Fantasy Football, Miami Dolphins

Is Kalen Ballage a legit 2019 fantasy sleeper now?

A little stir was caused when Kalen Ballage took the first running back snap of Dolphins’ camp, but is he now a legit 2019 fantasy sleeper?

With NFL training camps opening this week and fantasy football prep set to ramp up, every little thing on the practice field gets spotlighted. The Miami Dolphins had their first practice on Thursday and the running back to take the first snap of team drills was…Kalen Ballage.

Kenyan Drake was criminally underused by previous Dolphins head coach Adam Gase in 2018. He still finished as RB14 in full-point PPR though, and optimism is high for him this year with the assumption a new coaching regime would give him a better opportunity. Frank Gore’s departure also helps.

Ballage had just 36 carries for 191 yards and a touchdown with nine catches for 56 yards as a rookie last year. His shining moment was a 75-yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15, on his way to 123 yards on 12 carries.

Drake is not known to be dealing with any physical or conditioning issues, and he has apparently dropped five pounds, but Ballage got the first run with the starters again on Friday.

This early in camp, drawing any big conclusions is foolish. But it’s pretty clear Miami’s new coaching staff wants to get a good look at Ballage, who if nothing else brings a size (6-foot-2, 237 pounds), athleticism and speed combination (4.46 40 at the 2018 NFL Combine) to the table that Drake can’t quite match.

Drake is still the Dolphins’ running back for fantasy owners to prioritize until further notice. Ballage has been an interesting flier to consider, especially at an ADP that has him practically free (RB59, pick 14.02 in 12-team standard leagues). So nothing has changed there simply based on him taking the first snap of team drills on the first two days of training camp. But Ballage is someone for fantasy owners to consider keep a keener eye on between now and draft day.

Next: Fantasy Football Dynasty League Mock Draft and Rookie Rankings

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