Running backs are a vital piece in fantasy football, especially dynasty leagues. If you draft solid RBs, you are set for at least three to four years. Of course, the NFL doesn’t covet running backs like they used to, but you can still find teams that believe in drafting a running back with hopes to keep them for six years plus.
In this article, I am going to talk about two running backs who will have bounce-back years. I will touch on their past couple of year stats, which will be based on half-point PPR scoring. I will also give my overall insight into what you should do with them in your dynasty league.
The two running backs I will be talking about are Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara.
Let’s take a look at some stats for these two before we dive into my thoughts about them in your dynasty league.
Saquon Barkley stats 2018
Saquon was a monster in 2018. He finished as a top-three RB totaling 318.1 fantasy points and averaged 21.2 points per game. Saquon rushed the ball 261 times for 1,307 rushing yards while averaging 81.7 per game. His real value came in the passing game. Saquon was targeted 121 times for 91 receptions, and 721 receiving yards. Also, he totaled 15 TDs. Wow!
Let's take a quick look at last year's stats.
Saquon Barkley stats 2019
Saquon didn’t have as successful of a year last season. He finished just outside the top 10 running backs, totaling 198.9 fantasy points and averaging 16.6 points per game. Saquon had 217 rushing attempts for 1,003 total yards while averaging 77.2 yards per game. Saquon saw a pretty significant decrease in the passing game. He saw 73 targets for 52 receptions and 438 receiving yards.
He saw a regression last year due to two things: a rookie QB and a high-ankle sprain. He came back way too soon from his ankle injury. He wanted to play and we saw that, but we were all a little surprised that he came back as soon as he did. He wasn’t fully healthy and it showed.
Let’s check out the stats of the second player, Alvin Kamara.
Alvin Kamara stats 2018
Kamara finished just behind Saquon, as the number four fantasy running back. He totaled 313.7 fantasy points and averaged 20.9 points per game. Kamara had 194 rushing attempts for 883 rushing yards while averaging 58.9 yards per game. He also had 14 rushing TDs. He was also utilized in the passing game. Kamara saw 105 targets for 81 receptions and 709 receiving yards. He had four passing TDs bringing his total that year to 18 touchdowns. Talk about a scoring machine.
How did Kamara end up last year?
In 2019, Kamara saw some TD regression when Latavius Murray joined the team. Kamara finished as the number 13 fantasy running back, totaling 189.3 fantasy points and averaged 14.6 points per game. Kamara had 171 rushing attempts for 797 rushing yards while averaging 56.9 yards per game. He saw a slight decrease in the passing game as well, with 97 targets for 81 receptions and 553 receiving yards.
Earlier, I mentioned Kamara saw TD regression due to Murray joining the team. Well, let's compare his stats. In 2018, he had 25 rushing attempts inside the red zone. In 2019, he only had 12 rushing attempts inside the red zone, which was almost half as many rushing attempts.
What does this mean?
Saquon and Kamara are talented players and we can see that by all of their stats. They both had some significant scenarios that played out last year, but that's part of the game, right? Yes, and even with the challenges that they faced this past year they almost finished as a RB1. They will have bounce-back years this upcoming fantasy season because they have proven already how they can produce fantasy value.
I believe in these two so much that I am going to predict Saquon finishes as the number one running back in fantasy this upcoming season. He missed four games with the high-ankle sprain and still finished just outside the top 10.
As for Kamara, I could see him finishing inside the top 10, too. I’d say possibly outside the top five and finishing at number six. I can’t place him in the top-three only because he is still going to be sharing time with Murray and, not to mention, it looks like they are giving Taysom Hill goal-line touches as well. Kamar should be okay though because he is utilized in the passing game. The Saints will get back to doing what they do best and Kamara will shine again.
Let me say this, if you own these guys already obviously you are going to hold them. Both of these guys are in their early 20’s, so you have a good four to five years to have them on your team. Kamara still has one more year left on his current contract, so keep an eye on what the Saints do with him. If he stays with the Saints I would continue to hold him. If they decide to let him test the free agency, then I would think about selling him before he signs with a new team. You will be able to get some good picks and or players for him.
As for Saquon, he still has two years left on his rookie contract, as well as a fifth-year option. I believe the Giants will sign him to a long-term deal after this year. Saquon is someone you should never trade in fantasy. Hold on to him as long as you can and you will be enjoying every year as he produces. He is a solid running back you can build your team around.
Here are some of my final thoughts
If you wanted to trade Kamara, I wouldn’t say you are crazy for wanting to do that. Would I? No, I would not trade him this year. If you are in rebuild mode, you could target some picks for the upcoming draft class. There are certainly some nice rookies to target. I would never tell someone to trade Saquon, so don’t do it. You would have to give me a lot for him and I would still have to think about selling him.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Stay blessed and remember, if you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you.
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