Making The Case For Kenyan Drake As a Top-5 (Top-3?) RB in 2020
by David J. Gautieri
Founder of Guru Fantasy World
Read the full article at https://gurufantasyworld.blogspot.com/2020/05/making-case-for-kenyan-drake-as-top-5.html
The case can be made for Kenyan Drake as not just a top-5 RB in 2020, but as a top-3 RB. He’s got every factor working in his favor.
*Better w/ BAMA & MIA Than You Think
*Poor Defense Let's start with last year.
Kenyan Drake absolutely EXPLODED in Arizona to finish out 2019.
He was so hot he might have burst into flames if he stepped outside on a hot day in the Arizona desert... Terrible jokes aside…
His 16-game pace with AZ:
246/1286/16 Rushing 56/342/0 Receiving In Drake’s 8 games with the team, he was RB3, behind only CMC & Derrick Henry.
His 19.9 fantasy PPG would have ranked behind only CMC & Dalvin on the year.
He averaged 18.8 touches per-game (302 touch pace) & 5.2 YPC.
His 16-game pace of 1,286 rushing yards would have ranked 5th in the NFL. & his 16-game pace of 56 receptions would have ranked 9th among RBs. That pace would have made him just the 5th RB last season (along with CMC, Zeke, Fournette, & Cook) to have at least 1,100 rushing yards & 50+ receptions…
If you’re worried about why it took so long for this explosion to happen, don’t be. It was only a matter of time. Drake has been criminally hindered by a set of irregularly poor circumstances throughout his entire collegiate & professional career. ------------------------------------------
Redacted. Read the full article at https://gurufantasyworld.blogspot.com/2020/05/making-case-for-kenyan-drake-as-top-5.html
------------------------------------------ Drake went absolutely bazonkas in his first game with AZ – on a short week against SF at that! He finished his first game with 15 carries for 110 yards, a TD, a successful 2-point conversion, & another 4 catches for 52 yards … And from that point forward, Kliff Kingsbury seemed to realize what nobody in Miami ever seemed to grasp – maybe you should feed this guy the friggin ball.
Drake was given at least 10 carries in every single game as a Cardinal (including two games with 20+ carries) & he had at least 3 receptions in 6 out of 8 games. Mind you, this was while coming over from a midseason trade & learning the playbook on the fly. Not only did Drake keep Chase Edmonds on the sidelines, but he kept David Johnson pretty much entirely off the field as well. It was mentioned at the top, but deserves mentioning again: his 16-game pace would have made him just 1 of 5 RB’s (!!) last year to have over 1,100 rushing yards & 50+ receptions.
Some may want to chalk up that success with the Cardinals as a “fluke” or “small sample size”, but all of the evidence suggests otherwise:
*Efficiency Was Always Present, Volume Wasn’t
It’s all there. All of it.
We already talked about the incredible efficiency at Bama & in Miami.
His combine performance only backs up the hype.
Drake’s 34.5” vertical & 123” broad jump are solid, but where Drake really stood out was in the 40 & shuttle drills.
His 4.45 40 puts him in the 91st percentile for RB’s.
His 4.21 shuttle was better than both CMC’s (4.22) & Saquon Barkley’s (4.24).
It’s clear on tape that Drake is fast, agile, and when he plants his foot & cuts, he can really get-up-and-go.
His combine numbers back that up.
Drake’s speed & agility make him especially dangerous as a receiving threat & a perfect fit for a Kliff Kingsbury offense that wants to air the ball out.
Drake’s shown on multiple occasions that he has 50+ catch upside & he had a 16-game pace of 56 receptions with the Cardinals last year.
This is particularly important when considering the fact that Derrick Henry was the only top-5 fantasy back last year to finish the season with less than 49 receptions.
Drake’s one of the few backs in the league who can heavily produce in both facets of the game.
& Speaking of scheme fit. How great of a scheme is it for RB’s? Pretty. Friggin. Great… We already talked about how much Kingsbury used Drake in the receiving game, now let’s talk about the running game.
Arizona was No. 1 (!!) in the NFL with 2.55 yards before contact per rushing attempt.
Number friggin 1…
With Drake, the mesh was even better. Drake averaged an ABSURD 3.2 yards BEFORE contact in his 8 games. Is there some regression due there? Absolutely.
Regardless, we’re talking about a top-5 unit/scheme in terms of creating yardage before contact.
Arizona returns 4 starters on the offensive line (minus AQ Shipley) & drafted tackle Josh Jones in Round 3.
It’s even more impressive that Drake was able to find & create so much space last year, despite defenses having only him to focus on… other than old man Fitz & 2nd year Christian Kirk. Adding DeAndre Hopkins should keep safeties out of the box & allow Drake to run even more freely this year. If the addition puts a dent in Drake’s target total, it shouldn’t be by much. At worst, Drake will be option 1B to Hopkins’ 1A, in an offense that looks like it’ll take steps forward as a whole.
Hop will get his, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense of Drake.
In fact, it might even help.
Speaking of competition for touches – there really is none.
In Drake’s 8 games with AZ, the RB touch distribution was:
Drake: 151 touches (85%)
DJ: 24 touches (13.5%)
Edmonds: 2 touches (1.5%)
If Drake can command 85% of the RB touches in an offense with David Johnson & Chase Edmonds, we should peg his floor at 80% this year in an offense that just traded DJ & only brought in Eno Benjamin as a 7th round pick.
That’s workhorse status.
By now, you’re probably wondering: “Is this article done yet?” Nope! Not quite… Let’s talk about the Arizona defense!
The Arizona defense allowed the 5th most points in the NFL last season. Only the Dolphins, Panthers, Giants, & Bucs allowed more points per-game. They added Isaiah Simmons in the draft, but that was their only real addition. Simple math is: Bad Defense = Offense Needs to Score = Lots of Fantasy Fun ...
Make of his long-term value what you will, but all signs point to a MASSIVE 2020 for Kenyan Drake.
& there very easily could be a whole lot of meat left on that bone if Drake balls out in 2020 & gets an extension from the Cardinals.
Yes, I’ve heard, RB’s die the moment they turn 26, but Drake just turned 26 in January & has 4 full seasons left before he even goes into his age-30 season. He has less combined touches in 4 years at Bama + 4 years in the NFL (879) than Jonathan Taylor has had the last 3 at Wisconsin (968).
There’s plenty of tread left on his tires & he’s in arguably the best situation for any RB in the entire NFL… There is absolutely no reason Kenyan Drake can’t finish as a top-3 RB in 2020.