Next up in our Dynasty Outlook series; Kenyan Drake 2020 Dynasty Outlook . In Dynasty, there are certain players that tend to hold more uncertainty, or are more divisive than others. The Dynasty Outlook series takes a deeper dive into those players that the RotoHeat community noted as the guys they are most interested in hearing about. Engage with 1,300+ passionate dynasty players and let the RotoHeat content team know what topics YOU want to hear about by visiting our RotoHeat Facebook page.
Kenyan Drake 2020 Dynasty Outlook
The Miami Dolphins selected Alabama RB Kenyan Drake in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft with the 73rd overall pick. He was the 3rd running back selected, behind Ezekiel Elliot and his college teammate Derrick Henry. In 4 seasons at Alabama, Drake totaled 2,065 yards and 22 touchdowns on 279 touches. Drake played behind Eddie Lacy, T.J. Yeldon, and Derrick Henry in his time at Alabama, never getting an opportunity for consistent work. This was a sign of what was to come in his professional career.
In Drake’s 4 years in Miami, he never managed to grab hold of the starting running back role regardless of his coaching staff. He totaled 333 carries for 1,532 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground and an additional 116 receptions for 936 yards and 6 touchdowns. His largest number of touches in a season was 173 in 2018. Drake appeared in 54 games as a Dolphin and was listed as a starter in only 16 of them. In those 54 games, he averaged 8.7 touches, 46 total yards, 2.2 receptions and .3 TDs a game. 8.6 PPR points per game is hardly worth warrantying much excitement, as 138 PPR points most seasons is around RB40.
During those Dolphin years, Drake split time with Jay Ajayi, Damien Williams, Frank Gore, Kalen Ballage, and Mark Walton. This is not exactly a murder’s row of backs. Granted Ajayi had a RB11 season in 2016, and Frank Gore is a future hall of fame running back, but it is still very confusing and frustrating that Drake didn’t see more work.
His head coach from 2016-2018, Adam Gase, certainly didn’t help. The Dolphins in those three seasons ranked 32nd, 22nd, and 32nd in total offensive plays ran. In 2019 with new head coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins jumped up to 13th. The increase of plays with the new staff didn’t translate to increased workload for Drake, however. In 6 games in a Dolphins uniform in 2019, Drake saw 69 total touches.
When we look at the potential of Kenyan Drake with a significant workload, then it gets much more exciting. In 2017, after the trade of Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles and an injury to Damien Williams, Drake saw bell cow like work. From weeks 12-16 Drake averaged 21 touches, 108 total yards, 3.5 catches and he scored twice. He put up 88.1 PPR points and was RB9 in that span.
Fast forward to 2019. On October 28, 2019, Drake was traded to the Arizona Cardinals for a conditional sixth-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. In 8 games with the Cardinals, Drake rushed for 643 yards on 123 carries, added 28 receptions for 171 yards and scored a total of 8 touchdowns. In those 8 games, Drake averaged 18.8 touches a game, recorded 159.4 PPR points and was RB4.
As we approach the 2020 NFL draft, Kenyan Drake sits atop of the Cardinals depth chart. The Cardinals placed the transition tag on Drake and he signed the tender for one-year, $8.483 million. GM Steve Keim somehow managed to turn David Johnson into DeAndre Hopkins, and as a result Drake leads a trio that includes Chase Edmonds, and DJ Foster. All signs seem to indicate that Drake is finally going to receive the touches his dynasty managers have been waiting for.
I’m not sold on that being case, however. Recently Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said he would “like to have three” running backs to deploy during the regular season. Now this could be seen as coach speak or he could mean it. I tend to lean to the latter. I expect the Cardinals to draft a running back this weekend, possibly as early as pick 72. I also expect his touches to be managed more in line with his career average than what we saw towards the end of 2019.
When Drake arrived, David Johnson and Chase Edmonds were injured, as a result he saw the bulk of the work. His debut came in Week 9 and Drake turned 19 carries into 162 total yards and a touchdown against the league’s No. 6 rush defense (San Francisco). His next four games were mediocre. He averaged 60 total yards on 16.8 touches per game and didn’t find the endzone. Johnson was active for those four weeks (4.3 touches per game).
In the final three games, Drake exploded, racking up 413 yards and seven touchdowns against the Browns, Seahawks and Rams. I expect Drake to be the main man in Arizona, but I do not believe he is a 18+ touch a game kind of back. Drake will have a good season, and I would expect him to land in the mid RB2 range when all is said and done on 2020.
Kenyan Drake Dynasty Outlook – Beyond 2020
One area that may make my previous statement look foolish is that Drake is currently only signed through the end of 2020. If that holds true, the Cards may simply just run Drake into the ground and allow him to walk at seasons end. If that is the case, he deserves an upgrade in 2020 and a downgrade going forward. Regardless, his pass catching abilities alone should keep him relevant
Drake will be 27 entering the 2021 season. As mentioned, his workload has been minimal and he should have more left than your typical 27 year old running back. I like Kenyan Drake more in the coming years if he signs an extension in Arizona vs hitting the street at seasons end.
Drake entered the league in 2016 and his start-up ADP was 160. After a non-existent rookie season, it fell to 209 in 2017. After catching fire late that season, he entered 2018 at #63. He dipped again entering 2019 to #87 and has rebounded to #53 entering this season.
I currently have Kenyan Drake ranked 44th overall and as my RB17. If you can buy Drake at his current ADP I would recommend it.