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