The Arizona Cardinals have made some big moves over the offseason, adding DeAndre Hopkins, but the success of Kenyan Drake pushed that into gear. Arizona ended up franchise tagging Drake over the offseason, and this sent David Johnson out of town. Drake took over late in the year as a full-time guy, after working his way into the rotation after being traded from Miami. Drake is extremely talented, and it is unfortunate that this opportunity is happening so late in his career. Drake ended up finishing as a top 20 back in PPR leagues last season and that was with playing the early part of the season in Miami and not being a full-time guy until late in the year. 2020 could be a big year for Drake and the Cardinals offense overall.
|RUSH YDS||RUSH TD||REC||REC YDS||REC TD||FANTASY POINTS||FPPG|
In 2019, Kenyan Drake did not top 50 rushing yards in the first six games of the season. He played all of those with Miami. In his first game with Arizona, he broke out for a 15-110-1 line against the 49ers. He finished the season with 643 rushing yards for Arizona in eight games, and also had eight touchdowns. He averaged 5.2 yards per attempt, and averaged 80 rushing yards per game. However there were some down games against tough defenses. Through the air he saw 35 targets in eight games, catching 28 of them. I am not expecting a huge passing season for him in 2020, but he should sit around 60 targets.
|RUSH YDS||RUSH TD||REC||REC YDS||REC TD||FANTASY POINTS||FPPG|
Kenyan Drake projects for over 1,000 yards this season and has a modest seven touchdown projection just on the ground. He certainly can hit the double digit touchdown mark when you calculate receiving touchdowns into it. This offense is going to produce a lot of big numbers, and Drake is going to have a slight role in the pass offense, but his efficiency should help if the volume isn’t always there. A full year in this offense, Drake projects for big things.
How Kliff Kingsbury used Kenyan Drake last year:
* 2nd among RBs in carries from shotgun (79%) for 5.5 YPC (5th-best)
* Faced 8+ men in box on just 8% of carries (3rd-lowest rate)
* 10th among RBs in off-tackle rushes (52%) for 5.6 YPC (5th-best)
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) March 23, 2020
ADP & Auction Value
ADP: Late Second Round
Auction Price: $31
The ADP and auction value is on the rise for Drake this season, and deservingly so. He is going to be drafted as a potential RB1 depending on how drafts shake up, and he is now in a spot to deliver. The only difference will be how others view him, because some will be drafting him earlier in comparison to his average draft spot at the moment. Overall if you draft a wide receiver first round and turn to Drake for your RB1 spot, this is not a bad way to start drafts.
We have yet to see a full workload out of Kenyan Drake in his career, despite him averaging 4.8 yards per carry in 62 career games. The efficiency combined with the new volume he will have on a steady basis for 16 games gives him a rock solid floor. Drake should have a base of 1,000 all-purpose yards, and find himself in the 7-8 touchdown range for a floor season.
Looking at Drake’s ceiling, a lot does need to go his way to really have a monster year. This more comes to having a few extra games where Drake can be a focal point of the offense because the Cardinals are leading. However, the upside for Drake really comes in the touchdown department, as he crushed there last season while in Arizona. It wouldn’t be of any sort of surprise to see him around the 12-13 touchdown range in addition to over 1,000 yards on the ground and a couple hundred through the air.
Arizona Cardinals Offense
One of the big advantages for this offense is that they played at a top five pace last season. This is big for everyone involved, because there could be a lot of mouths to feed in fantasy, and with the addition of Hopkins and trying to have everyone involved, it helps out. Arizona averaged 22.6 points per game, and have positive regression coming their way because they moved the ball, but struggled to finish drives. In Murray’s second year and the addition of Hopkins, that should help. Arizona averaged five yards per rush last season and had over one rushing touchdown a game. This is going to be a great spot for Drake to keep up that fantasy production we saw last season.
Strength Of Schedule
Looking within the division, the Cardinals will face some decent defense, which is usually the case as this has been a strong defensive division over the last decade. Seattle struggled quite a bit against opposing running backs last season, and there were also some weaknesses with the 49ers defense against quicker backs. We actually saw Drake have success against the 49ers. Seattle ranked 26th against the run last season. However this is a new season. This offense should be terrific for fantasy where I am not worrying too much about the schedule. Drake does have a couple of great spots on the schedule though.
Arizona will have some strong out of division matchups where Drake can thrive in. Carolina and Miami are on the schedule for the Cardinals, both ranked inside the bottom eight against the run last season. Miami’s run defense should struggle again this year, and Carolina’s overall defense is going to be one to target. The Redskins will be a team where Drake can thrive against as well. They ranked 24th against the run last season, and offseason adjustments do not point towards a move in the right direction. Detroit is another one that will be on the plus side for a matchup. Arizona will play both New York teams this year, in addition to the Patriots and Cowboys. These are tougher spots for Drake in terms of a matchup, but game script could be in his favor for the New York meetings.
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