Drake relayed Friday that he has added five or 10 pounds since the 2017 season ended, the Palm Beach Post reports. "So I'm about 215 right now," Drake noted. "I know as I run around I'll probably lose that weight. But maintaining it is definitely something I want to do. Get to that weight to begin with, sustain it during the offseason program. Then when training camp hits, I might lose five pounds, but I'll still be at an optimal weight for the season." While we won't read too much into Drake's modest weight gain, his comments support the notion that he's prepping himself for a large workload this coming season. The 24-year-old had 133 carries for 644 yards and 32 catches for 239 yards (four TDs) last year, with the bulk of that production coming in December as he eventually moved into a high-volume role following the trade of Jay Ajayi to the Eagles. The Dolphins added steady veteran Frank Gore instead of re-signing Damien Williams (Chiefs), but the more explosive Drake still figures to lead the way in Miami's 2018 backfield.
Drake will be joined in the backfield by Frank Gore, who is signing a one-year contract with the Dolphins, Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald reports. Given that the Dolphins were rumored to have interest in trading for C.J. Anderson, the addition of Gore isn't necessarily a bad thing for Drake's 2018 outlook. The durable veteran turns 35 in May, coming off three straight seasons in Indianapolis averaging less than 3.9 yards per carry. While he'll have a role in the offense, Gore doesn't figure to challenge Drake for the lead job, after the 2016 third-round pick closed out last season with 91 carries for 444 yards (4.9 average) and 17 catches for 150 yards over the final five weeks.
Drake rushed 14 times for 75 yards and brought in all three of his targets for 15 yards in Sunday's 22-16 loss to the Bills. He was ultimately ejected from the game with 6:16 remaining in the fourth quarter due to his part in a fight following a Jarvis Landry one-yard touchdown. Drake was enjoying his fifth consecutive productive effort as a starter before getting embroiled in a post-play scuffle following Landry's score. The second-year running back was eventually pinned to the ground by defensive end Ryan Davis before managing to get back to his feet and heaving the latter's helmet toward the sideline. The entirety of his actions earned him an ejection, but despite the unsightly end to his season, there's plenty of reason for optimism heading into 2018. Drake logged a pair of 100-yard rushing efforts and 444 rushing yards over his five-game stint as a clear-cut lead back to wrap up the season, and his steady presence in the passing game only serves to further his fantasy stock, particularly in keeper and dynasty formats.
Drake ran for 78 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries and added 35 yards on six catches during Sunday's 24-16 loss to Buffalo. Drake provided Miami with its lone touchdown of the game midway through the fourth quarter when he burrowed through the Buffalo defense for a one-yard scoring run. Somewhere, opposing defensive coordinators are sitting in Jerry's living room with George, Elaine, and Kramer lamenting about how much they "Hate the Drake." The dynamic second-year back has now topped 100 total yards in three straight games after just one such outing during the first 12 weeks of the season. Look for him to continue to find room to run as the season winds to a close. Drake takes on a Kansas City defense that has averaged the seventh-most opponents yards per carry this season before a rematch against Buffalo in Week 17.
With Damien Williams (shoulder) listed as doubtful for Sunday's game against the Bills, Drake should see the bulk of the touches out of the Miami backfield, James Walker of ESPN.com reports. Even if Williams had made more progress in his recovery this week and gained clearance to play, Drake still likely would have retained the lead-back role due to the outstanding production he's provided the past two games. In those contests, Drake has amassed 234 rushing yards, 100 receiving yards and a touchdown, showcasing both big-play ability and power between the tackles. He'll profile as a strong fantasy option once again Sunday against a Bills defense that has surrendered 354 yards on the ground over the past two weeks.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/16||@New York Jets||24||18.50|
|4||09/30||@New England Patriots||17||17.47|
|9||11/04||New York Jets||24||18.50|
|10||11/11||@Green Bay Packers||16||17.38|
|14||12/09||New England Patriots||17||17.47|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||83||412||2||20||142||0||65|