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RB Committee Killed the Fantasy Star

A crowded Arizona backfield makes for difficult fantasy decisions.
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On Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins traded running back Kenyan Drake to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2020 draft pick.

In three and a quarter seasons with the Dolphins, Drake hasn’t really been a model for consistency.

Granted, he was behind Jay Ajayi for the beginning of his tenure and the Dolphins offense is nothing to write home about, but he still hasn’t produced much. Although, he may be best remembered for this in his time in Miami:

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So now where does his fantasy stock go to after this trade? The Cardinals have a ton of talent to work with on offense. Kyler Murray, Larry Fitzgerald, and Christian Kirk are all capable of high-powered explosions. Here is where we run into a problem, though.

The Cardinals are loaded at running back, which is great if you’re a part of the organization or a fan, but it’s just downright terrible if you’re a fantasy owner of Drake, David Johnson or Chase Edmonds. The running back committee, which was heavily implemented by Bill Belichick in the seamless way the Patriots plug-and-play different backs, has absolutely destroyed any hope of a singular fantasy star anymore. We will never again see another 2006 LaDainian Tomlinson, which has gone down as the greatest fantasy season an NFL player has ever had, thus far.

THE BOTTOM LINE

  1. Health is the obvious factor here. Johnson has been dealing with back and ankle injuries all year. He is still questionable for Thursday’s game vs. San Francisco. Chase Edmonds is also listed as doubtful after an update from Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury informed us that Edmonds is dealing with a bad hamstring.
  2. Pending all three remaining healthy enough to play, who the heck do you start? If you’re like me and have DJ in two leagues, Edmonds in one and Drake in another, then what do we do?
  3. San Francisco is a fantastic team and has a hell of a defense this season. If you have other options at running back with more favorable matchups and can avoid what may be a total beat-down on Thursday, then do it.

I say pick up Drake if he’s free in your league. He might not see a lot of playing time if DJ is healthy and playing, especially since it’s on a short week and there’s no way he’ll have learned the playbook by then. It’s worth the risk to snag him up, only being owned in 69% of ESPN leagues, and stream him while Edmonds is doubtful. However, monitor the health status right up to kickoff on Thursday as things could drastically change at the last minute.