Shark Bites

Cowboys TE Rico Gathers sustained a concussion in Tuesday's practice, according to NFL Network's James Palmer. Gathers has been building momentum with a couple of strong preseason outings, but he was still a long shot to make a 2017 fantasy impact. This concussion obviously won't help. We'll see how long it takes him to pass through the protocol.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott officially appealed his 6-game suspension on Tuesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The appeal will be heard on August 29. That's just 12 days before Dallas kicks off its season against the Giants. It remains plenty possible that this situation isn't resolved by that point. For now, though, fantasy owners need to proceed as if Elliott will be suspended for the first 6 games of the season.

Cowboys TE Rico Gathers hauled in 4 balls for 47 yards and a score in Saturday night's preseason game against the Rams. That followed a 3-59-1 line in the Hall of Fame Game. Gathers is a monstrous 6'6, 290-pound converted basketball player who's looked impressively smooth in these exhibition outings. He's stuck behind TE Jason Witten for now and isn't worth a roster spot in redraft leagues. But Gathers is an intriguing stash in keeper and dynasty formats.

Cowboys RB Darren McFadden took all 19 snaps with the 1st-team offense in Saturday night's preseason game. He carried 6 times for 28 yards, but the usage is what's important. McFadden is clearly locked in as Dallas' #2 RB -- and the lead back during Ezekiel Elliott's suspension. The Cowboys face a tough rushing schedule over their first 6 games, but volume and supporting cast will make McFadden a solid fantasy starter.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's representatives confirmed in a statement Friday afternoon that he'll appeal his 6-game suspension. "The NFL's findings are replete with factual inaccuracies and erroneous conclusions and it 'cherry picks' so called evidence to support its conclusion while ignoring other critical evidence," the statement reads, in part. We've seen these appeals drag out, and Elliott would be allowed to play if it extends into the regular season. We'll continue to keep a close eye on the situation. For now, though, we're still projecting Elliott to miss the first 6 games of the year.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended 6 games for violating the league's personal conduct policy, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. He's expected to appeal the decision. We'll see how long a ruling on that takes, but we need to assume Elliott will miss the first 6 games of the season at this point. That obviously puts a massive dent in his fantasy value. We'll see what happens to his ADP, though. Zeke might still be worth a look if he starts dropping into the 3rd or even late 2nd round. RB Darren McFadden is the odds-on favorite to operate as Dallas' lead back while Elliott sits, although RB Alfred Morris could make a push over the next few weeks. We'll have a full breakdown of the fantasy impact of Elliott's suspension later today. For now, check out our updated projections for the Cowboys backfield.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport believes the "benchmark" for Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott's suspension is 6 games. "Could be fewer," Rapoport adds. 6 games is certainly more than we've been expecting -- and would be harsh for a guy who hasn't actually been charged with any crimes. It sounds like we'll get an official announcement from the league at some point today. If you're drafting in the meantime, consider Elliott no earlier than the late 2nd round.

Pro Football Talk reports that the "prevailing view in league circles" is that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott will be suspended for his off-field antics. One league source told PFT that a suspension is "definite." NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, meanwhile, hears that the league's decision could be announced as soon as Friday. We're looking forward to finally getting some clarity on this issue so we can properly value Zeke in fantasy drafts. Stay tuned.

Don't expect any resolution on the Ezekiel Elliott situation this week. According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the "Commissioner [is] waiting for 4 outside advisors who attended meeting to finish work" before announcing any discipline for the Dallas RB. If you're not sure what to make of that, join the club. This figures to be the most drawn-out 1-2 game suspension of all time. In the meantime, continue to treat Elliott the way you have been in recent drafts.

The Dallas police department announced that the investigation into the incident Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott was involved in last weekend has been suspended. The cops haven't been able to contact the victim, and no witnesses have come forward. It looks like Zeke will escape this one, but there's still a good chance he's slapped with a suspension. Trouble has followed him throughout his first year in the league.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott was involved in a "late-night incident" at a bar on Sunday, according to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas and since confirmed by ESPN's Adam Schefter. We don't have any other details at this point, but we should get them soon. Elliott is already under investigation by the league for a 2016 domestic violence accusation, so this isn't a good look. For what it's worth, Vegas sports books are now expecting Elliott to be suspended this year. We recently knocked a game off his 2017 projections.

