Fantasy football: Ezekiel Elliott is foolishly being overlooked (2024)

Few would reasonably believe that Ezekiel Elliott, who notably reunited with the Dallas Cowboys this spring, is the same player -- physically and ultimately statistically -- who used to be a fantasy football superstar. Drafted in 2016, Elliott finished as a top-five fantasy running back in three of his first four NFL seasons, carrying myriad fantasy managers to championships. Even in his final two seasons in Dallas, when backup Tony Pollard pushed him for touches, primarily receptions, Elliott scored 12 touchdowns each season. He was the No. 6 running back for fantasy in 2021, a top-20 player overall.

The current version of Elliott, who turns 29 in July, seems unlikely to achieve RB1 status, but it may not be as wild a suggestion as one realizes, and he is certainly not a player to ignore. Elliott and the Cowboys parted ways before the 2023 season, with Pollard handling the bulk of the running back touches, but Pollard now is fighting for attention on the Tennessee Titans. We can analyze Elliott's statistics in his lone season with the New England Patriots and come away unimpressed, but how many Patriots thrived? Can you find any? The rebuilding Patriots won four games.

There were positives in Elliott's season away from Dallas, enough that there is a pathway to definite fantasy relevance this season, if the Cowboys permit this to occur, which they may. Elliott probably had little chance as a traditional runner for the Patriots, seeking space behind a soft offensive line and pathetic quarterback play, but he did catch 51 passes, 27 of them in the final five weeks when he handled a full workload without injured Rhamondre Stevenson. Elliott caught 17 passes during the entire 2022 season for Dallas, as the offense transitioned to Pollard in that role, but it hardly meant Elliott was no longer capable of the skill. He proved it last season.

Elliott averaged 20 touches per game over the final six contests in 2023, finding the end zone three times. No, he did not look like the same player he once was, in his burst or ability to break tackles, but he remained a savvy player with a nose -- and the body -- for the end zone. A motivated Elliott proved he could catch passes and he has shown no decline in blocking ability, a prerequisite which should earn him ample snaps. Elliott remains a punishing player at 225 pounds. We can debate how many touches the Cowboys intend to provide him as they avoid clarity, especially as a pass-catcher, but you know he is getting the short-yardage plays and touchdowns.

This is why it seems like a mistake to overlook Elliott in fantasy. While he is among the older starting running backs in the sport and unlikely to recapture the fullness of past glory, he doesn't need to be that same player statistically to greatly aid fantasy managers. Elliott needs snaps, and even though Rico Dowdle averaged 4.1 yards per carry backing up Pollard last season, he hardly looked fluid catching passes. Dowdle has struggled to stay healthy, and he is not as good as Pollard in the open field. The Cowboys focused on other positions in the draft and free agency. Perhaps Dowdle, Royce Freeman, Deuce Vaughn, Malik Davis or Snoop Conner emerges as a third-down option to catch passes, but do not assume this. The Cowboys are open-minded, but the team knows Elliott can handle the workload, and he can't wait to prove it.

Elliott showed he can for a dreadful Patriots offense last season, and the Cowboys are far from that. It would not be a reach to expect him to approach or surpass 1,000 rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns again, just as he did during the 2021 season. He scored 12 touchdowns in 2022, and he probably would've gotten to 1,000 rushing yards if he hadn't missed a pair of midseason contests. Elliott was not the same player of his first several seasons in terms of efficiency, but volume counts for quite a bit, too. In this backfield, Elliott sure seems likely to get all the volume he can handle, and even if QB Dak Prescott attempts 600 passes, the offense is proficient enough to provide more than 250 touches -- many in advantageous situations -- to its lead running back.

Fantasy football: Ezekiel Elliott is foolishly being overlooked (2024)


Fantasy football: Ezekiel Elliott is foolishly being overlooked? ›

Fantasy football: Ezekiel Elliott is foolishly being overlooked - Eric Karabell, ESPN. Fantasy owners may want to keep an eye on Ezekiel Elliott for this season. Elliott averaged 20 touches per game over the final six contests in 2023, finding the end zone three times.

