The Dolphins finalized their expected trade of Kenyan Drake Monday morning, with the Cardinals emerging as the somewhat surprising winner at the price of a conditional day three 2020 draft pick. Drake was expected to be traded after it was reported that he did not travel with the team to Pittsburgh for Monday's game, and he becomes just the latest contributor for the winless Dolphins to find a new home this season. His departure plugs a potential short-term hole for the Cardinals, and potentially creates a new Fantasy contributor for the Dolphins.
This is a complicated landing spot for Drake's Fantasy value, given the presence of David Johnson and Chase Edmonds, though it also may say something about the injuries Johnson (ankle) and Edmonds (hamstring) are dealing with. At the very least, it seemed like a longshot either would be available for Thursday's game against the 49ers, so Drake could be looking at an immediate impact role in Week 9 — albeit against arguably the toughest matchup in the NFL at the moment.
Still, Drake is available in about 20% of CBS Fantasy leagues, and might be ranked as a Fantasy starter in Week 9, when Todd Gurley, Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Joe Mixon, David Johnson, and Devonta Freeman are all either on bye or dealing with injuries. In fact, if Drake does get extended run in Arizona, it could end up being a great fit, given his pass-catching chops, as the Cardinals have routinely split Johnson and Edmonds out wide. Johnson and Edmonds have combined for 60 targets on the season, despite doing little in Week 8.
Drake should be added everywhere he is available as a streaming starter for Week 9, at the very least. And if Johnson or Edmonds are sidelined for longer than just this week, his chances for being a starter in Weeks 10 against the Buccaneers and Week 11 against the 49ers goes up.
Drake is a solid add who likely gains at least short-term value as a result of this trade, but he may not be the biggest winner in this deal. That might be his former teammate, Mark Walton.
Heath Cummings touched on what a trade could mean for Walton's value when rumors of the trade first emerged Sunday, noting he could be the NFL Draft writer Chris Trapasso weighed in on Walton's , saying the following:. CBS Sports
"He was my RB10 and No. 100 overall prospect in the 2018 class after a consistent career as a dynamic weapon at the University of Miami. When he was picked by the Cincinnati Bengals in the fourth round (at No. 112 overall), I gave them an instant "A" grade for the selection and wrote, 'Gio Bernard clone. Small, super-shifty. YAC machine as a receiver.'"
Walton has been the most effective option at running back for the Dolphins, rushing for 137 yards on his 30 carries, a 4.6 yards per carry mark that dwarfs the 3.0 YPC mark Drake and Kalen Ballage managed this season. Walton has also showed enough in the passing game to make you think he should be able to handle a multi-down role — something he seemed ticketed for even before the trade.
Ballage will still stick around to vulture what rare goal-line opportunities there are in Miami, but it seems pretty clear at this point they don't view him as a regular contributor, as he has played nearly twice as many snaps on special teams as he has on offense over the last three weeks. Ballage should see an increased role, but outside of the deepest leagues, holds very little Fantasy appeal as a potential short-yardage specialist on a bad offense.
That bad offense will, of course, likely hold back Walton's Fantasy appeal as well. However, there just aren't many potential 15-plus touch options available out there on the waiver wire at this point. His ceiling might be just a low-end No. 2 running back on this offense, but there aren't many Fantasy players who couldn't use one of those these days. He may not be a league winner, but Walton looks like the best running back add heading into Week 9 and beyond thanks to this trade.