Kenyan Drake's career had been relatively disappointing up until Halloween night of 2019. We all remember it, when Drake exploded in his first game as a Cardinal for 150 yards and a TD vs the 49ers. This move to the Cardinals was exactly what he needed. A change of scenery and an escape from Adam Gase (I'm aware Gase wasn't there in 2019). Heading into 2020 Drake is one of the most polarizing fantasy football players to analyze. I personally am in the group that is extremely high on him but I understand the concerns that do come along with Drake. So let's get right into this breakdown.
The biggest argument you will hear to criticize Drake is that he has never produced at a high level for a full season. I understand that however I completely blame that on Adam Gase. How many guys have we seen succeed when Gase left/fail when Gase came to their team.
In Drake's first 3 years in Miami he averaged 4.9 YPC and yet was never given more than 133 carries. Gase just isn't good when it comes to efficiently using his offensive weapons. Do you know who is? Kliff Kingsbury.
Another argument I hear condemning Drake is that the Cardinals "run an air raid offense and they will constantly be in bad game scripts". That will have no affect on Drake's production.
When Drake came to Arizona he completely changed that offensive scheme. Check this stat out:
Prior to the signing Murray ranked 6th in the NFL in pass attempts per game. This is a tremendous drop off. The Cardinals went 2-6 in this span and yet they were still running the ball at an extremely high rate. In fact, from weeks 15-17 they ranked 6th in rush attempts per game with 30.
The Cardinals offensive line has been notoriously bad over the past 2 years. However when it comes to run blocking they are top tier. In 2019 the Cardinals offensive line ranked 4th in run blocking efficiency on Kenyan Drake's rushing attempts.
Do I think Kenyan Drake is an extremely talented RB? No, it's the situation that he is in that makes him so intriguing.
We know how good Drake was once he got to Arizona. But I feel that his production still gets a little undervalued. From weeks 9-17 he was the RB4 averaging 19.9 PPG. Elite numbers and yes, I understand that a lot of that came in part to his 4 TD game vs the Browns. If you take those 4 TD away he is still top 10 in points over that span.
Something that even the Drake truthers don't seem to acknowledge enough is his pass catching production. Over the past 3 seasons Drake has averaged 45 receptions per year. Proving to be a capable receiver. His 16 game pace from his time in Arizona would have put him at:
Top 10 in both categories
Exactly the type of passing volume you need from an RB1. Now let's take a look at his 16 game statistical pace from his time spent in Arizona last year:
Those are some solid numbers and with this offense only getting better I see them either staying similar or improving.
My Rank: RB7
1300 rush yards
385 receiving yards
With Drake's current ADP being the 2.01 it does make Drake a risky investment. However, I am all for it. There aren't many RBs with his upside and at worst you have a starting RB in a great offense. I currently have him as my RB7 and he is currently going off the board as my RB9. I would feel pretty confident with him as my RB1 if you are drafting on the turn. Grab Drake + a Julio/Godwin and you are looking very good for your 2020 season. In conclusion, drafting Drake at his current ADP will come with risk. But the upside is like no other. I see a world where he finishes outside of the top 10-12, however I also see a world where he cracks the top 3. In fantasy football you play to win, so why not draft a guy who has the upside of taking your team to the promised land.