Fantasy Soccer RB Preview: Debunking the Ezekiel Elliott Myths
Debunking all of Ezekiel Elliott’s myths
Ezekiel Elliott will dominate fantasy football again in 2021. And as much as I want to argue with every single person on Reddit and Twitter individually (and trust me – I like it), I just got tired of arguing about that particular player. So I’ve decided to erase in advance all the arguments I’m seeing against Zeke once and for all. So buckle up
“Zeke lost a step”
Oh really? When exactly did Zeke lose this “step”? It was obviously not the first five weeks of the season when he was the RB2 in full PPR behind just Alvin Kamara. I think you were saying that Zeke lost his TEAM. Here are the injuries that have struck the cowboys running game over the past year.
For those who keep track of things at home, that’s basically the whole team. It was like Ezekiel Elliott had lost a bet with the devil and was teleported onto the jets. And ALSO THEN he finished as RB11 in Full Point PPR while missing a game himself. In fact, of the players mentioned above, Zack Martin was the player who missed the fewest games. Here are Zeke’s points per game with and without just Martin.
If you take RBs that played at least a quarter of the season, 18.79 PPR points per game would have been the fourth highest. More than Nick Chubb or Aaron Jones. If you just look at the two games that Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith and Zack Martin were healthy in, those two games averaged 25.95 points. In the first five games Dak played, Zeke averaged over 100 yards and one touchdown per game.
“Tony Pollard Takes Snapshots Away”
Oh yeah? When does it start? Because last year Zeke played the most snapshots of all races in the league. His 777 snapshots were 70 more than the next highest in David Montgomery. AND ZEKE DIDN’T PLAY WEEK 15. He could have completely missed another game and he would still have topped the league in snapshots.
“Yes, but Tony Pollard is taking away PASS snapshots, which are more valuable.”
No he does not. Zeke’s 499 passport snapshots ALSO led the league. In fact, 499 pass snaps are 110 more pass snaps than Alvin Kamara played. I believe Kamara is seen as a pass that catches back. Tony Pollard played 244 pass-downs, including 37 in the week that Zeke was completely out. Less than half of the passing snapshots the starter played even though Pollard played an extra game. Not exactly a split backfield if you ask me.
You see, when a team decides to put a second back in handing it off, it usually has a very specific reason. They are good at passport protection systems. Gio Bernard was a very good pass professional, Joe Mixon wasn’t, which is why Bernard played these snapshots. But here’s the problem with that. In 2020, Tony Pollard was ranked 73rd, trailing behind in pass blocking per PFF. This is of course terrible because there are only 32 teams. But that is actually a drastic improvement for him. In 2019, he was ranked number 131 in the league in pass blocking. Yes, in 2019 there were only two running backs who had poorer pass protection. In short – he’s not good at it. This whole idea of a split backcourt where one guy gets the run games and the other gets the pass games is a fallacy unless you predict Tony Pollard will be the guy on the first downs Ball runs while Zeke is The backup arrives on third downs. If you believe that, please tweet me at @CoopAFiasco and let me know this is your prediction for the 2021 season.
“Tony Pollard showed us this year that he is really good.”
I suppose your hypothetical tweet could probably be saying that, so let’s just address it for now. Tony Pollard essentially had a good game. And that was week 15 when Zeke wasn’t playing. You might say, “What about games like the Viking game? Tony Pollard had 60 yards with just five stretches! “. Well, in reality he was 42 yards on one carry and 18 yards on the other four. But that doesn’t really matter as Zeke had over 100 meters in that game. A good run when the starter is off and the defense thinks they can take a little break isn’t proof that you need a lot of the touch. And the same thing happened against the Steelers the week before. Nine transfers for 57 yards sounds really good until you find that those games were essentially two 20 yard runs and one 12 yard run when they caught the defense passing downs while he was too Had runs of 0, -1 and -2 yards. Not exactly a model of consistency, and similar to many changes in pace, the efficiency numbers are nowhere near as good if you’re the type of guy who has to run the ball on the 2nd and 1st or 3rd and goal. Though we don’t have to worry about it for Tony Pollard because Zeke got 32 stretches within the 10-yard line and Tony Pollard had four. And half of them came into play when Zeke was out.
“There are too many mouths to feed them”
Now? As opposed to when? Last season? It’s the same team! Except this year, they’ll get their quarterback and all blockers back. Even if Andy Dalton was the focus for most of last season and Zeke missed a game, he got the sixth highest carry of any running back and the fourth most goals. As the team threw the ball, it was the second most popular of any team in the league. In the first four games of the season before he was injured, Dak Prescott was well on his way to VAPORIZE the pass attempt record. He was well on his way to throwing over 800 passes when Matt Stafford’s record for a 16-game season is 727 (and no one but him has thrown over 700). And Zeke was the RB2 at that time. But will they be too difficult for Zeke this year? The offense will be too busy throwing touchdown passes for running back to dip into the goal line? We’ve already talked about the terrible offense being the big reason Zeke had such a “disappointing” RB1 season in PPR – why should it be worse for Zeke to bring back the same offense except with a better offensive line?
Zeke is too old
Zeke is 25 years old. He will be 26 this summer. If that’s “too old” for you, then hanging out on the Dynasty fantasy football subreddit really messed up your noggin. And people have the nerve to tell me in the same breath that Zeke doesn’t have enough “tread on the tires”, so they take Derrick Henry. The same Derrick Henry, who is 27 years old and made the playoffs for two consecutive years and ran the ball up the bowel 782 times like a tractor-trailer over that period.
Here’s what is likely to happen. The Cowboys will get their quarterback and all their offensive linemen back this year (including one more tackle they just drafted in the fourth round). The offense will be really good and get a lot of touchdowns while the defense will be pretty mediocre. Zeke will be a focus of this crime because he’s a megastar who pays a billion dollars. And he’ll get a lot of those touchdowns. And by reading this article, you will likely win your fantasy league.
How does that sound