When Kenyan Drake was shipped off to Arizona prior to the trade deadline, it seemed like the Miami Dolphins starting running back gig was Mark Walton’s to take. However, after two mediocre performances without Drake to eat into his touches, Walton was then hit with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL conduct and substance abuse policy.
Without Walton in his way, Kalen Ballage is now the man in Miami’s backfield. But does that mean he should be plugged into your starting fantasy football lineups for Week 10 vs. the Indianapolis Colts? Let’s discuss.
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Kalen Ballage’s Fantasy Outlook vs. Indianapolis Colts
Many people don’t like to admit it at the moment, but the Kalen Ballage fantasy hype train was full-throttle at one point this offseason. It’s understandable, the guy is built like a brick house, standing at 6’2” and weighing in at 230+ lbs. His significant size does not, however, slow him down in any way, as he was clocked in at a 4.48 40-yard dash at the 2018 NFL combine. Plus, he has part ownership of the NCAA record books. Ballage is tied for the FBS record for most touchdowns in a single game with eight.
Yet, despite all those eye-popping numbers, Ballage has struggled mightily to translate his collegiate success to NFL production. The Miami running back averages a putrid 2.0 yards per carry in 2019, rushing for more than 2.7 ypc in only one game this year. In fact, if you eliminate this 75-yard untouched touchdown back in his rookie season from Ballage’s resume, he’s averaged just 2.28 yards per carry over the 16 games he’s attempted a carry over his two-year career.
Despite his struggles, Ballage seems fairly confident, even going as far as being quoted as saying “I don’t have nothing to prove.” I would disagree, and apparently so would his head coach. Brian Flores believes “there is a lot that goes into that” when discussing Ballage’s poor-play, “He’s got to run better; we’ve got to block better,” the first-year head coach stated.
Ballage will have a difficult time flipping the script on his abilities as a player on Sunday, as he will be presented with one of the most unwelcoming matchups in all of football. The Indianapolis Colts have been extremely stout in terms of defending opposing running backs this season. Through the first nine weeks of the year, Indy has surrendered the eighth-fewest fantasy points to the position. Starting running backs have averaged an underwhelming 31.75 rushing yards against the Colts over their last four games.
While Ballage’s one calling card the past few weeks has been finding the endzone (two over his last four games), Indianapolis has allowed just one rushing touchdown to the RB position since Week 2, and are tied for the sixth-fewest rushing TDs allowed (regardless of position) on the season with just five.
Should You Start or Sit Kalen Ballage in Week 10?
Just like there was a reason why Miami opted to continuously run out different players ahead of him this season, there’s a reason why Ballage had been sitting on your waiver wire up until earlier this week. His abilities are in question, and he’s never produced like a viable fantasy option.
Is there always the off chance that he trips into the endzone, saving his day from a fantasy perspective? Yes, but I wouldn’t bank on it. In fact, I wouldn’t be all too surprised if when you return next week for start-sit advice regarding a Dolphins running back, that player will be Patrick Laird, not Ballage.