Ezekiel Elliott news locks him in as top pick in fantasy drafts

Dallas Cowboys, Fantasy Football

Ezekiel Elliott will not be suspended for an incident in Las Vegas, so there’s nothing to keep him from being the top pick in fantasy football drafts.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott had an incident with a security guard in Las Vegas back in May, and he met with commissioner Roger Goodell about it on Tuesday.

A suspension seemed possible, but via a statement on Wednesday the NFL announced Elliott did not violate the personal conduct policy and “no further action is warranted.”

Elliott was suspended for six games during the 2017 season, after he gave up fighting it and took the punishment. As a repeat offender he could have easily been suspended again,and for more games, but the incident taken on its own was deemed not to warrant it.

Elliott has led the league in rushing in two of his first three NFL seasons (the two in which he played 15 games of course), and he’s also led the league in carries in both of those campaigns.

He added something last year though, with more catches (77) and targets (95) than he had in his first two seasons combined. His 2,001 yards from scrimmage were second to Saquon Barkley.

The one negative on Elliott was a drop-off in touchdowns, which led to him finishing as RB5 (standard and full-point PPR) for the season, with just six on the ground buoyed a bit by three receiving touchdowns.

An erosion in proficiency inside the 5-yard line (2-for-11; 18.2 percent), after converting at 33 percent (2017) and 53.8 percent (2018) rates is primarily to blame, along with a below par broken tackle rate (7.6 percent).

The loss of center Travis Frederick also stands as a reason for the drop in goal line prowess.

Elliott led the NFL in runs of 10-plus (41) and 15-plus yards (25) last year, so his explosiveness is still there. Workload will be a consistent concern, and perhaps never more than after last year’s 381 touches that led the league by 29 (Barkley-352).

The four running backs who finished ahead of Elliott in fantasy scoring last year were, in some order depending on scoring format, Todd Gurley, Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara.

The knee injury that bothered Gurley at the end of last season remains a concern now, McCaffrey  set a league record for receptions by a running back and basically never came off the field, Barkley is essentially all the Giants’ offense has going for it (no offense to Sterling Shepard) and Kamara is due for some touchdown regression this year.

A push back into double-digit rushing touchdowns seems certain for Elliott this year, and a big role in the passing game should be maintained by new Cowboys’ offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

Fantasy Football Calculator’s current ADP data has Elliott as the No.1 overall pick in standard leagues, and in basically a dead-heat with Barkley for the No. 1 pick in PPR.

That further backs the case for Elliott to indeed be the No. 1 pick, with a higher floor than others toward the top of the running back heap. There’s also a measure of upside baked in, based on the idea he could quite easily double his touchdown total from 2018.

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