Tony Pollard's snap count has grown in each of his first three NFL seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. He finished the 2021 season with a 1,056 yards from scrimmage and 2 touchdowns on 169 touches. Pollard's efforts resulted in a No. 28 running back finish in PPR-scoring fantasy football leagues.
With that being the case, it's no surprise to see Pollard climbing higher and higher in fantasy football rankings this year. His average draft position (ADP) has him going as the 32nd running back off the board and as a late seventh-round selection.
Tony Pollard Fantasy Football Outlook
There's certain running back handcuffs worth reaching for in fantasy football drafts every year. Tony Pollard is one of those handcuffs. The fourth-year pro averaged the fourth-most yards after contact per attempt in 2021, trailing only Rashaad Penny, Nick Chubb and Jonathan Taylor. He also averaged a reliable 5.5 yards per carry, which greatly outshined that of starter Ezekiel Elliott (4.2 average). If Elliott is forced to miss any time, Pollard immediately jumps into the RB1 conversation.
Let's say Elliott stays healthy over the course of a 17-game season. That doesn't mean that Pollard becomes a bust at his current ADP. He will still have standalone value as a weekly FLEX option. The 25-year-old averaged 10.8 PPR fantasy points per game in 2021 despite only scoring two touchdowns. Positive progression in that statistical category can be expected considering Pollard already saw 26 red zone touches last year. Seeing that jump to about a pair of red zone touches per game (34 total) could easily result in a career-high mark being set.
It's worth mentioning that Pollard heads into the fall on the final year of his rookie contract. This is the time for him to prove to the front office that he capable of taking over for Elliott in the coming years as the go-to ball-carrier. Pairing that motivation with his explosiveness on the field is a dangerous combo. Pollard has the ceiling of a fringe RB2 and his established role gives him a safe floor, too.
Tony Pollard Projections
Projections from the NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook expect Pollard to finish in the middle of the pack. He's 32nd to lead the NFL in rushing yards (+7500), which is just a few spots lower than where he finished the 2021 season with 719 yards on the ground. Pollard's also 35th to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns (+6000). That is obviously going to be a much harder title to take home given he has yet to post more than four rushing scores in a single campaign. When taking Pollard's career averages into account (8.7 touches per game, 5.6-yard average), and 850-yard from scrimmage season lines up to be his floor. He has proven to be capable of much more than that, though.
Is Tony Pollard a Good Fantasy Football Pick?
When it comes down to it, is Pollard someone to target in the middle rounds? Absolutely, especially for managers thinking about drafting Elliott early on. Pollard's the No. 31 running back in The Duel's PPR fantasy football rankings, and is a perfect option for a RB3/FLEX spot.
Think about like this: Pollard finished just outside of RB2 range in 2021 despite never playing in more than 42% of snaps in a single game. Any sort of increased reliance on him by head coach Mike McCarthy will result in a big-time improvement from a fantasy football perspective. He's worth the risk.
If you've drafted Pollard this year, or you're a Cowboys fan, make sure to check out the best Dallas Cowboys 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.