingram, what should fantasy managers expect from the New Orleans backfield on Thursday Night Football against the Cowboys?

Injury updates for Kamara and Ingram

Kamara was able to practice in a limited capacity twice to start the week, but it is now being reported that he will be out for Thursday Night Football. The star running back will miss another week, putting Ingram in line for the starting role once again.

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Ingram should have the green light to play. He practiced in full on Tuesday and told the media, “I am healthy. I feel good. I am ready to go this week.” Ingram will be able to play on Thursday. However, it looks as though the Saints will be without both of their starting tackles on the offensive line, which isn’t good news.

Mark Ingram has looked like vintage Mark Ingram

Kamara has been out of commission since Week 10 with an injury, which opened the door for Ingram to take the lead role. Unfortunately for Ingram, he too popped up on the injury report, missing Week 12’s Thanksgiving night game against the Buffalo Bills. In the two games prior, Ingram looked great, slotting in as the RB9 over a two-week span. He averaged 67.5 rushing yards and 43 receiving yards per game, proving he still has plenty of tread left on his tires.

Ingram is a powerful and capable back that can do whatever the Saints’ game plan would ask of him. Although they brought Ingram back to act as a complementary piece to Kamara, the Saints added a great depth piece to their roster that can take over the lead-back duties in Kamara’s absence.

Fantasy expectations for the Saints’ backfield

The last time both Kamara and Ingram played together was on November 7 against the Atlanta Falcons. In that game, they both saw work. Kamara had 13 carries for 50 yards and a TD, with an additional 4 receptions for 54 yards. Ingram had 9 carries for 43 yards, with 21 receiving yards on 5 catches.

When Kamara has been out, Ingram has taken on a bell cow workload. As mentioned above, he’s seeing a lot of work and performing very well with his opportunities.

The Dallas Cowboys’ defense is giving up the 12th-most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, and they’re coming off a game where they allowed 143 rushing yards to the Las Vegas Raiders. It isn’t the easiest matchup, but there should be plenty of room to thrive. Volume matters: Ingram and Kamara will see plenty of it.

The real question worth monitoring — who will be under center for the Saints? The short answer is that we don’t know. Early in the week, the expectation was that the Saints were making a QB change to Taysom Hill. When asked about whether Hill or Trevor Siemian would get the start, Payton said, “we’ll see.”


No matter who is at quarterback for the Saints, their offense runs through their running backs. With Kamara unable to play, Ingram becomes a high-end RB2 for Week 13.

Jon Helmkamp is a fantasy football and NFL contributor for Pro Football Network. You can find him on Twitter: @JonHelmkamp and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.


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