Zeke Elliott’s Suspended: Staff Discussion On The Fantasy Impact

Zeke Elliott’s Suspended: Who To Pick Up?

Ezekiel ElliottThe NFL won a court battle on Thursday when a three-judge panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the injunction blocking the league’s six-game suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott must be vacated. That allowed the NFL to reinstate the suspension and the league announced in a statement that they are doing just that.

The Dallas Cowboys are on a bye this week, so Zeke’s suspension would begin week 7. Which means Zeke will be back for the Fantasy Football playoffs (weeks 14 through 16). However, without a player like Elliott, it’ll arguably be difficult to make the playoffs without one of the leagues best-running backs in the NFL. In the meantime, who will take over as the starter? We have asked the Gridiron Experts Staff to weigh in.

Who Should Fantasy Owners Pickup?

Mike Rigz

Mike Rigz  Twitter Icon@MikeRigz I think the Cowboys will use Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden in a committee. There are rumors the team has been trying to keep DMC fresh as they knew there was a good chance that they’d lose Zeke for six games. However, there is a big difference between keeping a player fresh and keeping a player inactive and on ice. At least Morris has been getting the odd carry to stay in game shape. While my money is on Morris to win the majority of the carries, I don’t think either RB will come close to reproducing the same sort of fantasy production that Zeke brought to the table. This is often a big miss conception with fantasy owners. There is a reason why Zeke Elliott is an elite running back in the NFL, and there is a reason why ALF and DMC are backups. Try your best to grab Morris or McFadden, but temper expectations.

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Anthony Cervino Twitter Icon@theRealNFLguru Well, unfortunately for Cowboys fans (like me) and fantasy football owners alike, Ezekiel Elliot is once again facing his looming suspension. From a fantasy perspective, Zeke would be eligible to return in Week 13 against the Redskins. While Elliott’s suspension was being discussed this offseason, Darren McFadden was considered the Elliott handcuff, primarily, due to his pass-catching ability — a talent that Alfred Morris lacks. Plus, McFadden rushed for over 1000 yards in 2015 behind a similar but declining Dallas offensive line. While Morris has shined in the preseason, as well as during his sporadic regular season play spelling Elliott, I believe McFadden is the Cowboys rusher to own.

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Brad Castronovo Twitter Icon@bkc78 – I think we’re undoubtedly headed for a timeshare here. In the meantime, you have to add Morris, as he’s listed 2nd on the depth chart and is the more reliable bet for the bulk of early down work. With that said, I’ve heard reports that McFadden has been inactive thus far this year to “save” him in case Zeke’s suspension was upheld… I personally don‘t buy that. All things considered, given that this is likely headed for another appeal, I think that Morris should be owned, but I’d only venture to touch McFadden at this point in extremely deep leagues. By the way, if your squad is deep and you can spare the roster spot, it might be a sneaky time to buy low on Zeke… if you make the playoffs and he comes back from his suspension, that’d be quite the hammer to break out come Wintertime

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Paul Maland Twitter Icon@PaulMalandNFL If Zeke Elliott is in fact suspended for six games, the running back on the roster for the Cowboys that I will be adding is Alfred Morris. While popular belief is that the ‘boys love Darren McFadden, I just simply cannot buy into a 30-year old RB who has played in four games over the past two seasons. While McFadden is the better receiving back of the two, Morris takes the edge for both red zone rushing and durability. As evidenced by his 70-yard breakaway run against the Rams, he still has plenty of juice to make big plays. While I don’t believe either back will be a pure “workhorse”, I will bet on the guy who has been on the field and getting valuable game reps.

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Adam Strangis Twitter Icon@bucn4life It seems like the 6 game suspension for Ezekiel Elliott might finally be here, leaving fantasy owners with quite the pickle. Who’s going to be more valuable, Darren McFadden or Alfred Morris? I actually believe they both have value. I think Morris will fall into the first and second down role while McFadden is more of a change of pace back and sees the passing game targets. We’ve seen Elliott get more involved in that facet this year. If it remains a part of the Cowboys offense, McFadden could be that guy as Morris is no threat in the passing game. However, I caution people to not go crazy over DMC. I believe Morris will be of equal value and can be had on many waiver wires and far cheaper in trades.

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Eric Ludwig Twitter Icon@FF_Gouge This is a great opportunity to pick up either one. Grab Morris or McFadden for free now that waivers have processed and give it a few days for the news to sink in. On Monday, look for the owner that will be in a tough bind for RBs in week 7 and flip whichever back you picked up for whatever asset you can get. This is a situation to avoid. If you’re lucky enough to pick the “right” RB, you’re still going to have to dodge the rest of the legal process. My guess is, McFadden and Morris provide very little fantasy value, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of the situation.

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