This Season, Pass on Elliott

by Phong Ta

As a guy who has always had a preference for RBs early on, this really pains me to say, especially in a league where true 3 down, workhorse runners are becoming harder and harder to find. But as much as I love Elliott, barring an unexpected slide in your draft, I must advise you all to stay away from him.

Elliott is without a doubt a fantastic player and will likely almost immediately go back to being a 20+ touches a game guy the moment he comes back from his suspension. Heck I was even willing to take the guy last year as the top pick because a runner as talented as him behind the Cowboys’ O-Line was all but guaranteed to be a home run. All that being said, drafting a guy you know for a fact is going to miss as many games as he is just does not sit right with me. Especially when his ADP is still mid-2nd Round in both Standard and PPR Leagues. How can you justify drafting a guy that high you know will miss as many games as he will? Personally, I can’t.

Call me boring, but early on I like to go for “safe” picks. For example, Le’Veon Bell vs David Johnson. Bell has shown he has the higher ceiling of the two. However, he has continually been injured and/or suspended. Meanwhile Johnson has been steady and reliable, having played in all 32 potential regular season games of his career(plus 2 playoff games). While there are certainly those who would take Bell over Johnson due to that higher ceiling, I prefer a safe pick early on. After all, you can’t win a league with your first few picks, but you sure as heck can lose it with those first few. It’s why I like to play it safe when I can with players with a good track record of health, even if the potential ceiling is lower.

As such, with that kind of mindset, I just can’t take Elliott. Right now he is scheduled to miss 6 games, and even in the unlikely event his appeal results in it going down to 4 games, Elliott is still going to miss anywhere from ⅓ to ½ of the Fantasy Regular Season. That is a long time to go without one of your top two picks, regardless of format.

There are also other concerns to take into consideration beyond his suspension. Part of Elliott’s workload was because he needed to help Prescott grow into his role as the QB. Now with Prescott in a much better place, Dez Bryant fully healthy for the first time in years, and the O-Line replacing 2 of its 5 starters, will Elliott still get the same amount of work? Something tells me it will likely go down, if even just a little bit. And when he’s already missing as many games as he is, that is a huge no-no.

I’m not saying Elliott is undraftable. But barring an unexpected drop for the guy in drafts, which doesn’t seem to be the case, I’m going to be avoiding Elliott this year.


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