Kenyan Drake Fantasy Value Could Improve Following Poor Week 1 Performance

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 08:  Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins reacts against the Baltimore Ravens during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphin lost in epic fashion to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, getting lit up by sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson for five touchdowns in a 59-10 rout. Despite being down 42-3 at one point in the second quarter, the Dolphins' skill players couldn't even muster any garbage-time stats, with their only touchdown going to rookie wide receiver Preston Williams.

While Dolphins were clearly not a hot commodity in fantasy drafts heading into the season, the lone Miami player going in the mid-rounds was running back Kenyan Drake. After bursting onto the scene in late 2017, Drake did not live up to his 2018 preseason hype, but 53 receptions for 477 yards still made him a PPR asset. Drake added 535 rushing yards and scored nine total touchdowns last season. That left room for optimism as he assumed a lead-back role in 2019.

Drake was a fantasy dud in Week 1, however, rushing four times for 12 yards and adding two catches for another 15 yards. Simply put, the Dolphins were a total dumpster fire against the Ravens, mustering just 211 yards of offense, while the defense coughed up an obscene 644 scrimmage yards to Baltimore.

While the Dolphins will continue to struggle on both sides of the ball, and may make a legit run at 0-16, it's safe to say thing can't get any worse than they were in Week 1. Next up on the schedule is another potential home blowout in Week 2 against the reigning champion new England Patriots, who are coming off a 33-3 shellacking of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for Drake, despite the total ineptness of Miami's offense in Week 1, he could still offer solid value going forward. With the Dolphins likely trailing in almost every game this season, they will constantly be playing in catch-up mode. Drake, as the team's top receiving back, should see a lot of targets this season and can be expected to put up better receiving lines than the two for 15 he managed against Baltimore.

More than just his passing down work, there is still upside for Drake as a pure rusher this season, despite the heavy forecast for negative game scripts. Kalen Ballage was dreadful against the Ravens, managing -1 yards on five carries. Drake has a career yards per carry mark of 4.7, and has made great strides as a blocker in what is now his fourth NFL season. Drake has all the makings of a workhorse back, despite the offense he plays in.

So with the Pats coming to town in Week 2, the hope is that the Dolphins feed the ball to their best player, no matter what the game flow dictates. In his home game against New England last season, Drake managed 14.9 PPR points in a wild 34-33 win.

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