Ezekiel Elliott owners, you've skirted disaster for nearly two months but it seems it's time to pay the piper. A federal judge on Monday night and all indications are he will begin to serve his six-game suspension in Week 9.
This is a disaster for Elliott's Fantasy owners, and there is no point sugar-coating it. As it stands right now, you'll be without Elliott for the remainder of the Fantasy regular season, as well as Week 14, the first week of the Fantasy playoffs in many leagues. You're missing prime matchups the next two weeks against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons, too.
But that's enough sulking. Here's what you need to do:
- Step 1: Make sure Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden are owned in your league. Yes, this seems elementary, but neither is 100 percent owned right now and both should be. Why both? Because we legitimately have no idea who the feature back is going to be. Morris has been the backup so far this season, but there has been speculation that the team was saving McFadden for this very moment. I still value Morris more, but both should be universally owned until we see the Cowboys' plan.
- Step 2: Check for Alex Collins. He may be better than both of them. Collins has been remarkably efficient this season and just saw 20 touches in a game for the first time this season in Week 8. As of Monday night he's owned in just 49 percent of leagues and I feel pretty confident he'll be a .
- Step 3: Evaluate your situation. If you're 6-2 or better I would advocate standing pat. You can ride this suspension out, hope you pull out a victory in the first round and then welcome Elliott back with open arms. If you're 4-4 or worse it's time to shop Elliott to the first or second place team in your league. Better yet, send them both an email at the same time. Try to start a bidding war. But if your team was .500 or worse with Zeke, you're not making the playoffs without him. Get what you can now and try to scrap your way there. I left 5-3 teams out of this because that's the gray area. Honestly evaluate your team and don't be afraid to make a deal.
Of course, there's an impact for the non-Elliott owners out there as well. here are a couple of quick nuggets for the rest of you:
- I expect this to be a negative for Dak Prescott's efficiency, but from a Fantasy perspective I see a small upgrade based on volume for Prescott, Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. This team will be forced to throw the ball more than they would have.
- If you've been stashing McFadden or Morris and don't need them, I'm looking make a deal before their Week 9 game against Kansas City. This offensive line is not as good as it was in 2016 and there's no guarantee either backup will be a must-start running back, especially if they share the load. Their value might never be higher than it is right now.