Fantasy football would be a lot easier if the best players scored the most fantasy points. We would simply make a list of the most talented guys, and that would be our fantasy football rankings

Unfortunately, those who’ve played this game before know that that’s not the case. Talent is naturally a key part of the equation. But the scheme and opportunity are equally important parts of the equation. When all three come together, that’s when sleepers truly become breakouts. That trifecta is how we get our biggest stars.

Consider Travis Kelce: not only is he the most talented pass-catching tight end, playing with the most talented quarterback, but the scheme is tailor-made for him. And the lack of high-end pass-catching competition lends to huge opportunities. Our goal each year is to find those situations and, hopefully, find them at a reasonable cost. Those are the league-winning deals in dynasty and steals at ADP in redraft or best ball.

Now that we’ve gotten into the world of early fantasy football mock drafts and best ball tournaments, one such name has stood out to me, and that is Alvin Kamara. We’ve already seen this player breakout in a big way, single-handedly winning fantasy leagues in years like 2020 when he scored six touchdowns during championship week. 

I believe that this year the talent, scheme and opportunity could all come together for another massive season for Kamara, especially at his current cost.





No one argues that Alvin Kamara isn’t talented. You might hear claims that he has “lost a step”, but we have to be realistic about what Alvin Kamara is – and always has been. He has never had a 1,000-yard rushing season. Early in his career, he was splitting the run work with the likes of Mark Ingram and Latavius Murray which made it easy for Kamara to have a high yards per carry (not unlike Austin Ekeler or Tony Pollard, who also benefited from having another back handle the dirty work).

Just as we’ve done with Austin Ekeler, another past league-winning back who has also never had a 1,000-yard season on the ground, we aren’t drafting Kamara for his rushing yards. We are drafting him for the receptions.

Scott Barrett, in what I consider to be one of the most important research articles in fantasy, already proved that a target is worth more than a carry in every format. Not a reception – a target. And that goes for standard leagues, too (if you still play in those). 

His research showed that a target is worth 1.36 times as much as a carry in standard and up to 2.74 times as much in full PPR. Derrick Henry led the league with 280 carries last year and ~100 targets would be worth about as much as that, based on this research.

And guess what? Alvin Kamara was on pace for 112 targets last year. He had 86 despite missing four games. Michael Thomas, who also missed games, managed 74 targets. Thomas is now gone and the Saints didn’t add much to replace him. The non-mobile Derek Carr is still there so Kamara will be competing with Chris Olave, Rashid Shaheed, A.T. Perry, and Juwan Johnson for those targets. 

Barring injury, that creates a tremendous floor. That’s without mentioning that he was also on pace for 235 carries, the second most of his career. With his skillset, there’s no reason to believe Kamara won’t be featured heavily in the pass game once again.





When Mike McDaniel left Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers to coach the Miami Dolphins, he made two moves right away to bring key parts of that offensive scheme with him. He went out and got the best left tackle available in free agency, Terron Armstead, to be their version of Trent Williams. And he signed fullback Alec Ingold to play the role that Kyle Juszczyk plays. 

After leaving San Francisco for Houston, Demeco Ryans and Bobby Slowik set up something similar with Laremy Tunsil at left tackle and Andrew Beck at fullback. And Klint Kubiak, who just came over from that same 49ers’ staff to be the Saints offensive coordinator, is looking to follow that trend. The Saints drafted left tackle Taliese Fuaga at 14 overall this year to play left tackle and signed Adam Prentice and Zander Horvath at fullback. 

This scheme is EASY on the running back. The 49ers Christian McCaffrey led all running backs in “yards before contact”. The Dolphins' De'Von Achane led all running backs in yards before contact per attempt. Even Devin Singletary, the journeyman who took over as starter for the Houston Texans, managed over 1,000 yards from scrimmage while starting only ten games. This scheme is built for players like Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara to THRIVE. And Kamara knows it. 


This is where most folks have their concerns. They are worried about second year back Kendre Miller getting some carries. They are worried about Taysom Hill stealing a few goal line touchdowns. And to that I say this: who cares? 

In 2017, Mark Ingram led the Saints in carries with 230. He finished as the RB6 in PPR. Alvin Kamar had only 120 carries – he finished as the RB3 in PPR. He was also the RB3 in half PPR and the RB4 in standard. Why? Because targets are more valuable than carries. He got exactly 100 targets that year. In fact, Alvin Kamara started his first three NFL seasons getting exactly 81 catches in all three. 

Last year, Kamara had 75 catches in only 13 games. Yes, it would be nice if Kamara were set to get every touch and every touchdown, but that’s incredibly rare in the modern NFL. If he were slated to get those, we wouldn’t be getting the discount on him that we currently are at ADP. 





No one is drafting real leagues yet, so we don’t have reliable redraft ADP. The closest we have is best ball, like the half PPR site Underdog or the full PPR FFPC. Right now, Kamara goes off the board as the RB17 on Underdog and RB16 on FFPC. In PPR, he was the RB11 last year despite missing four games; an RB1 in fantasy. And conditions are now BETTER for Kamara than they were last year. Take a look around the draft board. 

Christian McCaffrey goes RB1, often as the first overall pick – and rightfully so. De’Von Achane, in this similar scheme while presumably splitting with Raheem Mostert and possibly also third round rookie Jaylen Wright, goes in the second round of most drafts. Guys like Saquon Barkley and James Cook, whose QBs Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen vultured 15 touchdowns last year and do not dump the ball down the way Derek Carr does, both go well before Kamara. 

Are we more scared of Taysom Hill stealing touchdowns than those guys? If you are okay with those RBs and their situations, how is Alvin Kamara not an absolute SMASH pick in the sixth round of Underdog drafts?

By now, you surely know how I feel about it. And the folks who picked up our 2024 Best Ball Cheat Sheet have known it for weeks. So, do yourself a favor and grab a copy now so that you know EXACTLY where to draft Alvin Kamara and all the other hidden gems in early best ball drafts – before everyone else catches up. Because Alvin Kamara is not the only player out there where talent, scheme and opportunity converge at a great price.