Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Jason Wood

Kenyan Drake Player Spotlight

Recommended Posts

Shark Pool! We're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

After a hiatus, we're bringing the Player Spotlight threads back to the Shark Pool. For those who are new around here, the Player Spotlights are a main feature of our preseason on the site. They're in-depth looks at key players, including pros and cons, and our staff projections. For years, we also included the best commentary from the Shark Pool. A few years ago, activity in the Pool died down and commentary waned. But, we have confidence in a resurgence. 

So here's the deal. Discuss your thoughts about the player in question. We'll pick the best comments from the bunch and use them (and give you credit) in the published articles.

Thanks!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kenyan Drake, RB, Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins were reluctant to hand Drake a full workload, but Jay Ajayi wore out his welcome and the Dolphins were left with no choice but to use the former Alabama Crimson Tide runner in a feature role. He flourished late in the season and proved he could handle 20+ touches. Yet, head coach Adam Gase is a tough nut to crack and we're left wondering if Drake will be relegated to a committee role this year; sharing touches with veteran Frank Gore and rookie K. Ballege. What do you think? Will the Dolphins give Drake an opportunity to be a 3-down workhorse? In today's fantasy realm, does Drake need more than 15 touches per game to be a top-25 back? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he was a good sell high in dynasty leagues.  Gore probably only has one more year in him but Ballage has some talent too and that doesn't bode well for Drake long term.  I get the feeling that Drake will always be looking over his shoulders.   One thing in Drake's favor after Gore is gone, is that Ballage underachieved in college, so he has plenty enough risk.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, JohnnyU said:

I think he was a good sell high in dynasty leagues.  Gore probably only has one more year in him but Ballage has some talent too and that doesn't bode well for Drake long term.  I get the feeling that Drake will always be looking over his shoulders.   One thing in Drake's favor after Gore is gone, is that Ballage underachieved in college, so he has plenty enough risk.  

I agree he was/is a sell high. I recall reading a bunch of scouting reports on him as a rookie to see if he was a viable option if Ajayi's knee crapped out, but all of them seemed to deem him nothing more than a 3rd down back. It was kind of surprising since he's 6'1" and had pretty good combine times (although it should be noted he's got a very low BMI - not great for durability). So I might've fallen victim to first impressions, but I just don't expect him to thrive and/or survive as a 250+ carry guy. 

But what he does have going for him is that his only competition is a 35-year old Frank Gore and a guy I view very similarly to Drake himself (tall, good hands, questionable vision) - Kalen Ballage. To his credit, Drake did perform quite well when he got a shot at the end of the season. Sometimes this is written off as fresh legs. Not sure if that is fair or not. Either way, 91 carries for 444 yards over the last 5 games is pretty impressive. Especially considering the state of the Miami offense. But I still fall on the "sell high" side of the fence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It’s not a good sign for a player’s valuation when the team keeps looking for guys to replace him with.  I expect committee usage for Drake, but he could land a featured role with his next contract.  Long-term hold if I own him, but not actively looking to acquire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In his final 9 games, Drake showed some pretty intriguing game-breaking ability with 8 30+ gains.  And it's always touchy if you say 'but, if you take those away...'

His consistency to produce positive plays though is going to be a storyline to follow with Drake this year and I think the acquisition of Frank Gore shows that the Dolphins were looking to secure a chain-moving presence.  Couple that with the drafting of Kalen Ballenge and there are a lot of directions this backfield can go. 

Can Drake continue on with his one big play/game pace he set during the second half of 2017?  While the Dolphins only went 2-7 during that 9 game stretch, the two games they won were Drake's best by a significant margin.  Having Tannehill back I think is an underrated aspect of Drake's prospects.  And without the steady and reliable presence of Jarvis Landry in the passing game, the Dolphins could be more focused on establishing the run in 2018 (last in NFL in rush attempts)

However, this is going to be a bad team.  MIA gave up 24.6 PPG and that was with Suh.  It's always sketchy to rely on RB's without clear bellcow roles on bad teams and even moreso when it's possible that scores could get out of hand.

So when taking Drake frequent but unpredictable big play ability along with muddled backfield and bad surrounding talent, this feels like a situation to avoid or let someone else take the chance on.  Drake could be moonshot good, but even at a reasonable early 4th round (RB20) ADP, this is a bad situation.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Arodin said:

It’s not a good sign for a player’s valuation when the team keeps looking for guys to replace him with.  I expect committee usage for Drake, but he could land a featured role with his next contract.  Long-term hold if I own him, but not actively looking to acquire.

I strongly disagree with this...who are they looking to replace him with?  Gore is at the end of his career and Ballage is a fourth round rookie who has some intriguing skills but was a big time underachiever in college...if anything I see their additions as a vote of confidence in Drake...the Dolphins were absolutely bringing in a few new backs and the fact it was not a FA like McKinnon or one of the upper end rookies bodes very well for Drake...he may never have a better opportunity to become a top dog than this season...this is his chance to show he can be a starting-level NFL RB...