What is the funny fantasy football team names Ezekiel Elliott? ›

Ezekiel Elliott Fantasy Football Team Names (Updated 2022)
  • The Book of Ezekiel.
  • Zeke Between the Sheets.
  • Let's Get PhysZekiel.
  • Even Kiel.
  • Dawson's Zeke.
  • Zeke And Destroy.
  • Zeke the End Zone.
  • From A to Zeke.
Sep 10, 2020

Why was Ezekiel Elliott punished? ›

Elliott was suspended.

The NFL's disciplinary process does not carry the same burden of proof as the legal system. The league's investigation determined that Elliott was violent toward the woman on three separate occasions. In August of this year, Roger Goodell issued a six-game suspension to Elliott.

How many touchdowns does Ezekiel Elliott score a game? ›

Ezekiel Elliott has 0.71 touchdowns per game played in his career. StatMuse has season-level data for touchdowns going back to the 1921 season.

Is Ezekiel Elliott good for fantasy? ›

Elliott averaged 15.9 PPR Fantasy points per game in the final six games of the season, which was good enough to make him a top-12 running back. He also averaged more than six targets per game in that stretch, and we don't expect him to have that type of workload in the passing game in Dallas.

What NFL team is interested in Ezekiel Elliott? ›

Cowboys' signing Ezekiel Elliott has potential to bring solid value for the cost Elliott's numbers with the Patriots was down last season. In his second go-round with Dallas, his salary better aligns with his production. It's happening: Dallas Cowboys are bringing back Ezekiel Elliott.

Where does Ezekiel Elliott rank all time? ›

Ezekiel Elliott was ranked third all-time on the same list, despite not experiencing the playoff success or Super Bowl wins that Smith did.

How many fumbles did Zeke have? ›

Ezekiel Elliott has 24 fumbles in his career.
Ezekiel Elliott6304
Ezekiel Elliott3301
Ezekiel Elliott6244
Ezekiel Elliott1237
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How many rushing titles does Zeke have? ›

He won the rushing title for the second time in three seasons. Elliott earned a second Pro Bowl nomination for his 2018 season. The Cowboys finished atop the NFC East with a 10–6 and made the playoffs as the #4-seed for the NFC Playoffs.

Who has a 99 rating in Madden 22? ›

Five players have perfect 99 ratings this year, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who shares the cover of Madden NFL 22 with Tom Brady. The other four members of the 99 Club: defensive tackle Aaron Donald, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, wide receiver Davante Adams and tight end Travis Kelce.

What is Geno Smith Madden 23 rating? ›

Here are the ratings for each player in the game, broken down by position. Drew Lock leads the way here with a '66' overall rating. It's somewhat surprising that Geno Smith only earned a '60' when were expecting him to be somewhere in the 69-70 range.

What is Trevon Walker Madden 23 rating? ›

EDGE Travon Walker (76 OVR)

The first-overall pick will always get a bit of a rating boost, and that wasn't any different with Walker as one of the top-rated rookies in Madden this year. His physical attributes are off the charts, including ratings of 88 for speed, 92 foe acceleration and 88 for strength.

Why is Ezekiel Elliott famous? ›

In the 2014 season, Elliott was named the Offensive MVP of both the 2015 Sugar Bowl and the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Elliott's success at the end of the 2014 season made him a front-runner for the 2015 Heisman Trophy, though he in fact finished 8th in the voting.

Do the Cowboys have Ezekiel Elliott? ›

Elliott is returning to the Cowboys as the two sides have agreed to terms on a contract to bring one of the greatest running backs in Cowboys history back to Dallas. The deal is officially official after Elliott passed his physical with the Cowboys. He will wear his old No. 21 for his second stint in Dallas.

How do you pick a fantasy football team name? ›

Here are the Fantasy Football Team Name Commandments
  1. Make it personal to you. ...
  2. Never use a name you've used before.
  3. Try your best to be original, or use one from the list below.
  4. Don't use your actual name, birthday, or generic words.
  5. Make sure that the player or name applies to your team.
Aug 17, 2023

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