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Tony Pollard - Fantasy Points Outlook

Basic Stats Basic Stats

Tony Pollard
DAL

RB DAL

#43 Running Back

97 Projected Points

ADP: Not Available
Bye: 7
Experience: 2 Yr(s)
Age: 24
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 210
40 Time: 4.52

Weekly Outlook

Week 20 Projections

This player does not have a weekly prediction

Rest Of Way Outlook

Week 13
Pollard was the Dallas running game at New Orleans, thanks to a 58-yard TD run in the 3rd quarter. It was the longest run by a Cowboy since a 70-yarder by RB Alfred Morris in 2017. Pollard’s TD run provided half of the RBs’ game total of 118 rushing yards. Before that 3rd-quarter play, Pollard and RB Ezekiel Elliott had managed just 20 yards in 11 carries. When the Cowboys were trying to run out the clock in the 4th quarter, they had 3 3-and-outs. Pollard caught just 2 of 4 targets for 3 yards. His rushing total for the game was 7 carries for a team-high 71 yards.
Regardless of owner/GM Jerry Jones’s rosy outlook for hobbled RB Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard may have a larger workload Sunday at Washington. 2 of the next 3 games are against the Football Team, which has the 3rd-fewest rushing yards allowed this season. Pollard has raised his fantasy value by scoring a TD in each of the last 2 games. At some point, he may become more involved in the passing game.
Week 12
He led the team in rushing for the 2nd consecutive week, with a modest 36 yards in 10 carries, with the longest just 12 yards. In those last 2 games, he totaled just 86 yards in those games. Against the Raiders on Thanksgiving, Pollard caught all 4 targets for 32 yards. He had 3 kickoff returns for 129 yards, including his 2nd overall TD of the season with a Cowboys-record-tying 100-yard return. In the 1st quarter, Pollard had a 31-yard run nullified by a penalty.
This season, Pollard has gained 531 yards in 100 carries; that’s, let see, about 5.31 yards per carry. If RB Ezekiel Elliott is limited, Pollard could exceed his season-high 14 carries. Or possibly not. Thursday’s opponent, New Orleans, has allowed just 72.9 yards per game this season and has allowed just 2 100-yard rushers in the Saints’ last 71 games. Especially if WRs Amari Cooper and Ced Wilson don’t play, Dallas could use the sure-handed Pollard in the passing game; he has caught 29 of 31 targets this season.
Week 11
At Kansas City, Pollard was Dallas’s leading rusher with 50 yards in 7 carries and caught both targets for 20 yards. The rushing total was boosted by a 31-yard run, his longest this season, after taking a direct snap. Take away that play, and Pollard would have had 6 carries for just 19 yards and the team would have finished with 55 yards in 15 carries.
If you have handcuffed RBs Ezekiel Elliott and Pollard, this could be a good week to start him at home on Thursday against the Raiders. Because of Elliott’s hurting right leg and the short turnaround, Pollard could have a larger role in the Dallas running game. If injured LT Tyron Smith returns, he should help the running game. Pollard would be a bit of a gamble because after scoring 8 TDs as a backup in his 1st 2 seasons, he has just 1 in 2021, way back in Week 2.
Week 10
In a game when Dallas took its foot off the gas pedal in the 2nd half, backup RB Pollard had a team-high 42 yards in 11 carries. He also caught 6 of 7 targets for 56 yards. The target he didn’t catch was a surprising drop on a short pass on 3rd-and-13 in the 1st quarter. No. 3 RB Corey Clement had no carries but did catch his only target for 5 yards. Pollard started Dallas toward its rout by returning the opening kickoff 29 yards.
Pollard still hasn’t scored a TD since Week 2, which limits his fantasy value. His best chance to score could be on a kickoff return. He’s averaging a career-high 27.2 yards per return and has had 3 games with at least 70 return yards. It seems possible that innovative ST coordinator John Fassel could find a way for Pollard to go all the way with a return. The Cowboys may have the best depth in the NFL with starting RB Ezekiel Elliott, Pollard and Clement.
Week 9
He had a season-low 5 touches -- 4 carries for 11 yards and 1 catch in 2 targets. The complete pass went for 32 yards, a career long and his highest receiving total this season. The target that missed was his 1st in 2021. His greatest contribution was a 54-yard return with the opening kickoff and another return for 35 yards.
