Dynasty Value Study: Kenyan Drake, RB ARI

Michael Liu

In this series, the writers here at Dynasty League Football will be diving deep into the current dynasty value of a specific player. This can actually be quite a challenge considering player value in a dynasty league can be impacted by everything from weekly production during the season to decisions players make off the field in the spring and summer months.

Luckily for you, we offer a number of valuable tools here at DLF to measure a player’s value and we’ll be taking you all through many of them throughout this Dynasty Value Study series. Let’s dig in!

Today, we’ll be diving into one of my favorite fantasy players. If you follow me on Twitter (@MikeMeUpP), you have already heard me tout his name many times as I covered him in an article last year but today, I’ll be giving you a refresher. Without further ado, I give you the 2019 Fantasy Football League Winner: Kenyan Drake.

Drake’s career arc has been a bit of a rollercoaster, much like his ADP over the last two years. He first caught my eye when he became a late-season waiver wire darling and league winner in 2017. I used to say this all the time and stand by it to this day: he’s got one of the nastiest cuts in the NFL.

Unfortunately, his production took a dive in 2018 after many of us invested high draft capital hoping for a repeat of 2017. Those struggles carried over to the first part of 2019 as he simply wasn’t getting on the field enough. His problems always came down to usage, not talent. Even after Adam Gase’s departure, the Dolphins coaching staff inexplicably made a conscious decision to give touches to Kalen Ballage over Drake.

Thankfully, we were saved when the Arizona Cardinals made a move to acquire him mid-season. Project Free Drake was finally enacted and I couldn’t be happier. He went on a tear for the ages and came through when we needed him most, finishing as the RB3 in PPR scoring during the fantasy playoffs.

The off-season has raised many questions for Drake. He is a divisive player within the fantasy community and rightfully so. I’ll be the first to admit he’s had a rocky past but more importantly, the biggest elephant in the room right now is where he will land next season as he is currently an unrestricted free agent. From my perspective, the ideal scenario is he gets extended by his current team. He fits the scheme pretty well and can be a prolific producer when given the opportunity.

More importantly, it appears as though Kliff Kingsbury has no attachments to prior contracts and is more than willing to let the best players play – a rare trait amongst the stale and stagnant majority of NFL coaches these days. Put another way, David Johnson and his $14 million should get familiar with the bench if Drake gets signed. Enough about my opinion. Let’s explore how Drake is valued through the lens of the many tools we have here at DLF.

Dynasty Rankings

In our top-200 overall dynasty rankings, Drake currently ranks 71st, with a high rank of 60 and a low of 94. Drake is currently sandwiched between AJ Green and Marquise Brown. Being ranked behind Green is very shocking to me as I’d have a hard time seeing anyone draft Green over Drake after his performance this year.

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In our positional rankings, Drake comes in as the RB23, between Le’Veon Bell and Philip Lindsay. The range is relatively wide with high of RB17 and a low of RB37.

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Dynasty ADP

In our recently released January dynasty ADP, Drake’s ADP was 62.67, ranking him as the 64th overall player and making him the RB25 which is very much in line with our expert rankings. This places him between his running back peers in Kareem Hunt and Mark Ingram.

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Drake’s dynasty ADP history, which can be found on our ADP Data Analytics page, shows his current ADP has rebounded and nearly matches his all-time high from 2018. I’d imagine this is likely driven by his top-three performance in the 2019 fantasy playoffs. If the Cardinals re-sign him, I could see his ADP climbing even higher and likely exceed what it was in 2018. Personally, I’m still fine with this fringe RB2 price. It’s hard to get a player with his upside who has a three-down skill-set. However, I will be more hesitant if he starts climbing into the mid-RB2 range.

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Trade Finder

One of the best tools we have at DLF is our Trade Finder, which pulls trade data from actual dynasty leagues. You can also customize the data based on number of teams, scoring and starting requirements. Each of the following trades is based on typical PPR leagues with just one starting quarterback.

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I limited the filter to the trades that took place after the regular season so his value would reflect his late-season surge. As you can see, his value range is still quite wide. In some transactions, he was part of a package deal for a stud like Ezekiel Elliott, while in others he is the clear target in a one-for-one deal like the ones for Chris Carson or OJ Howard. Personally, I would take the Drake side of both of those trades given all players involved have risks but Drake has the highest upside of any of them should he land in a lead role.

Dynasty Trade Analyzer

Another one of my favorite tools at DLF is our Dynasty Trade Analyzer. I’m not someone who lives and dies by trade calculators but I think it is an incredibly valuable tool when used correctly. If you understand how your league-mates use it, it can create very profitable opportunities for you in the long run. It shows Drake’s value aligns most closely with the 1.10.

Other plays in this value range include Austin Hooper, Devin Singletary and N’Keal Harry. I think this is actually a pretty fair approximation for someone with Drake’s talent and upside. Personally, I prefer the 1.10 right now because the pick has a better chance of appreciating in value between now and the draft. However, that may change if Drake gets extended in Arizona or signed to a lead role on another team.

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Twitter Polls

The final aspect we’ll examine in this article is Twitter polls. Again, Twitter isn’t something you should solely base your decision on. As I’ve said before, I think Twitter polling is a lagging indicator rather than a leading indicator. What I mean is if you’re making decisions based on polls, you’re likely already behind. However, I do feel like Twitter polls are still very valuable and informative as it provides insight into public sentiment and to simply ignore it would be putting yourself at a disadvantage.

Recently, I sent out some polls comparing Drake and other running backs who are ranked similarly to him in either our DLF dynasty rankings or January 2020 ADP. In most of these cases, I picked players who were above Drake to really test the limits on how the public perceived him. The results were interesting and the comments were even more revealing. It’s worth hopping over to Twitter to see the comments in some of these threads.

I’ve summarized the results from the polls and their implied relative ranking based on the percentages from the Twitter polls (from 1-13) and how they compare versus the relative DLF Dynasty Rankings and ADP for the same group of players (also 1-13). The delta columns are the difference between the two. For example, Todd Gurley is the RB14 per DLF Dynasty Rankings which is the highest-ranked player out of this group and is therefore assigned the rank of one for our purposes here. He is the fifth-ranked player per the Twitter polls resulting in a delta of four between Twitter and our expert rankings. Green shows the players who are valued much higher by Twitter than our expert rankings and/or ADP. There are some pretty interesting takeaways here.

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Devin Singletary jumps out immediately as a player who is clearly benefiting from the Twitter hype train compared to both ADP and expert rankings. Drake is another player coming ahead of both. Kareem Hunt seems to be viewed highly by Twitter compared to ADP but still very much in line with our expert rankings.

Conversely, Le’Veon Bell and James Conner are two players who have clearly fallen from grace in the eyes of the Twitterverse. They may be potential buy-low candidates based on these polls so try throwing out a couple of feelers. Remember when Conner was being drafted as a top-five RB? Life comes at you fast.

According to these polls, Drake has bypassed more productive players like Chris Carson and Bell as well as preseason darlings like Derrius Guice. He is dead even with both David Montgomery and Marlon Mack. His trajectory is definitely pointing up as we head further into the off-season from a Twitter perspective.


When viewing all of these tools in combination, it’s clear that Drake’s value has rebounded significantly, nearly matching his all-time high from 2018. I’d say his value is just inside the top-20 for dynasty running backs with the opportunity to rise even more if he secures a lead back role.