ESPN's Adam Schefter stepped up his language Friday on potential league discipline for Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott. After reporting on a "growing sense" that Elliott will face some discipline over domestic violence allegations against him, Schefter added, "I think Elliott is bracing for a short suspension." The situation remains unresolved to this point, with the NFL's investigation reportedly not even yet completed. So we'll see what actually happens. A game or 2 lost for Elliott wouldn't significantly alter his value. A 1-2 week replacement won't be hard to find, and Elliott would still offer a much higher ceiling the rest of the way than any other RB ranked behind him. Any suspension, of course, would add appeal to Darren McFadden as a handcuff.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott remains under investigation by the NFL for domestic violence accusations levied against him back in July of 2016, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Elliott was never charged, but it evidently remains an issue with the league. "It is definitely a factor, and if I were drafting today, I would be hesitant to (draft him)," Schefter said. "But this is a situation that has gone back and forth so many times. I’ve spoken to some people within the league who, during the course of the offseason, got a sense that some form of discipline could happen. And then I spoke to somebody last week and they’re like, ‘Yeah, I don’t think anything is going to happen here.' ... It’s just been an ongoing issue that has had no conclusion. And so, if you’re drafting today, it’s hard to say, ‘Well, nothing’s going to happen there.’ Nothing may well happen there, but something could happen there. We just don’t know right now. It’s just sort of out there." We're not adjusting Elliott's projections now, but we also wouldn't blame you for passing over him with a top 5 pick in early fantasy drafts. We'll continue to keep a close eye on the situation.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has "had to work himself back into playing shape" this spring, according to TheMMQB.com's Albert Breer. It was a parenthetical comment by Breer without any further details. But interesting nonetheless. Elliott has had an eventful offseason that's included a pair of car crashes and a video of him pulling down a woman's shirt at a St. Patrick's Day parade. He certainly wouldn't be the first guy to rest on his laurels after a big rookie season. We'll keep an eye on Elliott when the Cowboys report to training camp next month.

Cowboys WR Cole Beasley is dealing with what the team's doctors believe is hamstring tendinitis. It's been an issue since Week 10 of last season. "It's not concerning because I've been able to play through it. That makes me feel better about it," Beasley said. "I really don't think my hamstring will pull. I can't explain what it feels like, but if I go out there and run full speed it's not going to just go. I played with it for six weeks and in the playoffs and did everything in workouts. Because it hasn't gone away that's why we haven't done anything the past couple of weeks. I would love to play without it being there." Beasley indeed played the Cowboys' final 7 games (including playoffs) last year, averaging 3.7 catches and 41 yards. That was down significantly from his 5.3 catches and 59 yards over his first 10 games, but it's certainly worth noting that WR Dez Bryant missed 3 of those games. The hamstring issue doesn't impact Beasley's fantasy stock at this point, but he's not much of an option anyway.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott did not sustain a concussion in Sunday's car accident, at least according to RBs coach Gary Brown. Zeke is being held out of OTAs this week with what HC Jason Garrett termed "soreness and neck stiffness." The team is hoping to get him back on the field next week. For now, consider this a non-issue for Elliott's 2017 fantasy outlook.

Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott was a passenger in a car involved in a minor accident on Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Elliott didn't sustain any serious injuries, but he did take a hit to the head and is being evaluated. If he's diagnosed with a concussion, that could come into play if he suffers another one down the line. Elliott is being held out of OTAs this week. The story won't impact his spot in our 2017 fantasy football rankings, but it's at least something to file away.

The Cowboys selected North Carolina WR Ryan Switzer in the 4th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The 5'9, 181-pounder tested as a 26th percentile athlete, so there's not much to get excited about from that standpoint. Switzer displays plenty of burst and quickness on tape, though, and broke out with a 96-1,112-6 line as Mitchell Trubisky's #1 WR this past year. He'll be no more than a slot receiver at the next level and will begin his career backing up Cole Beasley. Beasley is signed through 2018.

The Cowboys spent their 1st-round pick on DE Taco Charlton. The former Wolverine finished a solid college career with 10 sacks and 13 total tackles for loss as a senior. That followed just 9 total sacks over his previous 2 seasons. Charlton should compete for a starting role right away on a defense that has gotten barely anything out of former 2nd-rounder Randy Gregory.

The Cowboys and TE Jason Witten have agreed to a 4-year contract extension, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. It tacks on to the final year of his current deal to lock Witten up through the 2021 season. He'll be 39 at that point, so we doubt he makes it through the life of this contract. But it at least confirms that Witten remains a significant part of Dallas' offense. He ranked 11th among TEs in PPR points last year -- and that was his worst finish since his 2003 rookie campaign.

 
 
 

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