Pollard’s rushing yardage has declined 3 weeks in a row. His only TD this season came in Week 2. The best chance for Pollard to regain fantasy value would be if RB Ezekiel Elliott rests a knee injury. It might help if Zeke sat for a week or 2. Pollard and former Eagle Corey Clement still would leave Dallas with 2 viable NFL RBs.
Week 8
Pollard has his fewest touches since Week 1 at Minnesota Sunday night – 7 carries for 26 yards and only 1 target, good for 1 yard. His 3.7 yards per carry were his fewest this season. He hasn’t had a double-figure carry in the last 2 games and hasn’t scored a TD since Week 2.
It’s difficult to say that a team with a 6-game winning streak needs Pollard’s contributions as a backup RB. His role going forward would seem to be more traditional, giving starting RB Ezekiel Elliott an occasional breather and carrying the ball late while the Cowboys are running out the clock after taking an insurmountable lead. With 3 opponents without a winning record coming up on the schedule, that could mean more production for Pollard.
Week 5
Pollard backed up starting RB Ezekiel Elliott with 14 carries for 75 yards. His per-carry average of 5.4 yards was slightly higher than Elliott’s. Pollard also caught all 4 targets for 28 yards. His only limitations are being behind Elliott on the depth chart and not always serving as a 3rd-down receiver because Zeke is so valuable in pass protection.
As long as Elliott is in 1 piece, Pollard will be no more than the NFL’s best No. 2 RB. There is no better handcuff capable of picking up where a starting RB left off if that starter is injured. Even with multiple-TD leads in the 2nd half against the Giants, Elliott still was sharing playing time with Pollard. If you own Zeke, you already should have Tony as his handcuff.
Week 4
For the 2nd straight game, Pollard was an effective backup to RB Ezekiel Elliott, with 10 carries for 67 yards. Missing was Pollard’s role as a receiver out of the backfield. With QB Dak Prescott throwing just 22 passes, Pollard was not targeted.
Week 5’s division opponents, the Giants, are in the middle of the pack in both passing and rushing defense. In the last 2 games, the Cowboys have built big leads in the 2nd half and essentially stopped passing. That’s not a scenario that works in Pollard’s favor. He could have more carries if Dallas rests Elliott late in the game, but fewer opportunities as a receiver. Pollard may not be am every-week fantasy starter, but he’s a superb handcuff if Elliott is injured.
Week 3
Again Dallas used Pollard and RB Ezekiel Elliott in concert to help wear down an opposing defense. With Elliott gaining ground in the middle of the field and Pollard carrying toward the margins, they were about equal in the 1st half – Zeke 11 carries for 60 yards and Tony 10 for 56. Pollard touched the ball just twice in the 2nd half, for a 4-yard run and a 5-yard reception.
It’s still not a given that Elliott will be the #1 RB. Against the Panthers’ stingy defense this week, whoever has a hot hand early may finish with more touches and yardage. It’s not likely that in Sunday’s game the Cowboys will all but abandon the running game as they did in the season opener against the Buccaneers’ porous pass defense. Carolina also has allowed the fewest passing yards in the NFL through 3 weeks.
Week 2
There are 4 Rs here: rush, receive, return, recompense (to pay or give compensation). Against the Chargers, Pollard outperformed starting RB Ezekiel Elliott in the 3 verbs (109 rushing yards to 71 in 3 fewer carries, 33 receiving yards to 26, 71 kickoff return yards to 0). The noun might be more important because the Cowboys will still have to give the ball to Zeke to try to justify a $6.8-million salary that will balloon to $18M-plus against the salary cap. We don’t want to boast (much), but we’ve been pointing out Pollard’s emerging production since early last season.
In Week 2, Pollard’s time on the field grew to 34% from 24% in Week 1. He had 16 touches in 21 snaps at Los Angeles. Even before Week 2, Pollard was owned in about half of fantasy leagues. You shouldn’t have to be run over by the stampede of fantasy owners jumping on the Pollard bandwagon because you already should have had him stashed on your roster. There has been no better RB handcuff during the last 2 seasons. We repeat what we said last week: “It’s easy to envision another season with Pollard slowly growing his number of touches at Elliott’s expense.”

