Kenyan Drake Retains RB1 Fantasy Value in Return to Cardinals - Roto Street Journal
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Kenyan Drake Retains RB1 Fantasy Value in Return to Cardinals

Amidst all the DeAndre Hopkins carnage, the Cardinals backfield has finally gained some clarity.

Kenyan Drake will be returning to Arizona after all. The Cardinals transition tagged their stud RB, all while sending David Johnson and his laughable contract over to the Texans in the most lopsided trade in NFL history.

This could not have unfolded more ideally more Drake’s  2020 fantasy value.

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From the second he arrived to Arizona in Week 9, Drake was a seamless fit for Kliff Kingsbury‘s “Air Raid” offense. He routinely displayed his high-end pass catching chops and a slashing running style, ultimately rendering DJ into a complete afterthought.

In fact, Drake was the RB3 in fantasy over this span, with his 19.9 PPR PPG trailed only Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry.

We’ve long said Drake’s highest ceiling would be in Arizona. Yet, with Johnson’s exorbitant contract eating so much cap space, a return felt unlikely.

Enter O’Brien, and his lunacy.

Kingsbury gets the guy he wanted most back. At the 2020 Combine, he gushed:

“We’d love to have him back, he’s a perfect fit for our offense. I think he understands that…He has a burst, a competitive spirit. He came in, picked up the offense quick. I think the opportunity to have the majority of the touches and carry the workload, he seized that opportunity. He had the hot hand, we rode him, and couldn’t have been more impressed with what he did for us.”

Kingsbury prefers a three-down horse so that he can keep the pedal to the medal and avoid substitutions.

Given Drake’s an incredible receiver and sneaky hard tackle, he ultimately played 70% or higher snaps in all but one of his eight games in Arizona, including 5/8 over 83% of the snaps.

He should remain a similar workhorse in 2020, especially with the “threat” of David Johnson gone. Moreover, the overall Cardinals “Air Raid” should be far more dangerous in Year Two, especially now with Hopkins in the holster.

After taking a quantum 8.5 point per game leap in 2019, we expect a similar jump into the 28-30 point range. Considering Drake was on pace for 14 TDs in Arizona, he could easily hit 15 in a more explosive attack.

As such, Drake rockets up to 13th overall and RB11 on my upcoming Post-Free Agency Big Board.


  • Founder of Roto Street Journal. Lover of workhorse backs, target hog wideouts, and Game of Thrones. Aspiring to be the "Brady" and "Leo" of the fantasy universe.

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