Show Navigation
Show Menu

Should Ezekiel Elliott be the #2 pick in fantasy drafts?

By Jared Smola 11:05am EDT 5/12/20


This is a free preview of a Draft Sharks player profile. DS Insiders will have access to 300+ profiles in June.


What You Need to Know:

  • Elliott finished 3rd among RBs in PPR points and 4th in non-PPR last year.
  • He’s now been a top-5 fantasy back in all 4 of his NFL seasons.
  • Dallas needs to replace C Travis Frederick, who retired this offseason.
  • Elliott has even more target competition this year after the Cowboys added 1st-round rookie WR CeeDee Lamb.


2019 in review

Elliott spent last summer in Cabo, holding out for a new deal. He got that deal — 6 years, $90 million — just a few days before Week 1. And then he resumed being a fantasy stud.

Zeke was a bit limited in the opener, playing 54% of Dallas’ offensive snaps and handling 13 carries and 2 targets. But he posted a 67+% snap rate in each of the final 15 games, carried 16+ times in 12 of them and saw 19+ opportunities (carries + targets) in 14.

Elliott tallied 100+ total yards in 9 games and failed to reach 70 just 3 times. He hit pay dirt in 10 contests, including 4 multi-TD outings. Zeke didn’t finish a single week worse than 26th among RBs in PPR points. He cracked the top 15 in 11 different weeks, including 5 top-5 finishes.

Elliott’s final numbers: 301 carries, 1,357 yards and 12 TDs. All 3 marks ranked top 5 league-wide. Zeke added a 54-420-2 receiving line to rank 3rd among RBs in PPR points and 4th in non-PPR.


Consistently dominant

It was just more of the same from Elliott. Outside of his 2017 season that was interrupted by a 6-game suspension, he’s finished 2nd, 5th and 3rd in PPR points and 2nd, 5th and 4th in non-PPR. And in 2017, Zeke ranked 3rd in PPR points per game and 2nd in non-PPR.

Elliott’s career 96.5 rushing yards per game ranks 4th in NFL history. He’s still (somehow) turning just 25 in July. And he’s yet to miss a single game due to injury as a pro. Solid.


Concerns

If we’re picking nits, we have 2 minor concerns with Zeke heading into 2020.

The first is the loss of C Travis Frederick, who surprisingly announced his retirement in mid-March. He’ll be replaced by either veteran Joe Looney or 4th-round rookie Tyler Biadasz. Looney started all 16 games for Dallas back in 2018 and wasn’t very good, ranking 33rd among 36 qualifying Cs in Pro Football Focus’ run-blocking grades. Biadasz was a 3-year starter at Wisconsin but has needed hip and shoulder surgeries over the past 12 months. This will be a situation to monitor this summer. But with Dallas returning last year’s other 4 O-line starters, this still looks like 1 of the better units in the league.

The other concern with Elliott is his role in the passing game. His receiving production dropped from 77-567-3 in 2018 to 54-420-2 last year. That’s a loss of 43.7 PPR points (and 20.7 non-PPR). Elliott’s targets fell from 95 to 71, and his target share from 18.0% to 11.9%.

Now, Zeke still ranked top 12 at his position in targets, catches and receiving yards last year. But it’s possible his volume takes another hit with 1st-round rookie WR CeeDee Lamb joining Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. RB Tony Pollard also returns for his 2nd season, although Elliott beat him last year in yards per catch and yards per target. Ultimately, we’re not expecting Zeke’s passing-game role to change much from 2019. But it’ll be something to keep an eye on this summer.


Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

Elliott is 1 of the safest RB picks in all of fantasy football. He’s been a top-5 scorer in both PPR and non-PPR in each of his 4 NFL seasons. He’ll be just 25 when the 2020 campaign kicks off. And he hasn’t missed a single game with injury as a pro.

No argument here against drafting Elliott once Christian McCaffrey is off the board. And Zeke shouldn’t get out of the top 5 in any fantasy draft.


In This Article

Related Fantasy Football

Podcast: Week 14 DraftKings Top Picks

Podcast: Week 14 DraftKings Top Picks

2:28pm EST 12/9/22

Are Amon-Ra St. Brown and his QB too good to pass on in the NFL Week 14 DFS main slate?

Read More »
Top Plays for Week 6 Underdog Pick Ems

Top Plays for Week 6 Underdog Pick Ems

10:10am EDT 10/12/22

Is Zeke ready to eat our money ... or gobble up enough yards to help us win?

Read More »
Premium Content Premium Content2021 RB Fantasy Football Scoring Review

2021 RB Fantasy Football Scoring Review

1:05pm EDT 7/25/22

Who was winning you fantasy football weeks most often in 2021, and just where is this position going on whole?

