An easy way to upset Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake is mentioning fantasy football.
He refuses to become a fan of it because it focuses too much on individual performances. None of that matters to Drake, especially if he is playing for a losing team.
"I'm a real football type of person," Drake said Monday.
"Fantasy doesn't bode any type of legitimacy to me. I'm not a fantasy guy because people hold their stock into individual players making individual performances. That's fine and dandy. You need players to go out there and make plays but I'm more of a team person."
Even though Drake isn't a fan of online football, the Dolphins are hoping he can produce fantasy-like numbers. The preseason has presented the opportunity for him to display his newfound versatility.
"Catching the ball out of the backfield, lining up in the wing set, slot or out wide, against linebackers and safeties I feel like I have an advantage," Drake said. "Inside or outside the backfield, I just want to help this team win games."
The Dolphins have plans of using Drake more in the passing game. That was evident when he was split out wide in Saturday's game against the Baltimore Ravens. The play resulted in a 30-yard reception down the sideline.
The fact that Drake and tight end Mike Gesicki have the ability to line up wide gives the Dolphins opportunities to create mismatches.
"It's difficult for the defense, especially when you have a tight end and a running back that are a threat outside," coach Adam Gase said.
"If they want to play any kind of man coverage, they have to decide who they want to put on those players. It's going to be a linebacker on one and a safety on the other. Drake on a linebacker, I like that matchup. If they want to put a linebacker on Gesecki, I like that that matchup."
Gase said he wants to use Drake 70 to 75 plays a game this season, so he has the chance to carry the ball 15 to 20 times and target him on at least six passes.
"I'm just trying to make plays anyway possible," Drake said. "I feel like my versatility is something I strive to put on display constantly. Anything the coaches ask of me, I'm ready to step up to the plate."
An effective Drake means more than just increased stats. The better he plays, the less pressure on quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
"It's huge," Tannehill said.
"When you have a guy that explosive, whether he's coming out of the backfield for a pass or we've seen the last two weeks on a run, it really gives us a spark and got us moving there in the second quarter. You never know, when you get a guy like that, any play can be the one that hits ... to the edge. He really makes us dynamic whenever you have a guy that can take it the distance at any point."
Still, Drake has no plans of being the sole provider on offense.
He feels the Dolphins have plenty of players who can create a spark. They are high on Gesicki, a rookie out Penn State, and excited about the offseason acquisition of Danny Amendola.
"It's just a shame we only have one ball," Drake said.
"We have a lot of weapons out here to really display our explosiveness. The way that Gase crafts up these schemes, I feel like he's going to his playmakers in the best position to make plays. I'm just looking forward to the time for us to go out there."
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