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What to do with Kalen Ballage in Week 11 fantasy football

Kalen Ballage was the king of empty volume last Sunday against the Colts. Will he be more efficient in Week 11?

Miami Dolphins running back Kalen Ballage runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts during the first quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Look, we all know that if you string enough stats together, you can get two very different types of players on the same list. For the sake of argument, let’s call this the “Thaddeus Young Principle” and be done with it. Still, when I tell you that the only three running backs in Week 10 to rack up at least 20 carries and four targets were Christian McCaffrey, Chris Carson and Kalen Ballage, it doesn’t feel like there’s an egregious amount of qualifiers in that sentence. That’s exactly what happened, too. With Mark Walton suspended and Kenyan Drake in Arizona, Ballage was, for all intents and purposes, the “bell cow” in Miami’s backfield. He had 24 touches and was on the field for a whopping 81.8% of the Dolphins’ offensive snaps. That’s just not something that occurs all that much anymore.

Now, that’s not to suggest that volume actually led to anything significant. Ballage mustered only 45 scrimmage yards and 8.3 DKFP against the Colts, really validating his reputation as maybe the league’s least-efficient RB. He’s simply not very good and is cursed to run behind an offensive line that’s not exactly blessed with much more talent than the running back himself. In fact, Ballage entered Week 11 averaging just 2.5 yards per touch — the lowest mark among all qualified RBs by a full yard. However, there is an optimistic view of Ballage’s struggles. If a team is willing to go back to a running back time and time again despite diminishing returns, it’s pretty clear that said back’s volume is locked in. Combine that with Ballage having garnered two-thirds of Miami’s goal line carries so far in 2019 and the sophomore oddly checks a lot of boxes when it comes to viability.

Fantasy Football Analysis, Miami Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage

I’m just not sure how you can overlook a player getting elite levels of volume, no matter how ugly the output. It’s not as if Brian Flores is backing down from Ballage, either. When asked about the Arizona State product this week, Flores stated, “We keep giving it to him and I think it’ll turn. We have a lot of confidence in him.” Is that faith misguided? Probably. Yet, it appears unwavering. With Buffalo having allowed 5.5 yards per carry and an AFC-worst 164.0 opponent rushing yards per game over the past three weeks, Ballage remains viable as a low-end RB2 and an intriguing DFS option priced slightly above $4K.

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