Read More »
Premium Content Premium Content2022 Offensive Line Almanac

2022 Offensive Line Almanac

8:43am EDT 6/30/22

Everything you need to know about all 32 offensive lines -- and how they'll impact your fantasy season.

Read More »
Podcast: Week 15 FanDuel 12-17-21

Podcast: Week 15 FanDuel 12-17-21

12:50pm EST 12/17/21

Is there such a thing as James Robinson Week in fantasy football anymore?

Read More »
Podcast: Week 9 FanDuel 11-5-21

Podcast: Week 9 FanDuel 11-5-21

8:10am EDT 11/6/21

High-end QBs look attractive on FanDuel this week, with $6K saviors at RB to help.

Read More »
Premium Content Premium ContentFFPC Main-Event Running Draft Recap

FFPC Main-Event Running Draft Recap

3:07pm EDT 7/11/21

Follow along as Matt recaps his 1st foray into high stakes ...

Read More »
Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

Draft using the best dynamic tool in the industry. Our fantasy player valuations (DMVP) change during your draft in response to...

  1. Exact league settings - direct sync
  2. Opponent and Team Needs
  3. Positional scarcity & available players
  4. Ceiling, injury risk, ADP, and more!

You need a dynamic cheat sheet that easily live-syncs with your draft board and adapts throughout your draft using 17 crucial indicators.

Get your Draft War Room Today
Winning Your League Starts Here Trophy
Why Wouldn’t You Invest
$36 to Win Your League?
Check out thisleague-winning info
2023 Draft Package Now - Sept 15

$39

Get Instant Access
2023 In-Season Package Sept 5 - Mar 7

$39

Get Access Sept. 5
2023 DFS Package Sept 5 - Mar 7

$49

Get Access Sept. 5
Best Value – All Access Pass
DS Insider Membership All 3 Packages

$127 $36

Semi-annual
Get Instant Access
Draft War Room Included Draft War Room Draft War Room Draft War Room Included Draft War Room
Unlimited Live-Draft Sync Included Unlimited Live-Draft Sync Unlimited Live-Draft Sync Unlimited Live-Draft Sync Included Unlimited Live-Draft Sync
Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Award-Winning Player Rankings Included Award-Winning Player Rankings
3D Projections Included 3D Projections 3D Projections 3D Projections Included 3D Projections
In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles In-Depth Player Profiles Included In-Depth Player Profiles
Mock Draft Trainer Included Mock Draft Trainer Mock Draft Trainer Mock Draft Trainer Included Mock Draft Trainer
DMVP Trade Values Included DMVP Trade Values DMVP Trade Values DMVP Trade Values Included DMVP Trade Values
The Perfect Draft Included The Perfect Draft The Perfect Draft The Perfect Draft Included The Perfect Draft
Breakout & Comeback Player Included Breakout & Comeback Player Breakout & Comeback Player Breakout & Comeback Player Included Breakout & Comeback Player
Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Average Draft Position by Scoring Included Average Draft Position by Scoring
Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Scientific Injury Predictor Included Scientific Injury Predictor
Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Insider Sleepers & Busts Included Insider Sleepers & Busts
In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings In-Season Weekly Rankings Included In-Season Weekly Rankings
“Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool “Who Should I Start?” Tool Included “Who Should I Start?” Tool
“Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications “Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications Included “Team Intel” Tool w/ Analysis & Notifications
Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Live-Sync Free Agent Finder Included Live-Sync Free Agent Finder
Trade Navigator Trade Navigator Included Trade Navigator Trade Navigator Included Trade Navigator
Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares Player Shares Included Player Shares
In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems In-Depth Free Agent Gems Included In-Depth Free Agent Gems
Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice Included Buy/Sell/Hold Trade Advice
Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data Strength-of-Schedule Data Included Strength-of-Schedule Data
DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder Included DFS Lineup Builder
DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections Included DFS Ownership Projections
Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks Included Weekly Top Stacks
High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews Included High-Stakes DFS Line-up Reviews
DFS Independent DFS Independent DFS Independent Included DFS Independent Included DFS Independent
Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles Included Premium Insider Articles
Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates Included Daily FF Email Updates
Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates Included Breaking News Updates
To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives Included To-the-Minute Game Day Inactives
All-Access Draft Sharks App All–Access Draft Sharks App Included All-Access Draft Sharks App Included All-Access Draft Sharks App Included All-Access Draft Sharks App Included All-Access Draft Sharks App
Get Instant Access Get Access Sept 5 Get Access Sept 5 Get Instant Access

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Get It on Google Play