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Boston said:

I strongly disagree with this...who are they looking to replace him with?  Gore is at the end of his career and Ballage is a fourth round rookie who has some intriguing skills but was a big time underachiever in college...if anything I see their additions as a vote of confidence in Drake...the Dolphins were absolutely bringing in a few new backs and the fact it was not a FA like McKinnon or one of the upper end rookies bodes very well for Drake...he may never have a better opportunity to become a top dog than this season...this is his chance to show he can be a starting-level NFL RB...

I agree with this. They brought in NO real competition for carries. Gore is solid, but he's a backup and Ballage is just a rookie, and not a highly drafted one. I think Drake takes the job and runs with it. His upside is undeniable, he just has to prove it over the course of the season. For those selling, what do you think Drake's value will be if he has a solid season? At his age a big season will skyrocket his value.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure where I fall on Drake.  The signing of Gore doesn't sway my opinion much.  He is a hometown guy that provides depth only at this stage.  Ballage seems like a guy they'll test to see if there's "anything there".  That said, if Drake doesn't knock it out of the park, I could see the Fins again drafting a RB.  Like others said it would appear that Drake could be a guy that's "always looking over his shoulder".  Whether that pushes him in a positive or negative way remains to be seen.  

I'd draft him in PPR redrafts as a RB2 if I feel super-confident about my RB1.  Not actively looking to add him in dynasty formats due to the uncertainty, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Jello_Biafra said:

Gore is solid, but he's a backup and Ballage is just a rookie, and not a highly drafted one.

I don't think "just a rookie" means much for a RB even in redraft leagues, definitely not for dynasty prospects. "Not a highly drafted one" is the more salient point, but Drake wasn't all that highly drafted, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

I don't think "just a rookie" means much for a RB even in redraft leagues, definitely not for dynasty prospects. "Not a highly drafted one" is the more salient point, but Drake wasn't all that highly drafted, either.

No, but he played in the NFL and was successful. Once that happens, draft position goes out the window. Same can be said of Ballage, except the playing in the NFL part.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Jello_Biafra said:

No, but he played in the NFL and was successful. Once that happens, draft position goes out the window. Same can be said of Ballage, except the playing in the NFL part.

I totally agree that once a player has established himself in the NFL, draft position no longer matters. I'm not sure I'd put Drake in that category yet, though. He's got about a half a season under his belt as a starter. That's definitely better than nothing, but I'd still consider his draft position to some extent when evaluating his future prospects at this point. That is to say, if a first-rounder and a third-rounder both have very good half-seasons under their belts, I wouldn't be indifferent between them going forward: I'd still prefer the first-rounder. (But my preference wouldn't be as strong as if they were both entering their rookie seasons.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Maurile Tremblay said:

I totally agree that once a player has established himself in the NFL, draft position no longer matters. I'm not sure I'd put Drake in that category yet, though. He's got about a half a season under his belt as a starter. That's definitely better than nothing, but I'd still consider his draft position to some extent when evaluating his future prospects at this point. That is to say, if a first-rounder and a third-rounder both have very good half-seasons under their belts, I wouldn't be indifferent between them going forward: I'd still prefer the first-rounder. (But my preference wouldn't be as strong as if they were both entering their rookie seasons.)

I agree with everything you're saying. The fact does remain that Miami didn't bring in any strong competition, and buying Drake just makes more sense to me than selling. If you can get him fairly cheap, you may be getting a great player. Worst case is he stinks and they draft someone next year. I'm not sure you can evaluate his future prospects based on his draft position when they didn't bring a highly drafted RB in. His value at worst is up in the air, but at least it looks like he holds his own destiny and has a clear path to being the long term #1 in Miami. It's basically the same for a guy like McKinnon. He has one shot at keeping the job. If he tanks, SF will draft a RB. The major difference is, is that SF signed McKinnon, while Drake was drafted, so people do not have as much confidence in Drake. The question I ask is why?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For the past couple of years, Frank Gore has been expected to disappear but he has played very well on a poorly functioning Luck-less offense. Can he continue to carve a role so that with the rookie Kalen Ballage, we see a three-headed committee in Miami? Kenyan Drake does have competition.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If Damien Williams managed to keep a share of RBBC, I think it is engrained in the coaching staff to run one.  

That means Drake, Gore and Ballage all splitting carries unpredictably even if one is clearly the superior talent.  They’ve done it before...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Arodin said:

If Damien Williams managed to keep a share of RBBC, I think it is engrained in the coaching staff to run one.  

That means Drake, Gore and Ballage all splitting carries unpredictably even if one is clearly the superior talent.  They’ve done it before...

