What to do with Kenyan Drake?
The 2020 season has indeed been the curious case of Kenyan Drake. He is the RB35 through the first four games, averaging 9.6 fantasy points per game. Meanwhile, “backup” running back Chase Edmonds is the RB36.
The margin between the two players is slim because Edmonds is being used so much more in the passing game — his 17 targets are more than triple Drake’s five on the year.
Drake is also losing out on red-zone touchdowns to both Edmonds and quarterback Kyler Murray. Those two have combined for 14 touches inside the 20-yard line, which they have converted into four touchdowns.
Drake has just 12 carries inside the 20-yard line, which ranks outside the top-12 at the running back position. He also has just two carries inside the 5-yard line, which ranks outside the top-24 among running backs.
My best advice to any Drake owner is to try and trade him. I don’t like to sell low, but with rumors surfacing that Edmonds’ role could be on the uptick, Drake’s value might drop even further.
Drake’s remaining strength of schedule is also pretty favorable moving forward, so that could be used as a potential selling point. His next two opponents are the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys who rank bottom-seven in rushing yards allowed to running backs this season. The schedule might come off as a reason to keep Drake, but that won’t matter as much if he is seeing fewer opportunities.
You also have to wonder whether or not Drake is still feeling any effects from the foot injury that popped up before the season. From the naked eye, he looks like he lacks explosiveness when trying to get to the edge. It doesn’t help that he is running behind PFF’s 31st-graded (48.3) run-blocking unit.
The Cardinals are also hurting tremendously from the loss of tight end Maxx Williams, who was PFF’s highest-graded blocker in 2019. Tight ends played a huge role in the Cardinals’ success running the ball in 2019.
Williams is expected to return after the team’s bye week in Week 8, but by that time Drake’s value might bottom out. Let’s also not forget that this coaching staff completely jettisoned running back David Johnson one year ago after he failed to live up to expectations.
I’d prefer to package Drake in part of a trade rather than move him straight-up because his value alone will limit what you can get back. Here are some examples of trades, per Pollsports.com, I would make with Drake involved to give you an idea of his market value.
- David Johnson and Kenny Golladay for Kenyan Drake and Michael Thomas
- Kenyan Drake for Justin Jefferson
- David Johnson for Kenyan Drake
- David Johnson and Robert Woods for Kenyan Drake and Terry McLaurin
- Le’Veon Bell for Kenyan Drake
- Darrell Henderson for Kenyan Drake
Is Robby Anderson an every-week start at this point?