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Ezekiel Elliott Fantasy Football
Is Ezekiel Elliott a good play in Fantasy Football this year? Check out what Fantasy writer Craig Forrestal has to say.

By Craig Forrestal

Cowboys fans can finally say goodbye to the days of Jason Garrett and 8-8 seasons. However, they don’t know what the future holds with Mike McCarthy; former Green Bay Packers Head Coach. McCarthy has proven he can win in the NFL with a Super Bowl victory on his resume. Jerry Jones is betting that McCarthy can bring a trophy to Dallas and win another Super Bowl in his coaching career. For all the accolades McCarthy has received it is not without criticism. McCarthy has come under scrutiny for being allergic to running the ball at times. Now, McCarthy enters a situation where he has talent galore all over the field offensively and features one of the NFL’s premier RBs in Ezekiel Elliott. All eyes will be on McCarthy this season to see if he has learned from his previous crippling mistakes or if it is more of the same with him?

Schedule:

  • Week 1: @ Rams
  • Week 2: Falcons
  • Week: @ Seahawks
  • Week 4: Browns
  • Week 5: Giants
  • Week 6: Cardinals
  • Week 7: @ Washington
  • Week 8: @ Eagles
  • Week 9: Steelers
  • Week 10: Bye
  • Week 11: @ Vikings
  • Week 12: Washington
  • Week 13: @ Ravens
  • Week 14: @ Bengals
  • Week 15: 49ers
  • Week 16: Eagles
  • Week 17: @ Giants

Players To Know:

  • Dak Prescott-QB: I truly expect Dak to be a Top 5 QB this upcoming fantasy season. He has so many weapons offensively and I believe the combination of Kellen Moore, Doug Nussmeier and Mike McCarthy will click. The offense will benefit from that because Dak is surrounded by a QB friendly coaching staff. Say what you want about the McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers relationship, but I think Rodgers is more diva than the public knows. Last season Dak was just short of 5k passing yards and finished with 30 TDs and 11 INT; expect those numbers to be about the same. I truly believe the addition of CeeDee Lamb is going to make this Cowboys offense extremely explosive and Dak should get the benefit of it all. Also, Dak has one of the more favorable schedules on paper. But that is just my opinion.
  • Ezekiel Elliott-RB: There is only one RB over the last five years who has finished as a Top 6 RB three times, and that is Zeke. However, he has never finished as the RB1 for Fantasy Football purposes. Zeke is a workhorse and in an offense where he should be near the end zone a lot, I expect a large TD total from him this season. I see Zeke having a good amount of TDs come from 5 yards or less and overall being somewhere around 18 TDs rushing. Also, we can expect him to have a big year due to the perception that the offense will be in almost 3 WR sets exclusively because of the depth of the position and that will not allow teams to stack the box against Zeke. While the Dallas Oline might not be as dominant as a few years ago it is still a very talented unit that will create lanes for Zeke. While I am not crowning him as RB1 this season, I will be happy with the likely RB2-5 range overall he falls into. Zeke will lose some work to Tony Pollard but not around the goal line. The touchdowns are what will keep Zeke on the high end of fantasy performers.
  • Tony Pollard-RB: Tony Pollard had games where he took off last season and with him a year wiser it would not be the least bit surprising to see him take some work from Zeke in between the 20s. If Pollard can establish an every week role where he generates 8-10 touches he could become a FLEX option in some scenarios. For anyone thinking of drafting Zeke then you must pair it with Pollard because if Zeke were to miss time Pollard is an immediate every week play with solid upside. Call it championship-winning upside.
  • Amari Cooper-WR: With so many WRs it can be expected for Cooper and his stats to take a hit. Cooper possibly reached his fantasy peak last season, but that is not to say he will drift off into the fantasy wastelands. Cooper has never been the 100+ catches type of player so he will not take a hit in that regard. However, it will be the targets that will decrease. While his YPC stats may not be impacted it will be interesting to see what he ultimately ends up with statistically. I expect Cooper to be in the 70 catch ranges for about 1000 yards and 6 TDs.
  • Michael Gallup-WR: Just like for Cooper, Gallup will have to be a player expected to see a slight regression due to the offensive talent. Gallup is entering his third season and was a key contributor last season. Gallup logged 66 receptions for 1107 yards and he should be due for something similar. While Gallup will not be a flashy play he is a consistent piece to your weekly lineup.
  • CeeDee Lamb-WR: Lamb has always been involved. When he was a freshman at Oklahoma he made an immediate impact and that team had Hollywood Brown and Mark Andrews on it. Then in his next two seasons, he went over 1100 yards and over 1300 yards. I expect Lamb to replace Randall Cobb in the slot and Cobb saw 83 targets last season, so with my logic, Lamb should see 80 targets as a rookie. I expect Lamb to turn those targets into about 55 catches for 800 yards and a few TDs. But I think Lamb can blow those out of the water. He is nothing like Randall Cobb and I think his ability to get downfield is going to be huge for this offense. I believe Lamb could have a breakout season and be the preferred option for Dak. I know this sounds crazy but Lamb is special.
  • Blake Jarwin-TE: Jarwin replaces Jason Witten who also logged 83 targets last season. Even though I believe CeeDee Lamb will steal some of those old Witten targets, Jarwin could be a sneaky TE play due to the lack of consistency and depth at the position in terms of fantasy play. Jarwin posted 365 yards and three scores on 31 receptions last season.

Defense:

Byron Jones is now a member of the Miami Dolphins, but aside from that the Dallas D has seen a ton of players walk out the door this off-season. Jeff Heath, Christian Covington, Maliek Collins, Robert Quinn and Kavon Frazier will all find themselves donning new colors when the season kicks off. But the Cowboys did add Trevon Diggs, Neville Gallimore and Bradlee Anae via the draft and signed some very high-upside UDFA to bolster what was depleted. However, you slice it the defense will take a hit this season. Now, this does not mean they will turn into Swiss cheese and get torched weekly; rather it means this is a relatively young defense in some key positions and the growing pains will be evident. The strong point of the defense is at LB with Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. However, with the growing pains come glorious moments so expect the Cowboys to be a middle of the road option.

Potential Breakout Player:

  • CeeDee Lamb-WR

Rookie To Know:

  • CeeDee Lamb-WR
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