Damien Williams was sort of proven when they traded Ajayi, so naturally he played. Now that they've seen what Drake can do if given the full load, you don't think they're at least going to give him a chance to be the main guy? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adam Gase hasn't ventured too far from having one RB get the majority of carries.

I suspect that the volume work for Drake would continue. Gore is too old and too worn down to be effective as anything more than a relief RB at this point..5-7 carries/gm

at WORST Drake is a strong HOLD candidate, at best he has an outstanding shot at finishing as a top 10 RB - he showed a LOT to close out the 2017 season.

I would not sell if I owned him I'd hold and see what happens. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/12/2018 at 8:45 PM, bicycle_seat_sniffer said:

great value in re-draft this year....IMO....

Agreed. His ADP is hanging around the range of some rookies, and I'd rather take a chance on Drake in redraft.

I also like his attitude, he seems to be team-oriented and knows he still has to work hard for playing time instead of acting like he's owed the starting spot.

Watch Kenyan Drake Mentor Rookie RB Ballage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/06/2018 at 5:58 AM, JohnnyU said:

I think he was a good sell high in dynasty leagues.  Gore probably only has one more year in him but Ballage has some talent too and that doesn't bode well for Drake long term.  I get the feeling that Drake will always be looking over his shoulders.   One thing in Drake's favor after Gore is gone, is that Ballage underachieved in college, so he has plenty enough risk.  

Couldn't agree less about the guys they added. He has some of the worst backups in the league. No team goes without some backups and they didn't add any real threat, the job is just to lose. He doesn't have much value right now, I'd rather hold and take a shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be very shocked if Ballage was a threat. Gore could be, as he's always underrated, because he does all the little things coaches love, but if Drake sees fewer than 225 touches I'd be surprised. He should be the centerpiece of Miami's likely poor offense. He might also be a guy who racks up a lot of catches in garbage time.

I'll say 175-750-4 rushing and 55-400-2. There is upside from that, but I worry about Gore taking GL work, and the offense being underwhelming. I could live with Drake as a PPR RB2. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bullish on Drake..given Gase's propensity to stick with 1 RB the majority of the time ( no RBBC) this is one situation you'll want to get a piece of. there's an article on Gase, written a few years ago, saying he has given one guy upwards of 64% of the teams carries during his coaching tenure over the years, in different places..Drake was a beast late last season he might be something special in 2018.

we shall see, but I'd roll the dice on him over guys like Alex Collins, the GB RB's ( Jones/ Williams), Oaklands RB, etc.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 2016, Miami was a playoff team and had to deal with a sudden injury to Tannehill in 2017.  The return of Tannehill will stabilize this offense and bring some continuity.  The other running backs added to the roster do not concern me but what is concerning is that the bulk of the news coming out of Miami has been about the other backs added and not Drake but I am hopeful that will change as the Summer continues.  With Gase's propensity to lean on a primary back even in a modest RBBC setup, I believe Drake is in line for about 62% of the running back yards for Miami.

I project 215/945/7 and 41/330/1 for a Bird PPR ranking of RB16

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know much about Miami, Gase or Drake. I do know I thought he looked great, not good, at the end of the year. I do think it's possible the "fresh legs" narrative holds some water in the NFL, though. I acquired a couple shares for a good price this offseason so I'm eager to see if he will be worthwhile this year. Some people liked him coming out of Alabama. I don't have a lot of faith in the Miami offense, but I admittedly haven't followed them close. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really believe in Kenyan Drake as a feature RB for the Dolphins.

Drake was never a featured RB in college. He was more of an offensive weapon and most of the work was handled by Derrick Henry and others ahead of Drake in Alabama, when Drake was healthy. In my opinion Drake was over drafted by the Dolphins who made him a 3rd round pick in 2016. Listening to the coaches talk about Drake, they said he needs to learn how to be a pro, that there are tons of talented players in the NFL but only some of them become pros. That this is about stuff these players do to prepare for games and things they do with or without the ball in their hands.

The Dolphins are a mess of an organization. The limited success they have had as an offense was by entrusting Jay Ajayi with a full workload and riding him to the playoffs in 2016. Since then Adam Gase threw Jay Ajayi under the bus and traded him to the Eagles, where he played better than he was for Miami. Damien Williams split with Drake after the trade because he does better things without the football than Drake does, such as block, run routes, knowing the plays and the defense. Once Williams was injured in game Drake was the last man standing for the last 5 games of the 2017 season.

Drake put up some good numbers over this time frame for Miami but it is not something I consider sustainable over a full season at all. Jeremy Langford had similar success as a starter in 2015 under Gase with increased workload with Matt Forte injured in 2015. Some have compared Drakes skill set to Langford as a prospect.

The Dolphins added Frank Gore in free agency who is a pros pro and I fully expect Gore to be involved in the offense 2018 and I wouldn't be surprised if he is the Dolphins starter. Yes Frank Gore is ancient by RB standards but he is a pro.

