Ezekiel Elliott – Draft or Fade

Ezekiel Elliott, like Saquon Barkley, is a player that seems to be dividing people in drafts- do you draft him, or fade him? After years of being a dependable fantasy option, he seems to have some stink around him heading into this season.

Struggles in 2021

There is no secret that Elliott struggled last season, and towards the latter part of the season he wasn’t given the workload that he had previously enjoyed. But it’s worth understanding the context. Elliott suffered a partial tear to his PCL in his right knee, which really affected his season. 

Issues heading into 2022

The team have Tony Pollard on the roster, but he isn’t likely to be given the workload to really compete with Elliott in any real way. He is likely to remain in the same role he was previously, a spell back who is used in the passing game. 

The team also have been forced to make some changes to their offensive line, losing both La’el Collins and Connor Williams. Combining that with the recent health struggles of Tyron Smith and you really start to need to question the protection that Elliott is going to be given in the backfield.

2022 Fantasy Outlook

Overall, Elliott is probably as risky as a selection as he was back in 2017 when he was facing suspension. If his injury struggles are behind him, which he says they are, then he is likely to be able to finish as a top-level RB this season, all while being available as a RB2. If he struggles, then his role as a goal-line back is going to give him RB2 value anyway. I’m more than happy to select him as the 30th player off the board in redraft leagues.

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Image Credit: James Lang – USA TODAY Sports