Kalen Ballage
Kalen Ballage
25-Year-Old Running BackRB
Pittsburgh Steelers
2021 Fantasy Outlook
If any player deserves the back-handed compliment of being called a “workout warrior,” it's Ballage. Dating to his college days at Arizona State he has looked the part of a lead back, filling out a jersey nicely and testing well off the field, but once the pads go on he mostly fades into the grass. That athletic potential has kept him employed despite a miserable 3.1 YPC in his career, with the Steelers being the fourth team in four years to give him a chance. They certainly aren't putting all their eggs in his basket, though, as first-round pick Najee Harris will head into camp in the lead role and Ballage will fight for backup snaps with holdovers Benny Snell, Anthony McFarland and Jaylen Samuels. If Pittsburgh unlocks something in Ballage he might yet become consistently productive, but he's just as likely to be a late camp cut. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
$Signed a one-year contract with the Steelers in March of 2021.
Gets more competition for touches
RBPittsburgh Steelers
April 30, 2021
Ballage will have to compete for touches this year after the Steelers selected Najee Harris with the 24th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Ballage signed a one-year contract with the Steelers at the end of March, and Pittsburgh strengthened its running game by selecting the first running back in the draft. Coach Mike Tomlin called Harris a "three-down back" after the team selected him Thursday, signaling that Ballage should have to compete with Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland for touches in a secondary role during his first year with the Steelers. Ballage averaged 3.3 yards on 91 carries with the Chargers and Jets last season and may have to compete for a spot on the Week 1 roster during training camp and the preseason.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Kalen Ballage's 2020 advanced stats compare to other running backs?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Broken Tackle %
    The number of broken tackles divided by rush attempts.
  • Positive Run %
    The percentage of run plays where he was able to gain positive yardage.
  • % Yds After Contact
    The percentage of his rushing yards that came after contact.
  • Avg Yds After Contact
    The average rushing yards he gains after contact.
  • Rushing TD %
    Rushing touchdowns divided by rushing attempts. In other words, how often is he scoring when running the ball.
  • Touches Per Game
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) he is averaging per game
  • % Snaps w/Touch
    The number of touches (rushing attempts + receptions) divided by offensive snaps played.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Broken Tackle %
12.5%
 
Positive Run %
84.1%
 
% Yds After Contact
62.1%
 
Avg Yds After Contact
2.0
 
Rushing TD %
3.4%
 
Touches Per Game
9.8
 
% Snaps w/Touch
44.3%
 
Air Yards Per Game
0.0
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.00
 
% Team Air Yards
0.0%
 
% Team Targets
2.2%
 
Avg Depth of Target
0.0 Yds
 
Catch Rate
90.0%
 
Drop Rate
0.0%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
9.4
 
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2020
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2018
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2019 NFL Game Log
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2018 NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Snap Counts
Snap %
Pittsburgh SteelersSteelers 2020 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

62953%
30125%
12210%
897%
10%
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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Kalen Ballage lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2020 Kalen Ballage Split Stats
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Kalen Ballage's measurables compare to other running backs?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
* The 40-Yard Dash, and Shuttle Time metrics are from his Pro Day. All others are from the NFL Combine.
Height
6' 2"
 
