RB Mark Walton - Miami Dolphins
|5-9, 205||Born: 3-29-1997||College: Miami (Fla.)||Drafted: Round 4, pick 2018|
Week 11: vs Buffalo Bills
FBG says: Good matchup. It's a sad state of affairs when an NFL backfield desperately misses Mark Walton. Through 9 games, the Dolphins sit last league-wide in both raw and per-attempt yardage. Walton, who's currently suspended, actually led the way at 3.8 yards per rush. For now, Kalen Ballage sits alone atop the depth chart, but he's been among the least productive lead backs in recent NFL memory. His 2.1 yards per rush ranks dead-last among all runners with 50+ carries over the past 20 years. Ballage did thoroughly dominate the backfield last week, taking on 82% of snaps and 91% of running back carries. But his outlook is bleak behind one of football's worst lines, currently ranked 30th by Footballguys' Matt Bitonti. If not for his potential for 20+ touches, Ballage wouldn't even be a flex consideration as the bell cow for this anemic offense. The Buffalo run defense, shaky for much of 2019 thus far, has hit a profound tailspin. Over the past 4 weeks, they've allowed opposing running backs to average a stunning 5.4 yards per rush, and 3 of them topped 95 yards. That run included a Week 7 date with these very Dolphins, in which Mark Walton turned 14 carries into a solid 66 yards in his first major NFL action. The Bills boast a strong, talented defense overall, but it's geared more to disrupt the pass than the run. Not even the recent breakthrough of linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, the team's No. 16 pick last year, has been enough to stop the bleeding in the front seven. Most of the linemen are known more for their pass rush than their space-eating, and linebacker Matt Milano, while an underrated presence in pass coverage, is miscast as a run-stopper. The Miami ground game is far from imposing, and Walton won't suit up this weekend. But Kalen Ballage is facing perhaps his best breakout spot yet.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs RB 1, RB 12, RB 24, RB 36
Mark Walton's percentile rank in each category, among RB with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2019 Week 9 vs NYJ (12 / 29 / 0 rush, 4 / 3 / 12 / 0 rec)
For all of the success that Fitzpatrick and the passing game had, the rushing attack struggled this week. Walton was given the keys to the back field when the team traded Kenyan Drake, but he was unable to do anything with them this week. He averaged just 2.4 yards per carry on 12 carries and made a minimal impact as a receiver. Miami combined to rush for just 50 yards on 24 carries and the longest run of the day was by Walton for 14 yards. Nearly half of his yards came on that single carry and the rest he was tackled at or near the line of scrimmage for minimal gains. The Jets did not have to respect the run at all this week and Miami had no luck with play action passes. The team clearly liked Walton enough to ship off their incumbent starter but he is going to have to do a lot more if he wants to keep the job the rest of this season and into next.
2019 Week 8 vs PIT (11 / 35 / 0 rush, 6 / 3 / 19 / 0 rec)
Walton was handed the keys to the Dolphins offense when the team traded Kenyan Drake to Arizona, but he was unable o do anything with them. Walton rushed a team high 11 times with his longest rush going for 9 yards. There was no competition from Ballage behind him and the next closest rusher was Fitzpatrick this week. The team rushed a total of 19 times for 60 yards and Walton only accounted for a little more than half of that. He chipped in 3 catches on 6 targets and his longest reception also went for 9 yards. The biggest issue this week was putting the ball on the ground. The Steelers had just taken a 10-point lead and Miami was driving to try and get back into the game. Walton made his 9-yard reception and was stripped as he was going to the ground and diving for the first down. It was the epitome of the Dolphins season thus far. Walton has little competition for carries the rest of the season, but Miami will most likely continue to play from behind and abandon the run early. He is the lead running back on a bad team behind a poor offensive line.
2019 Week 7 vs BUF (14 / 66 / 0 rush, 1 / 1 / -8 / 0 rec)
This was the most complete game for any Miami running back this season. Walton had more than double the number of carries than any other running back and turned that into a 4.7 yards per carry average. He ripped off a long run of 19 yards and was the most effective weapon on the ground this week. He looks to have surpassed Drake on the depth chart in rushing duties but is still lacking in the passing game. Walton's only target was a failed screen that went for -8 yards. Unfortunately for Walton, it is Ballage that is taking the goal line carries and Drake that is getting the targets on third down. Walton may get the most carries but he will need to break a long one to get a touchdown with the way this offense is going.
2019 Week 4 vs LAC (6 / 23 / 0 rush, 2 / 2 / 11 / 0 rec)
It is safe to say the run game was not working for Miami again this week, but Walton had a surprising number of carries. He sat only 3 behind Drake and even saw a fair amount of play on traditional passing downs. Walton hauled in both of his targets and had the longest play on the ground for Miami with his 11-yard scamper. Walton has just 10 total carries through 4 games, but someone has to carry the ball for them. It will be interesting to see how much the team starts to move away from Drake in the coming weeks and if Walton is the next man up.
Latest NewsDolphins | Mark Walton suspended (Mon Nov 4, 05:03 PM) - Miami Dolphins RB Mark Walton has been suspended for four games for violating the NFL's conduct and substance abuse policies. Our View: Walton had some legal problems this offseason and that's where this suspension comes from. The Dolphins roll forward with Kalen Ballage as their lead back. Patrick Laird or Myles Gaskin could get some work as reserve runners.
link to story Dolphins | Mark Walton quiet in Week 9 (Sun Nov 3, 06:39 PM) - Miami Dolphins RB Mark Walton rushed for 29 yards on 12 carries against the New York Jets in Week 9. He also caught three passes for 12 yards during the game. Our View: The Dolphins had their best offensive day of the year and the starting running back was still a disappointment in fantasy lineups. Walton is only an emergency play with a low ceiling.
link to story Dolphins | Mark Walton the workhorse? (Sat Nov 2, 09:50 PM) - Miami Dolphins RB Mark Walton 'has the keys' to the backfield and will remain the 'workhorse' for the remainder of the season, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com. Our View: Walton still has a low ceiling because of the offense and team he's part of, but he's at least worth a flex against the Jets decimated defense.
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|11||vs Buffalo Bills|
|12||@ Cleveland Browns|
|13||vs Philadelphia Eagles|
|14||@ New York Jets|
|15||@ New York Giants|
|16||vs Cincinnati Bengals|
|17||@ New England Patriots|