Adrian Peterson is now a member of the Arizona Cardinals, ending his tenure with the New Orleans Saints after four nondescript games. Let’s break down the fantasy football impact of the trade for both teams.
The biggest winners here are undoubtedly Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara, and there is room to support two fantasy running backs in the Saints’ backfield. Ingram currently sits 25th among RBs in PPR points per game while averaging 4.0 YPC (and 2.4 yards after contact) to go with 15 catches on 20 targets. As the lead member of a three-man backfield rotation, Ingram has played 52.9 percent of the offensive snaps and logged 14 carries in each of the last two games. He looks to be in line for a roughly 60-percent usage share and will remain in the RB2 mix.
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The player who is most impacted is Kamara, who is already 18th in PPR points per game. As Adam Schefter noted, the team liked the rookie enough to pull the trigger on the move. Among RBs with 20 or more carries, Kamara’s average of 0.65 fantasy points per opportunity trails only Chris Thompson (0.80) and Kareem Hunt (0.69). For comparison’s sake, Ingram is averaging 0.38 PPO and 1.3 fewer yards after contact. Kamara has achieved this level of production despite getting only 35.1 percent of the backfield snaps and 15 carries (5.5 YPC).
But with 20 catches on 26 targets, the dynamic rookie has essentially touched the ball at the same rate as Cleveland’s Duke Johnson, who is the No. 13 PPR back on a per-game basis (and seventh overall) but has played 57.7 percent of the Browns’ snaps. With an expected uptick in usage and snap share, fantasy owners in PPR formats (and half-PPR) can lock Kamara in as an RB2 moving forward, and one with a bit more upside than Ingram even if at only 40 percent of the snap share.
As for Arizona, the move clears up the backfield situation a bit, but there’s still not much fantasy appeal. The Cardinals have generated a putrid 0.77 yards before contact, rendering Chris Johnson a useless fantasy option. Peterson will certainly get more work than he has so far after playing only 11 snaps per game in New Orleans, but he’s produced only 81 yards on 27 carries (3.0 YPC), albeit with all but nine of those yards coming after contact. He’s a bench stash for now, while Johnson can be dropped if he hasn’t already. Andre Ellington’s role is unchanged as the passing-down back for the Cardinals.