New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara was punished by the NFL for his role in a 2022 fight in Las Vegas. The league suspended Kamara for three games, and this action will clearly have an impact on his status with the Saints and Fantasy Football for the upcoming season.

Prior to the the ruling by the NFL, Kamara admitted he was embarrassed by his own actions and apologized to the Saints and the team's fans.

“Poor judgment on my end, definitely a bad decision, but I'm a man,” Kamara said. “Anything I've ever done in my life, I've stood on and I can take accountability for. I can say when I'm wrong, and I was completely wrong. I embarrassed the Saints, I embarrassed my family and my mother, I embarrassed myself, I embarrassed this city and the shield, obviously I embarrassed the NFL.”

While taking accountability is a positive sign, it seems that Kamara's status with the Saints has started to dip. With the suspension, it makes it much harder for Fantasy Football players to consider Kamara for anything but late-round status.

Suspension specifics

The specifics of the suspension means that Kamara will not be able to play in any of the first three games of the season. He will miss the season opener at home against the Tennessee Titans, and then he will also be sidelined for road games against the Carolina Panthers and the Green Bay Packers.

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Kamara will be able to practice with the team throughout training camp, but he will not be able to participate with the team at any point during the first three weeks of the season.

“I'd be lying if I said it hasn't affected me,” Kamara said. “It affected me last season. It affected me every day. I lost a lot. I lost [money], I lost some friends, I lost some support from people. But, like I said, I've had a ton of support from this organization and family and friends — the people that know me, that know what I stand for and what I'm about. That's kept me going.”

Kamara's value to the Saints

The Saints knew that Kamara was facing a suspension, but they did not know how long he would be out of action.

They signed former Packer and Lion Jamaal Williams to take over the lead back role if Kamara was unable to go. Presumably, Williams will start the first 3 games of the season for the Saints. If Williams performs well, it will make it that much more difficult for Kamara to reclaim his starting position.

Here's the other issue for the running back. Kamara is going into his seventh season in the NFL, and once running backs get past the 5-year mark in the league they generally start to lose their effectiveness.

To this point in his career, Kamara remains an effective back, but he is not as explosive as he was in the early years of his career. Kamara has consistently produced between 728 and 932 rushing yards per season throughout his career, but his average as a rookie was 6.1 yards per carry. He has never been able to hit that mark in any of his ensuing seasons.

Kamara led the Saints in rushing with 897 yards last season, but his average per carry was an ordinary 4.0 yards per attempt. He also had just 2 rushing touchdowns.

Running with the ball is not the only part of Kamara's game. He has always been an excellent receiver, and he specializes in making tacklers miss when the catches the ball in space. He caught 57 passes last year for 490 yards last year, but he had just 2 receiving touchdowns.

Kamara's fantasy value

Missing the first 3 games of the season does not necessarily mean Kamara's season is ruined. He is clearly upset and embarrassed by the actions that led to the suspension, and he will want to make up for his error in judgement when he gets back in the lineup.

At this point in his career, it seems that Kamara is not going to be the big-play maker he was earlier in his career. But he is still a dependable player who will take what the defense gives him.

The presence of Williams is not likely to result Kamara losing his opportunity. Williams is a solid back who is coming off his best season — 1,066 yards and 17 TDs with the Lions — but he had never rushed for more than 601 yards previously.

Kamara will be a solid late-round selection. Many fantasy owners will be afraid to select him, but he could come off the bench and be productive after his return.