Fantasy Alert: Raiders' Kenyan Drake Thinks He 'Might Have a Big Role' in Offense

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJuly 9, 2021

Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (41) celebrates his touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Running back Kenyan Drake has high expectations for himself in the Las Vegas Raiders offense during the 2021 season.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio (h/t NFL.com's Kevin Patra), Drake talked about his anticipated role and sharing snaps with Josh Jacobs:

"I'm definitely excited to see how our roles continue to develop with obviously Josh being the main guy to do what he needs to do because I have much respect and love for him and his game and what coach [Jon] Gruden has planned for us in that specific capacity. But I feel like I might have a big role in this offense. With them being a top-10 offense last year, the sky is the limit for us. I'm ready to see us take it to the next level."

Fantasy football players were thrown for a loop this offseason when the Raiders signed Drake to a two-year, $11 million contract after Drake had spent the previous two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.

Signing Drake was an unexpected move since Jacobs was the Raiders' bell-cow back in his first two NFL seasons after getting selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft.

Jacobs rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the past two campaigns. He rushed for 1,065 yards last season and set career highs in rushing touchdowns (12), receptions (33) and receiving yards (238).

Meanwhile, Drake is coming off his most productive NFL season as a runner, rushing for 955 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. He also caught 25 passes for 137 yards in 15 games, including 13 starts.

While Drake ran the ball effectively, his receiving production dropped off significantly last season with Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury opting to use Chase Edmonds as his primary pass-catching back.

There is reason to believe Drake could bounce back from a receiving perspective in Las Vegas after catching 53 passes for 477 yards and five touchdowns with the Miami Dolphins in 2018 and then making 50 grabs in a 2019 season that was split between Miami and Arizona.

Drake has the ability to make a huge fantasy impact as a pass-catcher, and since that isn't Jacobs' strong suit, it stands to reason Drake will be a reliable safety valve out of the backfield for quarterback Derek Carr in 2021.

Jacobs and Drake both probably aren't worthy of being taken in the first two rounds of fantasy drafts, but they should each play enough to hold fantasy value and potentially both be fantasy starters during the upcoming season.