The Miami Dolphins traded disgruntled running back Jay Ajayi to the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday morning in exchange for a fourth-round pick. The move leaves Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams as the Dolphins' primary ball-carriers, and both of whom are must-adds in all fantasy football leagues.
But who is the better option?
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Both players have spent their entire careers in Miami. Drake is 6-foot-1, 210-pound second-year player who was a third-round pick out of Alabama in 2016. He did average 6.4 yards over his four-year career but was largely overshadowed by T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry and slowed be injuries, including a broken leg that forced to him miss all but five games as a junior in 2014.
Williams, meanwhile, is a 5-foot-11, 225-pounder who went undrafted in 2014 after racking up 1,499 rushing yards in two seasons at Oklahoma, where he transferred following two years at Arizona Western College. He was dismissed by the Sooners in November 2013 for a violation of team rules, a huge reason why he was not selected the following April.
While Williams was signed to play a reserve role (which he has his entire career), Drake was drafted to be a potential solution to the Dolphins' long-standing running back issues. However, midway through Drake's rookie campaign, Ajayi — a fifth-round pick in 2015 — starting posting video-game numbers, thus relegating the rookie to backup duty.
Drake entered the season with 42 touches for 226 yards and two touchdowns. Williams had 154 touches for 874 yards, 578 of which came as a receiver. Both have appeared in all seven games in 2016 but have combined for just 33 total touches, miles behind Ajayi's 152.
But now with Ajayi in Philadelphia, Drake and Williams are suddenly in position to compete for the starting job and be fantasy football waiver wire saviors.
Williams has 82 total snaps, nearly half of which (40) came in Weeks 6 and 7, but only eight in Week 8. Drake has just 45 total snaps, though he had 12 in Week 8, his second-highest total of the week. It was his first game with more than 10 carries since Week 3 (20).
Neither player had more than four carries in a game until Drake got six attempts in Thursday's blowout loss to Baltimore. Though he only had 22 yards on the six carries, he ran hard in a game that was far out of reach. Williams had zero carries and one reception (on two targets) in the game.
Given Drake's effort in the fourth quarter vs. the Ravens and overall more complete running skills, he appears to be the running back to target on the waiver wire before Week 9. However, if you have two open roster spots and enough free-agent auction cash (if applicable), it'd be wise to grab both players and wait to see whom head coach Adam Gase trusts more over the next few weeks.