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Why Kenyan Drake should go over his rushing yardage total in 2020

Kenyan Drake finally got his chance to be the lead back in a good offense after being traded to the Dolphins and showed the NFL and Adam Gase why he deserved more work. Can he keep it up in 2020 and top his rushing yards prop?

Running back Kenyan Drake #41 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates after scoring on a five yard rushing touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the first half of the NFL game at State Farm Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake had a great second half of the 2019 season, as he rushed 123 times for 643 yards and eight touchdowns while catching 28 passes for 171 more yards. But, for our wagering purposes, we are only going to look at his work on the ground.

As the 2020 NFL Draft nears, DraftKings Sportsbook has given us over/under totals on passing, receiving and rushing yards for individual players. Drake’s over/under for rushing yards is set at 1,050.5.

Prediction: Over 1,050.5

Kenyan Drake has always been a player that NFL fans have wanted to see get more work, as he has shown the ability to put up good numbers when given a chance. He finally got that chance in 2019 after he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals from the Miami Dolphins with eight games left on the schedule.

In those eight games, Drake never saw under 10 rushing attempts and averaged 15.4 carries for 80.4 yards. His average of 5.2 yards per carry was great and will be difficult to match in a full 16 game season, so we can’t just double his 643 yards and hope for the best. The good news is that he doesn’t need 1,286 yards to beat his over/under prop.

Before moving on from the tanking Dolphins, Drake had a pitiful 3.7 yards per carry on 47 attempts, but in his two previous seasons, had averaged 4.8 and 4.5 yards per carry in a still poor Dolphins offense. Once he landed in Arizona, his fortunes went up, as he had a strong running quarterback in Kyler Murray to keep defenses occupied and a more pass-centric offense to keep defenses from keying on the run.

Drake also was a workhorse, playing on 79 percent of all possible snaps and saw 85 percent of the rushing attempts. Those numbers should hold over into the 2020 season, as David Johnson is now in Houston and Chase Edwards, though good, is the only other back worth seeing work.

Last season Drake was on pace for 246 carries with the Cardinals. If he were to reach that number in 2020 and say his yards per carry dropped to 4.5, he’ll still hit 1,107 rushing yards. That’s close to his prop of 1,050.5 rushing yards, so we aren’t talking about a smash bet, but the Cardinals are a team I see taking their offense to the next level in 2020 with Drake and newly acquired DeAndre Hopkins teaming up with Murray after a strong rookie season that holds promise for a step forward in 2020.

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