NFL - Fantasy

Ezekiel Elliott Fantasy Football Outlook 2022 (Steady RB2 With Clear Handcuff Available)

Larry Rupp
Ezekiel Elliott fantasy football outlook for the 2022 NFL season.
Ezekiel Elliott fantasy football outlook for the 2022 NFL season. / AP Photos/Roger Steinman
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Ezekiel Elliott finished as the No. 7 RB in PPR-scoring fantasy football leagues last year and the biggest reason why was his health. In fact, he ranked as the No. 14 RB in terms of weekly average (14.8). The Dallas Cowboys ball-carrier enters the 2022 NFL season with a lot of fantasy doubters to silence.

With that being the case, it's no surprise to see Elliott right in the middle of RB2 territory in fantasy football rankings. His average draft position (ADP) has him going as the 16th running back off of the board and as a mid third round selection.

Ezekiel Elliott Fantasy Football Outlook

The wear and tear an NFL running back goes through on a weekly basis is going to make an impact sooner rather than later. That seems to be the case with Elliott. The 27-year-old has averaged only 4.1 yards per carry over the last two seasons and has logged just seven 20-yard plays during that span (580 touches). His average rushing yards per game has dropped with each passing NFL season as well and checked in at a career-low 58.9 yards in 2021.

The emergence of Tony Pollard truly limits Elliott's ceiling this fall. The former Memphis standout posted over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 2021 and averaged a reliable 5.5 yards per rushing attempt. His legs looked fresh all season long and it dug into Elliott's production. From Weeks 8 to 17, Elliott logged 3.4 yards per carry and saw only 14.7 touches per game. While each of these two has standalone value in fantasy football, drafting them together is a must.

Elliott's days of being a clear-cut RB1 are over, especially on a Dallas offense that posted a 59.61% passing play percentage in 2021 (No. 11 in NFL). He is not being used as a workhorse back anymore. The Cowboys' reliance on Elliott down near the goal line saves him from entering RB3 conversations.

Ezekiel Elliott Projections

Projections from the NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook expect Elliott to finish in the middle of the pack. He's 12th to lead the NFL in rushing yards (+2500), which is a few spots below where he finished the the 2021 season at with 1,002 yards on the ground. He is also ninth to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns (+2000). When taking Elliott's averages over the last two years into consideration (18.1 touches per game, 4.5-yard average), the idea of him reaching 1,350 yards from scrimmage may not be as unrealistic as some people think.

Is Ezekiel Elliott a Good Fantasy Football Pick?

When it comes down to it, is Elliott someone to target in the early rounds? Yes, but reaching for Pollard later on is vital. He's the No. 16 running back in The Duel's PPR fantasy football rankings, and is worthy of consideration as a dependable RB2.

Managers still holding onto the days where Elliott was tallying nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage and scoring double-digit touchdowns are going to be disappointed here. It's important to temper expectations and realize that Elliott has no true RB1 upside with Pollard in the mix.

If you've drafted Elliott this year, make sure to check out the best Ezekiel Elliott fantasy football team names for your squad.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

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