Ezekiel Elliott enters 2018 once again among the best Fantasy options at any position, but this season he will hopefully be on the field for the majority of the year. A six-game suspension hurt Elliott's production in 2017, but he still showed off his skills when he was eligible to play. Through 25 games over two seasons, Elliott has scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league 24 times. He also has at least 20 touches in 21 games over that span, which shows the kind of workhorse running back he's been and should continue to be this year. It also wouldn't be a surprise to see him more involved in the offense, including the passing game, given the state of Dallas' receiving corps without Dez Bryant. Elliott will likely be the No. 3 overall pick in standard leagues behind Todd Gurley and Le'Veon Bell, and he will drafted no later than No. 6 overall in PPR. As long as Elliott is healthy and active, he should continue to be a Fantasy star
Elliott may take on a larger pass-catching role to help compensate for the offseason departures of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports. Elliott's 74.3 percent career catch rate (58 of 78 targets) is mediocre for a running back, but he owns impressive marks of 10.9 yards per catch and 8.1 per target, thanks to a pair of big plays -- 83 and 72 yards -- that account for 24.5 percent of his receiving output. While unlikely to reach the Le'Veon Bell/David Johnson workload in the passing game, Elliott should draw four or five looks per game as the Cowboys try to replace Bryant and Witten's 220 combined targets. Elliott led the league with 24.2 carries per game last season, and while he only averaged 2.6 catches and 3.8 targets, he typically stayed on the field for passing downs.
Elliott carried the ball 27 times for 103 yards while adding three catches for 38 yards in Sunday's 6-0 win over the Eagles. Very little went right for either offense in this one, but Elliott still came through with his fifth 100-yard rushing performance in 10 games and fell just 17 yards shy of another 1000-yard season. Assuming he stays out of the league's disciplinary crosshairs in 2018 and avoids another suspension, Elliott should be primed for a very productive campaign as the centerpiece of the Cowboys' offense.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett confirmed that Elliott would play Sunday against the Eagles, Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Elliott's return from a six-game suspension Week 16 against the Seahawks wasn't enough for the Cowboys to avoid a loss, which officially eliminated Dallas from playoff contention. Though the team has little at stake in Week 17, head coach Jason Garrett evidently wants the Cowboys to close the season on a high note, so the team's key contributors will suit up like usual. Despite his lengthy absence, Elliott didn't exhibit any noticeable rust against Seattle, producing 118 yards on 28 touches (four receptions). Expect the running back to enjoy another hefty workload Sunday.
Elliott ran for 97 yards on 24 carries against Seattle on Sunday, adding four catches for 21 yards on seven targets. Elliott couldn't find the end zone Sunday, but that was more the result of surrounding circumstances than anything under his control. Elliott played most of the game without elite left tackle Tyron Smith, and the Seahawks defense was at much greater strength than a week ago with K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner at fuller health. That Dak Prescott and the Dallas passing game got nothing going resulted in both stuttering drives and stacked fronts for Elliott. Elliott gets a tough draw against Philadelphia on the road Week 17, which is bad timing for a Dallas offense headed downward at the moment.
Cowboys offensive coodinator Scott Linehan said Elliott would receive "significant touches" in the running back's return from a six-game suspension Sunday against the Seahawks, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports. Head coach Jason Garrett suggested earlier in the week that it wasn't a lock for Elliott to take on a full-time workload in his return from suspension, but the second-year player apparently allayed any concerns about his readiness to play or his conditioning during the Cowboys' three practices this week. Linehan's comments were more or less supported by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who suggested Elliott could earn 20-to-25 carries in his first game back. With that in mind, it's looking like fantasy owners can start Elliott, who averaged 29.5 touches over his final four games before the suspension, with confidence this week.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/17||New York Giants||21||17.88|
|13||11/30||New Orleans Saints||12||17.22|
|16||12/23||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||29||19.13|
|17||12/30||@New York Giants||21||17.88|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||282||1307||11||29||316||2||237|