Ezekiel Elliott Suspended
The rumors were, in fact, correct, the NFL has in suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott six games for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Elliott has three days to file an appeal, which will likely happen, from there, the league would then have ten days to schedule a hearing on that appeal. Elliott would be able to play during his appeal process which makes his fantasy value so difficult to gauge. For now, we simply have to assume he’s going to be out for the Cowboys’ first six games, which would have him returning Week 8 (Dallas’ bye is Week 6) against the Redskins.
Staff Thoughts on Ezekiel Elliott Suspension:
Mike Rigz Last season Zek Elliot averaged a TD and 124 total yards per game last season. Even with a shortened season of 6 games, he still holds a lot of value. The goal would be for you to build a team around him with the assumption you’ll have him for the Fantasy Football post-season. If you can’t make your fantasy playoffs, he is a waste of roster spot, so where you draft him is key. Personally, I won’t be drafting Zek in any redraft leagues in 2016, unless I could get him in the late third round, which is very unlikely.
Adam Strangis If Elliott remains suspended for six games, I have a hard time spending anything more than a fourth round pick on him. This most likely means I won’t have much of Zeke this year because many seem to think he’s still worth a late second or early third round selection. Keep in mind, the earliest you can play Zeke is Week 8. Most fantasy playoffs start Week 12 or 13. I fully expect Elliott to be a force when he gets back, but that’s a long road to get to the playoffs without him.
Hunter Gibbon Let’s assume that Zeke does remain suspended for the full six games. Seeing as my fellow Gridiron Experts writers are covering how early you should take Elliott, I’ll focus on what to do with Darren McFadden. Last year, with Le’Veon Bell, suspended for three games, DeAngelo Williams was being drafted in the late 6th round. If McFadden rises to that same range, I will not chase him. Williams had shown in previous seasons that he was a 1-to-1 bellcow handcuff for Bell. We do not know that about McFadden and Elliott. Alfred Morris could be involved, and I would not rule out the Cowboys signing someone (maybe DeAngelo Williams) before the season starts. Selecting McFadden before higher upside players like Tevin Coleman or Eddie Lacy, or high floor players like Frank Gore, Paul Perkins, or Terrance West would be a mistake. If you decide to pull the trigger on Elliott in your drafts this year, do not fall for the trap argument of “you have to draft McFadden if you draft Elliott.” Simply cobble together a potential group RB2s with season-long starting potential and they will get you through those 7 weeks. They could help you even after Elliott returns, unlike McFadden. I will consider McFadden if he is available in the 8th or 9th round and the other players with season long starting potential are off the board.
“Following the release of this article, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Elliott will appeal his six-game ban, while Yahoo’s Charles Robinson suggested that the troubled rusher “is willing to take this whole suspension appeal through courts if he has to,” which could cause the ordeal “to drag out for a long time.”” What does this mean? Per Pro Football Talk, “after the appeal is finalized, Elliott will have the right to seek judicial intervention. Even if he eventually loses (and he likely would lose), he could potentially delay the suspension by obtaining a preliminary injunction blocking the suspension until the case is resolved. Brady did that two years ago. Several years before that, former Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams delayed a suspension in the Starcaps case for multiple seasons.”
In the aforementioned scenario, there is a possibility that Elliott could play the 2017 season in its entirety, barring injury of course, which would mean his fantasy value and ADP would not change. However, that is not the case at the moment. Currently, he is suspended for six games, which will dramatically reduce his draft stock. Although Elliott is still holding a 1.03 ADP at Fantasy Football Calculator, I fully expect it to fall. If his ban is upheld and it remains at the six games, which equates to 37.5 percent of the season, I’m not touching Elliott anywhere within the first three rounds of a fantasy draft in any format. He should be available in the fourth round, which is where I’m targeting him.
Elliott played in 15 games last season and scored 293.4 fantasy points with a 19.6 FPG average in standard scoring formats. He finished as the RB2. If you take away six games from the 15, he would have scored 176.4 points through nine, which would remarkably place him as the RB12 to finish the 2016 season behind Jay Ajayi (188.3) and ahead of Frank Gore (176.3). With that kind of upside, I could stomach taking the risk on Elliott in the fourth. ”