As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. We only look at the past three seasons for a player. The new face of COVID-19 is… Ezekiel Elliott? The star running back tested positive in mid-June, but we ignore all that and figure out why, exactly, he might not be worth his draft slot in fantasy football redraft leagues.
Ezekiel Elliott ADP and AAV:
Standard Scoring ADP: RB4, 4 overall
PPR Scoring ADP: RB3, 4 overall
Average Auction Value: $63
Ezekiel Elliott Statistics:
Ezekiel Elliott Overview:
Ezekiel Elliott has been one of the most highly-used and most productive running backs over his time in the league. He’s surpassed 300 carries in 2016, 2018, and 2019. The only reason he didn’t reach that mark in 2017 is because of his suspension that cost him a part of the season. Still, he had 242 carries in ten games, which comes out to 387 carries over a whole season. Alright, Jason Garrett, we get it, you like using Zeke.
Who would blame Garrett? Over his career, Ezekiel Elliott averaged over 110 yards per game in every single season. The powers-that-be in Dallas rightfully leaned on Zeke, but that has a significant downside that will either buck a trend or leave his owners with serious problems in 2020:
Since 2010, no running back has three consecutive seasons of 300+ carries. Nary a one. Let’s expand our focus a little bit to see what we can expect from Ezekiel Elliott from a carries standpoint in 2020. Of the running backs between 2010 and 2018, there were 23 seasons of a running back getting at least 300 carries. Let’s strip out Le’Veon Bell’s 2018, and what are we left with? Of the running backs to get at least 300 carries in the last decade, they lost, on average, 26% of their prior season’s carries volume. That would bring Ezekiel Elliott down to about 225 carries, which greatly limits his upside.
Ezekiel Elliott Draft Strategy:
What to do with Mr. Zeke? Well, it’s somewhat complicated. His upside is too much to ignore. After all, he has 300+ carries in his three full seasons in the league. But, his downside can’t be ignored, either. All-in-all, Zeke should go in the first half of the first round, but I’m taking him as the last of the big four. There’s a ton of downside there given the history of running backs coming off of 300+ carry seasons. Granted, Zeke’s overcome that downside before, but three 300+ carry seasons in a row is nearly unprecedented.
Best Case Scenario:
My the-sky-is-falling worry-warting has nothing come of it and Elliott finishes as a top-four running back, exactly where you took him.
Worst Case Scenario:
One-third of the 22 running backs studied above failed to reach 205 carries. Just a thought for Ezekiel Elliott in 2020.
[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com and airyards.com]