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What's Going to Happen in the Miami Backfield? - Footballguys

The Footballguys staff offers thoughts on the Miami running back situation

Miami has one of many backfields where the roles are not clearly defined. Since running back is one of the most important positions in fantasy football, it's wise to get as clear a picture as possible on every backfield.

Kenyan Drake was excellent down the stretch in 2017 after Jay Ajayi was shipped to Philadelphia. But the Dolphins brought in veteran Frank Gore and rookie Kalen Ballage. Does Gore have anything left? Is Ballage ready to have a notable role? Will Drake actually be one of those rare workhorse backs?

Ryan Hester: Drake appears to be the best combination of playmaking ability and experience. Sure, Gore has experience in spades, but his age is catching up to him, leaving him with little electricity. While Ballage has shown promise in OTAs, it's a reach to assume any rookie can translate from shorts to regular season conditions.

Drake will certainly cede work to Gore, but how much and what kind is hard to determine. If goal line work is lost to Gore, it will be difficult for Drake to pay off his current price. Drake scored four total touchdowns last season, all coming after Week 10. If we project that across an entire season, it's a respectable RB2 type of number. However, Drake's touchdowns were 66, 8 (a receiving score), 42, and 1 yards in length. The long rushes will be difficult to replicate, and any receiving touchdowns for running backs are gravy.

Without the easy scores, the weekly output will be volatile. It's also worth noting that Drake was excellent as a receiver last season (29 receptions, 232 yards, 1 touchdown on 42 targets starting in Week 9, when he first received more than 30 snaps in a game). If he loses any passing game work, he won't come close to that 16-game pace of 51 catches, 412 yards, and 74 targets.

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