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What to do with Mark Walton, Kenyan Drake in Week 8 fantasy football

Both Mark Walton and Kenyan Drake have shown flashes throughout the season, but can either be viable with Kalen Ballage stealing goal line work?

Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake runs with the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter at New Era Field. Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The best possible way to describe the current iteration of the the Dolphins’ backfield is as such: imagine the 49ers’ running back-by-committee approach, but with worse players on a bad team. Sounds inviting, doesn’t it? Now, that’s not to suggest that there’s no talent whatsoever when it comes to Miami’s RBs. Kenyan Drake has often shown the ability to be explosive, going so far as to average 1.20 PPR fantasy points per touch in 2018 - a figure bested only by Melvin Gordon and Alvin Kamara among running backs with 100-plus carries. Then there’s Mark Walton, who picked up 4.7 yards per rush attempt on 14 carries in the Dolphins’ Week 7 loss to the Bills. No, the larger issue is that we’re not talking about three players splitting a feast, we’re discussing three men forced to share table scraps.

Miami’s scored an NFL-low 10.5 points per game so far in 2019. Its managed just 2.0 red zone trips per contest and has only registered two rushing touchdowns by running backs for the season. Each of those have come in the past two weeks, with Kalen Ballage claiming both and re-defining the term “vulture” in the process. The sophomore has seen the field for a mere nine offensive snaps in that span. He’s legitimately a goal line specialist on a team that rarely gets the ball inside their opponent’s territory, let alone the 20-yard line. He’s the human equivalent of the Los Angeles Chargers’ trophy case. He serves about as much purpose as Shaquille O’Neal’s shooting coach. Ballage’s relevance to Fantasy Football is solely to ruin what little viability Walton or Drake could possibly muster.

Fantasy Football Analysis, Miami Dolphins RBs Mark Walton and Kenyan Drake

Aside from the low touchdown expectancy created by the team they play for and the looming specter of Ballage, this simply isn’t all that great a matchup for the Dolphins’ RBs. The Steelers are overwhelming home favorites and have yet to allow an opposing running back to rush for even 70 yards through seven weeks of action. Not only that, Pittsburgh’s surrendered just 3.3 yards per attempt across its past three contests, specifically. Due to the most probable game script, Drake could catch enough passes to be considered a low-end FLEX option in a PPR, but that’d be nothing more than desperation.

Start/Sit Recommendation

Sit Walton. Sit Drake.