Saints beat writer Jeff Duncan reported Tuesday that Saints rookie RB Alvin Kamara "looks like the real deal and has the inside track to land the role in the Saints' nickel offense."
Sunday, Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk visited New Orleans Saints training camp on Sunday, for his job as an NFL Network analyst.
With Faulk at team headquarters, Payton was asked if he would push Saints rookie RB Alvin Kamara to pick Faulk's brain, but the coach took his response in a different direction.
"There's some traits that Kamara has that remind me (of Faulk) in regards to his intelligence, his ability to run routes," Payton said. "It was real evident in the first half hour of how smart (Kamara) was. He was in with the quarterbacks, he understood schemes, he understood route reads, concepts. And even on the field, it was impressive. It would be something that would be difficult to know if you were just looking at a test."
Tavaris Cadet held down this role in recent seasons but was not nearly as fantasy relevant as when Darren Sproles held the role. Cadet only averaged 6.3 PPR fantasy points per game, playing 23 percent of snaps in 2016. However, that was due to Cadet's lack of involvement in the rushing game (four carries all season). Cadet's caught 40 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns. If Kamara can make an immediate impact in the Saints nickel offense, it could eat into Mark Ingram's receiving production, after catching 96 balls over the past two years. It wasn't so long ago that Sproles had three consecutive seasons with 70+ receptions in this role.