Fantasy Football: The Case for Kenyan Drake
This article is part of The Fantasy Court series, be sure to check out The Case Against Kenyan Drake by Matt Okada (@FantasySensei)
Check out where Andy, Mike, and Jason have Kenyan Drake projected in the Ultimate Draft Kit.
Stud RBs. That’s the name of the game in fantasy football. Even the ZeroRB crowd has to get excited about a stud RB that you can get for cheap. In 2018, that stud on a budget is Kenyan Drake. A late bloomer in 2017, Drake took the fantasy football community by storm as a waiver wire wonder that surely led many squads into the fantasy playoffs and to eventual #FootClanTitles. Here’s why you want him on your fantasy squad in 2018.
Kenyan Drake’s end of season numbers for 2017 is impressive considering he only received 19 carries in the first half of the season. Despite the late start, Drake managed nearly 900 total yards and 4 TDs.[lptw_table id=”55118″ style=”default”]
It doesn’t take a math wizard to realize that this means Drake when bananas in the back half of the season. It’s also easy to see why the production jumped. The Dolphins traded their starting RB, Jay Ajayi, away in Week 8. Following this transaction, Drake’s touches per game went from 1.86 to 16.89. And Drake made the most of them. From Week 9 on, Drake averaged 5.03 ypc and 3.2 receptions per game. Better still, Drake only improved as the year went on. In weeks 12 through 17, Drake averaged 118.8 total yards per game, good for 17.68 fantasy points per game (PPR). Only two RBs in the league surpassed this mark in 2017, their names are Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley, maybe you’ve heard of them. I expect Drake to carry this success and efficiency forward into 2018 and he already has, posting 6.8 ypc this preseason.
At the end of the 2017 season, Kenyan Drake and the Dolphins backfield was a hot topic of discussion. We had just witnessed liquid hot magma in the form of his fantasy performances in the back half of the season, but with Ajayi out of the picture and Damien Williams put out to pasture, the Dolphins had to fill their depth chart. The concern was that they would bring in competition in free agency or early in the draft and relegate Drake to a change of pace role. Luckily, this didn’t happen. Instead, the Dolphins signed 35-year old RB Frank Gore to a homecoming contract so he could change the culture of the locker room as a veteran presence, in the town in which he attended college. The only other competition Miami brought in was Kalen Ballage a rookie RB out of Arizona State selected at the end of the 4th round.
To this point in the preseason, Ballage has managed to fumble, get benched by his QB for not knowing his assignments and get himself injured. Meanwhile, Frank Gore has gotten even older to go along with his 3.77 ypc over the last 3 seasons. At most, I project these two to serve as the change of pace backs leaving Drake to be featured, getting 15-20 touches per game again in 2018. All things considered, it could’ve been much worse for Drake in terms of competition.
The best part about Kenyan Drake is the doubters. Those in the community who believe Drake’s 2017 season was a mirage and that Frank Gore is going to resurrect his career in Miami have pushed Drake’s ADP all the way back into the 4th round as the 20th RB off the board in half-point leagues. Paying fringe RB2 value for an RB who just last season finished as an RB1 in 50% of his starts and only finished outside of the top 24 once, is an incredible value.