ESPN's Ed Werder considers it "likely" that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott reports to the team before Week 1. Werder guesses that'll happen between the preseason finale and the regular season opener. This sounded more like an opinion than a report. But Werder remains 1 of the industry's most plugged-in reporters, so the opinion carries plenty of weight. Zeke carries elevated risk in fantasy drafts until he actually shows up. But we're willing to gamble on him at any point from pick #4 on.

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CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora hears that there's "every expectation" that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott sees a "significant workload" in today's opener against the Giants. "Team sources said the running back was in great shape and made an immediate positive impression," La Canfora adds. After early-week reports that Zeke would be limited after signing on Wednesday, it's now sounding more and more like he'll play something close to his usual role. Elliott should be locked into season-long fantasy lineups.

Cowboys HC Jason Garrett was encouraged by what he saw from RB Ezekiel Elliott in Wednesday's practice. "He’s in good shape. His weight’s good, all of that," Garrett said. "But again he hasn’t been practicing against pro football players. So you just work your way back into it. He’s an experienced guy. He’s played a lot of football for us, and so we’ll just use our best judgment as we go based on what we see, his feedback, what he says to us, how he feels, all of that and you just take it step by step.” Dallas' current plan is to reportedly give Zeke about half of his normal workload. That can certainly change, though, if he gets rolling in Sunday's opener against the Giants. Although he's not his usual elite RB1, Elliott belongs in most Week 1 fantasy lineups.

NFL Network's Jane Slater hears that the Cowboys' current plan is for RB Ezekiel Elliott to play 20-25 snaps in Sunday's opener against the Giants. "Things can always change but this is the plan heading into today," Slater adds. Zeke averaged 59 snaps per game last year, so this would be about 40% of his normal workload. Of course, he could rack up 15+ touches on those snaps. And it's possible Dallas plays Elliott more if he gets rolling. We'll continue to keep a close eye on the situation. For now, consider Zeke a RB2 with upside in Week 1 fantasy lineups.

The Cowboys and RB Ezekiel Elliott have agreed to a contract extension that makes him the NFL's highest-paid RB, NFL Network reports. It's a 6-year, $90 million pact with "roughly half" guaranteed. It tacks on to Elliott's current deal to put him under contract for the next 8 years. More importantly, it rewards fantasy owners who went ahead and trusted that he'd return before the start of the season.Elliott has finished 3rd, 3rd and 6th among RBs in PPR points per game through 3 NFL seasons.He’s remained inside the top 4 in our 2019 rankings all along. The only questions left now are whether Zeke will play in Sunday’s opener and how much work he’s ready for.He spent his holdout training in Cabo and is in shape to play this weekend, his agent said yesterday. We'll watch for updates on Elliott’s Week 1 status, but we’d plan on having him in fantasy lineups vs. the Giants. Rookie Tony Pollard, meanwhile, sinks to just being a fantasy handcuff.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott is flying back to the Dallas area on Tuesday "in case his extension gets done." This doesn't necessarily mean a deal is imminent, but it might be the strongest sign yet that an agreement is close. We've still had Elliott in the middle of Round 1 in our draft plans.

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