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Fantasy football players you're drafting too early: Kenyan Drake

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So you're about to have your fantasy draft. Or you're thinking about doing a fantasy draft. If you already had your draft, sorry 'bout your luck. You shoulda hit me up sooner to do this. Not that I would have ... but at least you would've asked. And that would have been nice. Sorry, where was I?

Right ... drafts. Anyway, when you're prepping for your upcoming leagues, there are probably more than a few players that you're considering adding to your board. I'm here to tell you that you might be doing it wrong. That's okay, no judgment. We've all been there. Allow me to offer some constructive criticism. Last week, I wrote about five undervalued players. This week, I'm serving up a few players that you're probably too high on. They might not kill your chances of winning a league but they might not help as much as you'd like. I'm just here to help.

Let's get started.

ADPs taken from Fantasy Football Calculator.


Kenyan Drake (RB28; ADP 6.01)


Remember that time the Miami Dolphins had a running back that fantasy managers swore could be the next big thing if only he would get more touches? Every offseason, this player would be the subject of glowing, hopeful profiles proclaiming that this is finally the year that you can expect quality production from this player. But when the season finally played out, what you got was a giant mountain of meh. It wasn't bad just not what you were hoping for. Like when you got shirsey of your favorite player for Christmas. It wasn't the authentic replica jersey you were hoping for but it was okay.

Anyway, you remember that running back? You might be thinking about Lamar Miller, which is a good guess. But I'm talking about Kenyan Drake.

Two seasons ago, Adam Gase and Jay Ajayi realized that maybe they didn't want to be bestest friends anymore. That resulted in Ajayi being traded away to the Philadelphia Eagles and opening the door for Drake and Damien Williams to get more touches. Drake led the way, averaging 18 carries for 88 yards over the final five games of 2017. That was enough to spawn excitement about what was to come.

Flash forward to 2018. The Drake hype was growing. Damien Williams was gone. Forget that the team spent a fourth-round pick on raw speedster Kalen Ballage. Or that Miami had brought in 35-year-old Frank Gore in what many figured would be his last stop before retirement. (Spoiler alert: Frank Gore will never die.) This was Drake's big opportunity.

Until it wasn't.

Drake never earned the RB1 role, starting just seven games while finishing with fewer carries and yards than the year before. Fortunately, his ability to catch the ball (53 rec, 477 yards, 5 rec TDs) salvaged his fantasy season. But by this point, it was like Drake was auditioning for a starring role in He's Just Not That Into You 2 with Adam Gase.

Flash forward to 2019. Gase is in New York. Brian Flores is now the head coach with a coaching staff that is suggesting the team could have different looks from week-to-week. That's the kind of creativity that can potentially frustrate opponents. It can also frustrate fantasy managers, who crave some level of consistency. It also seems less-than-ideal for a player entering a contract year while being painfully aware of how NFL owners currently view his position.

If that wasn't enough ... remember that Ballage guy I mentioned earlier? Yeah, well he's getting some run this summer.

Yes, preseason depth charts are generally less solid than warm pudding but it speaks to yet another coaching staff that seems reluctant to commit to Drake. That's especially disconcerting for an offense that projects to be one of the league's worst. Miss me with the "but ... Fitzmagic!" talk. We know who he is and what that generally means for the majority of a season.

Yet somehow, Drake is still being drafted ahead of Tevin Coleman, Austin Ekeler, and Miles Sanders. All three might be part of RBBCs but they're doing it in better offenses on teams projected to win more than Miami. Oh ... and in the irony of ironies, he's going slightly ahead of Lamar Miller, who (as I type this) has little real competition for touches in the Houston backfield.

Look, I know you want Drake to turn into that bargain RB2 stud you hope he can be. The talent is there. It's hard to deny. But sometimes, that gift you're looking for just never turns out to be what you really wanted.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy analyst for NFL.com and a man who is going to eventually get around to clearing out his email inbox. Right after he empties his voicemail box. Be patient. Send him your tales of avoiding communication or fantasy questions on Twitter @MarcasG.

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