Show Navigation
Show Menu

FF Tips

Dynasty Prospect Scouting Report: Kenneth Gainwell

By Matt Schauf 10:03am EDT 3/20/21


Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis

Height: 5’11
Weight: 201
Age: 22.1


Pro Day Results:

40-yard dash: 4.42 seconds


College Career:


Gainwell spent 3 years starting at QB for Yazoo County High School in Mississippi, amassing 4,730 rushing yards and 3,682 passing. He led his squad to a 14-1 record and a berth in the state title game as a senior.

A 3-star prospect, Gainwell chose Memphis over 7 other offers from a mix of mostly FCS and lower-level FBS schools. (Though he did get an offer from home-state Ole Miss.)

Gainwell arrived to a loaded Tigers backfield that returned Darrell Henderson, Tony Pollard and Patrick Taylor -- all of whom currently hold down NFL jobs. (Taylor sits on Green Bay’s practice squad.) Gainwell appeared in the 1st 4 games but ultimately took a redshirt.

With Henderson and Pollard gone to the NFL for 2019, Gainwell opened his redshirt freshman year sharing the backfield with Taylor. And he benefited from a bit of luck.

Taylor garnered 27 carries and 4 receptions in the opener, vs. 16 and 6 for Gainwell. But Taylor would miss the next 8 games with a foot injury. That set up Gainwell to lead the backfield, and he capitalized by going for 100+ yards on the ground in 6 of the 8 contests. Even after Taylor returned, Gainwell garnered 73 carries to Taylor’s 51 and 15 catches to Taylor’s 4 the rest of the way.

Gainwell finished that season 12th in the nation in rushing yards, 6th in scrimmage yards per game and 4th in total scrimmage yards. He trailed only Chuba Hubbard, Jonathan Taylor and J.K. Dobbins in that final category. In a game against Temple, he became the 1st player since 1997 to rack up 200+ receiving yards and 100+ rushing in a single contest.

Gainwell’s 51 receptions also ranked 2nd on the team -- 13 ahead of Antonio Gibson (who also drew only 33 rushing attempts).

That would be the RB’s final college season. He opted out of 2020, a particularly understandable decision given that his family lost 4 members to the virus.


Film Review

Games watched: Penn State, Ole Miss, Temple, Tulsa

I could have sought out more games for Gainwell -- and probably will, even just for fun. But his upside is readily apparent.

Gainwell added about 10 pounds through his opt-out season, after playing around 190 in 2019. But he wasn’t some little scatback to begin with.


His power and balance show up again on this screen pass.


And here he displays the vision to counter after the defense cuts off the play’s intended path, plus the strength to run through a tackle attempt at the end.


Where Gainwell really has a chance to separate from many others in this class, though, is what he’s capable of doing after that contact.


That move, of course, followed a WR-style drag route from a slot position -- another mark in Gainwell’s favor. Even in just the 4 games I watched here, he spent a bunch of snaps lining up out wide or in the slot.


But again, it’s the speed-agility combo that could really differentiate Gainwell from many others in this class.

Speed …


That last play finished off with a nice stiff arm. It also got negated by an early hold. But Gainwell would get the TD back later on that drive …


The spin looks like a signature move for Gainwell.



But he’s not a dancer. He moves efficiently to and through the line.


Fantasy Outlook:

Gainwell doesn’t have the size or workhorse upside of Najee Harris -- or even Travis Etienne. He also gave us just 1 season of college tape and results to judge from. But that year flashed the potential for Gainwell to emerge as the #3 RB in this class.

When asked to compare himself with former teammate Antonio Gibson after his pro day, Gainwell called them “similar” players but added that “I play running back before I play receiver.”

Gibson beats Gainwell on size (6 feet, 228 pounds). And he’s a little faster (4.39-second 40). But Gibson also hit the NFL with less RB experience than Gainwell -- and even fewer receptions in their lone shared season.

The draft capital Gainwell’s NFL team spends on him will be worth watching. He looks like the kind of talent who should get picked sometime on Day 2. Sliding to Day 3, though, could hurt his available opportunity. That matters more at RB than other positions, because we know the shelf life isn’t nearly as good at this position.

But Gainwell’s low-volume college career could help his NFL longevity, and his package of skills seems ideally suited for today’s NFL. In the right situation, he could immediately present a high fantasy ceiling.

