The Dolphins have traded star running back Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for a fourth-round pick. This opens up a new starting running back opportunity, and fantasy owners are scrambling to know what Dolphins running back to pick up given the scarcity at the position.
While it will likely take a game or two to fully play out, Kenyan Drake is the favorite to win the job. Damien Williams is expected to be in the mix as well, but the Dolphins did not use a relatively high 2016 draft pick on Drake not to give him every opportunity to win the job.
It is important to note Damien Williams is listed second behind Ajayi on the Dolphins current depth chart. Kenyan Drake is listed third with Senorise Perry in fourth. Williams above Drake likely has a lot do with the role Williams played as a backup, but I do not expect that to limit Drake’s opportunity.
While nothing is guaranteed until we see how the Dolphins divide the carries, I’d make Drake a priority in my waiver claims. Keep in mind Ajayi struggled behind a suspect Dolphins offensive line, so the ceiling for any Dolphins running back is not great. Drake could have more of an opportunity to thrive given his elite-level speed. Drake ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard-dash at the NFL Combine, and plays even quicker than his time reflects.
ESPN’s Mike Clay notes he expects both running backs to be active, but Drake to move into the starting role.
Drake has been used sparingly in Miami so far this season. Prior to the trade, Drake had 10 carries for 15 yards. During his rookie season, Drake had 33 carries for 179 yards along with nine receptions for 46 yards.
Despite being higher on the depth chart, Williams usage has not been much higher. Williams has 12 carries for 32 yards this season in addition to eight receptions for 50 yards.
As Drake displayed at Alabama, he has the ability to be involved in both the run and pass game. In his four college football seasons, Drake rushed for 1,495 yards and had 570 receiving yards. Drake finished with 22 total touchdowns.
Keep in mind Drake played behind a litany of great running backs at Alabama including Derrick Henry, and his numbers reflect his limited workload. Drake was used more as a change-of-pace back with the Crimson Tide.
Here’s a look at some of Drake’s best highlights from his time at Alabama.