For this week’s Absurdity Checks, I first thought of Kenyan Drake and Joe Mixon. But then, I looked at Kenyan Drake’s numbers and thought that Drake didn’t make for a good Absurdity Check. I looked at a “who are you ready to drop” tweet and found so many people losing faith in Drake. I get it, for a couple of reasons, but please, I beg you: hang on to Kenyan Drake
Through three games, Drake has just 239 total yards on 59 touches. I say “just” with a lot of scare quotes around it, as there are players in this league who would kill to average 80 yards per contest. Here’s the weird rub, though: he’s getting hardly any targets. The DeAndre Hopkins Target Hog Effect (The DAHTHE, as the kids call it) has a trickle-down effect in Arizona. Nuk currently has a 35% target share, meaning that more than one of three passes from Kyler Murray go toward Hopkins. Because of this, Kenyan Drake has just five targets for 20 yards in three games. This is a huge problem, as a big part of Drake’s value this season came from targets: he averaged 3.5 catches for 21 yards per game in his half-season with Arizona in 2019. That’s a major hole in Drake’s fantasy resume this season.
Other than that… I’m not entirely sure what you have to get mad about. That is, unless, you thought that he was going to average 6.26 yards per attempt as he did in his final three games of 2019. At this point, Drake sits at 4.06 yards per carry, 0.25 YPC below his 2019 numbers in his first five games with Arizona. That 0.25 seems like a lot, but if he had the same efficiency, Drake would have just about 14 more yards across the three games. Not really a game-breaker. Not only is his efficiency not a cause for concern, but also his carry load. He has at least 16 carries in each of the first three games and averaged 18 carries per game overall. In fact, one more carry or catch, and Drake averages 20 touches per game.
There is a bit of a concern bubbling under the surface for Drake: through three games, he has just three opportunities within ten yards of the line of scrimmage. That limits his touchdown upside on a game-to-game basis.
So, Drake’s profile doesn’t scare me. Yes, the targets are low, so if he was Austin Ekeler, fantasy football Twitter would be screeching about how he isn’t getting the “right” kind of touches. His fantasy football scoring should increase over the next few weeks. He gets Carolina (#2 in fantasy points to running backs) and the Jets (#7) in the next couple of weeks. There are brighter days ahead for Kenyan Drake, if only he got targets. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.
Try to sell high on Drake after these next two games if you’re skittish. I’m not skittish about a guy getting 20 touches per game in that offense, personally.
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