Tony Pollard Fantasy Outlook Plummets Following Ezekiel Elliott Contract Extension

Jason Schandl
Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys
Houston Texans v Dallas Cowboys / Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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The Tony Pollard hype was fun while it lasted.

A potential workhorse for the Dallas Cowboys while Ezekiel Elliott was holding out for a new contract, Pollard's average draft position (ADP) had climbed to RB44 (115th overall) as the regular season approached. Following news that Zeke signed a six-year extension, making him the highest-paid running back in the NFL, the fantasy football value that Pollard offered has all but disappeared.

Elliott has led the league in rush attempts in two of his three seasons in the NFL, only failing to do so when injuries limited him to 10 games in 2017 — a season that he averaged a career-high 24.2 rushes per game.

And Zeke surely dominates that carries in the Cowboys' backfield. No other Dallas running back eclipsed 50 carries in 2018, and in Elliott's other full season, the most carries for another Cowboys RB was 69 from Alfred Morris.

Dallas may not lean quite as heavily on Zeke now that they've invested so much guaranteed money in him (and his health), but after he saw 381 touches in 2018, there's room for his workload to decrease slightly where he still gets enough volume to remain an every-week RB1.

Tony Pollard Week 1 Fantasy Outlook

Before Zeke signed, Pollard was a great play in Week 1 against the New York Giants. Obviously, though, the backup's value this week takes a massive hit with the return of Elliott. However, after missing all of training camp, it's possible that Zeke's workload could be limited in the Cowboys' first game of the season.

If the team's plan is the limit Elliott's workload – 20-25 reps – that would seemingly leave Pollard as the Cowboys' lead back for Week 1. Of note, Zeke averaged 59.5 snaps per game in the 2018 regular season. With so much inconsistency and ultimately incorrect information floating around through Zeke's holdout, this estimate needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt.

In the best-case scenario, if this estimate proves true, Pollard's value already falls far enough to make him a shaky flex play, at best. Once we include the likelihood of Zeke exceeding those 20-25 reps and still leading the Dallas backfield, Pollard's potential downside far outweighs any upside he offers. At this point, the fourth-round rookie is quickly on his way to being little more than a handcuff as we head into Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season.


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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.

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