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Should I start or sit Kenyan Drake in Week 1 fantasy football?

Can the Alabama product overcome his preseason injury and a tough matchup against the Ravens? We look at the fantasy implications for Sunday.

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

After suffering a foot injury early in training camp, Kenyan Drake was unable to play a single snap in the preseason. Instead, Miami’s starting running back rocked a walking boot and watched as sophomore Kalen Ballage took a majority of the snaps with the first team offense. Ballage’s presence is generally the first thing that comes up when discussing the obstacles Drake faces to becoming a viable and consistent RB2 in 2019, but believe me, he’s not the only thing standing in the Alabama product’s path to success.

When it comes to Week 1’s matchup with the Ravens, its difficult to take an optimistic stance with Drake. Baltimore’s stout front seven allowed a mere 3.90 adjusted line yards per carry last season - the fifth-best mark in all of football. The Ravens also surrendered just 65.1 rushing yards per game to opposing backfields, a figure that was bested by only the Texans and the Saints. Still, the most daunting aspect of a meeting with Baltimore might be their offense. With a run-oriented approach, the Ravens ran the most plays per drive of any team in football at 6.71. That translated into the highest average time of possession per drive of anyone in the AFC. Brian Flores may be telling the truth when he says Drake will “get a lot of touches” this Sunday, but the ceiling for the 25-year-old’s workload can only go so high if the Dolphins never have the ball.

Fantasy Impact: Drake has the ability to be explosive in limited opportunities. In fact, Melvin Gordon and Alvin Kamara were the lone RBs with 100-plus carries in 2018 to average more PPR points per touch than Drake (1.20). However, playing for the squad that owns the slate’s lowest projected team total is a tough thing to overcome.

Recommendation: Sit