It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the running backs. Ezekiel Elliott seems to be slowing down. While 2020 Tony Pollard couldn’t quite cash that in, can 2021 Tony Pollard cash that check?
Tony Pollard ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: RB42, Pick 113
Average Auction Value: $1.1 (T-RB51)
Tony Pollard Statistics:
|Year||G||GS||Rush||Ru Yds||Ru TD||Tgt||Rec||Yards||TD||Touches||Opp||Total Yards|
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tch||HPPR Pts/Tch||PPR Pts/Tch|
2021 Tony Pollard Fantasy Football Overview:
Through two years, the only thing that Tony Pollard has lacked has been an opportunity to grab ahold of the starting running back job and to, well… run away with it. That’s what happens when you have one of the better running backs in the league ahead of you in the pecking order. You tend to get overlooked. But, there’s been a growing drumbeat for Tony Pollard to take over a bigger share of the running back pie from Ezekiel Elliott. And it makes sense, Pollard has been the more explosive player lately. Per playerprofiler.com, Tony Pollard finished 2020 top-20 in breakaway run rate, juke rate, and yards created per touch. Compare that to Ezekiel Elliott, who finished #58, #23, and #40 in those three categories, respectively.
There’s a lot for Pollard to take, as well. Ezekiel Elliott, despite not producing at his typical level, still ranked top-five in running back targets and carries, as well as goal-line carries last season. He also ranked ninth in red zone touches. It was just… a lot of opportunity for Ezekiel Elliott last season.
So, where does that leave Pollard? Well, there’s a brass ring out there just waiting for someone to grab it from Zeke Elliott. It really would not surprise me to see Tony Pollard end 2021 with over 200 touches. Elliott is starting to break down, and Pollard already looks more explosive. All he needs is a chance.
2021 Tony Pollard Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
There are few running backs with Tony Pollard’s upside available after pick 110. If Ezekiel Elliott succumbs to the beating the NFL laid on his body, then Pollard could be a league winner. For that alone, he’s worth a pick after pick 110. But, I believe the Cowboys will likely make sure that their star running back doesn’t go the way of their star quarterback (his foot and body go in two different directions). Because of this, I think that we will see more of a weekly role for Pollard. This gives him independent flex appeal on top of being one of the best handcuffs in the league.
Pollard has six career games with over a dozen touches across 2019 and 2020. In those six games, he averaged 17.3 full PPR points per game. Over the course of a season, that would have been top-ten in the NFL in PPR scoring.
Best Case Scenario:
Ezekiel Elliott mistakes a Super Mario Bros. pipe for his traditional Salvation Army donation bucket. He’s off using his running back powers to fight Goombas and Koopa Troopas, instead. Tony Pollard takes over as the RB1 in the offense and returns a top-12 season.
Worst Case Scenario:
Ezekiel Elliott remains an unstoppable workhorse back, and Tony Pollard stays in the short side of a platoon with him.
Check out all our 2021 player profiles, here.
Want more 2021 fantasy football draft discussion? Check out these links!
[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Image Source: https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tony_Pollard_(cropped).jpg, cropped under CC BY SA 2.0]