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 is ticketed for the lead role, while Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland remain on the roster as backups. Ballage is at least one or two injuries away from regular work. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
#236.11
ADP
$Signed a one-year contract with the Steelers in March of 2021.
No offensive snaps
RBPittsburgh Steelers
September 15, 2021
Ballage logged four snaps on special teams during Sunday's 23-16 win over the Bills.
ANALYSIS
Ballage didn't see a single snap on offense. Rookie running back Najee Harris carried the load Sunday, playing on all 58 of Pittsburgh's offensive snaps. Ballage is currently third on the depth chart, and Harris' three-down skill set will make it hard for the veteran to see much playing time on offense.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2021 NFL Game Log
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2020 NFL Game Log
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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 2021 RB Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
#% of Team Snaps

1119%
30%
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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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This Week's Opposing Pass Defense
How does the Bengals pass defense compare to other NFL teams this season?
The bars represents the team's percentile rank (based on QB Rating Against). The longer the bar, the better their pass defense is. The team and position group ratings only include players that are currently on the roster and not on injured reserve. The list of players in the table only includes defenders with at least 3 attempts against them.
CIN
vs Bengals
Sunday, Sep 26th at 1:00PM
Overall QB Rating Against
86.9
 
Cornerbacks
95.3
 
Safeties
99.8
 
Linebackers
51.4
 
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2021 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
Backfield Breakdown: Week 1 Recap & Week 2 Sleepers
8 days ago
Elijah Mitchell is the talk of the town, but another NFC West running back may prove even more valuable after handling a three-down role Sunday night.
2021 NFL Team Previews: Pittsburgh Steelers
60 days ago
The Steelers will aim for a more balanced offense with Najee Harris on board, but the team's success (or lack thereof) may rest on Ben Roethlisberger's arm.
NFL Draft: Three Prop Bets
158 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
159 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
225 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.
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
Pair of carries
RBPittsburgh Steelers
August 27, 2021
Ballage carried the ball two times for eight yards in Friday's preseason game against Carolina.
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Productive in exhibition win
RBPittsburgh Steelers
August 22, 2021
Ballage recorded seven carries for 30 yards and hauled in both of his targets for 17 yards in Saturday's 26-20 preseason win over the Lions.
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Back at practice
RBPittsburgh Steelers
August 18, 2021
Ballage (lower body) returned to practice Tuesday, Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.
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Injury considered minor
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Lower Body
August 8, 2021
Ballage (lower body) isn't believed to be dealing with a significant injury, Brian Batko of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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Dealing with lower-body injury
RBPittsburgh Steelers
Lower Body
August 5, 2021
Ballage suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday's Hall of Fame Game against Dallas, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports.
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