Weight
231 lbs
 
40-Yard Dash*
4.44 sec
 
Shuttle Time*
4.20 sec
 
Cone Drill
6.91 sec
 
Vertical Jump
33.5 in
 
Broad Jump
122 in
 
Bench Press
15 reps
 
Hand Length
9.50 in
 
Arm Length
32.75 in
 
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Kalen Ballage
NFL Draft: Three Prop Bets
69 days ago
Travis Etienne should probably have even odds with Najee Harris to be the first running back drafted, but odds generally mark Harris as the safe favorite.
Best Ball Journal: Last-Round Targets
70 days ago
Dan Arnold might function mostly like a wide receiver in Carolina, making him an interesting best ball option in the final rounds at tight end.
2021 NFL Offseason Guide: Free Agents, Cap Casualties & Draft Capital
136 days ago
Jerry Donabedian reads offseason tea leaves for every NFL team, including an up-and-coming Chargers squad that needs to make tough decisions on Hunter Henry and Mike Williams.
Hidden Stat Line: Week 17 Backfield Breakdown
170 days ago
James Conner didn't put up big numbers, but his role the past two weeks hints at some upside for the playoffs.
Hidden Stat Line: Week 16 Backfield Breakdown
178 days ago
He may have opened Saturday's game in a timeshare with Salvon Ahmed, but the Miami backfield belonged to Myles Gaskin by the end of the night.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
Despite boasting all the athletic tools desirable in a workhorse running back, including blazing speed and imposing size, Ballage proved to be Miami's least effective backfield weapon in 2019. He averaged an abysmal 1.8 yards on 74 carries and 2.6 yards on 24 targets, the lowest marks of any of the team's running back options. After having failed to look like a competent ballcarrier in his sophomore season, the Dolphins elected to part ways with Ballage midway through training camp.
Stuck behind Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore, Ballage was basically invisible to begin his rookie season, seeing most of his action on special teams and not playing more than eight offensive snaps in a game until Week 15, when Gore got hurt in the first quarter. Ballage immediately seized his opportunity, erupting for 123 yards and a TD on only 12 carries. The Arizona State product fizzled the final two weeks, but that performance was enough for Miami to let Gore walk in free agency and head into 2019 with Ballage poised for a much larger role. Athletically, he has all the tools you want in a feature back, and his wheels in the open field are elite --- on his 75-yard TD run against Minnesota he topped out at 21.87 mph, the seventh-fastest speed recorded in the league last year. Ballage never really put everything together in college, though, and one good week in the pros does not a career make. With Drake at the top of the depth chart, the second-year back's workload is no sure thing, but new offensive coordinator Chad O'Shea's background under Bill Belichick hints at a backfield committee. The team didn't bring in much competition in the draft or free agency, so Ballage should get every opportunity to demonstrate he can handle more snaps, especially after Drake suffered a foot injury in mid-August.
Ballage looks the part of a future NFL feature back before the pads come on. At an imposing 6-1, 228, the Arizona State product ran a 4.46 40-yard dash at the combine, and his athleticism was on full display as a junior when he exploded for an FBS single-game record eight TDs against Texas Tech. Despite his gifts, Ballage fell to the fourth round in the 2018 draft due to his inability to put everything together. He doesn't run with as much power as his frame or gym strength would suggest, and despite his impressive straight-line speed he lacks the elusiveness or vision to get into the open field to use it. He does have some skills as a receiver and a return man, and that might be where he makes his mark as a rookie working behind Kenyan Drake. The Dolphins also signed 35-year-old Frank Gore to compete for backup work, but he's unlikely to play beyond 2018.
More Fantasy News
Headed to Pittsburgh
RBPittsburgh Steelers
March 30, 2021
Ballage is signing a one-year contract with the Steelers.
ANALYSIS
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Emerges as capable backup
RBLos Angeles Chargers
January 7, 2021
Ballage carried the ball 13 times for 36 yards and a touchdown in the Chargers' Week 17 win over the Chiefs.
ANALYSIS
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Minimal factor in win
RBLos Angeles Chargers
December 29, 2020
Ballage carried the ball four times for 14 yards and also caught two passes for 12 yards in Sunday's 19-16 win over the Broncos on Sunday.
ANALYSIS
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Scores TD but does little else
RBLos Angeles Chargers
December 18, 2020
Ballage carried eight times for 11 yards and a touchdown in Thursday's 30-27 win over the Raiders.
ANALYSIS
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Relegated to afterthought
RBLos Angeles Chargers
December 15, 2020
Ballage carried the ball seven times for 14 yards and caught just one of his two targets for six yards in Sunday's 20-17 win over the Falcons.
ANALYSIS
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