Tony Pollard's Fantasy Upside Could Be Huge Given Usage Without Ezekiel Elliott

Max Staley
Alika Jenner/Getty Images

It's not uncommon for players to switch positions when transitioning from college to the NFL. Julian Edelman was actually a quarterback at Kent State, but he became a wide receiver at the NFL level. However, it usually takes a couple years for a player to adapt to the new position, and Edelman didn't breakout until his fifth season.

So fantasy owners should pay close attention to Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, who was primarily a WR at Memphis, but has been tearing up the preseason as a running back. In fact, as long as Ezekiel Elliott's holdout continues, Pollard could instantly become fantasy viable as a rookie.

While Pollard racked up 51 total yards and a TD on just six touches in his second preseason game, his snap count is what should really excite fantasy owners.

It's a small sample size, but 13 of Pollard's 14 snaps came when Dak Prescott was on the field. That could indicate the Cowboys plan to use the rookie as their bell-cow back in Elliott's absence.

Dallas has one of the best offensive lines in football, as running backs were only stuffed on 17.9 percent of their attempts in 2018 (No. 10 in the NFL). Dallas' run-blocking prowess could help Pollard seamlessly transition into his new role, but his ability as a pass-catcher could bring an entirely new element to the offense.

Elliott caught a career-high 77 passes last season, but his average depth of target was 1.10 yards (for reference, fellow RB Tarik Cohen's was 3.7) which suggests Zeke's receptions were little more than dump offs. Pollard is much more advanced as a downfield route runner, and could see a much higher figure in 2019.

Pollard is currently being drafted as RB53, but his projected workload and ability as a pass-catcher suggests he has the potential for a massive season, as long as Elliott remains sidelined.

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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. 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.