Kalen Ballage Fantasy Outlook Following Kenyan Drake Injury

Dan Israeli
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots
Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots / Jim Rogash/Getty Images
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After Kenyan Drake was spotted in a walking boot earlier this week, it was reported that the Miami Dolphins' running back suffered a right foot injury in practice. Drake could now be out for the remainder of the preseason, which means Kalen Ballage would likely be Miami's current starting running back heading into Week 1 of the 2019 regular season.

Prior to Drake's injury, it was already looking like a split backfield in Miami, as the three-year pro out of Alabama has failed to grab hold of the lead RB job. Now Ballage, a fairly polarizing player in fantasy circles, will have the chance to seize the starting role, which he could have all to himself if Drake's injury lingers into the regular season.

Ballage was a fourth-round pick out of Arizona State in last year's draft, and he possesses imposing size for a running back with a 6-foot-2 frame and weighing in at 231 pounds. He got only 36 carries during his rookie season, which he turned into 191 rushing yards and one score. While he posted an impressive 5.3 yards per carry, the stat was inflated by a 75-yard TD run in Week 15.

Outside of that impressive run, Ballage was not much of a factor, but the sample size is likely too small to judge him. At Arizona State, he played in a committee system for four years, but did run a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine, which is even more impressive for a player of his stature.

Ballage is currently the RB41 by average draft position (ADP) and the 109th pick overall, according to FantasyPros.com. His draft stock could surge if Drake remains sidelined, but the injury is not considered to be serious. Drake may only miss a week or two of the regular season, if he misses any time at all.

For those who believe in Ballage, his ADP makes a lot of sense right now, even if he is bumped up a few rounds once the Drake injury news factors into ADP. Having said that, Ballage is still most likely ticketed for a committee role in one of the NFL's worst offenses, capping his upside for the majority of the 2019 season.


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