The Dolphins have made other moves that I do not think will help their offense such as hiring former Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Logains who is not a good offensive coach, ask any Bears fan. They have also lost key pieces of their offensive line in center Pouncey although they did add Josh Sitton through free agency.

I basically see Kenyan Drake as fools gold whos ADP will increase going into the fall. I do not expect to have Drake on any of my teams and if I had him in dynasty formats I would sell. I don't think it is wise to invest in Miami's offense in general as I expect they will continue to be disappointing and that Adam Gase will be fired after this season if not during it (no idea who the Dolphins would replace him with as an interim coach).

Miami Dolphins offense

2017 995 plays 602 pass attempts 360 rushing attempts
2016 913 plays 477 pass attempts 406 rushing attempts
2015 977 plays 588 pass attempts 344 rushing attempts

3 year average 962 plays 556 pass attempts 370 rushing attempts

As you can see the Dolphins have been a below average offense in terms of plays run and they have been very low in rushing attempts except for in 2016 when they relied on Jay Ajayi and did not pass the ball very much. I actually am expecting Miami to throw more than the 3 year average and perhaps the 2016 stats should not be considered because Gase doesn't want to run the offense like this and they do not have the personnel to run their offense like this.

For 2018 I am expecting something like 960 offensive plays 586 pass attempts 374 rushing attempts.

With Ryan Tannehill 3 year average of 42 rushing attempts, and likely some WR runs this leaves 324 rushing attempts for the RB.

I think Frank Gore leads the Dolphins in rushing attempts with 50% of them, so 162 for him. Drake will get 40% of what is left, which is 130 rushing attempts.

Kenyon Drake is slightly below average in catch rate for a RB at 70% and a yards per reception of 7 which is also slightly below average.

2018 Kenyan Drake 130 rushing attempts 4.5 ypc  585 yards 55 targets 39 receptions 272 yards 4 TD 110 points in standard scoring leagues (Rb 33 using last 3 years average) 149 points in PPR leagues (RB 29 using last 3 years average)

Recent  ADP has Drake being selected at pick 60 the 25th RB selected.  Based on my projections he is being slightly over drafted. I expect Drakes ADP to rise over the next couple of months as 'experts' tout him as a value and he becomes less of one.

Edited by Biabreakable

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

The Dolphins have made other moves that I do not think will help their offense such as hiring former Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Logains who is not a good offensive coach, ask any Bears fan.

I think Frank Gore leads the Dolphins in rushing attempts with 50% of them

Correct on Loggains - from a Bears fan.

Yeah the FF community seems to be convinced Gore won't have much of a role. If you're right that kills Drake's value for sure.  I may actually sell, but I got him cheap enough so I kind of want to see what he does.  I don't feel like I spent much if it ends up being a swing and miss.  I don't have super high expectations and he is mostly depth for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, barackdhouse said:

Correct on Loggains - from a Bears fan.

Yeah the FF community seems to be convinced Gore won't have much of a role. If you're right that kills Drake's value for sure.  I may actually sell, but I got him cheap enough so I kind of want to see what he does.  I don't feel like I spent much if it ends up being a swing and miss.  I don't have super high expectations and he is mostly depth for me.

I could be wrong. Drake did put up some good numbers after Williams got hurt against Denver 141 yards and then New England 193 yards. Both wins for the Dolphins. Then in his 3rd game as the unquestioned starter against Buffalo he has another good game is a losing effort. He has 11 targets as a receiver in the Bills game catching 6 of them. In his 4th week he has an ok game 57 yards rushing on 13 carries but 3 targets 0 receptions in another loss. Then they play Buffalo again even though they just played the week before the KC game. He does well against them in another loss 90 yards and he caught all 3 of his targets in this game.

These are good starter numbers for fantasy.

However can Drake do that on a consistent basis over a full season?

I don't really think so. 

I am more thinking for redraft right now there are other directions I would rather go at that price point of 60. Which I anticipate the ADP will creep higher over the next month, so if you do want to sell you may just wait awhile and see if it does climb, then try to leverage the perception then if you can get 4th round type value for him, 

If you already have him no reason to not wait and see how it plays out I suppose. You might having a higher sell point then if he does have some good games early. Or you can just ride it out and see what happens.

I don't think the Dolphins are going to do very well this season and I am expecting a coaching change in 2019. So those are some bumps in the road to consider that could affect Drakes long term value.

I am basically avoiding all Dolphins players this season and for dynasty as well until this whole Gase/Tannehill experiment has run its course.

 

Edited by Biabreakable
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like Drake quite a bit but worry he’ll be too expensive for my taste. As for the post above about Gore getting more carries, the only way Miami gives Gore more carries than Drake on purpose is if they’re tanking for some reason. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.