The fantasy impact of Kenyan Drake moving to the Raiders is interesting, for a number of reasons. The Raiders have made a number of ‘strange’ moves this offseason. But this really seemed like an odd one, considering the players that the team had let move on.
Involvement in the Passing Game
Josh Jacobs has operated as the team’s primary back for the last two seasons with 515 carries. However, he hasn’t been very involved in the passing game, with just 53 receptions in those two seasons- despite the team saying that they wanted to get Jacobs more involved.
That is how I see the team using the Drake. Drake wasn’t hugely utilized last season for the Cardinals, but his previous two seasons he caught 50 or more passes (totaling 103).
However, the volume of passes is certainly up for debate. The Raiders passed the ball 112 times to running backs last season, with Jacobs taking 45 of those. That leaves a decent number of targets, but there are a lot of other mouths to feed. However, you could be looking at around three or four per game.
The Raiders ran the ball 457 times last season, good for 11th in the league, with a similar number in 2019. Jacobs accounted for the vast majority of the carries in the offense with 273 carries last season. Given the signing of Drake, the team is likely to reduce that number and get Drake involved in the offense. There are certainly plenty of touches to go around.
One of the issues that could face both backs is the change in offensive line. What was once a strength for the team, with the guys up front able to create gaps. That line has been taken apart with players leaving in the offseason, which could mean that either player could struggle to beat an average of 4 yards per carry (which was their average last season).
From a fantasy perspective, I don’t like this move. Jacobs was a solid volume play, with Drake having some value in PPR leagues. This move is likely to limit the volume of carries that Jacobs will see, which will put him in the range of a mid-low RB2. Drake is likely to only have flex consideration unless Jacobs gets injured.
For dynasty, you can’t really move them. You are unlikely to get what you would hope for. I’d be tempted to get a cheap deal on either of them if I could, but I’m not expecting the owner to throw the towel in just yet.
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Image Credit: Kim Klement – USA TODAY Sports