Saints HC Sean Payton said RB Alvin Kamara's usage won't change this season, despite the loss of RB Mark Ingram. “It will be similar to what we’ve been seeing,” Payton said. “We’ve been pleased with the balance we’ve had with him. We think it’s been a good count.” Kamara averaged 22.8 touches per game over the first 4 weeks of last season with Ingram suspended. That sunk to 17.2 touches per game over his final 13 outings, including the playoffs. It sounds like we should expect something around that latter mark in 2019. Of course, Kamara still ranked 5th among RBs in PPR and non-PPR points from Week 5 to 16 with Ingram in the mix. He remains a locked-in top 4 draft pick across fantasy formats. The other fantasy takeaway here is that free-agent addition Latavius Murray should see something similar to the 13.4 touches per game Ingram averaged alongside Kamara last year. That'd be enough to make Murray at least a weekly RB3/flex option.

Recent Shark Bites

Saints RB Alvin Kamara has signed a 5-year contract extension worth $75 million, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Kamara gets a $15 million signing bonus and over $34 million in guarantees. He's now tied with Ezekiel Elliott for the 2nd highest-paid RB in terms of average annual salary -- behind only Christian McCaffrey. Contract and back concerns surrounded Kamara in late August and early September. But he once again looks like a top 5 fantasy back.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the epidural shot Saints RB Alvin Kamara got recently was "just for SI joint inflammation, and the shot calmed it down. Not considered a big deal at all." The SI joint connects the base of the spine to the hip bones, and inflammation in that area can lead to pain from the lower back down into the legs. Kamara's return to practice Wednesday supports the notion that this isn't a big deal. And the team and player reportedly remain in talks to extend his contract. We're still drafting Kamara in Round 1.

Saints RB Alvin Kamara missed the last few days of practice after receiving an epidural shot in his back, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. It was previously believed that Kamara was skipping out over demands for a new contract. Kamara does still want that new deal, and Pelissero hears that the 2 sides aren't far apart. But the Saints are willing to trade Kamara if they can't come to an agreement. "Kamara still wants to be a Saint long-term and the team's priority to this point has been to make it happen," Pelissero adds. In the meantime, Kamara is expected to return to practice on Wednesday. We'll obviously continue to keep a close eye on this sticky situation. Between the contract and back issues, Kamara comes with more risk in fantasy drafts right now.

Saints RB Alvin Kamara has had an "unexcused absence" from camp the past 3 days and "it is believed to be contract related," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Sounds like a holdout to us. Kamara is entering the final year of his rookie contract and scheduled to make just over $2 million this season. It's unclear if he's willing to sit out games. We'll keep a close eye on the situation. Kamara obviously comes with elevated risk in fantasy drafts in the meantime.

Saints RB Alvin Kamara told reporters on Monday that he "tore his knee" in last year's Week 6 game against the Jaguars. He added that he avoided surgery but did "a lot of rehab this offseason." We knew Kamara hurt his knee in that game (in addition to suffering a high-ankle sprain), but this makes it sound like the injury was more serious than initially thought. Regardless, the takeaway is that Kamara was banged up last season and is a prime bounce-back candidate if he stays healthy in 2020.

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