Basic Stats Preseason Player Analysis

What You Need to Know:

  • Pollard saw only a slight bump in usage in his 2nd season. As a 2019 rookie, he drew 20.1% of Dallas’ carries and 3.7% of targets over his 15 games. In the 15 games he shared with Ezekiel Elliott last season, Pollard saw 21.8% carry share and 5.1% target share.
  • His playing time saw a similarly slight bump. After playing 19% of offensive snaps for his 15 games in 2019, Pollard played 28.6% of the snaps in Elliott’s 15 games last season.
  • Through 2 years, Pollard has seen about double the usage in a receiver spot compared with Elliott. According to Pro Football Focus, Pollard lined up out wide or in the slot on 15.1% of his 2019 offensive snaps and then 16% of his 2020 snaps. Elliott did so on about 6% and 8% of his snaps, respectively.
  • Pollard has been a big winner in PFF’s elusive rating each year so far. He ranked 2nd in that category last season among 63 RBs with 75+ carries. In 2019, Pollard led the 61 RBs in that group.
  • The Cowboys’ offense should be in much better shape for 2020 with some key injury returns. In addition to QB Dak Prescott, RT La’El Collins missed all of 2020 with a hip injury, LT Tyron Smith lost 14 games to a neck injury and star RG Zack Martin played just 54% of the snaps because of a calf strain.
  • Those absences -- plus the loss of center Travis Frederick to retirement -- knocked Dallas from 7th in PFF run-blocking grade in 2019 all the way down to 29th last season.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

We wouldn’t be surprised to see another slight uptick in Pollard’s workload, but the Dallas backfield remains under Ezekiel Elliott’s control. Pollard looks like 1 of the few handcuffs worth targeting in fantasy drafts, but beware overpaying for a guy who likely won’t start for you unless Elliott goes down. Pollard is currently going inside the top 40 at RB in FFPC best-ball drafting, at the Round 9-10 turn.

Recent Shark Bites View All Shark Bites »

Cowboys RB Tony Pollard (foot) was a full participant in Wednesday's practice. That's confirmation that he'll be available for Sunday's Wild Card game vs. the 49ers.

View all Tony Pollard Shark Bites »

Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said Monday that RB Tony Pollard (foot) will be "ready to roll" in Saturday's Wild Card game vs. the 49ers. It's confirmation that Pollard was held out of the regular-season finale as a precaution. Pollard averaged 7.7 carries and 3.7 targets over his final 3 games and is likely looking at a similar workload in the playoffs.

View all Tony Pollard Shark Bites »

Cowboys RB Tony Pollard (foot) has been downgraded to out for Saturday night's game vs. the Eagles. It's unclear if he suffered a setback with that foot or is just getting some rest with Dallas having already won the NFC East. Even with Pollard out, don't expect the Cowboys to overwork RB Ezekiel Elliott on Saturday. Corey Clement will mix in as the #2 RB.

View all Tony Pollard Shark Bites »

Cowboys RB Tony Pollard (foot) is active for today’s game vs. the Giants. He’ll be playing through a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot, so his role and effectiveness are in question. Pollard is a risky fantasy play today.

View all Tony Pollard Shark Bites »

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Cowboys RB Tony Pollard (foot) is expected to play vs. the Giants today. But Schefter adds that, "Dallas could have a slightly more cautious approach with him" as he battles that partially torn plantar fascia. It's tough to project exactly how much work Pollard will get today, making him a risky fantasy play.

View all Tony Pollard Shark Bites »

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