- Steven Pintado
Draft Bargains: RB edition part 1: Kenyan Drake
We are a few months away from the fantasy football draft season and everyone is searching to find those mid-to-late round players who have the same possible potential as players you draft in the early rounds.
There is one player that comes to mind, one who has the ability to be a low-end RB1 but is being draft as a low-end RB2 or a RB3. Kenyan Drake, of the Miami Dolphins, could be this year’s draft bargain for a lot of owners.
Drake was drafted in 2016 in the 3rd round as a speed burner but due to 2017 trades and injuries, Drake got an opportunity to show off his skills. For the final 5 games of the 2017 season, he went on to average 88 rushing yards, 3 catches, and 30 receiving yards per game. During that span he finished as the 8th fantasy running back, and he did that while in a Miami offense that was a bottom ten offense with Jay Cutler as quarterback.
Going into the 2018 year, big things were supposed to happen for Drake but the coaching by Adam Gase limited Drake from super-stardom. Even with this set back, Drake still managed, in ppr formats, to be the 14th running back in fantasy. He did an extensive amount of his damage in the passing game with limited attempts at rushing. There were only 5 games in 2018 where he received more than 10 carries, so you should expect that to be higher with Frank Gore no longer in town.
Moving into 2019, Drake is currently sitting at ADP 51 according to Fantasy Pros rankings. This puts Drake at RB 25, going some where between rounds 4-7. If you take a look at the RBs between 17-24, most of those backfields are split or have an aging veteran with a young rookie waiting in the wings. Passing on those running backs and drafting other positions, allows you to draft Drake in the mid rounds. This could give you the advantage over other owners, getting a high upside player in the later rounds.
The Dolphins are a team coming into 2019 on a rebuilding year with very few stars players. They are going to need their stars like Drake to step up, especially with him entering his prime and it being his contract year. The Dolphins have a lot of faith in Drake because they didn’t draft or sign anyone with any significance in the off-season.
Drake’s main competition for carries is Kalen Ballage. Ballage was a 2018 draft pick but his skill sets aren’t on the same page as Drake. Of course, Ballage is going to see some work in this offense but I project it as an 80/20 split, rather than other backfields at a 60/40 split.
If Drake can produce between 160-190 carries while keeping his production in the receiving game, there is no doubt Drake could be your draft bargain and get you top ten production by the end of the season.