The Duel

Ezekiel Elliott Fantasy Outlook Immediately Soars Following Contract Extension

Jason Schandl
Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys
Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys / Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Reports on Ezekiel Elliott's contract extension talks with the Dallas Cowboys seemed to be contradicting each other on a daily basis for the last few weeks. Although, all of that is behind us now, as Dallas has made Zeke the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

Elliott was in the conversation as the potential first-overall pick in fantasy football before the holdout concerns came to light, and even when they did, his average draft position (ADP) didn't fall far, leaving him at RB4 on with the regular season just one day away. Already back at practice on Wednesday, Zeke has solidified his fantasy value moving forward.

Ezekiel Elliott 2019 Fantasy Outlook

Zeke immediately finds himself back in the conversation for the top player in fantasy football. Already a high-volume rusher, averaging 22.6 carries per game over his first two NFL seasons, he added a new dimension as a receiving threat in 2018.

He finished last season with 304 carries and 95 targets (77 receptions), leading the NFL with 381 touches and eclipsing 2,000 yards from scrimmage in only 15 games.

There is some concern that Dallas might rein in his workload a bit to keep him healthy now that it has so much money invested, but he's still as good a bet as anyone to lead the NFL in touches in 2019. Volume is king for RBs in fantasy football, and that also makes him a good bet to lead the position in fantasy production. Despite the hype around Tony Pollard, a fourth-round rookie behind him shouldn't create any real concerns around Zeke's volume either.

Ezekiel Elliott Week 1 Fantasy Football Outlook

The one real area of concern for Zeke's fantasy value is what his Week 1 outlook is like. Early reports are that he may only be on the field for 20-25 snaps.

Reports around the Zeke situation have been incredibly unreliable for the past month though, and reports on specifics around touches and snaps are rarely accurate even at the best of times.

Zeke's matchup against the New York Giants is a terrific one — the Giants allowed top-10 fantasy production to RBs in 2018 and the Cowboys are 7-point favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook — and even if he does end up playing only about half the game, he's not someone you're going to want to leave out of your starting lineup.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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.