In The Blitz, RotoViz writers react to the latest news and help you place it within the context of our 2020 research and recommendations.
The 2020 NFL season has come to an end. Honestly, there were times when I wasn’t so sure we’d make it through an entire season, but we did. For many players, their performances this season boosted their value, and fantasy managers are likely to respond as such in the offseason. For other players, 2020 was a season to forget. Running back Ezekiel Elliott falls into this category. The loss of quarterback Dak Prescott sunk any hopes for this offense that struggled offensively over the second half of the season. However, Elliott did cap off his season by finding the endzone in Week 17, and he’s an intriguing dynasty asset heading into the offseason.
Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott scored a touchdown in a Week 17 loss to the New York Giants. Elliott didn’t run particularly well otherwise, rushing 14 times for 42 yards, averaging just three yards per carry. He did add three catches on four targets for an additional 19 yards. Elliott finishes the 2020 season with just five RB1 finishes, three of those coming with Dak Prescott under center. The Cowboys offense as a whole is just much better with Prescott running things. Elliott should see a drop in his ADP heading into next season but could be back in the low-end RB1 ranks as long as Prescott returns at full strength.
A Tale of Two Seasons
Elliott was a consensus early first-round pick in dynasty startup drafts and redraft leagues before the 2020 season began. He entered this season on the heels of back-to-back top-five running back seasons, where he touched the ball over 350 times in each season and scored 23 total touchdowns over those two years. He’s been durable, dependable, and has added the highly sought after receiving element to his game. On an offense led by Prescott and offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, it was hard to imagine Elliott having the season he did.
His season started exactly as fantasy managers had hoped: five RB1 weeks in the first six games. However, the drop off was hard and fast once Prescott went down. The offense sputtered, and a rotation of inept quarterback play ensued. Elliott’s production tanked after Prescott went down for the year, and fantasy managers were left with a highly drafted asset who wasn’t returning on investment. However, a closer look highlights that not all may be lost, as some have made it seem.
An Intriguing Offseason Storyline
Despite the drop off in production, Elliott still received almost 20 opportunities/game. That’s encouraging for fantasy managers, especially those in dynasty leagues. Now, we can debate whether or not Elliott should have received the contract that he did, but he’s slated to remain a Cowboy for the next several seasons. At just 25 years old and with a virtually clean bill of health throughout his professional career, Elliott could be someone to target in dynasty leagues if his offseason price is depressed. I would make a move for him sooner in the offseason before any narratives (good or bad) start coming out of Dallas. The Cowboys are heavily invested in Elliott, and there is no reason to think his usage will change in the foreseeable future.