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What to do with Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray in the Wild Card round of the 2021 NFL playoffs

We go over the fantasy football and DFS outlook of Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray ahead of the Saints Wild Card matchup against the Bears in the 2021 NFL Playoffs.

Alvin Kamara #41 of the New Orleans Saints carries the ball during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 25, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Saturday update: The Saints officially activated Alvin Kamara off the COVID-19 injured reserve list to the 53-man roster.

Alvin Kamara hasn’t yet been activated from the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list, but his “See y’all Sunday” tweet from Thursday provides an indication of what he thinks his playing status will be for Sunday’s Wild Card game versus the Chicago Bears. Meanwhile, Latavius Murray is officially back after missing Week 17 when he was deemed to be a high-risk close contact to Kamara. What will this duo accomplish against the Bears?

Fantasy Football analysis: Saints RBs Alvin Kamara ($8,500), Latavius Murray ($4,500)

Kamara ran into the end zone six times when we last saw him on a football field. That game aside, he has been consistently productive for the past month following a midseason swoon; he has recorded at least 17 DraftKings points in each of his past four games. During that month-long stretch, Murray recorded double-digit DK points twice but finished two other games with totals of 3.7 points and 1.7 points. He did receive 12 carries versus the Vikings on Christmas Day, but he garnered just 18 touches combined from Weeks 13-15.

The Bears’ run defense has not been very monstrous over the past handful of weeks. Green Bay’s Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams combined for 163 rushing yards and a touchdown in Week 12. Adrian Peterson scored twice on the ground in Week 13. Dalvin Cook posted more than 130 yards and also scored in Week 15. Even the Jaguars’ Dare Ogunbowale averaged better than 5 yards per carry on 14 totes versus Chicago in Week 16. And the Bears may be without their leading tackler, linebacker Roquan Smith, for this matchup.

Chicago has allowed only 494 receiving yards and no receiving touchdowns to RBs this year. Regardless, when Kamara faced this defense in Week 8, he put up a 9-96-0 line as a pass-catcher.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Who knows if Kamara’s on-field ability or workload will be impacted at all by his bout of COVID-19. As long as he’s cleared, you have to imagine that he will remain the center of the Saints’ offense and take on a bunch of touches in what looks like a favorable matchup. He remains a solid start in all contests.

Murray would be easy to pivot to in cash games if Kamara is unexpectedly held out. But with Kamara present, Murray doesn’t garner a large enough share of the carries to be of use in DraftKings.