In This Article

Related Fantasy Football

Premium Content Premium ContentDFS Showdown Tips: Tuesday Night Football

DFS Showdown Tips: Tuesday Night Football

6:05am EST 12/21/21

It's Tuesday ... and we still have 2 more games to go in Week 15. Where's the value in these final 2 bonus fantasy football showdowns?

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentDFS Showdown Tips: Eagles-Cowboys

DFS Showdown Tips: Eagles-Cowboys

6:35pm EDT 9/27/21

Are we about to get a bunch of fantasy points ... or another Cowboys-Chargers style clunker?

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentThe 6 Most Impactful Offensive Lines

The 6 Most Impactful Offensive Lines

10:06am EDT 6/30/21

Which offensive lines are set to boost fantasy production in 2021? And which units do we need to worry about?

Read More »
Podcast: Rookie Rankings Risers and Fallers 5-4-21

Podcast: Rookie Rankings Risers and Fallers 5-4-21

1:05pm EDT 5/4/21

With the NFL Draft behind us, Jared and Matt highlight the players who made the biggest moves up or down our rookie rankings for dynasty-league drafts.

Read More »
Podcast: Underrated/Overrated with RosterWatch's Byron Lambert 4-27-21

Podcast: Underrated/Overrated with RosterWatch's Byron Lambert 4-27-21

10:04pm EDT 4/27/21

Byron Lambert of Roster Watch joins us to talk about fantasy football prospects who look overrated or underrated heading into the NFL Draft.

Read More »
Full List of 2021 Dynasty Prospect Scouting Reports

Full List of 2021 Dynasty Prospect Scouting Reports

9:04am EDT 4/24/21

Can Ja'Marr Chase go from opting out of 2020 to leading all WRs off the NFL Draft board in 2021? He's just 1 of many potential impact fantasy assets we've profiled over the past couple of months.

Read More »
Podcast: Rating Rookies with Rich Hribar 4-22-21

Podcast: Rating Rookies with Rich Hribar 4-22-21

1:04pm EDT 4/22/21

Rich Hribar of Sharp Football joins the guys to talk process, favorites and players to avoid in fantasy football among the 2021 NFL Draft class.

Read More »
Winning Your League Starts Here Trophy

Why Wouldn’t You Invest
$36 to Win Your League?

Check out thisleague-winning info

2022 Draft Package Now - Sept 15th

$39

Get Instant Access
2022 In-Season Package Sept 5th - Mar 7th

$39

Get Access Sept. 5th
2022 DFS Package Sept 5th - Mar 7th

$49

Get Access Sept. 5th
Best Value – All Access Pass
DS Insider Membership All 3 Packages

$127 $36

Semi-annual auto-renew
Get Instant Access
Draft War Room Included Draft War Room Draft War Room Draft War Room Included Draft War Room
Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings
3D Projections Included 3D Projections 3D Projections 3D Projections Included 3D Projections
Live-Draft Sync Included Live-Draft Sync Live-Draft Sync Live-Draft Sync Included Live-Draft Sync
In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles
Mock Draft Tool Included Mock Draft Tool Mock Draft Tool Mock Draft Tool Included Mock Draft Tool
Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Included Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Round-by-Round Draft Strategies Included Round-by-Round Draft Strategies
Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts
Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring
Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor
In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings
“Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool
“My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “My Team” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications
Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder
Trade Navigator Trade Navigator Included Trade Navigator Trade Navigator Included Trade Navigator
Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares
In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems
Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice
Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data
DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder
DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly GPP Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Included Weekly Cash Game Picks
(DraftKings & FanDuel)
Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks
High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews
DFS Independent DFS Independent DFS Independent Included DFS Independent Included DFS Independent
Daily Fantasy Advice Daily Fantasy Advice Daily Fantasy Advice Included Daily Fantasy Advice Included Daily Fantasy Advice
Personalized Email Advice Personalized Email Advice Personalized Email Advice Included Personalized Email Advice Included Personalized Email Advice
Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles
Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates
Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates
To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives
All-Access
Draft Sharks App
All–Access Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Included All-Access
Draft Sharks App
Get Instant Access Get Access Sept. 5th Get Access Sept. 5th Get Instant Access

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play