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. Today, we take a look at Ezekiel Elliott, who is either washed, is not washed you moron he was just hurt, or is maybe not as good as he used to be? That wild little sentence was my way of saying that nobody really knows what to expect from Zeke Elliott this season, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take a look anyway, does it?
Ezekiel Elliott ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: RB17, 32 overall
Average Auction Value: $25.6
Ezekiel Elliott 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|
2022 Ezekiel Elliott Fantasy Football Overview:
There’s a notion going around that Tony Pollard might just be better than Ezekiel Elliott. Sure, fine, why not. I will take that as read, and I’m not going to argue with you. There’s also a notion that Ezekiel Elliott is washed, and that’s where we are going to have some problems. Zeke was top-ten in running back rushing yards, touchdowns, and receptions. While he wasn’t a very efficient receiving back (17 yards per game), that portion of his game has been on a steady decline and adding Tony Pollard certainly doesn’t help things in that regard. Those who want to talk about how Zeke is in decline will talk about things like how he ranked 39th, 35th, and 37th in true yards per carry, yards per touch, and yards created per touch. What they won’t tell you is that he ranked 56th, 51st, and 41st in those categories in 2020 (all per Playerprofiler.com), which means he became more efficient in those metrics last season.
Forget all your fancy metrics, too. Just look at where he finished: RB15. Running back fifteen in a year where he played with a partially torn PCL all season long. And why did he finish as RB15? Because the dude had the fifth-most red zone touches and the fifth-most goal-line carries. If there was a touchdown to be had, the Cowboys were giving it to Zeke. And to be honest, I don’t see that changing. Especially not since Michael Gallup is hurt, Amari Cooper is gone, and Jalen Tolbert appears to be the #2 wide receiver to CeeDee Lamb.
So fine, taking it as read that he’s dropped down. I don’t believe it as much as others, but you guys have dropped him down way too far, and for that, let’s look at his average draft position and his average auction value.
2022 Ezekiel Elliott Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
If you’ve read this far, congratulations. I wrote 25 quarterback player profiles and 17 running back player profiles before I got to Ezekiel Elliott’s price point, and this was the first time I got truly upset with what people were doing to poor Zeke. Things aren’t as crazy in snake drafts, where he’s RB17 off the board, and pick 33 overall. That’s not too bad, but I slightly disagree with taking David Montgomery and Antonio Gibson over him. I see David Montgomery as Zeke’s floor this season, and I see Antonio Gibson as far too volatile to take over Elliott.
But salary cap drafts. Salary cap drafts, we need to have a word. On average, Cam Akers costs more ($26.4) than Ezekiel Elliott ($26.1). I’m sorry, but whoever paid more for Akers than Zeke needs to get their head checked. There’s not a universe where Akers has a better upside, or Zeke has a worse downside. There’s no reason to pay more for Cam Akers than Zeke, and if you do that, then you’re a sucker. Sorry, as I said, this is the first time that I got mad. Ezekiel Elliott averaged over 100 yards per game prior to his injury last season, and we are spending less on him than we are spending on Cam Akers, who has 2 games over 100 yards in his first two seasons in the league.
Best Case Scenario:
Ezekiel Elliott returns to form and averages 100+ yards per game while being in the top-five in goal-line carries and finishes as a top-ten back.
Worst Case Scenario:
Elliott performs horribly, and Jerry Jones “makes Zeke disappear” for stealing his money halfway through the season to “teach Tony Pollard a Texas-sized lesson.”
Check out all our 2022 player profiles, here.
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Ezekiel_Elliott_%2838027138731%29.jpg under CC BY SA 2.0]