Alvin Kamara debuts atop our RB rankings this week, and frankly, we may be a bit late.
In the process of redefining whatever preconceived notions we had about RB efficiency, Kamara's transcendent rookie season officially has him at RB2 overall following his 14-touch, 126-total yard, two-TD destruction of Carolina.
Kamara in Week 13 moved one-tenth of a point ahead of Le'Veon Bell, who has 336 touches on the season compared to — wait for it — 145 for Kamara. That the rookie third-rounder passed the NFL's highest-paid running back in 2017 on Bell's second-best fantasy week perhaps is a metaphor for the way Kamara is running over, around and through the competition.
Every other runner in the top 12 of fantasy scoring has at least 65 more touches than Kamara. Ironically, teammate Mark Ingram, with 222, is the second-fewest to Kamara — suspended Ezekiel Elliott notwithstanding.
Kamara has 1,220 scrimmage yards at an insane 8.4-yard clip — nearly 1.5 yards better than Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk's 1999 campaign, when he took home Offensive Player of the Year honors (h/t to NFL media's Gregg Rosenthal for the stat).
Sean Payton said this week that if the Saints knew Kamara would be unstoppable, obviously they wouldn't have waited until Round 3 — New Orleans traded a 2018 second-rounder to San Francisco for the right to draft Kamara, it's worth noting— to secure the frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
What will Kamara do next? His Saints visit a middling Falcons run 'D' for the first time that's surrendered more receptions (77) to backs than any other in the league. Atlanta has allowed the sixth-most receiving yards and tied for ceding third-most receiving touchdowns en route to a No. 31 ranking in Football Outsiders' DVOA.
Game flow helps us rank Kamara vs. Ingram in the weekly pecking order in the NFL's best backfield, and Thursday's point total (52.5) portends a potential track meet favoring New Orleans' "changeup" (LOL), but no defense has slowed Kamara down since October. His top billing here is overdue.
1.Alvin Kamara, Saints at Falcons
2.Todd Gurley, Rams vs. Eagles
3.Le’Veon Bell, Steelers vs. Ravens
4.Mark Ingram, Saints at Falcons
5.Melvin Gordon, Chargers vs. Washington
6.LeSean McCoy, Bills vs. Colts
7.Devonta Freeman, Falcons vs. Saints
8.Leonard Fournette, Jaguars vs. Seahawks
9.Jordan Howard, Bears at Bengals
10.Alfred Morris, Cowboys at Giants
11.Alex Collins, Ravens at Steelers
12.Marshawn Lynch, Raiders at Chiefs
13.Christian McCaffrey, Panthers vs. Vikings
14.Peyton Barber*, Buccaneers vs. Lions
15.Jamaal Williams, Packers at Browns
16.Samaje Perine, Washington at Chargers
17.Lamar Miller, Texans vs. 49ers
18.Latavius Murray, Vikings at Panthers
19.Carlos Hyde, 49ers at Texans
20.Tevin Coleman, Falcons vs. Saints
21.Kareem Hunt, Chiefs vs. Raiders
22.Joe Mixon*, Bengals vs. Bears
23.Dion Lewis, Patriots at Dolphins
24.Kenyan Drake, Dolphins vs. Patriots
25.Rex Burkhead, Patriots at Dolphins
26.Orleans Darkwa, Giants vs. Cowboys
27.Jerick McKinnon, Vikings at Panthers
28.DeMarco Murray, Titans at Cardinals
29.Adrian Peterson*, Cardinals vs. Titans
30.Jay Ajayi, Eagles at Rams
31.Theo Riddick, Lions at Buccaneers
32.Derrick Henry, Titans at Cardinals
33.Isaiah Crowell, Browns vs. Packers
34.LeGarrette Blount, Eagles at Rams
35.Mike Davis, Seahawks at Jaguars
36.Ameer Abdullah*, Lions at Buccaneers
37.Matt Forte, Jets at Broncos
38.Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Vikings
39.Rod Smith, Cowboys at Giants
40.Danny Woodhead, Ravens vs. Steelers